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Story Ideas for Media 4/28/09


Ohio State expert can talk about swine flu. An Ohio State University animal health expert with Ohio State’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center is available to comment on the swine flu outbreak.
The center’s Food Animal Health Research Program is the only Ohio State lab working on swine flu, said Mo Saif, head of the program and assistant dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. The program’s interest mainly lies in the transmission of influenza viruses between different species including poultry and swine.
“When we have a flu problem in turkeys, most of the time it can be traced to swine,” Saif said. “Swine are known as the mixing vessel of influenza viruses.” CONTACT: Mo Saif, saif.1@osu.edu or (330) 263-3743.

How did swine flu reach the U.S.? Daniel Janies, professor of biomedical informatics, builds evolutionary trees, tracks the movement of the flu and its properties such as drug resistance, and predicts where and how it moves next.
Janies currently tracks the spread of infectious diseases based upon genetic and geographic data derived from animal and human viruses and their hosts. His results have been widely reported in the media and he was recently called to testify to the United States Senate on “Forestalling the Coming Pandemic: Infectious Disease Surveillance Overseas.” CONTACT: Daniel Janies, (614) 804-0132 (cell) or (614) 292-1202 (office) SEE: http://bmi.osu.edu/people_detail.php?id=171


Ohio State study: Emotional health affects exercise patterns in breast cancer patients. The first study to monitor physical activity in breast cancer patients for five years suggests that patients with greater depressive symptoms and a lower emotional quality of life are less likely to exercise as part of their recovery than are patients reporting less distress.
While the findings may seem intuitive, they also add weight to a growing pool of data supporting the need to concentrate on breast cancer patients’ emotional health soon after they are diagnosed, researchers say.
Overall, the women as a group increased their physical activity during the first 18 months after diagnosis and treatment, but then their physical activity gradually declined over the remaining 3 1/2 years.
Poor physical health also was associated with less physical activity over all five years. On the other hand, family support appeared to slow the decline in physical activity over the last 42 months of the study.
“This suggests that stress in the form of depressive symptoms is related to actual health behavior over a sustained period of time,” said Charles Emery, professor of psychology at Ohio State University and lead author of the study. CONTACT: Emily Caldwell, (614) 292-8310, SEE: http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/bcaphysical.htm


Free eye exams for service dogs at Ohio State Veterinary Hospital – May 4 and 6. Veterinary ophthalmologists from The Ohio State University Veterinary Hospital will offer free eye exams for service dogs next week (5/4 and 5/6) at the Veterinary Hospital, 601 Vernon Tharp St.
Drs. Anne Metzler and David Wilkie, board certified by the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO), are two of more than 150 board certified veterinary ophthalmologists across the U.S. and Canada offering these eye assessments to thousands of service dogs nationwide as part of the ACVO/Merial National Service Dog Eye Exam Day.
This is the second year that ACVO/Merial has sponsored the event and the first time that Ohio State has participated. Service dogs include those who assist people with physical limitations, as well as search and rescue dogs, lead dogs, and pilot dogs.
“To assess vision, we can check the dog’s response to motion near the eye, and observe them navigating through an obstacle course,” Metzler says. “We also talk with the owners. Often owners may have noticed changes in behavior such as bumping in to objects or missing a treat, which could indicate a vision problem. CONTACT: Melissa Weber, (614) 292-3752.

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