Science & Technology

Science news

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.

Pages