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University Beat

University Beat is a radio and television program that focuses on the research and work at the University of South Florida and how it benefits the Tampa Bay area, Florida, and the world around us.

Each week, reporter Mark Schreiner looks at the latest USF efforts in medicine, engineering, education, arts and sciences and explores other programs that reach out to both students and the community.

Adam Craig / USF Marketing Dept.

Have you ever seen an advertisement that you just know is wrong, you realize the moment you’re watching it, you’re being lied to?  You know, like the bracelet that promises to make you smarter, more attractive, and lower your cholesterol?

But no matter how outrageous those claims, some people still fall for them. USF Assistant Professor of Marketing Adam Craig is studying how our brains react to advertising—particularly deceptive ads—and he’s using neuroscience techniques to do so.

Katy Hennig / USF News

During its 111 years in operation, at least 80 young men died at the Dozier School for Boys in the Panhandle city of Marianna. Some died in fires, some from health problems, and some from violence.

Last year, citing budget cuts, the state closed the reform school.

However, decades of allegations of torture and abuse mar the school's legacy--as does the fact that some of the boys who died there found their final resting place in the unmarked graves of the campus’ Boot Hill Cemetery.

“Today there are 31 metal crosses in rows to commemorate the 31 boys that are believed to be buried there," USF forensic anthropologist Erin Kimmerle tells USF News. "But what’s sort of unknown is whether those crosses really correspond to actual graves.”

WFTS.com

A bear that might have been looking for love was captured at Busch Gardens early this morning after making an earlier stop at USF's Tampa campus.

The 270 pound, 2 1/2 year old Florida black bear was first spotted by a USF student around 1 a.m. Tuesday outside of the Argos Hall residence hall. 

Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission officials had been tracking the bear since it was last seen in Land O'Lakes last week, so they were able to monitor him as he made the three mile journey through campus, before climbing up a tree near the main entrance of Busch Gardens off Busch Boulevard. 

USF News

The leaders of the University of South Florida's Saint Petersburg and Polytechnic campuses are both stepping down, but under somewhat different circumstances. 

David Touchton, the interim chief of USF Polytechnic for the past six months, is leaving as the campus prepares to close. USF Associate Vice President Kathleen Moore will lead USF Poly through its planned "teach out" of the students who remain after the state approved its transition to an independent university. Touchton's last day will be Friday. 

Superhero Training Network

Sam DuPont and Audrey Buttice were once mild-mannered USF Ph.D. students. As part of a National Science Foundation-funded fellowship program, they’d visit elementary schools around the Tampa area and do science demonstrations. But they thought that they could reach more students by videotaping their work—they just needed a hook. DuPont says they found their answer while waiting in line at Disney World.

"At first we’re like, ‘Pirates!’ and we’re like, ‘Nah, that’s not good.’ Then we’re like, ‘Clowns!’ and we’re like, ‘Ah, that’s a little too juvenile,’ and then we were like, ‘Ah, I got it, superheroes!’ and from there, that’s history!”

So, along with classmate Robert Bair, they came up with new alter egos and a back story--a lab accident that transformed them from normal scientists to super-powered members of The Scientific League of Superheroes.

Taegan McMahon

New research from USF is finding that a commonly-used fungicide may be toxic to aquatic life.

The chemical is chlorothalonil, the most commonly used synthetic fungicide in the United States. It’s used on peanuts, tomatoes, potatoes, and turf grass.

It’s in the same family as DDT, the chemical that was banned after conservationist Rachel Carson’s 1962 book “Silent Spring.”

USF biologist Taegan McMahon, a doctoral candidate in the USF Department of Integrative Biology, has published two papers with associate professor Jason Rohr about the dangers of chlorothalonil.

Dennis Garofalo

UPDATED Sun 6/10 4:30 pm with more info from Speer
 

In addition to the ducks, squirrels and Bulls that populate USF's Tampa campus, there's another species roaming the grounds, as at least one bobcat has been caught on camera.

Aramark/USF Dining Services Production Manager Dennis Garofalo took pictures of a bobcat eating a duck near the Argos Center around 6:30 Thursday morning.

Garofalo says the bobcat, which he and employees have taken to calling the "Fresh Food Company Cat" after the division they work in, has been seen lurking in the area for the last month or so. 

USF Sun Dome / Global Spectrum

With a list of past performers that includes such luminaries as U2, Garth Brooks and Frank Sinatra, a major name was needed to headline the newly renovated USF Sun Dome's grand opening.

Arena officials think their choice - Sir Elton John - more than fits that bill. The award-winning singer/songwriter will play the Sun Dome Friday, September 14th at 8 p.m.

USF College of Marine Science

Researchers at USF's College of Marine Science are finding new and creative ways to use social media to share what they're learning. This week's University Beat on WUSF Public Media looks at how one teacher used Skype to continue teaching her Honors College classes while in the middle of the ocean on a once in a lifetime research cruise. It also shows us how an underwater vehicle is using Twitter to share the information it’s discovering with both researchers and the public.

USF

University of South Florida head men’s tennis coach Don Barr has decided to retire, USF Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Doug Woolard announced today.

Barr has been a part of the USF men’s tennis program for 21 seasons, including 20 as head coach, and will spend the 2012-13 season helping the program transition to a new head coach, while serving as the Director of Men’s Tennis Operations. A national search for Barr’s successor will begin immediately.

USF Athletics

In a game in which the only run scored on an infield pop-out, USF softball's magical season ended Saturday with a 1-0 nail-biter loss to LSU in the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City. 

USF Athletics

Hustle put the USF Bulls Softball team up 1-0 over the University of Oklahoma midway through the first game of the NCAA Women's College World Series Thursday, but the Sooners' big bats exploded a short time later as OU rallied for a 5-1 victory.

Can red wine change the course of Alzheimer’s disease? Not red wine specifically—but resvaratrol, a component of it that can also be found in chocolate, berries and peanuts. The USF Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute is taking part in a national study that hopes to determine what part that component plays in slowing down memory deterioration.

USF Sun Dome

Four days of pomp and circumstance start today as over six thousand students across the University of South Florida system receive their diplomas. 

On first look, a “ShelterBox” appears to contain nothing more than a tent and some camping gear. In reality, it’s a collection of tools that will help a displaced family survive after a disaster.

Almost 300 USF students teamed with some TV reality show stars to set a Guinness record for the world's largest speed-dating event.

An April 23rd deadline is looming for caregivers of cancer patients who want to attend a free symposium at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center.

This week's University Beat on WUSF 89.7 has a preview of the Caring for the Caregiver event.

Associated Press

The $70 billion budget signed by Governor Rick Scott Tuesday contained both good and bad news for the University of South Florida, along with one giant issue still yet to be decided--the fate of USF Polytechnic.

USF Student Government

The University of South Florida Student Government is giving people the chance to speak directly to members of the Tampa City Council at a town hall forum tomorrow (April 17th).

University of South Florida

The USF Board of Trustees is currently holding its first meeting after the Florida Senate approved both a 23 percent cut to the USF budget and the splitting off of USF Polytechnic. 

USF'S student newspaper, the Oracle, reports the Senate's desire to have USF tap its reserve funds to make up for some of the funding cuts is one of the major topics of this morning's meeting: 

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