Science & Technology

Science & Technology
12:26 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Measles, Mumps And Polio, Oh My! Anti-Vaxxers Bring Back Diseases, Nothing's Changing Their Minds

Typhoid Vaccination
Credit Library of Congress CALL NUMBER: LC-USW36-828 [P&P] Transfer from U.S. Office of War Information, 1944.

In April of last year, a North Carolina resident developed a fever and rash shortly after returning from a trip to India. He had contracted measles abroad, and by the end of May, the North Carolina Division of Public Health identified 22 more cases of measles in the area. Many of those infected, including the initial patient, had not been vaccinated against the disease.

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Science & Technology
5:00 am
Sat March 15, 2014

How Speed Dating And A Nobel Prize Determines the Next Generation Of Doctors

Medical School Residency Match Day
Credit Guillermo Cabrera-Rojo / Flickr/Creative Commons

Next Friday, over 17,000 U.S. medical students will find out exactly what kind of doctor they will become. The process is called ‘the match’, and it works more like high-stakes speed dating than a job application process. 

During the last year of medical school, much like in high school, medical students apply to residency programs across the country. The programs then send invitations to select applicants to interview at their institution.

For some residency fields such as family medicine, students may only have to interview at a handful of institutions because there are more spots than there are U.S. students applying for that field. But for many other fields, such as plastic surgery or ophthalmology, students often interview at 15 or more places in order to have a good chance at matching. The process takes up to 3 months and can cost thousands of dollars. (Students are expected to pay these costs themselves.) 

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Science & Technology
3:27 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Printing Organs with Stem Cells And Two Other Ways NC Projects Might Save The World

Dr. Anthony Atala
Credit Screen Shot from his TED Talk

With the abundance of universities, industry and research companies, it's no surprise that North Carolina is a leader in innovation. Here are three cutting-edge medical and science advancements developed locally that may soon have global effects.

1. Printing Organs with Stem Cells

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Science & Technology
10:40 am
Wed March 12, 2014

A North Carolina Based Google Fiber Rival?

Credit SmartSign via Flickr

A Shelby-based company is launching their own ultra-high-speed fiber optic project -- even as Google Fiber tests some North Carolina markets for connectivity.  RST Fiber says it has activated a statewide 3,100-mile fiber network.  

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The State of Things
4:47 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

This Is Your Brain On Crime

Brain scan
Credit creative commons

  In the future, neuroscientific evidence may be as prevalent as DNA evidence in the criminal justice system. Today on The State of Things experts discussed the future of neuroscience and the law. Here are some highlights. 

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The State of Things
11:47 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Neuroscience And The Law

MRI brain scan
Credit creative commons

A panel of scholars discuss neuroscience and the law

In the not so distant future, brain scans may be as prevalent as DNA evidence in the criminal justice system. This neuroscientific evidence has the potential to correct biases and predict criminal recidivism. But critics argue it could be misleading and difficult to refute. Exploring the brain as a means of assessing intent also raises privacy concerns. 

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The State of Things
10:32 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Meet Daniel Vermeer

Dan Vermeer Executive Director of the Center for Energy Development and the Global Environment
Credit fuqua.duke.edu / Center for Energy Development and the Global Environment

Meet Daniel Vermeer, director of the Center for Energy, Development, and the Global Environment at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business

    

When he graduated from college, Daniel Vermeer did not want a job. He wanted only to wander through Asia and continue learning about world religions. But his adventures led him to some unexpected destinations, including corporate America. He led water sustainability projects for Coca-Cola and advised Fortune 50 companies on their water policies. 

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The State Of Things
10:10 am
Thu February 27, 2014

The Triangle's Chances For Google Fiber

Google Fiber in Kansas City, MO
Credit UCFFool on Flickr

    

Google recently announced nine metro areas under consideration for its latest internet technology: Google Fiber.

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The State of Things
10:08 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Enormous African Rats Detect Landmines Across The Continent

APOPO HeroRAT tea egg training. Dammies trainee HeroRAT swaps a tea egg containing a sample of TNT he has just found for a banana treat
Credit flickr.com / APOPO

Dr. Danielle Lee, an animal behavior scientist, explains her research of the African Giant Pouched Rat

    

Most Americans think of rats as nuisances to be trapped and destroyed. But in Tanzania, giant pouched rats use their acute sense of smell to detect landmines and other explosives. Dr. Danielle Lee is an animal behavior scientist based at Oklahoma State University and she researches the African giant pouched rat. 

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Biosolids
7:50 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Chemicals In Human Waste Can Harm Crop Land

Human waste, called "biosolids", is commonly used to fertilize crop land. Duke University researchers say they have found a practical way to test whether the biosolids contain chemicals that will harm the soil.
Credit Bob Is Traveling / Flickr Creative Commons

Many farms spread human waste on cropland to fertilize it. In this case, the waste is called "biosolids". It can carry household chemicals that affect important bacteria, and that can hurt soil health.

The government has had a hard time regulating chemicals in biosolids, because the equipment that measured bacterial gases was very expensive.

But a new report from Duke University's school of engineering shows that bacterial reactions to chemicals can be assessed by changes in color. That's a cheaper test to administer.

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