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Research at Purdue

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Throwback Thursday: Students and instructor with microscope, Biological Sciences; Oct 5, 1956. Photo courtesy of Purdue University Virginia Kelly Karnes Archi....
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Flood waters may have receded in northern Indiana, but a Purdue Agriculturedisaster education specialist cautions residents returning to their homes about another potential threat to their health and property - mold.

To prevent mold development in flood-damaged houses, Steve Cain, Indiana state contact for the national Extension Disaster Communication Network, advises homeowners to wait until wood and other materials dried out completely before starting repairs.

“The tendency is to get to work as soon as possible, but that could lead to problems later,” Cain says. “Putting up insulation, drywall or paneling before the wood studs have completely dried out could trap moisture in the walls and lead to mold growth.”

Household mold could cause a number of potentially serious short-term and long-term health problems, including nasal and sinus congestion, runny nose and respiratory problems.

Those at highest risk for mold exposure are children and the elderly.

“We often get calls from people after a flood who have experienced these types of symptoms and suspect they have a mold problem,” Cain says. “Mold growth can occur weeks or even months after the flood, so it is important to wait for the right time before beginning repairs.” See more on the video at http://bit.ly/2bESIOZ.
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Research at Purdue

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A Purdue University researcher led a team that is a finalist for the 2016 R&D 100 award, which has been called the "Oscars of invention."

The team has developed a process to convert trashed packing peanuts into carbon for battery electrodes and also for a technology to capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to reduce climate change. The carbon nanoparticles and “microsheets” are produced at low cost from polystyrene and starch-based packing peanuts, respectively, said Vilas G. Pol, an associate professor in Purdue Engineering.

“Our approach, which we call UpCarbon, yields new forms of carbon that show promise in addressing the growing issue of plastic and non-degradable waste,” says Pol, who led the team working with postdoctoral associate Vinodkumar Etacheri, doctoral students Arthur Dysart and Jialiang Tang. (The preparation of carbon sheets for UpCarbon was highlighted by the American Chemical Society in a video available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UCti2CL2io)

The carbon can be used to manufacture electrodes for lithium-ion batteries and sodium-ion batteries and also for a technology to store carbon dioxide. http://bit.ly/2bBA0Kr
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Purdue University is leading part of an international effort to develop a system for the military that would detect doctored images and video and determine specifically how they were manipulated.

“This team has some of the most senior and skilled people out there in the field, some of whom helped to create the area of media forensics,” says Edward Delp, Purdue’s Charles William Harrison Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering in Purdue Engineering.

The project is funded over four years with a $4.4 million grant from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The research also involves the University of Notre Dame, New York University, University of Southern California, University of Siena in Italy, Politecnico di Milano in Italy, and University of Campinas, in Brazil.

A YouTube video is available at https://youtu.be/FX79d6HdFXs.
http://bit.ly/2bgg5LU
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A new concept could bring highly efficient solar power by combining three types of technologies that convert different parts of the light spectrum and also store energy for use after sundown.

Combining the technologies could make it possible to harness and store far more of the spectrum of sunlight than is possible using any one of the technologies separately.

"Harvesting the full spectrum of sunlight using a hybrid approach offers the potential for higher efficiencies, lower power production costs, and increased power grid compatibility than any single technology by itself," says Peter Bermel, an assistant professor in Purdue Engineering. "The idea is to use technologies that, for the most part exist now, but to combine them in a creative way that allows us to get higher efficiencies than we normally would." http://bit.ly/2bbloko http://ow.ly/i/mjNWE
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Children are missing out on sleep, and to change that, parents should consider adjusting their personal schedules as well, says a Purdue University expert.
"The transition from summer to school schedules is not any easier for parents, and to really encourage children to get more sleep, parents need to lead by example," says Blake Jones, an assistant professor of human development and family studies in the Purdue University College of Health and Human....

"It's not only about being a good role model, but fatigue also affects your parenting. Many families struggle to get enough sleep, and often when children struggle with sleep it tends to push parents' bedtimes back later as well. But for parents who are working to help their children get more sleep, it's also a good time to help improve their own sleep as well."

Jones recommends following age appropriate recommendations from the National Sleep Foundation, which were updated in 2015.
* Ages 3-5, 10 to 13 hours.
* Ages 6-13, nine to 11 hours.
* Ages 14-17, eight to 10 hours.

Every age needs to follow a bedtime routine that emphasizes structure and consistency. http://bit.ly/2bCSurb
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Research at Purdue

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The National Science Foundation has awarded two grants totaling more than $3.6 million to help fund collections-based research in the Purdue Department of Entomology.

With support from the NSF, Purdue's collections-based data will be made more readily available to researchers, allowing them to trace the history of insect-borne diseases, determine changes in water quality and monitor climate changes in the environment.

The funding comes at a time of heightened awareness of the importance of maintaining natural history collections, says Jennifer Zaspel, principal investigator and director of the Purdue Entomological Research Collection in Purdue Agriculture.

Specimen data from the collection will be made available to the general public online and training will be provided for junior researchers and undergraduate students in proper preservation and handling of entomological specimens.

"This project will raise awareness of the importance of insects and natural history collections through public engagement, aquatic ecosystem workshops, and rural community youth programs," Zaspel says. http://bit.ly/2bVA3Qq
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One-sixth of the Earth's land is highly vulnerable to invasive species, and most countries have a limited capacity to protect their natural resources from non-native animals, plants or microbes, a global analysis shows.

Invasive species can spread quickly and dramatically alter landscapes, ecosystems and human health and livelihoods, often with harmful consequences. Notable examples of invasive species in the U.S. include Burmese pythons, West Nile virus, emerald ash borers and tumbleweed.

Researchers from multiple institutions, including Purdue University, teamed up to create the first worldwide analysis of invasive species threats, providing a global-scale outlook on how the introduction and spread of invasive species could shift in coming decades as a result of increasing globalization and climate change. They also assessed individual nations' abilities to manage existing invasive species and respond to new ones, the first country-level evaluation of its kind.

The analysis showed that invasive species will increasingly threaten developing countries and the last remaining biodiversity hotspots due to increased air travel to these areas and expansion of agriculture, factors that can provide opportunity for non-native species to gain a foothold. This could endanger livelihoods and food security in already-fragile economies, says Jeffrey Dukes, professor of forestry and natural resources and biological sciences in Purdue Agriculture and director of the Purdue Climate Change Research Center in Discovery Park at Purdue University.

"Low-income countries stand to lose a lot by having their natural resources sapped by invasive species," he says. "We hope this analysis can be a conversation starter for governments around the world to strengthen their protection."
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Supplementing with soluble corn fiber at two critical times in a woman’s life – adolescence and post-menopause – can help build and retain calcium in bone, according to new research from Purdue University.

“We are looking deeper in the gut to build healthy bone in girls and help older women retain strong bones during an age when they are susceptible to fractures,” says Connie Weaver, distinguished professor and head of nutrition science. “Soluble corn fiber, a prebiotic, helps the body better utilize calcium during both adolescence and post-menopause. The gut microbiome is the new frontier in health.”

The post-menopause findings are published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, and the adolescent findings are published in Journal of Nutrition. The studies are funded by Tate & Lyle Ingredients America LLC. Weaver serves on the scientific advisory board for Pharmative LLC.

A prebiotic fiber passes through the gut for the microbes in the lower gut to digest. Here is where Weaver found that soluble corn fiber is broken down into short chain fatty acids to aid in bone health.

In the post-menopausal study, calcium retention was measured in 14 women by using an isotope to measure the excretion of 41Ca to measure bone loss. The women consumed 0 grams, 10 grams or 20 grams of this nondigestible carbohydrate each day for 50 days. Bone calcium retention was improved by 4.8 percent and 7 percent for those who consumed 10 grams and 20 grams, respectively. These amounts of soluble corn fiber would be found in supplement form.

“If projected out for a year, this would equal and counter the average rate of bone loss in a post-menopausal woman,” says Weaver, an expert in mineral bioavailability, calcium metabolism, botanicals and bone health. http://bit.ly/2bVlUTC
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Runway incursions are a significant safety concern, particularly at general aviation airports. Sarah Hubbard, assistant professor in the School of Aviation and Transportation in Purdue Polytechnic Institute, co-led a team to evaluate the feasibility of using rumble strips on taxiways to warn pilots of the upcoming runway with the objective of reducing runway incursions. Based on their findings, she’s overseen an effort to add rumble strips at the Purdue Airport. http://bit.ly/2aK0JQS #BoilersHelpingHoosiers
Runway incursions are a significant safety concern, particularly at general aviation airports. In 2013, there were over 1200 runway incursions. In May 2014, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) awarded a project to Profs. Darcy Bullock and Sarah Hubbard to evaluate the feasibility of using ...
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As director of Purdue’s Center for Animal Welfare Science in Purdue University College of Veterinary Medic... , Candace Croney researches and promotes how to best care for animals. Among other accomplishments, she’s worked with the Amish community of Indiana to create voluntary standards of care and management for dog breeders. http://bit.ly/2aJWDs6 #BoilersHelpingHoosiers
The Amish community in southern Indiana is working to change the image that they’re raising unhappy and mistreated dogs.
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Darcy M. Bullock, professor of civil engineering in Purdue Engineering , directs the Joint Transportation Research Program (JTRP), which, among other accomplishments, worked with the city of Lafayette, Ind., to create a new "Advanced Transportation Management System," a network of sensors, computers and software to efficiently control traffic signals and reduce congestion. http://bit.ly/2aJW4yl #BoilersHelpingHoosiers
Purdue University engineers have worked with the city of Lafayette, Ind., to create a new "Advanced Transportation Management System," a network of sensors, computers and software to efficiently control traffic signals and reduce congestion.
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Have them in circles
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World-renowned faculty and more than 400 research laboratories put Purdue University among the world's leading research institutions.
Introduction
Purdue's West Lafayette campus boasts more than 400 research laboratories and 116 University-approved research centers and institutes. Overseen by the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships, our growing research enterprise focuses on the following areas:

* Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education
* Life and Health Sciences
* Sustainability: energy, environment and climate change
* Security, Defense and Space Sciences
* Cyber and Information Technology

During the 2014 fiscal year, Purdue University received $389 million in research awards, an increase of nearly $70 million (close to 22%) over 2013. Sources included private industries, the National Science Foundation, several federal government departments and state and local grants.