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MU Research of Zebrafish Neurons May Lead to Better Understanding of Birth Defects like Spina Bifida

The zebrafish, a tropical freshwater fish similar to a minnow and native to the southeastern Himalayan region, is well established as a key tool for researchers studying human diseases, including brain disorders. Using zebrafish, scientists can determine how individual neurons develop, mature and support basic functions like breathing, swallowing and jaw movement. Researchers at the University of Missouri say that learning about neuronal development and maturation in zebrafish could lead to a better understanding of birth defects such as spina bifida in humans.

CALENDAR ITEM: Jane Goodall to Speak at MU

WHO: World-renowned primatologist and conservationist Jane Goodall will visit the University of Missouri Sept. 17 to speak about her new book, her life and work, and environmental issues.

Babies Learn Words Differently as They Age, MU Researcher Says

search has shown that most 18-month-olds learn an average of two to five new words a day; however, little is known about how children process information to learn new words as they move through the preschool years. In a new study, a University of Missouri researcher has found that toddlers learn words differently as they age, and a limit exists as to how many words they can learn each day. These findings could help parents enhance their children’s vocabularies and assist speech-language professionals in developing and refining interventions to help children with language delays.

First Water-Based Nuclear Battery Developed by MU Researcher Can Be Used to Generate Electrical Energy

om cell phones to cars and flashlights, batteries play an important role in everyday life. Scientists and technology companies constantly are seeking ways to improve battery life and efficiency. Now, for the first time using a water-based solution, researchers at the University of Missouri have created a long-lasting and more efficient nuclear battery that could be used for many applications such as a reliable energy source in automobiles and also in complicated applications such as space flight.

Long-Term Effects of Childhood Asthma Influenced by Socioeconomic Status

cording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 6 percent of children younger than five have been diagnosed with asthma, the fastest-growing and most common chronic illness affecting children in the United States. Studies have shown that asthma is associated with attention and behavioral issues in children, yet little existing research examines how socioeconomic status may influence the ultimate effects of these difficulties. Now, an MU researcher has found that the overall outcomes for children with asthma are influenced by socioeconomic inequalities.

Increased Access to Nature Trails, Forest Lands–Not Nature Preserves–Could Decrease Youth Obesity Rates, MU Study Finds

This video is available for broadcast quality download and re-use. For more information, contact Nathan Hurst: hurstn@missouri.edu.

MU Study Provides Guideline for Determining Effectiveness of College Football Training Methods

letic performance varies from day to day, which can make it difficult for strength and conditioning professionals to judge whether athletes’ improvements are due to effective training. Now, University of Missouri researchers have established a guideline that trainers can use to distinguish whether college football players’ improvements on weightlifting tests result from increased performance capability or day-to-day variability.  These findings could help coaches and other athletic department personnel determine the effectiveness of their training programs and better prepare promising football players for important tests, such as those during the NFL Combine.

MU Researchers Develop More Accurate Twitter Analysis Tools

Trending topics on Twitter only show the highest volume keywords and hashtags, and may not give qualitative information about the tweets themselves. Now, using data associated with the Super Bowl and World Series, researchers at the University of Missouri have developed and validated a software program that analyzes event-based tweets and measures the context of tweets rather than just the quantity.

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