Smile, Milky Way

The universe can be viewed in a little sharper focus by one of the world’s most powerful telescopes, located in Arizona and partially owned by UVA. A new, secondary mirror in the telescope continually adjusts up to a thousand times per second, which nullifies the blurring effects of the Earth’s atmosphere.

Parenthood

A UVA study led by psychology professor Charlotte J. Patterson has concluded that the sexual orientation of adoptive parents—whether they’re gay, lesbian or heterosexual—has no influence on whether children develop in positive ways.

Remember This

It’s no secret that many mental abilities—cognition, memory, reasoning—decline as we age, but Timothy Salthouse and other UVA researchers have determined the dip might not be as steep as previous studies have represented. A recent study was able to factor out the “practice effect”—how performance improves through repeated testing—to get a clearer picture of decline as people age.

Healthy Increase

University demographers with the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service who are studying the federal health care reform law say it will extend Medicaid eligibility by 2014 to nearly half a million Virginians, reducing the state’s total number of people without health insurance by as much as 21 percent.

Extra Homes

A study by architecture professor William Lucy suggests that the housing surplus is not due to increases in foreclosures in recent years or new construction. Instead, the glut can be attributed to changes in demographics. An increasing number of baby boomers are selling their homes and a much smaller number of young adults are buying them. “There are simply too many sellers and too few buyers,” says Lucy.