Today is the Michigan-Michigan State game, and it doesn't look good for my alma mater. MSU has six wins and one loss and is ranked either 5th or 8th, while Michigan is unranked with three wins and four losses. According to the Free Press, MSU is favored by 17 points. That's probably understating the likely magnitude of the predicted loss. The Sagarin computer rankings at USA Today have MSU ranked 10th while Michigan is ranked 70th and indicate a likely margin of victory of 22 points. If I were a betting man, I'd put money on MSU to beat the spread, as much as it would pain me. Fortunately, gambling is not one of my vices.
Since the action on the football field won't favor Michigan, I'll have to pick another form of competition between the state's flagship university and its land-grant university. I'll be a good environmentalist and recycle the concept of Research from BCS Championship universities and feature both schools' research. Follow over the jump for the press releases of the two institutions that I orginally included in Overnight News Digest on Daily Kos during October, beginning with a sneak peek at what I'm including in today's edition.
University of Michigan
First, the fight song.
Now, the press releases and videos.
University of Michigan: Containing an epidemic: Ebola and engineering | MconneX | MichEpedia
Ebola isn't just a public health issue, it's an engineering problem, says Wallace Hopp, a professor of engineering and business at the University of Michigan. "The same principles we use to design safe aircraft and nuclear reactors can be used to design safe healthcare delivery systems and we need those right now," Hopp says.I might just recycle this in my weekly Ebola update, along with the videos from the U of M School of Public Health I mentioned in Ebola news from campuses on the campaign trail and Discovery News.
Hopp, co-author of the book Hospital Operations, talks about the weaknesses in healthcare systems that Ebola has exposed, and how the field of reliability engineering can be applied to high-risk health situations. He describes reliability engineering relies in terms of Swiss cheese. It assumes that systems are made of layers with holes in them. The right kind of redundancy, he says, can reduce the likelihood that the holes will line up and cause system failures.
University of Michigan: Nanolobes | MconneX | MichEpedia
In designs that mimic the texture of starfish shells, Michigan engineers have had made curved ordered crystals. Such shapes are found readily in nature, but not in a lab. Crystals engineers typically make either have facets with flat surfaces and hard angles, or are smooth but lack a repeating molecular order. The researchers call them “nanolobes.”There is also a press release: Facetless crystals that mimic starfish shells could advance 3D-printing pills
Both the nanolobes’ shape and the way they’re made have promising applications. The geometry could potentially be useful to guide light in advanced LEDs, solar cells and nonreflective surfaces. A layer might help a material repel water or dirt. And the process used to manufacture them – organic vapor jet printing – might lend itself to 3D-printing medications that absorb better into the body and make personalized dosing possible. The principal investigator in this work is Max Shtein, associate professor of material science and engineering, macromolecular science engineering, chemical engineering and art and design.
October 20, 2014
In a design that mimics a hard-to-duplicate texture of starfish shells, University of Michigan engineers have made rounded crystals that have no facets.University of Michigan: U-M chemist receives $2M to map disease-causing 'free radical' damage
"We call them nanolobes. They look like little hot air balloons that are rising from the surface," said Olga Shalev, a doctoral student in materials science and engineering who worked on the project.
Both the nanolobes' shape and the way they're made have promising applications, the researchers say. The geometry could potentially be useful to guide light in advanced LEDs, solar cells and nonreflective surfaces.
A layer might help a material repel water or dirt. And the process used to manufacture them—organic vapor jet printing—might lend itself to 3D-printing medications that absorb better into the body and make personalized dosing possible.
October 22, 2014
Oxidative stress in our bodies is an unavoidable consequence of breathing and eating, but when it gets out of balance, it's implicated in cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, heart disease, diabetes and aging itself.University of Michigan: Measures to avoid hospital readmission often don't work
In an effort to pinpoint how and where oxidative damage begins, a chemistry professor at the University of Michigan is developing new technologies to map its effects on our cells.
Oxidative stress occurs in cells when "free radicals"—unstable, charged molecules of oxygen or nitrogen—latch on to proteins where they don't belong and inhibit the proteins' function. While our cells do have mechanisms to fight free radicals, they can't always keep up.
October 21, 2014
Health care interventions designed to keep patients from having to be readmitted to the hospital are proving unsuccessful, a researcher from the University of Michigan School of Public Health and a colleague have found.University of Michigan: Teens playing high-contact sports at risk for using drugs, alcohol
Further, Ariel Linden, adjunct associate professor in the School of Public Health's Department of Health Management and Policy, noted that another study just released reached a similar conclusion, suggesting that those who administer Medicare may want to take a look at policies, a recent one in particular.
At issue is a change in Medicare reimbursement policies that went into effect in 2013, which penalizes hospitals when patients are readmitted within 30 days for certain conditions by not paying hospitals for those readmissions.
Part of the reason for failure of the interventions could be the serious nature of the illnesses, the researchers said.
But what Linden and Butterworth offered as a more likely explanation for the readmissions is that interventions can only be successful when everyone on a patient's medical team is invested in making them work. At small community hospitals, physicians organizationally are rarely part of the hospital team.
October 21, 2014
Teens who play sports like football, wrestling, hockey or lacrosse are more likely to drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes or marijuana than student athletes who play noncontact sports, according to a new University of Michigan study.University of Michigan: Preschoolers with low empathy at risk for continued problems
The findings show that participation in high-contact sports is associated with substance use during the past 30 days. Meanwhile, participating in noncontact sports, such as tennis, swimming, gymnastics and track, lessened the likelihood of substance use in the past month.
"Competitive sports participation can either inhibit or amplify substance use. It just depends upon which type of sport adolescents are involved with," said Philip Veliz, assistant research professor at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender.
October 3, 2014
ANN ARBOR—A toddler who doesn't feel guilty after misbehaving or who is less affectionate or less responsive to affection from others might not raise a red flag to parents, but these behaviors may result in later behavior problems in 1st grade.University of Michigan: Older adults satisfied with aging more likely to seek health screenings
The findings come from a new University of Michigan study that identifies different types of early child problems.
Early preschool behavior problems often improve over time. When that doesn't happen through grade school, children are more likely to become aggressive and violent as teens and adults. Previous research on these different types of behavior problems has focused on older children and teens.
October 16, 2014
ANN ARBOR—Adults over 50 who feel comfortable about aging are more proactive in getting preventive health care services, a new University of Michigan study found.University of Michigan: The new American family: How and why we've changed
Sometimes, the older population does not visit their doctor because they believe that physical and mental declines typify old age, says Eric Kim, a U-M doctoral student in clinical psychology. They think that lifestyle changes will not make a difference, making them less likely to seek preventive care. This is not true and also not a healthy mindset, he says.
Studies show that older adults can go down several different trajectories of health as they age: some decline, some maintain and some even get healthier. Different mindsets influence which health trajectories people follow because mindsets influence health behaviors, says Kim, the study's lead author.
If people are satisfied with their aging process, which includes feeling useful and having high energy, they sought health screenings.
October 20, 2014
Most young Americans plan to get married someday, but more than 40 percent of births now occur outside marriage, and the American family itself has become far more diverse and varied.University of Michigan: Auto companies continue to exceed fuel economy standards
"I wouldn't say the Ozzie and Harriet family is headed towards extinction, but it's really a much much smaller slice of American life," said William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution and researcher at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, who adds that the nation is still catching up to the new reality.
The new American family is not nearly as white as it used to be. In fact, white babies may already be in the minority. In addition, mixed-race couples have become far more common, and more gay couples have started families. Unmarried households headed by same-sex couples increased 80 percent in the 2010 Census from a decade earlier to almost 650,000, and an estimated 25 percent of those households are raising children.
October 22, 2014
In the three years since a new standard for gas mileage has been in effect, automakers have surpassed it each year, improving new-vehicle fuel economy by about a mile per gallon annually.Like Ebola above, today's linkspam does not include material I've previously used, in this case the two articles from Michigan and one from MSU in Michigan universities on buying cars.
In 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced the final standard governing new-vehicle Corporate Average Fuel Economy for model years 2017-2025. Since then, CAFE performance has exceeded projected levels for 2012, 2013 and 2014—the three years the current standard has been in effect.
Achieved CAFE performance topped anticipated levels by 0.2 mpg for model year 2012, 0.1 mpg for model year 2013 and 0.2 mpg for model year 2014.
In addition, CAFE performance has consistently increased annually from model year 2008 through model year 2014, say Brandon Schoettle and Michael Sivak of the U-M Transportation Research Institute. Overall, fuel economy improved by 5.3 mpg over these seven model years, from 25.5 mpg to 30.8 mpg.
University of Michigan: New app customizes animal natural history on the go
October 17, 2014
ANN ARBOR—A University of Michigan startup has launched the first of many mobile apps with customized data on animals for parks, zoos, museums and other natural areas.I might reuse this, as there is a Georgia Tech article and video about an app about biodiversity as well.
The Animal Diversity Web spun off from the university this year after nearly 20 years as a learning tool started by recently retired U-M biologist Phil Myers, professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology. He created the searchable database and multimedia encyclopedia of animal natural history on the fledgling World Wide Web in 1995.
From modest beginnings, ADW has steadily grown to become one of the world's largest and most widely used natural history websites. During busy times, more than 4 million pages of content are provided to more than a half million users worldwide each month.
University of Michigan: U-M campus sustainability awareness is up, actions lag
October 13, 2014
ANN ARBOR—Findings from a new U-M Sustainability Cultural Indicators Program report show that most U-M faculty, students, and staff have increased their knowledge about how to be more sustainable, particularly in the areas of foods and waste prevention, but behavior change hasn't kept pace.University of Michigan: Space-based methane maps find largest U.S. signal in Southwest
SCIP is a collaborative effort between U-M's Graham Sustainability Institute and the Institute for Social Research, with support from the Office of the Provost. Launched in 2012 to track "sustainability culture" on the Ann Arbor campus, SCIP uses annual surveys to measure and evaluate changes and progress over time.
The survey data inform a set of sustainability indicators in four key categories: climate action, waste prevention, healthy environments and community awareness—aligning directly with the university's campus sustainability goal areas. The second-year SCIP report reflects responses from 4,700 faculty, students and staff in 2013, and compares those results to benchmarks established in 2012.
October 9, 2014
ANN ARBOR—An unexpectedly high amount of the climate-changing gas methane, the main component of natural gas, is escaping from the Four Corners region in the U.S. Southwest, according to a new study by the University of Michigan and NASA.I conclude with some non-science research that is still important for sustainability.
The researchers mapped satellite data to uncover the nation's largest methane signal seen from space. They measured levels of the gas emitted from all sources, and found more than half a teragram per year coming from the area where Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah meet. That's about as much methane as the entire coal, oil, and gas industries of the United Kingdom give off each year.
Four Corners sits on North America's most productive coalbed methane basin. Coalbed methane is a variety of the gas that's stuck to the surface of coal. It is dangerous to miners (not to mention canaries), but in recent decades, it's been tapped as a resource.
University of Michigan: When companies in the same industry have common owners, consumers pay
October 14, 2014
ANN ARBOR—If you owned two companies in the same industry, would you make them compete? Probably not, knowing the firms make higher profits if they don't.That's thirteen press releases or independent videos, sixteen if one counts the three articles from this month that I already used but didn't include today.
Antitrust legislation should prevent such anticompetitive behavior, but University of Michigan research indicates that common owners have an impact on product prices.
Institutional investors such as BlackRock, Fidelity and Vanguard hold nearly 80 percent of the shares of public companies in the U.S. as they put 401(k)s and other private investments to work.
That's good for investors, but it might be bad for consumers and the economy as a whole, according to Martin Schmalz, assistant professor of finance at U-M's Ross School of Business. Natural competitors in many industries have nearly identical top shareholders, including Apple and Microsoft, CVS and Walgreens, and the largest three U.S. banks.
Michigan State University
First, the fight song.
Now, the press releases.
Michigan State University: Lessons from the ‘Spanish flu,’ nearly 100 years later
October 22, 2014
Just in time for flu season, a new Michigan State University study of “the mother of all pandemics” could offer insight into infection control measures for the flu and other epidemic diseases.I might recycle this in an Ebola update, too.
Siddharth Chandra, director of MSU’s Asian Studies Center and professor in MSU’s James Madison College, and Eva Kassens-Noor, assistant professor of urban and transport planning with a joint appointment in the Global Urban Studies Program, studied the evolution of the 1918 influenza pandemic, aka the “Spanish flu.” In 1918, the virus killed 50 million people worldwide, 10 to 20 million of whom were in India. In the United States alone, the Spanish flu claimed 675,000 lives in nine months.
“We need to pay more attention to public health,” Chandra said. “If we get another flu pandemic and it infects tens of millions in the U.S., killing half a million people, that’s going to be worse than anything that’s happened to us in at least the last 50-to-100 years.”
Michigan State University: Some scientists share better than others
October 22, 2014
Some scientists share better than others. While astronomers and geneticists embrace the concept, the culture of ecology still has a ways to go.MSU has more on the study in Research Team: Studying Environmental Science.
Research by Michigan State University, published in the current issue of Bioscience, explores the paradox that although ecologists share findings via scientific journals, they do not share the data on which the studies are built, said Patricia Soranno, MSU fisheries and wildlife professor and co-author of the paper.
“One reason for not sharing data is the fear of being scooped by another scientist; but if all data are available, then everyone is on the same playing field, there are more people to collaborate with, and you will have a bigger impact on science,” said Soranno, an MSU AgBioResearch scientist. “Think of the advances being made in genomics, for example, due to the human genome project and the free-flowing findings and data. Genomics is advancing at an unprecedented rate, and it’s having an impact on many other fields as well.”
Michigan State University: Earth Stories at MSU Museum
October 24, 2014
The exhibition at the MSU Museum, Earth Stories, includes quilts made by artists from seven countries and 11 states in the U.S.Michigan State University: Discovery of cellular snooze button advances cancer and biofuel research
Exhibit organizer for Earth Stories, Mary Worrall, said the idea came about because the MSU Museum wanted to do a project with an organization called the Studio Art Quilt Associates. The artists in the association choose quilts as the means in which they create the art.
“A main point is that each piece is an artistic rendering of that person’s concept of what an earth story is, so a lot of them did choose things with local connections to them,” Worrall said.
Some of the different subjects that artists wanted to display with their earth story were alternative energy, hunger in Africa, Planned Parenthood and landfills.
October 13, 2014
The discovery of a cellular snooze button has allowed a team of Michigan State University scientists to potentially improve biofuel production and offer insight on the early stages of cancer.Michigan State University: Cadavers beat computers for learning anatomy
The discovery that the protein CHT7 is a likely repressor of cellular quiescence, or resting state, is published in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This cellular switch, which influences algae’s growth and oil production, also wields control of cellular growth – and tumor growth – in humans.
Christoph Benning, MSU professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, and his colleagues unearthed the protein’s potential while seeking ways to improve algae’s capacity as a biofuel. Its application in cancer research, however, was a surprise finding that is leading Benning’s lab in a new direction.
October 16, 2014
Despite the growing popularity of using computer simulation to help teach college anatomy, students learn much better through the traditional use of human cadavers, according to new research that has implications for health care.Michigan State University: When judging art, men and women stand apart
Cary Roseth, associate professor of educational psychology at Michigan State University, said the study suggests cadaver-based instruction should continue in undergraduate human anatomy, a gateway course to medical school, nursing and other health and medical fields.
In the United States, most anatomy courses still emphasize the use of cadavers, although in many cases digital technologies supplement the instruction. Yet there is a growing debate over whether cadavers are needed at all; some medical schools in Australia and the United Kingdom have stopped using cadavers to teach anatomy altogether.
The research, which appears in the September/October issue of Anatomical Sciences Education, is the only known scientific study to directly compare the effects of cadaver-based and computer-simulation instruction on students’ learning of cadaver-based structures.
October 9, 2014
The sexes show stark differences in how they evaluate art, finds a new study co-authored by a Michigan State University marketing scholar.Michigan State University: Zeroing in on a source of gamma rays
Men seem to focus more on the artist’s background and authenticity, while women pay more attention to the art itself.
The study, which appears in the journal Psychology & Marketing, is the first to investigate how important an artist’s “brand” is to average consumers when they appraise art. Turns out, that personal brand is very important, a finding that has implications for the $64 billion art market and other product industries such as food and fashion.
October 8, 2014
Gamma rays are the highest-energy form of radioactive waves known in the universe. However, how they’re made and where they come from have been a bit of a mystery.Michigan State University: Cool research: Searching for neutrinos at the South Pole
But now a team of researchers, led by Michigan State University astronomer Laura Chomiuk, has made a discovery that may shed some light on the subject.
Using highly detailed radio telescope images, Chomiuk and her team have pinpointed the location where an explosion on the surface of a star, known as a nova, emitted gamma rays.
This, said Chomiuk, is something they did not expect to encounter.
October 6, 2014
When Tyce DeYoung plans his next research field trip, he’ll make sure to pack his mittens, scarf and long underwear.Michigan State University: Feral swine study to assess statewide impact
The Michigan State University associate professor of physics and astronomy, along with assistant professor Kendall Mahn, is part of an MSU team that recently joined an international consortium studying mysterious particles known as neutrinos.
The site of the lab where they do the work: The South Pole.
The consortium consists of 300 researchers from 12 countries. It is named, very appropriately, the IceCube Neutrino Observatory.
October 3, 2014
A new study will pair MSU researchers with researchers from the University of Michigan-Flint to learn more about one of the state’s most potentially destructive invasive species, feral swine.MSU has ten press releases for the month, eleven counting the one I already used. Michigan wins 16 to 11, which is better than they'll do in Spartan Stadium today.
The approximately $500,000 grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources also pulls in resources from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“To eradicate feral swine from Michigan, we need to develop a better understanding of their ecology -- specifically, how they use and disperse through landscapes,” said Gary Roloff, associate professor in the MSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife.