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Story Ideas for Media 2-5-07


Research rankings continue to climb.
Ohio State’s push to become one of the nation’s top public research universities is gaining momentum, according to newly released federal statistics documenting university research expenditures nationwide.
The university placed 8th among the nation's public institutions in total research expenditures in fiscal year 2005, reflecting a steady climb from 9th place last year and 10th the previous year. The rankings, which are based on the latest available statistics, showed Ohio State passing such respected universities as Cornell and the University of California at Berkeley since last year. CONTACT: Jim Lynch, (614) 247-4110.


Tears reveal some of their deepest secrets to researchers
– It’s no secret why we shed tears. But exactly what our tears are made of has remained a mystery to scientists.
A new study sheds some light on the complex design of tears. What we think of as tears, scientists call tear film, which is made up of three distinct, microscopic layers. The middle, watery layer – what we normally think of as tears when we cry – is sandwiched between a layer of mucus and an outer layer of fatty, oily substances collectively called meibum.
It’s in this outer layer that researchers describe, for the first time, a new class of lipids – a type of fat – that make up part of the film. Finding these lipids may help scientists better understand the causes of eye-related disorders such as dry eye disease, which affects anywhere from 12 to 14 million Americans, said Kelly Nichols, the study’s lead author and an assistant professor of optometry at Ohio State University. CONTACT: Kelly Nichols, (614) 688-5381; KNichols@optometry.osu.edu SEE: http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/eyefat.htm

Researchers hunt for new species of wasps – through Feb. 9.
A collaborative hunt for parasitic wasps is underway this week at Ohio State University’s Museum of Biological Diversity.
From February 5 – 9, some 20 parasitic wasp experts from nine countries are meeting to discuss goals for finding and collecting new species and also work on ways to make information about the newly discovered wasps immediately available to other experts.
While these wasps may be small, their influence is huge – the insects make excellent biological control agents by keeping key agricultural pests under control. The group hopes to find at least 2,500 new species of parasitic wasps by searching the far reaches of the globe. Some 4,000 species are already known. The workshop is the result of a $2.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Planetary Biodiversity Initiative competition awarded to Norman Johnson, professor of entomology, and his colleagues last year. CONTACT: Norman Johnson, (614) 292-6595; Johnson.2@osu.edu

CFO Summit features former congressman William Gradison – Feb. 9. William Gradison, founding board member of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, will be the keynote speaker at the CFO Summit at 9 a.m. Friday (2/9) at 365 Gerlach Hall, 2108 Neil Ave. The CFO Summit, a half-day event sponsored by the MBA Finance Association, is the association’s flagship event for Fisher students, faculty, alumni and Columbus area business leaders. Gradison, who served in Congress for 18 years and was a ranking member of the House Budget Committee and the Health Subcommittee of the Committee of Ways and Means, will discuss the board's working relationship with chief financial officers and others in accounting roles at public companies. In addition to the keynote address by Gradison, a highlight of the event will be a panel discussion on corporate governance and financial reporting in the era of Sarbanes-Oxley. The event is also co-sponsored by the MBA program, accounting and MIS and finance departments. Financial executives from Columbus-based global companies will meet with students in break-out lunch sessions. CONTACT: Patricia (Patty) Allen, Fisher College of Business, (614) 292-8937.

Policy forum series explores drugs and sports – Feb. 15. William Morgan, professor in the School of Physical Activity and Education Services, delivers “A Moral Look at the Performance-Enhancing Drug Wars in Elite Sports and the Implications for the Larger Public,” at noon on Thursday (2/15) as part of the new Food for Thought Policy Forums sponsored by The John Glenn School of Public Affairs. Morgan teaches classes in the philosophy of sport, sport ethics, and social theories of sport and also serves as interim director for the Sport & Citizenship Initiative housed in the John Glenn School of Public Affairs. His publications include two books: Why Sports Morally Matter, and a book dealing with critical theory entitled Leftist Theories of Sport: A Critique and Reconstruction. All forums are held in Page Hall's Policy Forum, 1810 College Road and are free, but RSVP’s are required to feb15@jgippm.ohio-state.edu. CONTACT: Patti Confar, (614) 292-8385.

The person listed as the CONTACT will have the most current information about the story. Call on our media relations staff for help with any Ohio State story: Liz Cook;(614) 292-7276 or cook.17@osu.edu; Shelly Hoffman;(614) 247-4748 or hoffman.511@osu.edu; Jim Lynch; (614) 247-4110 or lynch.270@osu.edu; or Amy Murray; (614) 292-8385 or murray-goedde.1@osu.edu