WVU researchers tackle food safety issues for local farmers

The WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design and WVU Extension Service Small Farm Center are partnering to develop a three-step wash process to help mitigate food safety risks associated with locally grown fresh produce in the state.

Looking beyond the tooth: WVU studies impact of social support on kids’ oral health

Limiting sugary drinks and insisting on regular toothbrushing can prevent tooth decay in kids. Maybe providing their mothers with social support can, too. A study by Daniel McNeil, a WVU School of Dentistry researcher, suggests children may be less likely to have a lot of cavities if their mothers have someone to talk to about their problems.

WVU researcher finds link between deprivation and rural suicide rates

This is National Suicide Prevention Week, and John Campo—the chief behavior wellness officer at West Virginia University—is examining trends in suicide rates to make suicide prevention more effective. His recent findings suggest that rural residents may be especially vulnerable to suicide when they face economic challenges.

WVU researchers to spearhead collaborative opioid treatment program in rural counties

West Virginia University’s expertise on combating the opioid epidemic will be utilized in a federally-funded program targeting seven rural West Virginia counties. The project, supported by a $1 million U.S. Department of Health and Human Services award, aims to strengthen opioid abuse prevention, treatment and recovery services in Calhoun, Gilmer, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Jackson and Tyler counties.

WVU researcher studies differences in the immune systems of men and women

Females are less susceptible to infection but are 10 times more likely than males to develop an autoimmune disorder, such as hypothyroidism or rheumatoid arthritis. The female immune system is “a double-edged sword” in that way, said Jennifer Franko, a teaching assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Cell Biology at the West Virginia University School of Medicine.

Using bacteria from hot springs, WVU biochemist studies RNA splicing in humans

About 70 percent of the human genome doesn’t code for anything. When it’s transcribed to RNA—the instructions our cells follow when they make proteins—most of the message doesn’t contain any useful information. As West Virginia University researcher Aaron Robart put it, it’s “junk DNA.”