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March 2008

What's going on at Ohio State?

Powerful people ignore dissenting opinions, a study finds. University astronomers help discover two planets in a faraway solar system that mirrors our own. Students take more safety risks while carrying cell phones, researchers find. One in four women with HIV want to get pregnant, according to a new Ohio State study. The Alumni Magazine examines how public TV has changed over the years. The women's basketball team wins its fourth straight Big Ten title. University scientists say aromatherapy doesn't enhance the immune system. And a super-marathon runner completes a 150-mile race in honor of her father, whose multiple sclerosis was treated at Ohio State.

Power plays

Have you ever griped to colleagues that your boss ignores your opinions? Ohio State researchers have a theory as to why that happens--and what you can do to get your points across.

Bosses tend to ignore their underlings' ideas when they're feeling their power, researchers say; knowing how and where to approach them makes workers more likely to succeed in asking for a raise or pitching a new strategy.

Find out how to use this knowledge to your advantage.

Celestial discovery

Five thousand light years away, two gaseous planets spin around a star.

Scientists believe the planets mirror Jupiter and Saturn--and two Ohio State professors think these scaled-down versions of our solar system are very common. Thanks to a new astronomy technique, they believe astronomers will eventually detect planets like almost every one in our solar system.

Find out how astronomers discovered the planets.

Safe phoning

Carrying a cell phone makes students feel safer while walking at night. Unfortunately, that false sense of security can lead students to walk in unsafe areas and ignore their surroundings, according to a new study.

"Students seem to feel less vulnerable when they carry a cell phone, although there’s not evidence that they really are," said Professor Jack Nasar. "If anything, they are probably less safe because they are paying less attention to their surroundings."

Find out how gender influences perceptions of safety.

Pregnant, with HIV

In the early 1980s, a diagnosis of HIV seemed like a death sentence. But the development of new drugs has allowed people with HIV to lead relatively normal lives--and for many women, that includes motherhood.

According to a new Ohio State study, one in four women with HIV want to become pregnant. In the study, the youngest women were nearly four times more likely to want to become pregnant than women who were over 30 when they were diagnosed.

Find out more about the study--and learn how doctors have reduced the mother-to-child transmission rate.

From Sesame Street to Nova

Mr. Rogers' cardigan. Barney. The Teletubbies. Antiques Roadshow. Masterpiece Theatre.

Since the Corporation for Public Broadcasting formed in 1968, public television has deeply imbedded itself in the American psyche. In Central Ohio, WOSU-TV has been the source of PBS programs and locally produced shows such as ArtZine and Columbus on the Record.

Ohio State's Alumni Magazine recently examined how educational entertainment has changed since WOSU-TV first came on the air.

Read the full story.

B-ball hall of fame

When Marscilla Packer, Tamarah Riley, and Alice Jamen graduate, the seniors will have a unique distinction: They are the winningest class in Ohio State women's basketball history, with four consecutive Big Ten basketball titles.

Winning a conference title is a feat for any team--but Coach Jim Foster said even he was surprised that such a young team could accomplish so much. "We figured out how to do a lot of things with the parts that were available and didn't spend a lot of time dwelling on the parts that weren't available," he said.

Read more.

Study: Scents don't make sense

If aromatherapy practitioners' claims were true, lemon and lavender would be wonder drugs: Lemon oil, some claim, can treat cellulite, increase blood flow, and stimulate immune function, while lavender can soothe indigestion and stave off viruses and the flu.

A recent Ohio State study, however, found that lavender and lemon have no effect on the immune status, pain, or stress levels. The study of 56 healthy volunteers was one of the most comprehensive scientific investigations of aromatherapy.

Find out more about the study.

Marathoning for M.S.

Elizabeth Smith was raised to be athletic. Her father, Richard Burrey, encouraged his daughter's athletic pursuits and constantly cheered her on from the sidelines.

So when Smith decided to participate in the Marathon des Sables--a 150-mile foot race through the Sahara--it was a natural choice to run in honor of her late father. Smith finished in 55 hours, raising about $10,000 for The Ohio State University Medical Center, where Burrey was treated for progressive multiple sclerosis.

Find out more about Burrey and the race.

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