Back Issues, Virginia Tech Research Magazine

Summer 2014

  • The power of the printed world: From action figures printed at home to synthetic veins printed at medical centers, 3-D printing will change manufacturing, medicine, and the marketplace.
  • Printing with fire: Researchers combine old technologies, such as sand casting, with 3-D printing to design and fabricate complex metal structures.
  • Spinning a genetic web, 3-D-printing style: A new process mimics nature to produce strong fibers with a million uses.
  • A chip off the old circuit: First, figure out how to do something. Then build it. Richard Claus has it down to a science.
  • Coyote crossing: Relatively new to Virginia, coyotes are easy scapegoats for declining deer populations.
  • Mussel power: Mussels function as the “good guy” organisms of the aquatic environment, filtering suspended particles, organic matter, and pollutants from the water.
  • A time to heal, abbreviated: Scientists are developing new ways to shorten the time it takes wounds to heal.
  • Hiking the Inca Road: Simple in appearance but engineered to stand the test of time, the ancient road offers lessons for modern construction.

Winter 2013-14

  • Suddenly someday: Imagine unmanned aerial vehicles flying search-and-rescue missions or scanning acres of farmland to detect threats to crop health.
  • Of minnows and men: Every spring, the clear upland streams of eastern North America erupt in vivid shades of red, yellow, and blue.
  • Singing the power electronic: A low-energy Bluetooth device uses a few milliwatts of power, while a full-sized aircraft carrier requires gigawatts. But no matter the power needs of a machine, University Distinguished Professor Fred C. Lee can take care of it.
  • A bandage with smarts: A novel idea for a wound dressing that tests the patient's blood type may be able to save lives
  • Research Briefs: Short stories covering a gamut of discoveries about
    - buckyballs
    - neurofeedback
    - a virtual game where characters fight a disease outbreak
    - the mineral-making secrets of mollusks
    - why trees don't "bleed" to death when they're injured

Spring 2013

  • Figuring out the hard stuff: Meet Patricia Dove, the first faculty member with undergraduate and graduate degrees from Virginia Tech to be inducted into the National Academy of Sciences
  • Always changing: Even the most seasoned entrepreneurs would bow to Vinod Chachra's work ethic, and certainly to his investment in shoe leather
  • Creating economic reactions: When James "Jim" Rancourt talks about Polymer Solutions Inc., the independent testing laboratory he founded in Blacksburg, it is tempting to steal plotlines for a TV series
  • Biotech-in-a-Box: Fralin Life Science Institute supplies the tools of science to build Virginia's next generation of researchers
  • Animal bridges: When bears and wolves cross paths with humans, conservationists work with researchers to find common ground
  • Shrinking the carbon footprint: Consider the sum total of greenhouse gases created by the paving process. It really adds up.
  • Infographic: Research Overview 2012

Summer 2012

  • D.C.'s Shaw/U Street neighborhood has a rich cultural history and has had devastating riots. It's on its way up again. But will it be enriched or thinned out?
  • No tornadoes in the mountains? Not true. And dropping terrain under the storm can make them worse. Learn about some surprising ways that geography influences weather.
  • For a key to the future, look to soil: Organic-rich soils grow more food and remove carbon dioxide from the air.
  • On the road again, and again: How do families cope with frequent travel when it's required as part of a job?
  • Early diagnosis and dietary intervention are the weapons scientists hope to provide to battle ovarian cancer.
  • Vehicles in VTTI's naturalistic driving study are rigged out with instruments that provide real-world data that is helping to save lives.
  • An injured golden eagle is rehabilitated and survives to fly again, now with a little technology "on board."
  • University research matters. University research magazinesare fun.

Winter 2012

  • A look at changes in the diet of red knots at their one stopover between South America and the Arctic
  • Who's running the country? Most of what we know about political appointees is based on anecdotes and assumptions, until now
  • A tourist's dream of getting up close with wildlife is a community nightmare
  • A new invention makes it possible to extract and dry the super-fine coal that has been discarded for decades
  • Sugars from plant materials can now be converted to hydrogen by a cell-free enzymatic process
  • Two hundred years ago, in the center of the nation, an 8.0 earthquake changed the land and rivers over hundreds of miles and created new lakes. It could happen again.
  • Veterinarians use a new treatment developed by biomedical engineers to treat tumors in dogs. The most deadly of brain tumors happen in people and pooches.
  • Editorial: Ask a stupid question, receive a brilliant answer

Summer 2011

  • Energy harvesting yields powerful crops
  • Hate speech evolved from curses, once thought to have supernatural power. Now what some perceive as hate speech, others see as protected political opinion.
  • Two extraordinary chicken lines have allowed scientists to study relationships between growth, reproduction, and immunology — and now to look at the genetics and chemistry of growth and nutrient management.
  • The race goes not to the swift... but to those who can visualize the finish.
  • Jeb Barrett looks at life in Antarctica to determine how long-term climate trends affect ecological processes.
  • Mapping the path of the peanut in Uganda.

Winter 2011

  • Do not let them know you are old: Not many people in today's culture are comfortable with being old.
  • A storm and a study save piping plovers
  • Helping people and horses ‘breathe easy’
  • Bats’ biosonar inspires sensing technology research
  • Birds of a feather eat together (sometimes)
  • Synthetic biology researchers consider perils and promise
  • Envisioning the future in 3-D

Summer 2010

  • Hot pepper industry rescued from ‘Viruses of the Caribbean’
  • Building bridges in Haiti - before and after the earthquake
  • ‘Awed by Everything’ - How a poet reveals his world
  • Scientists track misfires in cells' regulatory machinery as cause of lupus
  • Being thrifty may not make you healthy
  • Conservation planning tool developed for Tennessee adapted for South America
  • Tires tested in the real world without leaving the lab
  • Student researchers help preserve the integrity of the Passage Creek watershed

Winter 2010

  • Unraveling the secrets of a pathogen’s evolutionary arms race
  • Southern forests went from cutover and ugly to productive and beautiful
  • African-American voices in Appalachia resonate with Spanish gospel choir
  • Iran’s contested election: Populism and power
  • Minding our electricity use: How consumers can help even demand
  • Unearthing a prehistoric time capsule
  • Technology developed for national security advances cancer detection
  • Regulatory uncertainty and industry investment: A new approach
  • Innovation can help states revitalize job markets, economies

Summer 2009

  • Engineers seek to stem massive, deadly flow of heart disease
  • Beauty and quiet revealed at the boundaries of a major city
  • Scientists are learning how to make some of the everyday fruits we eat even more nutritious.
  • Virginia Tech experts explain what happened with the economy and what to expect
  • A little bit of polysaccharide helps the medicine go down
  • Researchers develop blue-ribbon daylily with Hokie colors
  • When and how did life on earth become so big?

Winter 2009

  • Putting the brakes on a pandemic influenza outbreak
  • Safety requires more than a hard hat
  • Mother's influence on young wildlife more than genetic
  • Clean, clear water and words goal of Chinese and American scholars
  • First rural NAACP a response to threat of residential segregation
  • Volunteer tourism: a tale of two communities
  • Can science save large sharks?
  • Preventing falls saves lives
  • Glacial erosion changes internal mountain structure, responses to plate tectonics

Summer 2008

  • Creating models to answer questions about air quality
  • Getting one step closer to cleaner waters
  • Nanominerals influence the Earth in ways only now being realized
  • Virginia Tech center helps develop clean coal technology in India
  • Air pollutants lurk in places previously thought safe
  • Helping dams remain an important energy resource
  • Preserving biodiversity
  • Virginia Tech center leads team in climate-change project
  • To save our streams, save our mussels
  • Save the Bay, save agriculture
  • Meet Billy the "scat dog"
  • Satellite sensors show changes in plant growth

Winter 2008

  • Modern science uses ancient pieces of genetic machinery to study, fight mosquito-borne diseases
  • Eager visitors are trampling Shenandoah National Park
  • Madagascar ecology benefits as yesterday's students return as today's scientists
  • Someone's in the kitchen: Modern design makes the kitchen an ever-more-popular place.
  • Virginia Tech's Center for Geospatial Information Technology helps keep Virginia a step ahead of natural disasters
  • Fat horses face health problems — in larger numbers than previously suspected and for a surprising reason
  • Neutrino particles deep underground the Earth are telling researchers about the origins of our sun, the stars, and even the universe.
  • An undergraduate student aims to save lives in Mali
  • Editorial: Joy and frustration

Summer 2007

  • Battle of the bugs: An invader is destroying America’s hemlocks but Virginia Tech forest entomology researchers are battling the bugs.
  • Student storm chasers find course research to be excellent adventure
  • Creating the future’s wearable, washable, potentially life-saving computers.
  • Storytelling software helps scientists make connections within the ocean of scientific information being published.
  • Cognition and emotion development are connected: Virginia Tech’s Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Lab.
  • Slow road to recovery in war-torn Bosnia is paved with hope.
  • Recognition and thanks for the contributions of five faculty members
  • Introducing Bob Walters, vice president for research at Virginia Tech.

Winter 2007

  • Saving rare breeds of livestock that helped build a nation
  • A modern-day Dr. Dolittle, walking – and talking – with the animals
  • A cool summer research adventure for a Virginia Tech graduate student
  • Exploring Appalachia's geographic identity crisis
  • Overcoming disabilities through the power of movement
  • Finding an elegant solution to a threat to Albania’s olive crop
  • New research is enabling the study of disease at the molecular level
  • “Pressure tactics” that are helping to make food and medicine safer

Summer 2006

  • The Frequency Monitoring Network helps secure the grid
  • Fixing America’s power grid – the role of distributed generation
  • Tidal energy offers potential new forms of energy from the sea
  • Virginia Tech’s beautiful, efficient solar house
  • A roundup of energy-related research at Virginia Tech

Winter 2006

  • Multiculturalism in today's diverse workplace
  • Infectious disease research
  • The emotional toll parents' deployment has on teens
  • Studying jaguars in the wild
  • What causes traffic accidents
  • New molecular complexes used in the war on cancer
  • Driverless vehicles
  • A roundup of hurricane-related research at Virginia Tech

Spring 2005

  • Free radicals threaten fat cats and fad dieters
  • Apple shape puts overweight folks on fast track for disease
  • Fat a BIG problem for kids
  • Editorial: Fighting obesity: More than ‘Just say no’
  • Plant chemistry, history reveal clues to survival
  • University theatre experimentation, creative experiences connect artists and audiences
  • A step forward by design for spinal fusion surgery
  • Microscopes

Fall 2004

  • Women learn from revolution that they can lead in peace
  • Scientists model interaction of viruses and immune system
  • Rising above sweatshops
  • Life in the fast lane enriches Virginia’s landscape
  • Cuba inside out
  • Student Research

Winter 2004

  • 200 years ago, the Lewis and Clark expedition crossed a continent
  • Researchers help pick faces out of a crowd
  • How do mountains grow?
  • Research can guide investment
  • Building a supercomputer
  • When a tree grows in any town, we all benefit
  • Program helps couples stop the violence
  • Reducing injuries from accidents
  • Student research: Winning graduate student research makes it easier to plot forested land and for computer grids to operate in secure environments
  • Microscopes

Winter 2003

  • Biomaterials — an offer the body can’t reject
  • New sensor would simplify diagnostics
  • Fit to lead — research suggests fitter executives may be better leaders
  • Tiny, tough, and true — photonic sensors go into the harshest environments
  • Emily Dickinson challenges modern writers
  • People want to see themselves in the funny pages
  • Finding the right horsepower — Equine nutrition to promote health and performance
  • Microscopes

Summer 2002

  • There is more to a forest than trees
  • Preparing for a ‘worst case scenario’
  • Faster, safer, cheaper, air travel
  • Composer travels the world
  • Shaking up things in virtual reality
  • Model airplane pinpoints plant stress
  • The Quest for Donne
  • Art flying in and out of space
  • Microscopes

Winter 2002

  • Social scientists respond to September 11
  • Power engineers taking small steps toward big energy savings
  • Decisions, Decisions: Applying the power of usiness research to the businebss of power
  • Filled buckyballs — diamonds from soot
  • Nanotechnology — still more room at the bottom
  • Mexican-American communities remain hostage to history
  • Microscopes


  • How two young men succeeded against the odds
  • Bioinformatics
  • And Justice for All
  • The little cell that could power an energy revolution
  • Life precarious in island paradise
  • Aquaculture: Ocean-friendly, market-savvy wave of the future
  • Student research bridges boundaries
  • Microscopes


  • From wired to unwired
  • Speed, weather and the next wave
  • Web project brings Jamestown to life
  • Violent movies can increase violent responses
  • Biomedical engineers maintain the ultimate machine
  • Planting trees between a rock and a hard place
  • If Bossy eats right, premium ice cream will be health food
  • Coping and caring — not packaging — defines ‘family’
  • The best things in life aren’t things
  • Students showcase outstanding research
  • Microscopes


  • Racing against disease and economics
  • Can we harvest hardwoods without harm?
  • Seeds of change
  • Re-live and learn
  • Ruling the Web
  • Engineers and biologist collaborate
  • Night life
  • Waste not, waste not
  • Partners in research
  • Microscopes


  • Is it safe to eat?
  • Smokin’
  • Building a building system
  • Adjusting the global thermostat
  • Negotiating
  • Antimatter matters
  • A few good patents support university missions
  • Partners in research
  • Microscopes


  • Can We Feed the World?
  • Mapping the Future
  • Hazardous Materials: Accidents and the Future
  • Material Advances
  • In 2047, we’ll be more efficient, more connected, more entertained, more unemployed
  • Immunology advancements coming quickly
  • Even the house of the future won’t necessarily be ‛smart’
  • Highways, vehicles get smart
  • Microscopes
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