Perspectives magazine Sp/S 2018

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Ohio University

CLEAN STREAMS Engineer and artist collaborate to turn pollution from Ohio waterways into paint pigment

>> ALSO FEATURED THE ROLE OF RELIGIOUS LEADERS IN POLITICS

UNDERSTANDING ALGAE IN THE ECOSYSTEM

STUDENT RESEARCH AND CREATIVE ACTIVITY EXPO SPRING / SUMMER 2018


VOL 22 / ISSUE 1

FEATU R ES

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18 FROM POLLUTION TO PAINT Engineer Guy Riefler and Artist John Sabraw lead effort to convert the region’s acid mine drainage into art industry product

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Stream science

Where religion and politics meet

Birth of a medical trend

From river to lab, plant biologist Morgan Vis and students document the global life of freshwater red algae

Nukhet Sandal examines the role of religious figures in politics around the world

Heritage College Professor Jacqueline Wolf tracks the history and practice of cesarean sections in the United States.


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Ohio University

SP R I N G / S U MM E R 2 01 8

CLOSE UP

DE PA RT M E N TS UP FRONT

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LETTER FROM THE VICE PRESIDENT AND THE PRESIDENT

The Konneker Medal

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT

OF NOTE

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CafĂŠ Series celebrates 10 years

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Innovation Center reports job growth

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Study tracks opioid overdose

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Rock camp helps kids build skills

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Classics professor lands Rome appointment

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Project documents seed-saving practices

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Inventors receive 8 U.S. patents

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Graduate students score awards

ON THE COVER OPPOSITE PAGE

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Perspectives: Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity at Ohio University is published twice per year by the Office of Research Communications, which reports to the Vice President for Research and Creative Activity. The magazine serves its readers by providing information about the research, scholarly, and creative activities of Ohio University faculty, staff, and students, and about the contributions of university research in general through the publication of accurate and balanced journalistic content that informs, stimulates intellectual discussion, and promotes scholarly inquiry.

EDITOR Andrea Gibson

Text, photographs, and artwork may not be reprinted without written permission from the editor. Comments and queries regarding editorial content should be addressed to:

Office of the Vice President for Research and Creative Activity Web: www.ohio.edu/research Email: research@ohio.edu Phone: (740) 593-0370

Andrea Gibson, editor Perspectives magazine 120 Research and Technology Center Athens, Ohio 45701 Email: gibsona@ohio.edu Phone: (740) 597-2166

How e-cigarette vapors impact lungs

Annual expo showcases student research involvement

SENIOR DESIGNER + ILLUSTRATOR Christina Ullman, Ullman Design ASSISTANT DESIGNER Alix Northrup, Ullman Design

For more information about the research program at Ohio University, please contact:

ISSN 1520-4375 printed on recycled paper

>> This aerial photo shows how iron seeping from an old coal mine can pollute regional waterways, turning the streams rust orange in color. >> Artist John Sabraw wades through a cave during a field trip to extract iron-rich sludge from a stream impacted by acid mine

drainage, in order to process the iron into paint pigment.

PHOTOS: BEN SIEGEL

PHOTOS THIS PAGE: TOP, EVAN LEONARD; RIGHT, MEAGAN HALL; BOTTOM, BEN SIEGEL

OHIO U N IV ERSIT Y / . 01


UP FRONT

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From the Vice President for Research and Creative Activity and President

HOW TO NOMINATE Ohio University accepts nominations for the Konneker Medal annually; the award is presented to the recipient(s) in February of the following year. Up to three awards may be given per year. Entries should address, and will be judged by the degree to which they establish, a record of demonstrated excellence in innovation, invention, commercialization, and entrepreneurship by the nominee.

>

PHOTO: KAITLIN OWENS

FIND OUT MORE www.ohio.edu/research/konneker.cfm

David Koonce INTERIM VICE PRESIDENT

Research + Creative Activity

M. Duane Nellis PRESIDENT

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The Konneker Medal he Ohio University Foundation established the Konneker Medal for Commercialization and Entrepreneurship to recognize current and former faculty members or students who have demonstrated excellence in innovation, invention, commercialization, and entrepreneurship. The award is named for the late Wilfred Konneker, an Ohio University alumnus and former Foundation Board member with a distinguished record in research and entrepreneurship. He received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1943 and his master’s degree in physics and astronomy in 1947. He received a doctoral degree in nuclear physics from Washington University in 1950. Konneker founded the Nuclear Consultants Corporation in St. Louis, Missouri, and either founded or co-founded six additional high-tech startup companies. The alumnus was instrumental in the establishment of Ohio University’s small business incubator, the Innovation Center, as well as the university biotechnology spin-off company Diagnostic Hybrids, Inc. He was one of the principal architects of the Cutler Scholars program. The research laboratories housing the Edison Biotechnology Institute at The Ridges were named in his honor to recognize his leadership and service. The Konneker Alumni Center also was named for the alumnus and his wife, Ann Lee. Since 2012, Ohio University has bestowed the Konneker Medal on 10 individuals: Faculty member John Kopchick, former

faculty member William Beale, and alumni David Scholl, Hua-Thye Chua, Rick Hawkins, Winston Breeden III, Joseph Jachinowski, Jake Sigal, Rob Painter, and David Pidwell. These award recipients were honored for their contributions to drug discovery and commercialization, medical diagnostics, engine and power generation systems, computer chip technologies, cancer therapy, product development, digital media and consumer electronics, and software and technology innovations. In addition, many of the recipients have founded and grown successful startup companies and have served as mentors to the next generation of entrepreneurs. We are proud to recognize individuals in the Ohio University community who represent Wilfred Konneker’s dedication to and passion for technology commercialization and entrepreneurship. These award winners are fulfilling the promise of Ohio University’s mission to support innovations that benefit the greater society.

CAF

Profe of din


OF Note

Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity / News in Brief

OHIO UNIVERSITY’S CAFÉ SERIES

CAFÉS CELEBRATE 10 YEARS Ohio University’s Café Series—which includes the national Sigma Xi Science Café program and the OHIO-grown Café Conversations series for the arts and humanities—celebrates its 10-year anniversary in 2018 with a slate of popular topics. The events, held nearly weekly in the Baker Center Front Room during the academic school year, spotlight faculty research, scholarship, and creative activity, as well as expertise on topical issues. The Cafés attract OHIO students, faculty, and staff, as well as community members, for their mix of subjects and interactive demonstrations. Audiences outside of Athens can watch the presentations live or archived online; visit www.ohio.edu/sciencecafe. PHOTO: ELIZABETH HELD >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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CAFÉ CONVERSATIONS

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Professor Lawrence Witmer shares his expertise on the anatomy of dinosaurs with the Science Café audience at a 2013 event.

OHIO U N IV ERSIT Y / . 03


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CREATING OHIO JOBS OHIO Innovation Center reports unprecedented job growth, new economic impact for 2017

hio University’s Innovation Center supported 269 jobs that generated an estimated $9.9 million in employee compensation in Athens County in 2017, according to a new economic impact report. The business incubator’s impact on local job opportunities has increased by 105 percent over the last four years, up from 131 jobs in 2014. The employee compensation impact also has risen 52 percent during the same time period. The Innovation Center’s economic impact figures represent the number of jobs created directly or indirectly, or induced by the Innovation Center businesses, which also generated an estimated $1.5 million in state and local tax revenues in 2017. The tax revenue impact has increased 108 percent since 2014. Stacy Strauss, director of the Innovation Center, attributes the increase in numbers to the “unparalleled growth” experienced by several companies currently housed in the Innovation Center, as well as rising sales and new hiring by recent incubator graduates. “These figures provide tangible evidence that the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Southeast Ohio provides a supportive environment for entrepreneurs and new ventures,” Strauss says. “The services that the Innovation Center and its partners provide truly do promote economic development.” The Innovation Center, part of Ohio University’s technology commercialization and entrepreneurial ecosystem, offers business coaching and space for startups at its facility at 340 West State Street, Athens. It also provides virtual business support and networking services to additional university and regional entrepreneurs.

IN 2017, THE INNOVATION CENTER GENERATED

MILLION

in employee compensation in Athens County

The award-winning incubator currently is home to 17 companies in the areas of life sciences and biotechnology, software, and other products. The Innovation Center has supported entrepreneurs in Southeast Ohio since 1983 and has been recognized globally for excellence in its economic development efforts. The 2017 economic impact analysis was developed by Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. FR O M STAFF R EPO RTS

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$9.9


hio .

(Clockwise from left): Misako Hata, Innovation Center lab director, manages a job on the Objet350 Connex from Stratasys, a 3D printer in the incubator’s Additive Manufacturing Lab. The printer—the largest, highest-quality 3D printer within a 70-mile radius—has been used to produce prototypes of products, as well as replicas of objects for university researchers. PHOTOS: BEN SIEGEL

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STUDY TRACKS YEARS OF LIFE LOST TO OPIOID OVERDOSE More than 500,000 years of life expectancy were lost in Ohio during a seven-year period, according to a study conducted by The Ohio Alliance for Innovation in Population Health (OAIPH), a collaborative initiative formed by Ohio University’s College of Health Sciences and Professions and the University of Toledo’s College of Health and Human Services. The analysis demonstrates that opioid overdose is an increasing cause of preventable death in Ohio with a measurable impact on life expectancy. In addition, the study found significant regional variations in premature death due to opioid poisoning. “This data gives us a picture of the profound impact of opioid-related deaths,” says Rick Hodges, director of OAIPH and health policy executive in residence at Ohio University. “These are people in the prime of life during their most productive years. The data also tells a story about families and communities.” The years of life lost was calculated from data abstracted from the Ohio Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Ohio Death Certificate File for the years 2010-2016. Years of life lost due to premature death were calculated at the state and county level and patterns of opioid overdose mortality were mapped geographically and monitored over time. Ohio University researchers Sebastian Diaz, Zelalem Haile, John Hoag, and Orman Hall contributed to the study. FR O M STAFF R EPO RTS

KEY STUDY FINDINGS

13,059 OHIOANS DIED FROM OPIOID OVERDOSE during the 7-year period of study

Opioid overdose accounted for

519,471 YEARS OF LIFE LOST FROM 2010–2016

Fentanylrelated deaths have increased dramatically

2016:

2010:

77

2,357

Opioid overdose deaths in Ohio continue to rise.

140,045 Fentanyl was involved in

years of life lost were attributed to opioid overdose in 2016 alone.

of fatal opioid poisonings in 2016

THIS LOWERED THE LIFE EXPECTANCY OF AN AVERAGE OHIOAN BY

67%

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= 96,118

1.1 YEARS

YEARS OF LIFE LOST OHIO U N IV ERSIT Y / . 05


P ERSP ECTIVES / N EWS I N BR I EF

A rock music camp designed to help kids with autism improve their social skills first debuted on the Ohio University campus in summer 2016. Over the course of a week, children with and without autism learned to play instruments and collaborated to plan and perform a concert. Camp R.O.C.K. (Reaching Out and Connecting Kids), funded by the university’s Innovation Strategy program, was a huge success, says project coleader Laura Brown. The kids freely conversed, interacted, and played together. One student hugged and drew pictures of herself with a newly made friend. “That sounds normal for a 5-year-old, but it’s not for someone on the autism spectrum,” Brown says. The project was the brainchild of Brown, an assistant professor of music therapy, and Joann Benigno, an associate professor of communication sciences and disorders. Both faculty members have experience researching and teaching university students about the issues at play in the project—how to nurture the social development and speech-language skills of kids with autism, and how to use music therapy techniques to aid in that development. A new grant from the Ohio University Baker Fund allowed Brown and Benigno to offer the popular rock camp to Athens-area families once again in summer 2018. This time, the duo planned to expand the research focus of the project to more closely detail how such a program improves the children’s social and communication skills. “In particular, we plan to examine features of the campers’ social interactions, perceptions of friendship, and friendships maintained following the camp,” Benigno explains. The faculty members already have published a paper reporting on the camp’s effectiveness as an interdisciplinary outreach and learning project for the university’s music therapy and communication sciences and disorders students involved. The project also caught the attention of music therapy professionals at a national conference last year when Brown presented the novel concept. The faculty members hope that more data on the outcomes of Camp R.O.C.K. could lead to longer-term funding for the program. B Y A N D R E A G I BS ON

During the academic year, Laura Brown (background) teaches music therapy concepts to Ohio University students. PHOTO: BEN SIEGEL .0 6 / P E R S P E CTIVE S

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Rock Camp Helps Kids Build Skills

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ADVANCING THE HUMANITIES Classics professor to foster scholarship in American Academy in Rome position

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SHARING EXPERTISE As Mellon Professor at the American Academy in Rome, Lynne Lancaster will lead fellows and residents on walking tours of historic sites and facilitate group discussions. PHOTO: BEN SIEGEL

n internationally renowned Ohio University scholar of Roman architecture has been named the next Andrew W. Mellon Professorin-Charge of the Humanities at the American Academy in Rome. Lynne Lancaster, a professor in the Department of Classics and World Religions, will serve a three-year appointment at the Academy, which provides mentoring experiences for young faculty and graduate students in disciplines such as classical archaeology, medieval history, cultural preservation, and the fine arts. Lancaster, a previous recipient of the prestigious Rome Prize for classics research in 2001, notes that the Academy was interested in her expertise in the history of Roman architecture. Her first book, Concrete Vaulted Construction in Imperial Rome: Innovations in Context (Cambridge University Press, 2005), examined the construction techniques used in iconic buildings such as the Colosseum. Her second book, Innovative Vaulting in the Architecture of the Roman Empire, 1st to 4th Centuries CE (Cambridge University Press, 2015), moves beyond Rome and modern Italy to explore the construction innovations of the provinces. The “historical narrative,” Lancaster notes, was that building innovations started in Rome and then spread through the countryside. But her new research—which drew on GIS databases to map geographic trends in historic building construction— suggests a different pattern. “There was, in fact, a lot of innovation going on outside of Italy, in regional pockets of activity,” she says. Concepts about architecture and construction spread through the vast

“I HAVE THE FREEDOM TO EXPLORE NEW IDEAS; THAT’S WHAT THIS POSITION WOULD ALLOW ME TO DO.” LYNNE LANCASTER

Roman Empire and beyond in a variety of ways, such as through traveling military legions, the overseas trade networks for wine and olive oil, the expanding pottery industry, and the imperial food distribution network, Lancaster found. As Mellon Professor at the American Academy in Rome, Lancaster will lead fellows and residents on walking tours of historic sites and facilitate group discussions. She also anticipates that the immersive humanities experience could spark some different directions in her own research and scholarship. “I have the freedom to explore new ideas; that’s what this position would allow me to do,” she says. During the appointment, Lancaster will help the Academy to develop exhibits and educational programming on the concept of “Rome as palimpsest.” A palimpsest is a manuscript that has been written over the erased surface of an older document, she explains. In the context of architecture, Lancaster will develop programs that explore how Rome was built on the traces of earlier cultures, and how this can provide a new view of the origin and legacy of our ancient monuments. B Y AN DR EA GIB SO N OHIO U N IV ERSIT Y / . 07


P ERSP ECTIVES / N EWS I N BR I EF

SEED SAVERS Project documents international practices to preserve native seeds

Red Russian kale, an heirloom variety, flowers at the university’s West State Street Research Site in May; seeds were slated for collection in late June. PHOTO: BEN SIEGEL

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new Ohio University project aims to understand why and how people save seeds—using Appalachian Ohio and Ecuador as global case studies. Saving heirloom or heritage seeds has gained popularity as a way for people to grow healthy foods that are also native to their local environments. The practice can help increase the biodiversity of our food sources, as commercial food production relies on a more limited range of plant varieties, says Theresa Moran, who leads the project with Dawn Bikowski. It’s also a practice that could help buffer the food supply against climate change, as “indigenous varieties seem to be able to adapt,” notes Moran, an assistant professor and director of the Food Studies theme. The project stemmed from a university initiative led by Mario Grijalva, director of the Infectious and Tropical Disease Institute, and Lorna Jean Edmonds, vice president for global affairs, that created a partnership


between the university in Athens, Ohio, and the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador in Quito, Ecuador, to study public health. The seed-saving project, which has funding from a $20,000 one-year pilot grant secured by Bikowski and Moran from Ohio University’s Innovation Strategy, has three phases of data collection and sharing in the two nations. The Ohio University team is working with regional partners in Appalachia to identify seed savers and learn what, how, and why they are preserving. Nonprofit entities such as Community Food Initiatives have supported seedsaving initiatives for years, Moran notes. But the researchers are attempting to more systematically collect information on the practice that, in turn, could equip these entities and their communities with the data required to plan projects and pursue funding to advance their efforts. The researchers from the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador found that Andean communities save seeds for economic reasons, as well as to raise crops that taste better and have more reliable yields than purchased plants, Moran says. In addition, traditional seeds can produce fruits and vegetables that add greater variety to the diet. Bikowski, director of the university’s English Language Improvement Program, describes the philosophy of the Andean seed savers as: “This way I’ll always be able to grow my own food, be self-sufficient, and stay healthy.” The Ecuador researchers also identified some barriers to native seed saving. Some of the plants require special preparation and cooking—information that has sometimes been lost in communities that no longer cultivate them, Bikowski explains. For example, a type of white bean that is regaining popularity as a high protein source needs to be rinsed seven times before cooking, she notes. Findings from the American and Ecuador studies, as well as an overview of the global seed-saving project, will be published in academic journals in order to disseminate information more widely. The Ohio University team hopes that sharing data and insights between the communities could help bolster the importance of seed saving. Moran views it as one step toward “food sovereignty,” in which communities make and sustain independent, cultural food choices. B Y A N D R E A G I BS ON

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THE SEED-SAVING PROJECT HAS FUNDING FROM A $20,000 ONE-YEAR PILOT GRANT SECURED BY BIKOWSKI AND MORAN FROM OHIO UNIVERSITY’S INNOVATION STRATEGY.

INVENTORS RECEIVE 8 U.S. PATENTS Ohio University honored faculty, staff, and student inventors for discoveries in areas ranging from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and wound healing to avionics engineering and earthquake mitigation technologies during an awards ceremony in February. The Inventors Dinner recognized individuals who engaged with the university’s Technology Transfer Office over the past year to commercialize their research findings by protecting their intellectual property through the patent process. FROM STAFF REPORTS

RECOGNIZING INVENTORS

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Nine faculty and staff members were spotlighted for receiving eight U.S. patents during 2017:

Russ College of Engineering and Technology

Gerardine Botte Douglas Goetz Maarten Uijt de Haag

College of Arts and Sciences

Hao Chen Tadeusz Malinski

Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine

Kelly McCall Ramiro Malgor

Chad Mourning Kenneth Walsh

(Above) Russ College of Engineering and Technology faculty member Kenneth Walsh, right, was one of several Ohio University inventors who received a U.S. patent plaque from President M. Duane Nellis. PHOTO: EVAN LEONARD

OHIO U N IV ERSIT Y / . 09


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>> Amir Farnoud (far right),

students, and colleagues tested the impact of e-cigarette vapors and cigarette smoke by using a small mechanical device that simulates the movements of the lungs.

PHOTOS: BEN SIEGEL

BREATH WORK Researchers take a close look at the impact of e-cigarette vapors on the lungs mir Farnoud has long been interested in what happens to the fluids in the lungs when nanoparticles—which hold promise as a new way to deliver drugs to the body—are inhaled. But Farnoud started to notice an interesting response to his research presentations: People kept asking about the impact of cigarette smoke— not to mention the vapors from the newly popular e-cigarettes—on the lung fluids. “I kept searching and couldn’t believe that this information didn’t exist,” says Farnoud, an assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Ohio University. Farnoud, colleagues, and students in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology recently completed a study aimed at answering questions about the physiological impact of e-cigarettes. The research revealed some good news, but also some caveats about the practice commonly known as “vaping.” The fluids in the lungs need substances called surfactants to maintain the right amount of surface tension so the organs can effortlessly expand and contract with each breath, Farnoud explains. For example, because premature babies may lack surfactants, they may experience impaired lung function that requires medical treatment. For their study, Farnoud’s team placed surfactants in a small mechanical device that simulates the

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movements of the lung during the intake and exhalation of breath. Researchers exposed the surfactants to the smoke of one tobacco cigarette, and then to the vapors of three different flavors of e-cigarette (which have more chemicals than non-flavored varieties, he explains). The engineers found that the chemicals in the vapor did not affect the surface tension of the surfactants. The tar from the conventional cigarettes, however, did increase the surface tension of the lung fluid, which could compromise lung function. Farnoud’s team made one observation that puzzled them: The vapors did induce some changes to the structure of the lung surfactant, although not as profoundly as the cigarette smoke did. Farnoud is unsure of the significance of this finding but plans to study it further, perhaps by exposing the surfactants to the vapors for longer periods of time.

1804 FUND GRANT RECEIVED Farnoud and colleagues across campus received a $49,000 grant from the OHIO 1804 Fund in 2017 to purchase nanotechnology research equipment.


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In the meantime, Farnoud continues to study the impact of nanoparticles on the lungs. He’s part of a National Institutes of Health-funded project that explores how nanoparticles can treat atherosclerotic plaques, which are fat deposits that can clog arteries. In separate projects, he’s investigating how to tackle fungal infections by delivering drugs inside immune cells, and is seeking to understand how nanoparticles could disrupt cell membranes. Although there are a few drugs on the market that use nanoparticles to deliver medicine to the body, the concept has been slow to take off on a larger scale, as scientists continue to examine the toxicity of particles, Farnoud says. But with sales and use of e-cigarettes on the rise, Farnoud expects to pursue both branches of his research program over the next few years.

GRAD STUDENTS LAND RESEARCH COMMUNICATION AWARDS Three Ohio University graduate students were honored for their outstanding research communication skills during the third annual 3 Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition in February. The event was sponsored by the Graduate College to help students learn to effectively present their work to audiences outside of their area of specialization. The 3MT® competition, developed by The University of Queensland in 2008, is held at more than 600 universities and institutions in 63 countries, according to the 3MT® website. Sixteen students from disciplines ranging from engineering to art competed in the contest, which challenges students to describe their theses to the general public in just three minutes with only one slide as a visual aid. FR O M STAFF R EPO RTS

WATCH ONLINE Videos of the 3MT® presentations can be viewed on Ohio University’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/OhioUniv

2018 WINNERS SILVANA DURAN ORTIZ Doctoral student in molecular and cellular biology “Can we extend life- and health-span by decreasing growth hormone action?” Adviser: John Kopchick, Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine.

First Place

Ortiz also won the People’s Choice Award for doctoral student presentation.

CASSANDRA THOMPSON Master’s student in biological sciences “Withering Waters and Teetering Temperatures: How one frog copes with pool permanency.” Adviser: Viorel Popescu, College of Arts and Sciences.

Second Place SHARIF WAHAB Master’s student in environmental studies “Effectiveness of Online Portal for Climate Adaptation Knowledge Diffusion.” Adviser: Derek Kauneckis, Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs.

Third Place

Wahab also won the People’s Choice Award for master’s student presentation.

PHOTOS: EVAN LEONARD

OHIO U N IV ERSIT Y / . 11


From river to lab, plant biologist Morgan Vis and students document the global life of freshwater red algae

SCIENCE >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

S T O RY B Y ANDREA GIBSON

PHOTOS BY BEN SIEGEL

Algae can be harmful or helpful to life on Earth—depending on the type. Marine plants such as nori are a nutritious ingredient in sushi, and algae products carrageenan and agar are useful binders in foods such as yogurt and ice cream. But cyanobacteria can cause toxic blooms in Lake Erie and small bodies of water in Ohio, creating health hazards. And then there is freshwater red algae, the subject of more than 20 years of research by Ohio University plant biologist Morgan Vis. While these algae don’t yield products like their marine cousins, they are the crucial base of the food chain in streams and rivers across the globe, she notes. “The ones I study are fairly large and serve as food and shelter of macroinvertebrates and fish in those systems,” Vis says. Vis has traveled as far as Brazil and New Zealand and as near as South Carolina and other regions of Ohio to collect samples of freshwater reds, which make up about 5 percent of the red algae on the globe (the other 95 percent is marine). As most freshwater red algae thrive only in rivers and streams with little to no pollution, the plants are used as a biomonitor of water quality by government officials in several European nations. While it’s not officially used as such a tool in the United States, Vis notes that during the last 15 to 20 years of her fieldwork, she has not seen a noticeable change in freshwater red algae numbers in streams and rivers she visits regularly, suggesting that the water quality has remained consistent in those waterways. The National Science Foundation recently awarded Vis a grant to synthesize her two decades of research on the freshwater red algae into a book that is accessible to nonspecialists. Vis and a colleague from Brazil will describe all species of freshwater red algae (estimated at more than 225) and where around the world they can be found.

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COLLECTING SAMPLES

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(At left) Morgan Vis (center) and undergraduate researcher Amanda Szinte examine rocks in a stream in southeastern Ohio for freshwater red algae. (Above) The scientists locate small tufts of the freshwater red, which plays an important role in stream ecosystems.

Vis has traveled as far as Brazil and New Zealand and as near as South Carolina and other regions of Ohio to collect samples of freshwater reds.

OHIO U N IV ERSIT Y / . 13


Vis and her colleagues also are very involved with nurturing young scientists before they even step foot on the Ohio University campus.

VIS PARTICIPATES IN

TECH SAVVY, a program designed to introduce teen girls to hands-on science experiences.

NE OF THE THINGS I HOPE TO DO WITH THE BOOK is to better understand what stream conditions each species prefers so that we can predict where else we might find them,” she explains. In addition to discovering new species by collecting and identifying samples from the field, Vis has helped advance our understanding of freshwater red algae through the use of DNA testing. Scientists had collected worldwide what they thought was one species based on its appearance, but genetic analysis now has revealed that it comprises many species that are unique to different continents. This helped solve a mystery of how the same plant could have wound up in so many diverse locations on the planet. “Now that we have been able to dissect those species into more regional packets, we can look at how the habitat differs for this species versus that species,” Vis says. DNA testing also revealed that various species of freshwater red algae may look identical during one stage of their life cycle. Scientists who collected algae that looked like small cotton balls from one stream could not detect any differences between them by just examining them under a microscope, Vis says. But further genetic analysis helped identify the balls as distinct species living in one stream— more evidence for the great diversity of freshwater red, she explains. Those findings have been made possible through the scientist’s work with the Ohio University Genomics Facility, which Vis and Professor Sarah Wyatt established in 2007 with a National Science Foundation grant. The facility provides genetic sequencing and analysis services to Ohio University faculty and students, as well as external researchers. One constant in Vis’ work is her dedication to offering research experiences to undergraduate and graduate students. For several years, she and Professor Harvey Ballard ran a global studies program that allowed students to travel to geographic biodiversity hot spots to learn field research techniques and collect new samples of algae and violets (Ballard’s specialty) in the various ecosystems. While she and her students still do work in the field, her current undergraduates—funded through university and National Science Foundation programs—are focused on learning DNA testing techniques to help identify and understand populations of freshwater red algae in certain regions. Amanda Szinte is conducting genetic testing on samples of algae collected by Vis and colleagues in Africa, in order to create the first comprehensive map of freshwater reds on this under-studied continent. The project has allowed Szinte to gain her first experience with lab work and DNA analysis in particular, she notes. Alexis Redmond, who is wrapping up her second year in the lab, recently completed a new survey of freshwater red algae in South Carolina, which is considered to be a biodiversity hot spot for algae and other plants and animals. The project required Redmond to compile all existing reports of freshwater reds, .1 4 / P E R S P E CTIVE S

FROM STREAM TO LAB

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(Above) Vis maintains samples of pressed freshwater red algae for study (foreground) in the university’s Bartley Herbarium research museum. Undergraduate student Alexis Redmond (background) gains experience with molecular analysis of algae species in the Vis lab in Porter Hall.

MENTORING STUDENTS

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(Above right) Vis trains students to identify different species of algae from traits that can be seen only under the microscope.


“That ownership is important for students to be able to think their way through a problem, get solutions to it, and work collaboratively with other people.” >>>>>>>>>>>>>> > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> MORGAN VIS

as well as analyze genetic data on recent samples, which led to the reporting of new species for that region. “It makes me feel that I am contributing to something,” says Redmond, who plans to use her DNA analysis expertise in a job or in future graduate school pursuits. Undergraduate research is important, Vis says, because it helps students understand the process of science and take ownership of pieces of a faculty’s overall research project. “That ownership is important for them to be able to think their way through a problem, get solutions to it, and work collaboratively with other people,” she says. “It really sets them up for the rest of their career, whether it be a career in industry or in graduate school.” Vis and her colleagues also are very involved with nurturing young scientists before they even step foot on the Ohio University campus. Vis participates in Tech Savvy, a program designed to introduce teen girls to hands-on science experiences. In her experiment, the students use microscopes to study the diversity of algae taken from

three tanks of water that represent a healthy stream, one impacted by acid mine drainage from an old coal mine, and polluted water that has been cleaned. “I think if I can show that there is a whole microscopic world out there of really interesting organisms, I feel like that’s a win for me,” Vis says. “Many of the students haven’t had the opportunity to use a microscope.” In the next stage of her research, Vis will focus her own lens on a new question: What microscopic algae live on freshwater reds? Vis is one of many scientists interested in the microbiome of living systems; another example would be the tiny bacteria that live on our skin and contribute to our overall health, she says. With the support of an Ohio University Research Committee grant, Vis will draw on the skills of her undergraduates, her field collection experience, and the technical capabilities of the Genomics Facility to take an even closer look at algae in an effort to understand its place in our stream ecosystems. n OHIO U N IV ERSIT Y / . 15


Where

Nukhet Sandal examines the role of religious figures in politics around the globe

RELIGION and STORY BY ANDREA GIBSON

uring the decades-long political conflict in Northern Ireland, some argued that the nation’s church leaders didn’t do enough to participate in public dialogue or take a stand on negotiating a peaceful end to what was known as “The Troubles,” notes Ohio University political science scholar Nukhet Sandal.

But Sandal’s research, featured in her new book Religious Leaders and Conflict Transformation: Northern Ireland and Beyond (Cambridge University Press), offers new insight into how the religious leaders quietly but deftly joined forces to help unite the divided communities and appeal to political rivals. Although focused on the historic situation in Northern Ireland, Sandal also examines situations across the globe in which ecclesiastical figures have played a more nuanced role in managing political and religious strife. “The way we look at politics has been very secular,” says Sandal, an associate professor of political science. “We don’t like bringing religious arguments or views into politics.” Political science experts are increasingly realizing that they can’t dismiss the role of religious actors, and there is a way to study religious dynamics in a community without judging them, she says. It’s crucial for politicians to understand this role, Sandal argues, in order to make effective policy. Sandal traces her interest in these issues to her own upbringing in Turkey: Her grandfather was a NATO general, and her family—comprising a mix of Sunni and Shia Muslims—wanted her to become a diplomat. Instead her academic experience put .1 6 / P E R S P E CTIVE S

her on a path to explore the convergence of religious, political, and cultural issues in various contexts around the world, which is the focus of her current scholarship. Several years ago, she turned her lens on how church leaders in Northern Ireland navigated the issue of conflict between Catholic and Protestant factions that dominated the country for decades. Sandal admits that “I went to Northern Ireland with the wrong questions at first,” as she anticipated that political leaders made frequent public references to religion. As she could not find many, instead she explored the subtle role religious leaders played throughout the conflict. Sandal interviewed more than 50 people for her book, focusing on religious leaders during the peak years of the conflict. In addition, she studied the 1968 to 2009 archives of four newspapers to understand what religious leaders were doing in the public eye—including statements made and initiatives pursued. The scholar documented a change in tone over the decades, as church leaders began to have a more active role and influence in politics. Initially, religious institutions distanced themselves from the conflict, although individual leaders consistently denounced the violence. As Sandal recounted at a 2018 Ohio University Contemporary History Institute lecture, church leaders realized that they needed to participate in political discourse after watching one church leader—Ian Paisley, who also founded his own political party—dominate the public debate. Presbyterian, Church of Ireland, Methodist, and Catholic leaders began to meet privately, finding

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common ground in their extensive training in theology and philosophy and embrace of intellectual discourse. They also quietly met with paramilitary leaders and politicians to try to advance a peaceful resolution to the conflict, she notes. By the 1980s, Sandal explains in her talk, these church leaders were beginning to speak up publicly about political matters, and also started holding theology classes and workshops for Christians of all denominations to foster discussions about community, citizenship, and leadership. Newspaper archives document calls for joint prayers, she adds. Sandal found that church leaders were influential in the cease-fire and development of the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement. In addition to examining Northern Ireland, Sandal’s new book explores other areas of the world in which religious actors played a more indirect role in political movements, such as Sierra Leone, Colombia, The Philippines, and South Africa. In the latter example, Sandal notes that apartheid had its origins in the church, but after the church renounced it, government policy followed. She doesn’t believe that apartheid would have been abolished so easily if the government initiated dismantling it while religious leaders still advocated for it in the community. “You need to pay attention to religious dynamics— who are the voices and how do they translate to policy?” she says of the takeaway lessons from the research. Sandal now is turning her attention to studying the philosophical differences between different jihadi organizations, which are not always well understood in the United States, she notes. These groups have differences in discourse, tone, and approach; for example, al Qaeda has primarily targeted Western locations and individuals, while ISIS was more focused on those who oppose its point of view—primarily other Muslims, she explains. In addition to conducting her own research, Sandal is committed to advancing scholarship in her field and educating the next generation of political scientists. She directs the university’s multidisciplinary Global Studies degree at the Center for International Studies, which has tracks in African Studies, Latin American Studies, Asian Studies, European Studies, and War and Peace Studies. Sandal also is co-editor, along with faculty members Geoff Dabelko and Brandon Kendhammer, of an Ohio University Press book series on human security. It’s a new way of looking at the issue of national security, she explains, with the emphasis on human right issues such as public health, economic development, and the environment. n

You need to pay attention to religious dynamics—who are the voices and how do they translate to policy?” NUKHET SANDAL

PHOTO: BEN SIEGEL

OHIO U N IV ERSIT Y / . 17


S T O RY B Y ANDREA GIBSON

PHOTOS BY BEN SIEGEL

How an engineer, an artist, and the community are working together to turn acid mine drainage into a paint pigment product

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>>

CIVIL ENGINEER GUY RIEFLER AND ARTIST JOHN SABRAW pulled the iron-rich

sludge from polluted streams in southeastern Ohio and transformed it into a paint pigment. This engineering feat—and its implications for the environment, the local economy, and art— has attracted attention from government and nonprofit groups, the art supply industry, scientists and engineers, as well as global media outlets such as Al Jazeera and the Weather Channel. > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

After almost a decade of laboratory research to perfect the process, the Ohio University faculty members, in conjunction with nonprofit organization Rural Action, launched a pilot production facility in Corning, Ohio, in summer 2018. With funding from the Sugar Bush Foundation and a donation from OHIO alumnus Dick Dickerson, the team designed and built a system to capture the iron runoff from an old coal mine and use it as the basis for professional artist-grade paint pigment. The runoff—a common problem in the region known as acid mine drainage— has been polluting the main stem of Sunday Creek that runs through the village of Corning for decades. If the pilot project is a success, it would not only generate the raw materials for a marketable product, but a larger scale version of the facility also could clean the pollution from the stream, opening up new recreation and tourism possibilities for the former coal community. “If we can convert this into a commodity, we can change this from a problem to something we can enrich the community with,” says Riefler, professor and chair of civil engineering in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology. The team plans to operate the pilot plant 24 hours per day through late fall, constantly monitoring and troubleshooting processes—previously tested in a lab setting—to meet the goal of producing a pound of iron oxide per day, Riefler says. The iron must be pure enough to produce an attractive paint pigment that industry will purchase, he notes. A full-scale facility—which would be required to produce enough iron oxide to meet the demands of the art supply industry and clean up the stream—would cost about $4.5 million. Although that figure sounds like a lot, “if you look at the dollar

“IF WE CAN CONVERT THIS INTO A COMMODITY, WE CAN CHANGE THIS FROM A PROBLEM TO SOMETHING THAT CAN ENRICH THE COMMUNITY.” GUY RIEFLER

per stream mile, this looks like a good buy,” as such a facility could restore miles of a long-troubled branch of Sunday Creek, says Michelle Shively, an Ohio University alumna who serves as the Sunday Creek Watershed Coordinator for Rural Action, an Athens County-based nonprofit organization. While the acid mine drainage remediation project addresses a very local problem, it’s been eye-opening to see how much it also has sparked a conversation with people around the world—from the news media and general public—about some broader questions about how scientists, artists, students, and community members can join forces to tackle big issues, says Sabraw, professor and chair of painting and drawing in the School of Art + Design in the College of Fine Arts. “The (project) has really given me a perspective on how pursuing a crazy idea at this level can have an impact on a broader scale,” Sabraw says. “I hadn’t expected that at all.” OHIO U N IV ERSIT Y / . 19


“TURNING A WASTE POLLUTANT INTO A COMMODITY ALLOWS US TO CLEAN UP A STREAM IN A WAY THAT NOT ONLY DOESN’T COST ANYTHING BUT ADDS VALUE ECONOMICALLY TO THE REGION.” MICHELLE SHIVELY

THE POLLUTION PROBLEM

>>

Water seeping through the region’s many old coal mines washes metals such as iron and aluminum into the local waterways, turning them a rust orange or milky white hue. At some affected streams, equipment has been installed to release alkaline lime to neutralize the acid mine drainage and make the water habitable for insects, fish, and other wildlife. One tributary of Sunday Creek has seen 17 species of native fish return after treatment began, while species diversity rose from four to 37 at Monday Creek, according to Shively. “We’ve brought life back to miles and miles of streams,” she says.

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A PROFITABLE SOLUTION

>>

Some acid mine drainage sites, such as the mine seep adjacent to Sunday Creek in the village of Corning, require an unconventional treatment approach. These sites either have a high rate of water flow or high concentration of pollutants—if not both, Riefler explains. But as treatment strategies can be expensive, Riefler began studying whether the iron in the acid mine drainage could be used to develop a profitable product that could offset the environmental cleanup costs. Inspired by a Swedish company that markets a red paint from copper mine runoff, Riefler experimented with using iron oxide to make paint pigment—going through years of trial and error and initial lack of interest from the U.S. commercial paint industry.

OHIO U N IV ERSIT Y / . 21


ENGINEERING MEETS FINE ARTS

>>

“It wasn’t really until I got an artist involved that things started to change—that’s when the project really started to get traction,” Riefler told an audience of university and community members at the Ohio University Science Café talk. That artist was Sabraw, who had a track record of partnering with scientists, promoting sustainable art practices, and using creative work to spark dialogue about environmental issues. Sabraw brought his expertise in how a quality paint pigment should look and behave—asking questions such as what is the right texture and luminosity? How does it mix with other commercial pigments?—to the table to help perfect the paint pigment, he explained at the Science Café. The iron oxide is removed and baked at different temperatures to create different colors—the hotter the temperature, the deeper red/violet it becomes.

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ARTIST JOHN SABRAW HAS A TRACK RECORD OF PARTNERING WITH SCIENTISTS, PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE ART PRACTICES, AND USING CREATIVE WORK TO SPARK DIALOGUE ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES.

A PRODUCT FOR THE MARKETPLACE

>>

Sabraw approached the Gamblin Artists Colors company in Portland, Oregon, about manufacturing the acid mine drainage pigment, as the company was known for supporting sustainable art practices. Gamblin now has produced 500 tubes of paint using the pigment created through the Ohio University process, which is patent-pending. The company’s involvement has attracted interest from other art supply organizations, which have asked about securing rights to exclusive colors, and some who have donated supplies to the student artists involved in creating public murals for the pigment production’s pilot facility, such as Dick Blick, One Shot, Krink, and IronLak, Sabraw says. By participating in the National Science Foundation- based I-Corps@Ohio program for faculty seeking to turn research innovations into marketable products, Riefler learned about the big U.S. market potential for iron oxide for the paint pigment industry, as most material currently is imported. Industry also needs iron oxide for products such as brick or concrete block that can be used in construction, Riefler found.

GAMBLIN HAS NOW PRODUCED

500

TUBES OF PAINT

using the pigment created through the Ohio University process. OHIO U N IV ERSIT Y / . 23


THE PILOT PLANT

>>

Students have helped develop the design of the pilot facility, which features three tanks. Water is pumped from the creek 15 feet up to the first tower of the facility and falls through a series of three aeration trays (which are manufactured from reclaimed industrial waste). Aeration brings the water and iron in contact with oxygen, creating the necessary chemistry to start formation of iron oxide. Next, in the two settling tanks, the iron and water sit as visible crystals of rust-colored iron oxide form. Finally, the acidic water is released from the tanks through a bed of slag, a waste product of the steel industry that is alkaline in nature, in order to neutralize the water before it re-enters the stream. Eventually, the slag loses its alkaline properties; Sabraw explains that the team is engineering a process to remove it and replace it with fresh material every few weeks. The old slag can be used as gravel, Riefler adds.

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LEARNING LAB

>>

Working with a southeastern Ohio community to solve a real-world problem is one of the unique learning opportunities for the many Ohio University students involved in the treatment facility project, Sabraw notes. The project has brought together art and engineering students to work collaboratively as a team to develop the paint pigment process and design the facility. That includes creating a wall around the facility that will feature Corning’s coal mining history as well as serve as public art. During a planning session, the students and Sabraw discussed how the piece needed to reflect and meet the needs of the community.

COMMUNITY PARTNERS

“IT’S A POLLUTION REMEDIATION PROJECT AT ITS HEART—WE’RE TRYING TO RESTORE THE STREAM.”

>>

The Ohio University and Rural Action team have worked closely with the village council and community members of Corning, which agreed to use its public park as the site for the pilot-scale treatment facility. Like other small towns and villages in southeastern Ohio, Corning was once part of a thriving coal industry, but has struggled economically in the decades since the mines closed, Shively notes. “Turning a waste pollutant into a commodity allows us to clean up a stream in a way that not only doesn’t cost anything but adds value economically to the region,” Shively says about the benefits to the village. A full-scale facility that produces about 290,000 pounds of iron oxide could generate revenues of $217,000 in sales, which would allow a nonprofit to pay a couple of employees to run and maintain the facility, keeping the project financially sustainable while cleaning the environment, Riefler notes. “It’s a pollution remediation project at its heart—we’re trying to restore the stream,” he says. n

GUY RIEFLER OHIO U N IV ERSIT Y / . 25


OF A MEDICAL TREND STORY BY JIM PHILLIPS

Heritage College Professor Jacqueline Wolf tracks the history and practice of cesarean sections in the United States

n her new book on the history of cesarean section in the United States, Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine Professor Jacqueline Wolf solves a mystery posed by her previous book. In her 2009 volume Deliver Me from Pain: Anesthesia and Birth in America, Wolf, a historian of medicine, described the salient characteristics of U.S. childbirth today: chemical induction of labor, epidural anesthesia, and a high cesarean section rate. An expert on the history of American childbirth practices, Wolf became curious about the cesarean rate—now nearly 32 percent of births. Her research into how this surgery was “normalized” became Cesarean Section: An American History of Risk, Technology, and Consequence, published by Johns Hopkins University Press. The professor received funding from the National Institutes of Health for the work. Based on birth records from the 18th through the early 20th centuries, Wolf found that “historically, about 5 percent of human births run into trouble,” she says. “Knowing that, I wondered: How, in an era with better nutrition, better pre-natal care, and better medical care in general, did we end up with one in three births being deemed such a serious problem that they end in major abdominal surgery?” She offers a multifaceted answer that considers medical technology; the malpractice climate; health care financing; public, medical, and media perceptions of childbirth; changes in obstetrician training; and the effect of the women’s movement, all of which influenced assessments of the risks of labor and birth. “At the Heritage College, we emphasize the need to pay attention to social determinants of health,” notes Ken Johnson, executive dean of the Heritage College and Ohio University chief medical affairs officer. “Dr. Wolf’s scholarly work reminds us that those factors go beyond issues like race, income, and education; they also include the perceptions and assumptions of patients and the medical community.” SAFETY MEASURE OR RISKY PROCEDURE?

In the 19th century, doctors avoided cesareans at almost any cost. Before antibiotics and blood-banking, surgeries were often more perilous than the conditions that prompted them, so a C-section was typically a last-ditch measure to save a mother’s life. Yet as surgery became safer, cesareans increased only slightly; by the mid-1960s, they accounted for 4.5 percent of births. The large increase since then reflects changes in perception. Today, many physicians and patients see vaginal birth as the risk, and C-section as a way to avoid that risk. Evidence contradicts this view, however. U.S. maternal mortality is the highest among developed countries—and cesareans contribute to it. Its risks include infection, .2 6 / P E R S P E CTIVE S

“most of the cesarean surgeries performed today are not medically necessary.” JACQUELINE WOLF


CESAREANS ACCOUNT FOR

32

PERCENT OF BIRTHS TODAY

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>>>>>>

compared to 4.5 percent in the mid-1960s A HISTORIAN OF MEDICINE

>>

(Left) Jacqueline Wolf is the author of the new book Cesarean Section: An American History of Risk, Technology, and Consequence, published by Johns Hopkins University Press. PHOTO: BEN SIEGEL

an d ”

hemorrhage, and placental abnormalities in subsequent pregnancies. After researchers control for factors that prompted a cesarean, Wolf says, “They have found that mothers who have cesarean sections die at three times the rate of mothers who have given birth vaginally.” Cesarean birth also poses risks for newborns; in bypassing the birth canal, where fluid is squeezed from the lungs, cesarean-born infants are more likely to suffer from asthma, for example. FROM AVOIDING TO NORMALIZING CESAREANS

The cesarean rate began rising sharply in the late 1960s, when childbirth was continually in the news, often making birth seem dangerous. When First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy gave birth by C-section, she made the once-arcane surgery a household phrase. When her second son died shortly after birth, his death was national news. Damage done during fetal development by the drug Thalidomide, and the ubiquitous March of Dimes campaign to prevent birth defects, similarly associated childbirth with danger. The “Friedman curve,” charting a typical labor, was introduced in the early 1950s. Once its use became common, labors not conforming to it were labeled as not progressing properly, and possibly requiring a C-section. The linking of birth to danger encouraged widespread acceptance of the electronic fetal monitor, introduced in 1969. EFM let physicians constantly monitor the fetal heartrate, but its printout was hard to interpret, often leading doctors to wrongly conclude a baby was in distress and in need of a C-section. Yet as late as 2008, one study found that four obstetricians shown the same fetal heart tracings agreed on their meaning only 22 percent of the time.

INTERVENTION TRUMPS PATIENCE IN THE DELIVERY ROOM

Changes in obstetric training also played a role in the rise of cesareans. For Emanuel Friedman, creator of the Friedman curve, training included sitting by women’s beds and observing entire labors. The bedside vigil was abandoned as the EFM became standard; when Wolf has told medical residents about this once-fundamental part of obstetrician training, “all of them said the same thing—‘I can’t even imagine doing that.’” Without the experience of viewing entire labors, physicians are apt to intervene sooner, rather than letting a long labor take its course. And today, physicians often will choose what Wolf calls “the one procedure that more recently trained obstetricians are especially comfortable performing”—the cesarean. More pregnant women view C-section as normal than did mothers 40 years ago, too. LOWERING THE CESAREAN RATE

Wolf believes it’s time to correct skewed perceptions of the risks of birth. “The onus of risk, once squarely on cesarean section, is now on vaginal birth,” she says. While a cesarean is sometimes necessary and even lifesaving, she adds, the types of conditions requiring one occur only rarely. “Most of the cesarean surgeries performed today are not medically necessary,” she concludes. “Vaginal birth not only has many benefits for both women and babies, it is considerably safer than a medically unnecessary cesarean.” n OHIO U N IV ERSIT Y / . 27


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C LOS E UP

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT Annual expo showcases student research involvement ore than 900 Ohio University students highlighted their research, scholarship, and creative work in 651 presentations at the Student Expo in April. The annual event, held at the Convocation Center, provides a showcase of the original work of Ohio University undergraduate, graduate, and medical students. Students can choose to present their findings to a panel of judges, who can award up to $150 in prizes for the top presentation in each category. More than 200 judges, primarily composed of Ohio University faculty and staff, volunteer each year. This group has expanded in recent years to include alumni, industry partners, and community members. The judges—as well as university and community visitors—give student participants an opportunity to discuss their work with a lay audience, building crucial communication skills that will aid them in their education and careers. LEARN MORE The 2019 event will be held on Thursday, April 11. For more information about presenting, serving as a judge, or attending the event, visit www.ohio.edu/studentexpo.

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>> > > > > > >> > > > > > >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

(Far left): OHIO President M. Duane Nellis delivers an award to graduate student Debra Walter for her diabetes research. PHOTO: MEAGAN HALL

(Above) Xueying Ko experiences a virtual reality crime simulation game on display at the Expo. PHOTO: EVAN LEONARD

(Left) Undergraduate student Demi Reed receives an award for her chemistry research. PHOTO: MEAGAN HALL (Below) Student Jesus Sanchez of Perceptive Prosections works on a painting as part of his team’s presentation on life and decay. PHOTO: EVAN LEONARD

OHIO U N IV ERSIT Y / . 29


Non-Profit Organization US Postage Vice President for Research and Creative Activity Perspectives magazine Research and Technology Center 120 1 Ohio University Athens OH 45701-2979

STUDENT EX P 0 2 018 / OHI O UN IV ER SITY CO N VO C ATI O N C E N TE R

team of OHIO students at the 2018 Student Research and Creative Activity Expo demonstrate the >> Acircuitry behind their electronic, stringless guitar. It was one of 651 presentations on display at the Convocation Center in April. PHOTO: EVAN LEONARD

PAID

Athens, OH Permit No. 100

>> SECOND LOOK (See story on page 28)


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