Hanging in There

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The Red-eyed treefrog (Agalychnis callidryas) is one of the species a Virginia Tech-led team will be examining in Panama in2012. Photo by Brian Gratwicke, Smithsonian Institution.
The Red-eyed treefrog (Agalychnis callidryas) is one of the species a Virginia Tech-led team will be examining in Panama in2012. Photo by Brian Gratwicke, Smithsonian Institution.

2011 was a tough year economically for the nation and Roanoke Valley residents weren’t able to dodge the worst of it relative to declining property values and a rising unemployment rate. But like the remarkable little Tree Frog pictured above, Roanokers have hung in there and seem to be enduring the worst that the “Great Recession” has had to offer. One positive that our Valley has going for it is its proximity to Virginia Tech  – the largest university in Virginia – which is one of the reasons we try to feature regular coverage on the work and life of the university. (And not just sports!)

A short 35 minute drive away (an across town commute in larger cities), VA Tech has the ability to be a tremendous economic boon to Roanoke and the research conducted there (and now at the Carilion / VT Medical School and Research Institute) will go a long way in bringing recognition and investment to our area. One of the University’s recent studies highlights how microbial diversity defends against disease – the implications of which, of course, reach far beyond our little neck of the woods . . . and even a Publisher who happens to be a UVA alumni can appreciate that. Here’s to a great many successes for both Hokies and Hoos in 2012!