University of Cincinnati

  Computer-generated virtual environments have been commonly used in training programs for first responders, pilots, and members of the military. But they also have a wide variety of other potential uses, from industry to medicine. Joining us to discuss the educational and practical applications of virtual environments, 3D modeling and virtual reality software are Chris Collins, project manager at the University of Cincinnati Center for Simulations & Virtual Environments Research; Dr. Michael Richardson, associate professor at the UC Center for Cognition, Action, and Perception;  and Dr. Adam Kiefer, TEAM VR Laboratory director at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center’'s Division of Sports Medicine.

The University of Cincinnati and the University of Michigan are joining with Eli Lilly to research ways to treat and reduce chronic pain.

The newly created Midwest Pain Consortium aims to find what causes certain kinds of pain, like fibromyalgia, and seek out new drug and non-pharmaceutical treatments.

According to the Institute of Medicine, chronic pain affects 100 million Americans.

John Brackett, a retired history professor from U.C., has penned his first novel, Suffer the Little Children, a crime tale set in modern day Over the Rhine. He stopped by our studio to talk about this new career and his first book with Barbara Gray.


Lewis Owen, head of the University of Cincinnati's geology department, deals in very small quantities.

He shows off what important stuff is left of one sample he brought home from the Himalayas. “That’s a little steel disk and on it is just a little smear of sand grains," Owen said.

With the samples he brings home, Owen is trying to map where glaciers used to be , where they've moved and how climate change will affect the world’s future. For a quarter century The University of Cincinnati professor has been making trips to China, Tibet, India and Pakistan.

  The youngest members of the baby boom generation are turning 50, yet they are more active, more youthful, then previous generations that have crossed that milestone. The Live Well Collaborative is a non-profit founded in 2007 by the University of Cincinnati and Procter and Gamble to specialize in research and development of products and services for this large and growing 50-plus market.

That old saying, "you hit a nerve" may have to go out the proverbial window.

A researcher at the University of Cincinnati has proved something called Merkel cells are what actually allow us to sense touch.

Pain researcher Jianguo Gu made the discovery by studying hair follicles in rat whiskers.

The results could help doctors treat or prevent diabetes, fibromyalgia and certain pathological conditions.

The study's findings are published in the April 15 edition of the scientific journal, Cell.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

A solar panel is typically made up of lots of silicon cells that together form a circuit. The electrons zip through the panels to create electricity in a very efficient manner. But what if scientists could create the same efficiency in a different material that was cheaper?

Fei Yu, a University of Cincinnati doctoral student in materials engineering, is studying how to make polymer solar cells more efficient. Right now their performance is well below the most efficient silicon solar panels.

Why polymers:

University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati is stepping up efforts to improve safety around its main campus.

Block By Block Safety Ambassadors will fan out in neighborhoods surrounding University Heights. The idea is to improve safety and security in high foot-traffic areas. Crime around the UC campus has been making students and neighbors increasingly uneasy during the past year.

In a release the university says:

Ann Thompson / WVXU

 The Cincinnati Fire Department is looking into the possibility of using drones in the future. The city is partnering with the University of Cincinnati to test, what promises to be, a turn-key system.

The whirr and the sight of this small quadroter freezes University of Cincinnati students in their tracks as they stare at it in subzero temperatures.

Graduate Student Bryan Brown says, “Oh yes, every time we do this we have about 10 people stop and they’ll come up and take videos, especially when it’s warmer.”

Ohio EPA

One of the still hotly contested debates over fracking is whether the practice of extracting trapped gas underground contaminates drinking water. Researchers at the University of Cincinnati are using an expensive machine to determine whether, at least in eastern Ohio, any contamination is naturally occurring or from fracking.

There's no shortage of negative publicity when it comes to fracking. Take the 2010 documentary "Gasland."