• 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,  Wildlife

    Exploring approaches to save coral reefs — right here in Ohio

    With their unique structures and breathtaking colors, coral reefs are one of the world’s most inspiring and appreciated natural wonders. They’re also greatly threatened by environmental stressors associated with climate change, including sea temperature rise and ocean acidification. Some coral species are less sensitive to these climate shifts than others, and scientists have been trying to pinpoint the causes of their resilience in hopes of better managing reefs in the future. Naturally, most research in this field is happening in coastal regions. But Andrea Grottoli, professor at The Ohio State University School of Earth Sciences, is conducting some of the world’s leading research on coral resilience — right here in Ohio. Traditionally,…

  • Ohio State,  Wildlife

    Researchers study survival of influenza A viruses in Ohio wetlands

    Thanks to an Ohio Sea Grant-funded study, Dr. Richard Slemons and Dr. Andrew Bowman, both professors in the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine and directors of the Animal Influenza Ecology and Epidemiology Research Program, and their research team surveyed wetland areas in northern Ohio to monitor for influenza A viruses. The goal of the project was to determine how long certain types of influenza A viruses, such as H5N1 (A.K.A. avian flu), could survive in marshes surrounding Lake Erie if introduced by wildlife into the environment. Slemons and Bowman’s research team included staff, undergraduate, graduate and veterinary students, field assistants and a certified wildlife biologist who served as a consultant. “We…