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New MU Metagenomics Center to Make Important Research Process Cheaper, Faster

University of Missouri officials celebrate the opening of the MU Metagenomics Center, located at Discovery Ridge Research Park. The new center will serve as a comprehensive resource for microbiological research performed at Mizzou, other universities and private entities around the country.

Human Development Could be Harmed by Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals Released During Natural Gas Extraction

More than 15 million Americans live within one mile of unconventional oil and gas (UOG) operations that combine directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” to release natural gas from underground rock. Scientific studies still are inconclusive on the potential long-term effects on human development. Now, Susan C. Nagel and Christopher D. Kassotis, researchers with the University of Missouri, and national colleagues have conducted a review of research on health effects associated with UOG operations and concluded these activities have potential for environmental release of a complex mixture of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that could potentially harm human development and reproduction.

Researchers Receive $3.5 Million to Improve Students’ Classroom Behaviors, Study Connection to Academic Performance

Measuring the academic performance of students has remained a top public priority over the last decade. More recently, public attention increasingly has focused on the social and emotional health of students and how those factors contribute to academic success. In order to continue to find ways to support the mental health and well-being of students, University of Missouri researchers have received nearly $3.5 million from the U.S. Department of Education over four years to evaluate an intervention that promotes social and emotional skills for students who exhibit challenging classroom behaviors. The intervention, Self-Monitoring Training and Regulation Strategy (STARS), is a self-management and mindfulness skills program for fifth-grade students who regularly display disruptive and challenging behaviors in the classroom.

Medical Terms Lead to Divide between Parents and Doctors

A recent study from the University of Missouri and the University of Michigan is shedding light on the significant divide that can exist between patients and physicians about the same terminology, especially when it comes to discussing “pink eye,” a particular flashpoint in childcare.

Compound Found in Red Wine Causes Conflicting Changes in Dogs’ Immune Systems

Researchers at MU have found that resveratrol affects the immune systems of dogs in different ways when introduced to dogs’ blood. Sandra Axiak-Bechtel, an assistant professor in oncology at the MU College of Veterinary Medicine, said this is a first step in determining how the chemical causes immune systems to react.

Diabetes Affects Diaphragm, Smooth Muscle Cells Differently

Previous studies have shown that diabetes adversely affects breathing and respiratory function. However, in the past, researchers have not differentiated diaphragm muscle cells and the muscle cells of limb skeletal muscle in their studies. Now, researchers from the University of Missouri have found that diaphragm muscle cells and other skeletal muscle cells behave differently—a finding that could influence future research on respiratory ailments associated with diabetes.

New Research Could Lead to Better Identification of Human Vulnerabilities

Historically, males have been considered the vulnerable sex, sometimes called “male vulnerability.” Charles Darwin noted that boys are more likely to die in infancy than girls and have a higher risk of premature death throughout their lifetimes. Now, a researcher at the University of Missouri suggests that research in “male vulnerability” should be expanded to include “female vulnerability.” Using evolutionary theory and basic biological principles, he proposes a method for identifying when specific traits, such as height or language abilities, are more easily compromised in one sex or the other or at some ages but not others. Identification of age-, sex-, and trait-specific sensitivities will enable a more comprehensive assessment of how disease, poor nutrition, social abuse and environmental toxins undermine human wellbeing.

North Carolina State University Biomedical Engineer Named College of Engineering Dean

University of Missouri Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Garnett S. Stokes announced today that Elizabeth G. Loboa, an associate chair and professor of the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University (NCSU), and a professor of materials science and engineering at North Carolina State, has been named dean of the University of Missouri College of Engineering, effective October 15, 2015.

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