Researchers have discovered that the flu A virus is most viable when relative humidity is either close to 100 percent or below 50 percent, which may help explain the flu’s seasonality in different regions. Linsey Marr (above center), associate professor of civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering, Elankumaran Subbiah (above left), a virologist in the biomedical sciences and pathobiology department of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, and doctoral student Wan Yang (not pictured) conducted the study.
The SHARP Logger program—short for Sustainable Harvesting and Resource Professional—aims to train the commonwealth's loggers in principles of sustainable forestry, environmental protection, and workplace safety. Since 1996, more than 3,500 have received the training, which is provided by Virginia Tech, Virginia Cooperative Extension, the forest industry, the Virginia Department of Forestry, and others. Program coordinator Scott M. Barrett (right), an Extension associate in the College of Natural Resources and Environment's forest resources and environmental conservation department, is joined by Bryan Wagner, a logger safety trainer with Forestry Mutual Insurance Company.
In a two-semester design-build laboratory, 16 students worked under Marie and Keith Zawistowski (at right), faculty members in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, to craft the Masonic Amphitheater in Clifton Forge, Va. In the 2011-12 academic year, the students conducted research and talked with residents and then they designed and built the structure, creating a venue that serves the town's vision of a sprouting artistic community. The amphitheater was named American-Architects Building of the Year 2012, selected from among 50 buildings, many designed by well-known architects and firms.
With a goal of improving health and quality of life in Virginia and the nation, the university recently established the Fralin Translational Obesity Research Center. The center's approach is unique. Scientists from a variety of backgrounds, including human nutrition, psychology, cancer biology, economics, and pediatrics, will work together to explore collaborative, translational projects with the goal of obtaining large-scale external funding to support obesity research. The center's co-directors are Kevin Davy (left) and Paul Estabrooks (standing), both professors of human nutrition, foods, and exercise in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, shown here performing a muscle biopsy. Estabrooks is also a professor of family medicine in the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.
Detecting a MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infection now takes three days. But by coating optical fibers with self-assembling polymer layers, physics Professor Randy Heflin (above), along with Tyler J. and Frances F. Young Professor of Bacteriology Tom Inzana (not pictured), and others have developed a diagnostic test that takes less than an hour. The team is working with a company, Virginia nanoTech, to commercialize the technology, which has the potential to save thousands of lives each year and lead to fewer days of hospitalization and fewer unnecessary antibiotics for MRSA patients.