• Articles,  Ohio State,  Science Writing,  Wildlife

    Machine learning helps predict endangered plant species

    There are many organizations monitoring endangered species such as elephants and tigers, but what about the millions of other species on the planet — ones that most people have never heard of or don’t think about? How do scientists assess the threat level of, say, the Torrey pine tree? Currently, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature — which produces the world’s most comprehensive inventory of threatened species (the “Red List”) — more or less works on a species-by-species basis, requiring more resources and specialized work than is available to accurately assign a conservation-risk category to every species. Of the nearly 100,000 species currently on the Red List, plants…

  • Articles,  Ohio State,  Science Writing

    A close-up look at the whirlpool around gigantic black hole

    Imagine if you could see something the size of a coin at the distance of the moon. That’s roughly the equivalent of what an international team of astronomers did by combining four of the most powerful telescopes in the world — the Very Large Telescopes at the European Southern Observatory in Chile — in a super-instrument called GRAVITY and directing it at the quasar 3C 273, which is about 2.5 billion light-years away from Earth in the constellation Virgo. For the first time, the scientists were able to observe the motion of gas clouds swirling around the supermassive black hole at the center of the quasar. Doing so allowed them…

  • Creative Projects,  Videography


    Behind the Scenes of “Legally Blonde” at Ohio State  The Ohio State University Department of Theatre’s November 2018 rendition of the Broadway musical “Legally Blonde” marries the fun, girl-power themes of the 2001 book-turned-film with upbeat and comical musical numbers, like “Omigod You Guys” and “Bend and Snap.” Cindy Tran Nguyen, a theatre and marketing double major at Ohio State, brings her own charm and sense of individuality to the lead character of Elle Woods — something that will appeal to old and new “Legally Blonde” fans alike. Learn more >> Did astronomers discover an alien signal? Though the pursuit of aliens has largely come up empty, one strange discovery…

  • Creative Projects,  Videography

    Did Ohio State discover an alien signal?

    Though the pursuit of aliens has largely come up empty, one strange discovery at Ohio State in 1977 continues to baffle scientists and stoke imaginations that maybe we aren’t alone in the universe: the “Wow! signal.” The curious signal was detected  by Ohio State’s Radio Observatory (the “Big Ear” telescope), which surveyed the sky between 1973-95. LEARN MORE >>

  • Articles,  Ohio State,  Science Writing

    Ohio State team helps map the Arctic like never before

    Some portions of the Arctic are so remote and barren, they seem like another planet. In fact, until recently, there were more detailed maps of Mars and the moon than certain parts of the Arctic. But with climate change occurring more rapidly in the Arctic than anywhere on Earth, there has been an increasing need for high-quality maps that can track geographic changes in the region, said Ian Howat, professor of Earth sciences, director of the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center (BPCRC) and a principal investigator on the ArcticDEM project, which has created the first high-resolution digital elevation maps (DEMs) of the Arctic. The public-private initiative — formed in 2015…

  • Articles,  Ohio State,  Science Writing

    Physicists uncover new behavior of elusive Higgs boson particle

    It’s been six years since scientists confirmed the existence of a long-theorized particle called the Higgs boson, finally providing an explanation for how other particles acquire mass. Conditions on Earth make it extremely difficult to detect this mysterious particle, which is why discovering it took the world’s single largest machine — the Large Hadron Collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) — and thousands of scientists from more than 100 countries. Eager for more answers about the deep hidden structure of nature, physicists at CERN have been searching nonstop for further clues about the Higgs boson and how it interacts with other particles. Years of data and trillions…

  • Articles,  Science Writing,  Wildlife

    Venom researchers making powerful discoveries

    For wild animals, life is all about survival. And most don’t have the luxury of cheetah-fast speed or shark-like strength. But nature has equipped a select group with an unusually powerful weapon — venom. While venom is most often associated with creepy, crawly creatures like scorpions, snakes and spiders, this naturally occurring biological weapon is used by an extremely diverse set of species across the animal kingdom. From caterpillars to cone snails to short-tailed shrews, venom serves as a quick, efficient way to subdue prey, as well as a potent defense tactic. Venom can paralyze the respiratory system, destroy muscle tissue and prevent blood from clotting, among other physiological effects…

  • Articles,  Ohio State,  Science Writing

    Ohio State astrophysicists involved in stellar discovery

    Scientists are finding galaxies billions of light years away from Earth, yet there are still discoveries to be made right next door. In January, data from the Dark Energy Survey — which utilizes an 8,000-pound camera mounted on an equally powerful telescope in the Andes Mountains to see deep into space — revealed 11 previously unknown stellar streams orbiting the Milky Way galaxy. Stellar streams mostly reside on the outskirts (or “halo”) of the Milky Way, and they represent remnants of dwarf galaxies and star clusters that passed by the galaxy too closely and got torn apart by its gravitational pull. Only about 20 stellar streams had been identified in the Milky…