Science & Technology

The State Of Things
12:24 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Conference Explores North Carolina’s Energy Future

Strata Solar's Solar Farm in Fuquay Varina.
Credit http://www.stratasolar.com / Strata Solar

Host Frank Stasio talks about North Carolina's energy present and future with Marilyn Brown, Lyle Estill, and John Morrison.

North Carolina companies are in the midst of a sustainable energy boom. Solar farms have bloomed, wind farms could be on their way, and local entrepreneurs are experimenting with biofuels and solar power. But cheap natural gas and new legislation could slow sustainable energy growth.

Experts are discussing these advancements at the North Carolina Department of Commerce's 10th Annual Sustainable Energy Conference in Raleigh today. Keynote speaker Marilyn Brown is a professor from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She said today on The State of Things that many people are looking to fracking for natural gas to solve our energy needs.

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Science & Technology
5:00 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Where Can You Watch A Trash Bin Explode With Ping Pong Balls?

Students learning about a weather balloon at last year's North Carolina Science Festival.
Credit NC Science Festival

At the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center at UNC Chapel Hill this morning! The experiment is one of many happening this week and next as a part of the North Carolina Science Festival, a statewide series of science-related happenings that began on April 5. Today, the Festival is encouraging people to participate in Experi-Minute, an attempt to engage all North Carolinians in some kind of science-related activity for at least one minute on Friday morning.

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Science & Technology
3:48 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

New App To Aid Teen Drivers & Their Parents

A teen driver.
Credit State Farm Insurance, via Flickr, Creative Commons

Teaching a teenager to drive can be a scary experience for both teens and parents. But a new iPhone app developed by the UNC Highway Safety Research Center and the Center for the Study of Young Drivers aims to lessen that anxiety by helping teens and parents log driving time and meet driving goals before the teen applies for a driver’s license.

The app is called Time to Drive, and it’s rooted in research showing that many teens do not receive adequate driving practice in a variety of potentially challenging conditions, such as on interstates, at night, in heavy traffic, or in poor weather. The app can monitor driving time and keep track of road conditions and routes, allowing parents and teens to meet certain driving goals during the learning process.

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Science & Technology
5:00 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Conference To Link Life Science Entrepreneurs With Disease Foundations

NC Biotechnology Center
Credit NC Biotechnology Center

Biotech researchers and entrepreneurs from across the region will gather for a networking conference intended to link researchers to funding partners this week. The first Southeast Venture Philanthropy Summit will take place at the at the Friday Center in Chapel Hill April 3-4, and more than 30 foundations will attend, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.  The summit seeks to help local companies tap into philanthropic venture capital.

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Science & Technology
5:59 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Statewide Science Festival Kicks Off Friday

A scene from last year's Science Festival.
Credit NC Science Festival

The N.C Science Festival – a series of more than 300 science-related events at locations across the state – kicks off this Friday.  It’s the third year for the festival, and it's expected to draw more than 200,000 participants. The first event is a stargazing party for all ages at 45 different sites across the state. Triangle-area venues include the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, Marbles Kids Museum and Imax Theater in Raleigh, the Morehead Observatory in Chapel Hill and Jordan Lake in Apex. 

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The State of Things
11:44 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Why Drones Could Be Coming To A County Near You

A MQ-9 Reaper drone.
Credit U.S. Air Force photo by Paul Ridgeway

A panel of experts weigh the pros and cons of the coming drone boom

North Carolina is vying to host one of six national test sites for unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones.  The prospect of a burgeoning domestic drone industry in the state has some people excited.  But others are voicing concerns.

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Science & Technology
8:42 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Invasive Ant Species Creeps Through Triangle

An Asian Needle Ant (left) stings a termite. The ant is slowly invading nests of other invasive species in North Carolina.
Credit Benoit Guenard / NC State University

Researchers from N.C. State say an invasive species of ant is slowly spreading through North Carolina's forests.

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Weather
4:43 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

American Red Cross Launches Free Tornado App

2010 tornado in Iredell County, NC
Credit England / Flickr

A new tornado app from the American Red Cross is out this week. Available in both English and Spanish, it gives users instant access to local, real-time information on severe weather alerts and warnings. Barry Porter from Triangle Red Cross says it's linked directly to NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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Science & Technology
3:42 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Older Gamers, Play On

Surveys showed older adults who play video games scored higher on well-being tests than those who don't.
Credit Anne McLaughlin / ncsu.edu

Researchers at N.C. State say playing video games might have positive psychological effects later in life.  A report released this week says a study of people who were 63 or older found those who play video or computer games at least occasionally reported more positive emotions in a mental health survey than those who don't.


"There's a whole gaming industry that's focused on the 12-year-old to 21-year-old demographic," says Dr. Jason Allaire, lead author of the study.

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Science & Technology
7:42 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Cary Introduces Virtual Water Meter

Customers of Cary's public water utility can now monitor how many gallons they use on an hourly basis.  The town invested $172,553 in a system that updates water usage online.  Cary Financial Director Karen Mills says the new system is meant to make customers more aware of how much water they're using or wasting.

"They can see what's going on with their usage, understanding, for example, their irrigation usage if they have an automated system; when it's running, how long it's running," Mills says.

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