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Love Motel for Insects: Eining Variation
Foto Mayer

There's a new establishment opening for one night only in Research Triangle Park. It's a Love Motel for Insects. Imagine several teepees lit up against the night sky - attracting area insects from far and wide.

It's a voyeuristic space. Once the ultraviolet light attracts the insects, people can look closely at them. Brandon Ballengée is the scientist/artist behind the project. An article in American Scientist Magazine provides some background:

The donosaur heist suspects
NC Dept. of Public Safety

Two suspects in the Monday theft of an expensive dinosaur model from the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences voluntarily turned themselves in Thursday morning, officials say. The stolen property has been recovered. 

Logan Todd Ritchey, 21, of  Raleigh, and  Alyssa Ann Lavacca, 21, of Holly Springs are charged with two counts of theft or destruction of property of public libraries, museums, etc. 

A project at the Museum of Natural Sciences pulls samples of face mites from subjects’ faces which can be examined under a microscope.

The research is one of several projects that bring scientists and North Carolina teachers together through funding from the National Science Foundation.

Beyer CropScience Bee
www.astrobase.de/Sonstig/Pollinat/Bilder/00002125.jpg

Bayer CropScience is moving forward with multi-million dollar plans to upgrade its North American and Global Seeds headquarters in Research Triangle Park.

Bayer CropScience’s latest announcement includes building a new greenhouse in RTP.  The greenhouse will include research on seeds, plant disease and insect testing.  The greenhouse, plus surrounding infrastructure and parking expansion will cost about $29.6 million.

Eric Mennel

My dog. Hands down - that's the picture I'm sending to Mars. No questions asked.

There's a group of students at Duke who are trying to give me the opportunity for about $1. Time Capsule To Mars is a several-years-long project that is crowdfunding to cover much of the cost of sending a satellite time capsule to the Red Planet.

For now, they're accepting picture uploads. But they plan to expand all sorts of media.

Fiber Optics
Michel Tronchetti

Raleigh, Cary, Durham and Winston-Salem have signed on to an agreement with AT&T for high-speed fiber optic Internet service. The service operates at one gigabit per second, which translates to 25 song downloads per second. Still can't wrap your head around the incredible speed of fiber? Check out this video that uses water to demonstrate.

This ultra-fast Internet service is not new everywhere in the state. The cities of Wilson and Salisbury started working on their own fiber systems years ago. That was before a 2011 state law restricted municipalities from building publicly-owned broadband networks. 

[Video] Inside Fullsteam's First Frost Beer

Jun 16, 2014
persimmon
David Huppert / UNC-TV

A teen wearing an exoskeleton will kick off soccer's biggest event.
Walk Again Project / virtualreality.duke.edu

Earlier this year we brought you a story about the connection between a mind-controlled robotic suit and soccer's World Cup. We have updated the story at the bottom of the page.

Original story:

The upcoming World Cup is sure to go down in the history books even before the competition starts.  This year, a paralyzed teen will use a mind-controlled robotic suit to help stand, walk and make the opening kick to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Michelle Lewis

In the last few years, Chase Lewis has patented two life-saving inventions, been a finalist in five national science competitions, and earned the Presidential Volunteer Service Silver Award. Oh, and he’s only 14 years old.

Lewis, who is homeschooled, has long been interested in science and inventions.

“My grandfather was an aeronautical physicist who worked on the Apollo program,” Lewis said. “I’ve gotten to spend some time with him, and we talk about science and inventions all the time.”

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

Rain forests are home to an incredible variety of species. From cute olinguitos to slimy spittlebugs, scientists are discovering creatures all the time. The exhibit "Rainforest Adventure" at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences educates kids on rain forest diversity and conservation.

A picture of Cessna a 206H Stationair aircraft.
Arpingstone / Wikipedia

Better GPS technology in the cockpits of small planes makes mid-air collisions less likely.

Researchers at NC State University say perceptual cues help pilots make better decisions on the fly: Cues like blinking or color coded icons.

David Kaber is a professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at NC State. He described some of the modifications his group added during simulations.

lemur with white head and body, brown arms and dark facial markings
David Haring / http://lemur.duke.edu

Sixty-five million years ago, ancestors of lemurs journeyed from Africa to Madagascar on a raft of vegetation. This explanation for their arrival, now widely accepted, was the dissertation of Anne Yoder, director of the Duke Lemur Center. It is also the subject of a new IMAX movie, "Island of Lemurs: Madagascar." Many of the lemurs that star in the film are Durham residents who were trained locally by behavioral manager Meg Dye. 

The Shearon Harris nuclear power plant
Nuclear Regulatory Commission / nrc.gov

Officials with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will hold an open house and presentation in Holly Springs Monday evening. Federal officials will review the performance of the Shearon Harris Nuclear Plant. The facility is about 20 miles southwest of Raleigh and operated by Duke Energy.  Part of the plant was determined to have a small crack in a nuclear reactor. Duke corrected that issue without any significant incident.  

Kerry Crocker

Many people tote smartphones around all day. But what is the nature of the relationship to smartphones and how do they change the perception of reality?

A picture of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics team.
Dennis Brack / U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science

A team from Durham's North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics joined 23 other schools over the weekend to compete in the 2014 National Science Bowl in Washington, D.C.  During the competition, students compete in a fast-paced Jeopardy-like forum. They must quickly solve technical problems and answer questions related to science and mathematics.

Team members include Michael An, Anne Feng, Kavi Jain, Sammy Luo, and Daniel Ren.  Their coach is Leslie Brinson.

Ed White performs the first U.S. spacewalk. White floats in space with astronaut suit and attached to the shuttle by a cord. Earth is in the background.
flickr.com / Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee

Scientists say in space you cannot hear a sound. But for decades, filmmakers have tried to create the sounds of space. And perhaps they’re onto something. Asheville's Moogfest is hosting a panel "Sounds of Space," that explores both artists and scientists' perspectives on what we can hear in space if we learn to listen. Charles Lindsay, a multimedia artist and the artist in residence at SETI (Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute, and Eric McDougall, founder and principal of Black Ink San Francisco, are part of the panel. 

A picture of the NCSU Forensic Anthropology Logo.
NCSU

New research from North Carolina State University has found a connection between historical stressors and physiological development in the Cherokee nation. 

In the late 19th century, anthropologist Franz Boas measured the skulls of adult Cherokees from groups who had grown up as the nation was split. Some were driven west on the Trail of Tears, and others fled to the Smoky Mountains for safety. 

NC State Forensic Anthropologist Ann Ross analyzed that data and found that Cherokees from both groups developed smaller skulls with different shapes.  

Beer sampler
Flickr: Quinn Dombrowski

Since 1980, North Carolina's beer industry has grown from four breweries to nearly 100. The craft beer explosion has far-reaching effects in the local economy, community and agriculture. It has inspired a great deal of creativity, including the development of beer made from yeast that grows on wasps.

Museum of Natural Sciences

For many comedians, the biggest dream is a packed house at a famous comedy club. But for science comedian Brian Malow, the dream is a room packed with science and engineering types, laughing at jokes only the geekiest among us might understand. Host Frank Stasio talks with Malow, curator of the Daily Planet at the Museum of Natural Sciences.

For more than 40 years, Jane Smith Patterson has been paving the way for women in North Carolina politics and digital technology. After her start as a young organizer and activist in her hometown in Columbus County, North Carolina, Patterson left home for college when she was 16 years old. 

Typhoid Vaccination
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.

Medical School Residency Match Day
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.) 

Dr. Anthony Atala
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

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.  

Brain scan
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. 

MRI brain scan
creative commons

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. 

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

    

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. 

UCFFool on Flickr

    

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

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
flickr.com / APOPO

    

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. 

Sweet potato fields in Eastern NC.
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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