Scientists at work: Ronald Hites and Marta Venier

Environmental Science & Technology A study by Indiana University Bloomington and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency researchers found high levels of chemical flame retardants in house cats and raised the possibility that exposure to the chemicals could be linked to feline hyperthyroidism, a serious disease in cats. The study, published online in August by Environmental Science & Technology and featured on the cover of the Sept. 15 journal, concluded cats could serve as "sentinels" for human exposure to the chemicals, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). The authors included Indiana University doctoral student Marta Venier and Ronald Hites, IU distinguished professor and director of the Environmental Science Research Center at the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs. They collaborated with veterinary researchers at the National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  Full Story

Study shows genetically engineered corn could affect aquatic ecosystems


A study by an Indiana University environmental science professor and several colleagues suggests a widely planted variety of genetically engineered corn has the potential to harm aquatic ecosystems. The study was published earlier this month by the journal Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences. Researchers, including Todd V. Royer, an assistant professor in the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs, established that pollen and other plant parts containing toxins from genetically engineered Bt corn are washing into streams near cornfields.

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Why conservation efforts often fail

Elinor Ostrom

Modern conservation techniques have brought us the resurgence of American bald eagles, sustainable forest harvests and the rescue of prized lobster fisheries. So how can modern conservation strategies also have wrought such failures, from the catastrophic loss of Guatemalan forests to the economy-crippling Klamath River salmon kill in 2006? In a September issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Indiana University political scientist Elinor Ostrom and colleagues argued that while many basic conservation strategies are sound, their use is often flawed. The strategies are applied too generally, they say, as an inflexible, regulatory "blueprint" that foolishly ignores local customs, economics and politics.

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IU research labs receive $1.69 million to develop scientific research gateway

Research Gateway

Scientists can use research gateways to access data, interact with colleagues. Traveling professors can even use the gateways to keep in touch with their students. This is how researchers from Indiana University's Pervasive Technology Labs and School of Informatics describe the goal of a new project titled "Open Grid Computing Environments (OGCE) Software for Science Gateways." The project has been awarded a grant totaling more than $1.69 million from the National Science Foundation.

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$1 million grant broadens scope of sexual health research at Indiana University

Applied Health Science Sex Researchers

Sexual health researchers at Indiana University Bloomington plan to dramatically expand the scope of their work through the new Center for Sexual Health Promotion. The Patty Brisben Foundation provided core support for the new center through a $1 million research grant to Michael Reece and Debby Herbenick, both sexual health experts in the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation.

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Previous issue

Hans-Otto Meyer

The Sept. 18, 2007, issue of Discoveries featured a profile on Hans-Otto Meyer, professor of physics at Indiana University Bloomington. Also highlighted in this issue were a new IUPUI study that reveals that rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels will drive dandelions to grow taller, details on IU's new food PhD., details on what people really want when choosing a mate, and information on a $1.9 million grant that IU research labs recently received to create technology infrastructure for understanding polar ice caps.

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