Destination Areas provide faculty and students with new tools to identify and solve complex, 21st-century problems in which Virginia Tech already has significant strengths and can take a global leadership role. The initiative represents the next step in the evolution of the land-grant university to meet economic and societal needs of the world. DAs connect the full span of relevant knowledge necessary for addressing issues comprehensively. Humanistic, scientific, and technological perspectives are addressed in relationship to one another and they are treated as complementary to overcome traditional academic boundaries, such as those that separate the STEM fields and liberal arts. [http://provost.vt.edu/destination-areas.html]

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Recent Submissions

  • A minimally managed switchgrass ecosystem in a humid subtropical climate is a source of carbon to the atmosphere 

    Ahlswede, Benjamin J.; O'Halloran, Thomas L.; Forsythe, Jeremy D.; Thomas, R. Quinn (Wiley, 2021-11-06)
    Bioenergy has been identified as a key component of climate change mitigation. Therefore, quantifying the net carbon balance of bioenergy feedstocks is crucial for accurate projections of climate mitigation benefits. ...
  • The unusual cell wall of the Lyme disease spirochaete Borrelia burgdorferi is shaped by a tick sugar 

    DeHart, Tanner G.; Kushelman, Mara R.; Hildreth, Sherry B.; Helm, Richard F.; Jutras, Brandon L. (Springer Nature, 2021-11-24)
    Peptidoglycan—a mesh sac of glycans that are linked by peptides—is the main component of bacterial cell walls. Peptidoglycan provides structural strength, protects cells from osmotic pressure and contributes to shape. All ...
  • Modeling the effects of Aedes aegypti’s larval environment on adult body mass at emergence 

    Walker, Melody; Chandrasegaran, Karthikeyan; Vinauger, Clément; Robert, Michael A.; Childs, Lauren M. (PLoS, 2021-11-22)
    Mosquitoes vector harmful pathogens that infect millions of people every year, and developing approaches to effectively control mosquitoes is a topic of great interest. However, the success of many control measures is ...
  • West Nile Virus Vaccination Protects against Usutu Virus Disease in Mice 

    Salgado, Rebecca; Hawks, Seth A.; Frere, Francesca; Vázquez, Ana; Huang, Claire Y.-H.; Duggal, Nisha K. (MDPI, 2021-11-23)
    West Nile virus (WNV) and Usutu virus (USUV) are mosquito-borne flaviviruses that can cause neuroinvasive disease in humans. WNV and USUV circulate in both Africa and Europe and are closely related. Due to antigenic ...
  • Epigenetic Mechanisms in Memory and Cognitive Decline Associated with Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease 

    Maity, Sabyasachi; Farrell, Kayla; Navabpour, Shaghayegh; Narayanan, Sareesh Naduvil; Jarome, Timothy J. (MDPI, 2021-11-13)
    Epigenetic mechanisms, which include DNA methylation, a variety of post-translational modifications of histone proteins (acetylation, phosphorylation, methylation, ubiquitination, sumoylation, serotonylation, dopaminylation), ...
  • Connectivity: insights from the US Long Term Ecological Research Network 

    Iwaniec, David M.; Gooseff, Michael; Suding, Katharine N.; Samuel Johnson, David; Reed, Daniel C.; Peters, Debra P. C.; Adams, Byron; Barrett, John E.; Bestelmeyer, Brandon T.; Castorani, Max C. N.; Cook, Elizabeth M.; Davidson, Melissa J.; Groffman, Peter M.; Hanan, Niall P.; Huenneke, Laura F.; Johnson, Pieter T. J.; McKnight, Diane M.; Miller, Robert J.; Okin, Gregory S.; Preston, Daniel L.; Rassweiler, Andrew; Ray, Chris; Sala, Osvaldo E.; Schooley, Robert L.; Seastedt, Timothy; Spasojevic, Marko J.; Vivoni, Enrique R. (2021-05)
    Ecosystems across the United States are changing in complex and surprising ways. Ongoing demand for critical ecosystem services requires an understanding of the populations and communities in these ecosystems in the future. ...
  • Prolonged epigenomic and synaptic plasticity alterations following single exposure to a psychedelic in mice 

    de la Fuente Revenga, Mario; Zhu, Bohan; Guevara, Christopher A.; Naler, Lynette B.; Saunders, Justin M.; Zhou, Zirui; Toneatti, Rudy; Sierra, Salvador; Wolstenholme, Jennifer T.; Beardsley, Patrick M.; Huntley, George W.; Lu, Chang; González-Maso, Javier (Cell Press, 2021-10-19)
    Clinical evidence suggests that rapid and sustained antidepressant action can be attained with a single exposure to psychedelics. However, the biological substrates and key mediators of psychedelics’ enduring action remain ...
  • Integrated assessment modeling reveals near-channel management as cost-effective to improve water in watersheds 

    Hansen, Amy T.; Campbell, Todd; Cho, Se Jong; Czuba, Jonathan A.; Dalzell, Brent J.; Dolph, Christine L.; Hawthorne, Peter L.; Rabotyagov, Sergey; Lang, Zhengxin; Kumarasamy, Karthik; Belmont, Patrick; Finlay, Jacques C.; Foufoula-Georgiou, Efi; Gran, Karen B.; Kling, Catherine L.; Wilcock, Peter (2021-07-13)
    Despite decades of policy that strives to reduce nutrient and sediment export from agricultural fields, surface water quality in intensively managed agricultural landscapes remains highly degraded. Recent analyses show ...
  • Multi-Species Genomics-Enabled Selection for Improving Agroecosystems Across Space and Time 

    Wolfe, Marnin D.; Jannink, Jean-Luc; Kantar, Michael B.; Santantonio, Nicholas (2021-06-23)
    Plant breeding has been central to global increases in crop yields. Breeding deserves praise for helping to establish better food security, but also shares the responsibility of unintended consequences. Much work has been ...
  • Leveraging the NEON Airborne Observation Platform for socio-environmental systems research 

    Ordway, Elsa M.; Elmore, Andrew J.; Kolstoe, Sonja; Quinn, John E.; Swanwick, Rachel; Cattau, Megan; Taillie, Dylan; Guinn, Steven M.; Chadwick, K. Dana; Atkins, Jeff W.; Blake, Rachael E.; Chapman, Melissa; Cobourn, Kelly; Goulden, Tristan; Helmus, Matthew R.; Hondula, Kelly; Hritz, Carrie; Jensen, Jennifer; Julian, Jason P.; Kuwayama, Yusuke; Lulla, Vijay; O'Leary, Donal; Nelson, Donald R.; Ocon, Jonathan P.; Pau, Stephanie; Ponce-Campos, Guillermo E.; Portillo-Quintero, Carlos; Pricope, Narcisa G.; Rivero, Rosanna G.; Schneider, Laura; Steele, Meredith; Tulbure, Mirela G.; Williamson, Matthew A.; Wilson, Cyril (2021-06)
    During the 21st century, human-environment interactions will increasingly expose both systems to risks, but also yield opportunities for improvement as we gain insight into these complex, coupled systems. Human-environment ...
  • Gradients of Anthropogenic Nutrient Enrichment Alter N Composition and DOM Stoichiometry in Freshwater Ecosystems 

    Wymore, Adam S.; Johnes, Penny J.; Bernal, Susana; Brookshire, E. N. Jack; Fazekas, Hannah M.; Helton, Ashley M.; Argerich, Alba; Barnes, Rebecca T.; Coble, Ashley A.; Dodds, Walter K.; Haq, Shahan; Johnson, Sherri L.; Jones, Jeremy B.; Kaushal, Sujay S.; Kortelainen, Pirkko; Lopez-Lloreda, Carla; Rodriguez-Cardona, Bianca M.; Spencer, Robert G. M.; Sullivan, Pamela L.; Yates, Christopher A.; McDowell, William H. (2021-08)
    A comprehensive cross-biome assessment of major nitrogen (N) species that includes dissolved organic N (DON) is central to understanding interactions between inorganic nutrients and organic matter in running waters. Here, ...
  • Sex and region-specific effects of variable stress on microglia morphology 

    Tsyglakovaa, Mariya; Huskey, Alisa M.; Hurst, Emily H.; Telep, Natalie M.; Wilding, Mary C.; Babington, Meghan E.; Rainville, Jennifer R.; Hodes, Georgia E. (Elsevier, 2021-11-06)
    Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a common and debilitating mood disorder that is more prevalent in women than men. In humans, PET imaging of microglia activation is currently being explored as a potential biomarker of ...
  • The Influence of Southwestern Virginia Environmental Conditions on the Potential Ability of Haemaphysalis longicornis, Amblyomma americanum, and Amblyomma maculatum to Overwinter in the Region 

    Whitlow, Amanda Marie; Schürch, Roger; Mullins, Donald; Eastwood, Gillian (MDPI, 2021-11-06)
    Ticks are susceptible to environmental conditions and, to ensure survival during winter conditions, they adopt a wide variety of physiological and behavioral adaptations including utilization of a suitable niche with ...
  • Transcriptional Changes in Pearl Millet Leaves under Heat Stress 

    Huang, Dejun; Sun, Min; Zhang, Ailing; Chen, Jishan; Zhang, Jian; Lin, Chuang; Zhang, Huan; Lu, Xiaowen; Wang, Xiaoshan; Yan, Haidong; Tang, Jianan; Huang, Linkai (MDPI, 2021-10-28)
    High-temperature stress negatively affects the growth and development of plants, and therefore threatens global agricultural safety. Cultivating stress-tolerant plants is the current objective of plant breeding programs. ...
  • Age-Related Intrinsic Functional Connectivity Changes of Locus Coeruleus from Childhood to Older Adults 

    Song, Inuk; Neal, Joshua; Lee, Tae-Ho (MDPI, 2021-11-10)
    The locus coeruleus is critical for selective information processing by modulating the brain’s connectivity configuration. Increasingly, studies have suggested that LC controls sensory inputs at the sensory gating stage. ...
  • Designing a Block Cipher in Galois Extension Fields for IoT Security 

    George, Kiernan; Michaels, Alan J. (MDPI, 2021-11-05)
    This paper focuses on a block cipher adaptation of the Galois Extension Fields (GEF) combination technique for PRNGs and targets application in the Internet of Things (IoT) space, an area where the combination technique ...
  • Tracking a Surrogate Hazardous Agent (Rhodamine Dye) in a Coastal Ocean Environment Using In Situ Measurements and Concentration Estimates Derived from Drone Images 

    Filippi, Margaux; Hanlon, Regina; Rypina, Irina I.; Hodges, Benjamin A.; Peacock, Thomas; Schmale, David G. (MDPI, 2021-11-02)
    New tools and technology are needed to track hazardous agents such as oil and red tides in our oceans. Rhodamine dye (a surrogate hazardous agent) was released into the Atlantic ocean in August 2018, and experiments were ...
  • Ecology of Nontuberculous Mycobacteria 

    Falkinham, Joseph O. (MDPI, 2021-10-30)
    Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are opportunistic human pathogens that are widespread in the human environment. In fact, NTM surround humans. The basis for their widespread presence in soils and natural and human-engineered ...
  • The Chesapeake Bay program modeling system: Overview and recommendations for future development 

    Hood, Raleigh R.; Shenk, Gary W.; Dixon, Rachel L.; Smith, Sean M. C.; Ball, William P.; Bash, Jesse O.; Batiuk, Rich; Boomer, Kathy; Brady, Damian C.; Cerco, Carl; Claggett, Peter; de Mutsert, Kim; Easton, Zachary M.; Elmore, Andrew J.; Friedrichs, Marjorie A. M.; Harris, Lora A.; Ihde, Thomas F.; Lacher, Lara; Li, Li; Linker, Lewis C.; Miller, Andrew; Moriarty, Julia; Noe, Gregory B.; Onyullo, George E.; Rose, Kenneth; Skalak, Katie; Tian, Richard; Veith, Tamie L.; Wainger, Lisa; Weller, Donald; Zhang, Yinglong Joseph (2021-09-15)
    The Chesapeake Bay is the largest, most productive, and most biologically diverse estuary in the continental United States providing crucial habitat and natural resources for culturally and economically important species. ...
  • Conservation agriculture can help the South American Andean region achieve food security 

    Barrera, Victor H.; Delgado, Jorge A.; Alwang, Jeffrey R. (2021-09-15)
    The Andean region of Ecuador is dominated by small-scale agriculture on steep slopes vulnerable to erosion, soil degradation, and subsequent productivity loss. Soil erosion rates exceed the average rate of soil formation ...

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