Black holes form first, galaxies follow

A new study has uncovered more evidence that black holes form before the galaxies that contain them. The finding could help resolve a long-standing debate, says the study’s lead scientist. Marianne Vestergaard, a postdoctoral fellow in astronomy at Ohio State, came to this conclusion when she studied a collection of very energetic, active galaxies known as quasars as they appeared some 12 billion years ago, when the universe was only one billion years old. While the quasars were obviously young — they contained large stellar nurseries in which new stars were forming — each also contained a very massive, fully formed black hole.

Gelatin particles show promise in gene therapy for kidney disease

Researchers have successfully tested micro-sized gelatin particles that may one day deliver therapeutic genes to treat a type of kidney disease. The biodegradable gelatin particles are so small that at least 10 would fit on the period at the end of this sentence. Researchers believe such particles could carry therapeutic genes to the glomerulus, a tiny cluster of capillaries within the kidney that filters toxins from the blood. This filtration system becomes blocked when patients develop glomerular disease.

Grape seed extract may help wound healing

Grape-seed extract may help skin wounds heal faster and with less scarring, a new study suggests. The extract seemed to aid wound healing in two ways: It helped the body make more of a compound used to regenerate damaged blood vessels, and it also increased the amount of free radicals in the wound site. Free radicals help clear potentially pathogenic bacteria from a wound.

Listening to music while working out helps people with severe lung disease

Researchers believe that listening to music helped people with severe respiratory disease increase their fitness levels, based on the results of a new study. Subjects with serious lung disease who listened to music while walking covered an average of 19 total miles over the course of an eight-week exercise intervention study. In comparison, the group that didn’t listen to music only walked an average of 15 total miles ? 21 percent less – by the end of the study. That four-mile difference is significant, said Gerene Bauldoff, a study co-author and an assistant professor of nursing at Ohio State University. It suggests that participants in the music group may have felt less hindered by shortness of breath, the primary physical symptom of serious lung disease.

Telescope mirror to get shiny finish in major test run

In an airplane hangar in Columbus, OH, some 80 tons of steel, electronics, and cryogenic equipment are about to come together — all to deposit one ounce of aluminum as a near-perfect, whisper-thin coating on a giant telescope mirror. The successful operation of the coating system will represent a milestone in the construction of the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT), and a critical phase in Ohio State University ‘s participation in the LBT project.

Researchers link teen sex to early friendships

The nature of preteen friendships can play a key role in determining whether or not a child will engage in sexual activity early in adolescence, a new study suggests. For example, researchers found that boys who had mostly female friends when they were preteens were more likely to have had sex by age 16 than were other boys. However, the same wasn’t true for girls who as preteens had mostly male friends.

Health of Native Americans on decline before Columbus’ arrival

The health of indigenous people in the Western Hemisphere was on a downward trajectory long before Columbus set foot in the Americas, Ohio researchers say. The rise of agriculture is partly to blame as the demands of tending domestic crops encouraged people to settle in larger communities, where disease was more easily spread. The current research suggests that the overall health of the average person declined with the development of agriculture, government and urbanization.

Aluminum shows strange behavior; research solves old mystery

Aluminum — one of nature’s best conductors of electricity conductors of electricity — may behave like a ceramic or a semiconductor in certain situations, according to an Ohio State University scientist and his colleagues. Among the findings that appear in the current issue of the journal Science: When it comes to forming tiny structures in computer chip circuits and nanotechnology, aluminum may endure mechanical stress more than 30 percent better than copper, which is normally considered to be the stiffer metal

Kilimanjaro ice reveals devastating history, future

Researchers analyzing ice cores taken from Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro say they’ve found evidence of several catastrophic droughts that plagued the tropic over the millennia, and strong signs the ice field itself will disappear within 20 years, the victim of global warming.

Strange attraction: Shaping metal with magnets

Researchers in Ohio say they’ve come up with a way to shape metal using powerful magnetic fields, a process that could help cut down on the use of toxic lubricants otherwise needed to stamp products as diverse as auto parts and kitchenware. Said one of the researchers: “The process has to be reliable, and require as little human intervention as possible…. In automobile production especially, manufactures need to make parts in as few steps as they possibly can. I think we can do a lot of good things for industry with this technique.”

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