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November 2006

What's going on at Ohio State?

Ohio State Professor Debby Miller teaches pet owners at Puppy Kindergarten. With a new park, the university pays tribute to veterans. An undergraduate figures out how monarch butterflies get from Ohio to Mexico. Two recent surprising studies point to unexpected sources in the fight against Alzheimer's. Researchers peer inside quasars, the brightest objects in the universe. The alumni association recognizes some fascinating grads. And the Buckeyes gear up to play their biggest rival.

Welcome to Puppy Kindergarten

Ohio State has its own version of the prime-time Dog Whisperer: psychology instructor Debby Miller.

Miller has a flair for calming pups and "parents" alike. She puts her talent to good use with a new Puppy Kindergarten program for dogs 8 to 16 weeks old--young enough to learn behaviors that will govern how they act for the rest of their lives--and their owners.

"We want owners to have good scientifically-based information about animal behavior and learning so that they can do a good job and have the best likelihood of having a successful relationship with their pet," she says.

Read Miller's dog-training tips and see the pups in action.

Saluting Ohio State vets

flags at ceremony

Ohio State has strong military roots: In 1870, the university opened as the Ohio Agricultural, Military, and Mechanical College, requiring students to take classes in tactics and drill.

Recently, the Athletics Department and ROTC dedicated Remembrance Park just north of the Horseshoe. The park, which includes a Wall of Honor and Remembrance, will be used for ROTC formations and ceremonies and for family activities during sports weekends.

See a photo of the park and read more. And find out about the history and traditions of the ROTC at Ohio State.

Mapping monarchs

monarch butterfly

Alyssa LaRue was mystified by the monarchs that leave her family's Pickaway County farm in droves each fall. LaRue, an Ohio State sophomore, couldn't stop wondering how such fragile creatures make their annual 3,000 mile trip from Ohio to Mexico.

After studying the butterflies for six years, she recently explained their journey in an article published in the Ohio Journal of Science.

Find out how the butterflies make the trip.

Fighting Alzheimer's

Two recent Ohio State studies of Alzheimer's have found that alcohol and a marijuana-like compound may help fight the disease.

In one study, moderate drinking--equivalent to a couple of daily drinks--was found to improve lab rats' memories.

In another, psychology Professor Gary Wenk found that a lab-produced compound similar to marijuana helped old, forgetful rats navigate a maze--evidence that marijuana may slow the progression of Alzheimer's. Wenk says regular marijuana smokers of the 1960s and 1970s rarely develop Alzheimer's disease. Researchers want to develop a drug with medical properties of marijuana, but without the drug's psychoactive effects.

Read more about the alcohol study and the marijuana research.

A peek inside quasars

quasar x-ray

Quasars have intrigued scientists since they were discovered in the 1950s.

The brightest objects in the universe and some of the furthest from Earth, they were something of a mystery--until recently, when Ohio State researchers used the alignment of galaxies to determine that quasars contain black holes.

Find out more about the research. And view the amazing images--fluorescent X-ray patterns--that occur when material is pulled into a black hole.

Props to some Buckeye greats

Charlie Wolf defied a grim prognosis--six months to live--and went on to write books about surviving brain cancer. Karen Sliter helps farmers export their wares internationally and worked to rid Africa of the tsetse fly. And Sandra Wang-Harris has dedicated her career to optometry outreach, including founding an Alabama clinic exclusively for HIV-positive eye care patients.

These outstanding Ohio State alumni--and 13 more--were recently recognized by the Ohio State Alumni Association.

See this year's award-winners. And find out more about the awards.

Goal: A perfect season

OSU vs. UM

The Buckeyes cap their perfect season this month with a game that sums up the spirit of competition: Ohio State v. Michigan, which ESPN has named the greatest sports rivalry of all time.

Before the big game, see Ohio State's Michigan Week activities. And check out vintage Ohio State/Michigan football programs from The Ohio State University Archives.

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