In this weekly feature at some of the exciting research being done at Ohio State that has the potential to have a major impact on our world. Of course cutting edge research that makes a big impact is nothing new for Ohio State; Buckeyes have been making world changing discoveries pretty much ever since the university was founded. This long history of cutting edge research has helped lead to Ohio State being ranked as one of the top research universities in the world and cemented a reputation that continues to attract top level faculty and students who are making new discoveries today. Thus it is only fitting that a series dedicated to looking at the exciting research being done at OSU take a moment to look back at some of the major discoveries in the past that helped the university gain its reputation. OSU made this task of looking back easy as the main university webpage features an excellent timeline of some of the major discoveries made by OSU researchers and alumni over the years.
I knew about some of the discoveries featured on the OSU list but there were also some surprises. Refrigerators first began to appear in American homes in 1913 and while these early units revolutionized the home storage of food, they had serious drawbacks compared to current models. These early refrigerators used either sulfur dioxide or methyl formate as the refrigeration medium; unfortunately both of these chemicals were extremely hazardous and could damage the eyes, skin, and even cause death if inhaled or ingested. The invention of Freon in the 1920s revolutionized the home refrigerator as it provided a safe, non-toxic refrigeration medium. OSU chemistry professor A.L. Henne performed studies on Freon which helped lead to its worldwide adoption in refrigerators and air conditioners.
There is no more heated rivalry in the country than that between Ohio State and Michigan and no matter what the sport is, to say that the Buckeyes and Wolverines, and their fans, do not like each other would be an understatement. While the hatred for the other school extends far beyond the playing surface for many fans, for the universities the rivalry is put aside when it comes to academics and research.
All members of the Big Ten conference, plus the University of Chicago, are members of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) – a consortium designed to improve the academic and research missions of it’s member schools through sharing of expertise and resources and fostering collaborations.
As members of the CIC, Ohio State and Michigan have worked together on numerous projects over the years, along with other members of the Big Ten. Now the two universities are teaming up again to found a new public-private consortium that will generate thousands of jobs and revolutionize manufacturing.
Ohio State and the University of Michigan, along with EWI (a Columbus-based nonprofit with expertise in manufacturing technology), are co-founders of the new American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII); I can’t wait to see that on business cards. ALMMII is the newest node in the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI). The NNMI was proposed by President Obama as a series of regional centers tasked with accelerating the development and adoption of cutting-edge manufacturing technologies and to use these technologies for making new products which can compete globally.
Whether it be from movies such as The Best Years of Our Lives, Taxi Driver, The Deer Hunter, or others, or from personally knowing someone or even just watching the news, most Americans are at least somewhat familiar with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). While PTSD was first brought to the public’s attention by war veterans returning home from combat, it can effect anyone and can be triggered by things such as being a victim of a crime, car accident, natural disaster, etc… In 2009, the National Institute for Health estimated that around 7.7 million American adults suffer from PTSD. Due to the nature of combat, PTSD is more common in the military and in 2009 the Department of Veterans Affairs estimated that 31% of Vietnam Veterans, 10% of Desert Storm veterans, 11% of veterans of the war in Afghanistan, and 20% of Iraqi war veterans suffer from PTSD.
With so many Americans impacted by PTSD, it isn’t surprising that a lot of research has been done on the disease and while progress has been made, we still have a long way to go in order to understand what causes PTSD and how to treat and cure it. Fortunately researchers at Ohio State’s Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research and the Department of Neuroscience are on the case and have made important progress in understand what may trigger some PTSD behavior.