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WVU grad student studying healthy development through sport in South Africa

A West Virginia University graduate student hopes to help African youth through sport. Zenzi Huysmans, who was born in the Kingdom of eSwatini in southern Africa, wants to give back to her home country by determining whether sport-based initiatives are an effective tool to support healthy development for young Swazis.

MEDIA ADVISORY: WVU and MARS host international robotics competition

West Virginia University and Mountaineer Area Robotics to host West Virginia Robotics Extreme, the world's only 26-hour endurance robotics competition. The competition features sophisticated robots designed by teams of high school students from around the world. This year's game “Power Up” takes the robots inside an 8-bit video game themed field.

WVU experts are available to talk about food-safety regulations and how to prevent foodborne illnesses

West Virginia University expert Simon Haeder says the massive increases in food recall over the last five years-- 92.7 percent for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and 83.4 percent for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (according to a study by the Stericycle Recall Index)-- could be attributed to alterations in agency regulations. Another WVU expert, Jacek Jaczynski, said it’s simple to avoid illness by washing hands and thoroughly cooking food.

WVU expert says water on Mars would be extremely acidic but could host life

With new and compelling evidence for water existing beneath the south pole of Mars, a West Virginia University professor says this underground lake is likely to be extremely salty and more acidic than battery acid. Life forms that can survive in extreme physical and geochemical conditions are found in abundance in acid salt lakes such as those in Chile and western Australia, she said.

WVU expert available for comment on West Virginia population decline— and the solution

West Virginia’s population loss, driven by more people moving out of state than moving in and a negative birth-to-death rate, could be helped by an improving economy, according to a West Virginia University economics expert; however, he said, the state has to have “fundamental economic reform” to reverse the trend. According to the Pew Charitable Trust, West Virginia was one of only two states to see a population decrease (18,000 or 1 percent) between 2007 and 2017.

Rabies risk: WVU expert offers advice for limiting exposure to this viral disease

Every year, approximately 2,500 animal bites and other potential rabies encounters are reported across the state. In 2018, at least three animals have tested positive for rabies in West Virginia, as well as a number of animals in the bordering counties of neighboring states. Though this viral disease should not be taken lightly, according to West Virginia University Extension Service wildlife specialist Sheldon Owen, you can greatly reduce your risk of coming in contact with a rabid animal by taking a few simple precautions.

Statler College to host Middle and Elementary School Engineering Challenge Camps

The Statler College will host two Engineering Challenge Camps the week of July 23. Engineering the Grand Challenges will immerse middle school campers in activities related to the National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenges. Highlights include activities related to infrastructure, cybersecurity and virtual reality. Move and Improve, a camp for elementary school students, will feature activities ranging from building composite bones to constructing and assembling module houses.

STORY PITCH: High school students tackle childhood health challenges in their communities

Next week, 125 high school juniors from 26 counties across West Virginia will attend a Health Sciences Technology Academy Biomedical Summer Institute camp at the West Virginia University Health Sciences Center to learn about early-childhood obesity, healthy diets and best practices in physical activity. They will also devise their own research projects related to childhood obesity and its prevention. In the fall, they will carry out their projects in local after-school programs for preschoolers.

WVU’s new path to M.D. degree will reduce student debt, address state’s health needs

West Virginia University School of Medicine students can compete for a spot in the new Mountaineer Accelerated Track to Enter Residency, or MATTER program, which provides a fast-track curriculum option— allowing students to graduate earlier and with less debt. Beginning with the Class of 2022, entering in August, medical students can shave one semester off the four-year program. The program is aimed at getting medical professionals into patient care sooner to meet the state’s health needs and to help minimize student loan debt.