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Story Ideas for Media 3/17/09


Traffic Alert: Construction could slow traffic to winter quarter commencement. Ohio State University commencement ceremonies for some 2,000 winter quarter graduates begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday (3/22) in St. John Arena, 410 Woody Hayes Drive. The ceremony usually attracts thousands of visitors to campus. Construction projects to near St. John Arena may slow traffic in the area.
Tuttle Park Place is closed at Lane Avenue, and lane closures on West Woodruff Avenue (at Pfahl Hall) restrict traffic to one lane in either direction. Visitors are encouraged to approach campus from the west or south, if possible, and allow plenty of time to reach campus and park. SEE: http://commencement.osu.edu/directions.php.


Microscope reveals how bacteria "breathe" toxic metals. Researchers are studying some common soil bacteria that "inhale" toxic metals and "exhale" them in a non-toxic form.
The bacteria might one day be used to clean up toxic chemicals left over from nuclear weapons production decades ago.
Using a unique combination of microscopes, researchers at Ohio State University and their colleagues were able to glimpse how the Shewanella oneidensis bacterium breaks down metal to chemically extract oxygen.
The study, published online this week in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, provides the first evidence that Shewanella maneuvers proteins within the bacterial cell into its outer membrane to contact metal directly. The proteins then bond with metal oxides, which the bacteria utilize the same way we do oxygen.
The process is called respiration, and it's how living organisms make energy, explained Brian Lower, assistant professor in the School of Environment and Natural Resources at Ohio State. We use the oxygen we breathe to release energy from our food. But in nature, bacteria don't always have access to oxygen.
"Whether the bacteria are buried in the soil or underwater, they can rely on metals to get the energy they need," Lower said. "It's an ancient form of respiration." CONTACT: Pam Frost Gorder ,(614) 292-9475; SEE: http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/bactmetal.htm


Ohio State celebrates 25th Women in Science Day – March 19. About 300 gifted and talented female students in grades 6-8 from across Ohio will take science workshops at Ohio State on Thursday (3/19) for the 25th Women in Science Day. The event, which is designed to inspire Ohio girls to pursue careers based on math and science, offers workshops at 9:30 and 1 p.m. Some of the most visual include "Arthropods rule the world" (9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the Bioscience Greenhouse, 332 W. 12th Ave.), "Chemistry can be fun" (1 p.m. in 310 Celeste Lab, 120 W. 18th Ave.) and "Aquatic Ecology" (9:30 a.m. at the Aquatic Ecology Lab, 1314 Kinnear Rd). Participants this year come from 19 school districts in 17 Ohio counties: Ashland, Butler, Clermont, Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, Knox, Lake, Logan, Lorain, Marion, Medina, Montgomery, Perry, Portage, Van Wert, and Wayne.
Kathryn Sullivan, former astronaut and director of the Battelle Center for Mathematics & Science Education Policy at Ohio State will deliver awards to the winners of the annual Essay & Picture Contest: "Honoring Women in Science through History" at noon at the Drake Union, 1849 Cannon Dr. CONTACT: Raquel Diaz-Sprague, (614) 268-1488 or (614) 354-3352-cell. SEE: http://awisco.osu.edu/

Champion of children and families will speak at winter commencement – March 22. Yvette McGee Brown, president of the Center for Child and Family Advocacy at Nationwide Children's Hospital, will be the speaker for Ohio State's winter commencement, set for Sunday, March 22 in St. John Arena. Approximately 2,000 students will receive degrees in the ceremony, which begins at 1 p.m.
In addition, during the commencement ceremony, Ohio State will award honorary degrees to Charles K. Brain, One of the world's leading paleontologists; Jules Pretty, internationally recognized for his work on sustainable agriculture practices in more than 50 countries; and John G. Thompson, internationally renown mathematician. The university will also present the Distinguished Service Award to George W. Paulson, founder, retired professor and former chair of the Department of Neurology at Ohio State. CONTACT: Amy Murray, (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, Shelly Hoffman, (614) 247-4748, Jim Lynch, (614) 247-4110, or Amy Murray, (614) 292-8385.