• Articles,  Ohio State,  Wildlife

    It’s a scary time for bats

    While a spooky symbol of Halloween, bats around the world are facing threats of extinction. Bryan Carstens, a professor at The Ohio State University in the Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology who has studied bats for 20 years, explains what you need to know about the unique mammals. EEOB professor Bryan Carstens examines a few of the thousands of bat specimens housed at Ohio State’s Museum of Biological Diversity. How many species of bats are there? About 1,400. My PhD student is conducting research that suggests we might be missing another 400 to 500 species that are very genetically different from one another, but superficially look the same so…

  • Articles,  Wildlife

    Diving into sea anemone research

    Heather Glon has trouble keeping her head above water — mainly because her research requires her to travel around the world diving for sea anemones. Glon, a PhD student in the Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology at The Ohio State University, is attempting to gather a globally representative collection of Metridium, a type of sea anemone that thrives in the northern Atlantic and Pacific oceans. By looking at relationships between genetics and geographic distribution, she hopes to understand how and why the anemones have evolved over time. “It’s a very variable group of sea anemones in terms of how it looks — it can be fat or skinny; big or small,”…

  • Articles,  Wildlife

    A look at the “Jane Goodall of penguins”

    Dee Boersma has been called the Jane Goodall of penguins. An adorably curious, roughly 2-foot-tall Magellanic penguin she’s named Turbo greets her year after year on the shores of Punta Tombo, Argentina, where Boersma has studied the health, behavior and population dynamics of penguins like Turbo for nearly 40 years. Boersma’s work with both Magellanic penguins and Galapagos penguins has led to an enormous, invaluable archive of species data and the creation of Marine Protected Areas in both Argentina and Ecuador. She has built nests out of lava rock in the Galapagos Islands to increase penguin reproduction; convinced the Argentinian government to move oil tanker lanes farther offshore, considerably decreasing the…

  • Articles,  Ohio State,  Science Writing

    Scientists program proteins to pair exactly

    While the Ohio State Buckeyes and Washington Huskies prepared to butt heads in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, researchers at the two universities collaborated to create proteins that zip together in much the same way DNA molecules zip up to form a double helix. The first-of-its-kind scientific breakthrough could enable the development of protein nanomachines that could help diagnose and treat disease, allow for more exact engineering of cells and perform a wide variety of other tasks. “This technique makes it possible for you to design proteins so they come together exactly how you want them to,” said Zibo Chen, a graduate student at the University of Washington and lead author…

  • 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 >>