Science & Technology

Science & Technology
8:47 am
Wed January 8, 2014

NC State Researchers Develop Cheap Biofuel Production Without Touching Food Supply

NC State researchers have developed a new process that dissolves lignin in liquid salt, leaving cellulose behind as a solid. This process could make biofuels cheaper to produce.
Credit Ezinne Achinvu / North Carolina State University

As corn prices rise and ethanol production competes with food sources, the energy industry is looking for other ways to produce biofuels.

Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a simple, efficient and inexpensive way to extract energy-rich cellulose from non-edible plant matter, like corn husks, grasses, and wood chips.

PhD student Ezinne Achinivu  says labs often run into trouble trying to remove a protective material called lignin. It's bonded to the cellulose, but hinders its efficiency.

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The State of Things
1:20 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

What's Inside The Brains Of Songbirds

Duke scientists look into the brains of songbirds.
Credit johnholdway.com

What's Inside the Brains of Songbirds

Scientists are learning fascinating things by studying songbirds. 

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Solar Center
8:15 am
Fri December 27, 2013

NC Solar Center Can Now Certify Systems For Tax Breaks

The NC Solar Center can now test manufactured solar panels according to international quality standards, and can offer SRCC certification.
Credit Marc Hall / North Carolina State University

The North Carolina Solar Center has become the fifth lab in the country approved to test solar hot water panels to the market standard.

The federal government requires home solar water heating systems to have Solar Rating and Certification Corporation—or SRCC—certification in order to be eligible for a 30-percent tax credit.

The Center has also been recently accredited to test efficiency and calibrate panels according to international standards.

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Science & Technology
3:00 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

How Strobe Lights Are Helping The Carolina Hurricanes Increase Performance

Carolina Hurricanes trainer Peter Friesen (left) watches as NHL goalie Justin Peters performs a drill with a tennis ball while wearing 'stroboscopic training' eyewear.
Credit Peter Friesen @NHLCanes / Carolina Hurricanes

It's pretty amazing to think that strobe lights in a club, the ones that make you kind of dizzy, could actually help our brains process images.

Duke researchers knew that they were on to something. They had done at least one other study on "stroboscopic visual conditions." So, they teamed up with some men whose livelihoods depend on visual acuity, hockey players, to test their theories out.

They designed special glasses with kind of an internal strobe light. The glasses intermittently let vision in, and then cut it off.

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Science & Technology
6:00 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Duke Study: CPR Training Minimal In Places That Need It Most

Credit BC Gov Photos / Flickr Creative Commons

Researchers at Duke University say areas with the most cardiovascular health issues are least likely to have bystanders who can perform CPR. 

A study released last week says rural and poor communities have a significantly lower number of people who have CPR training.  The report says that rate is particularly low in Southern states. 

The study's lead author Monique Anderson says communities that promote a simpler way of conducting CPR are training more people.

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Science & Technology
5:00 am
Mon November 25, 2013

"Solarize Raleigh" Could Make Solar Power More Affordable

Credit Marc Hall / North Carolina State University

Raleigh might soon have a group-purchasing program that would make it cheaper for residents to install solar panels on their homes. North Carolina Solar Center Director Steve Kalland  says solar power is popular among state utilities. They save money buying the costly technology in bulk. Kalland says homeowners are also interested in using cheaper, greener energy.

"The opportunity to do this has been somewhat constrained in North Carolina because the cost of these smaller-scale projects is somewhat higher than the large-scale projects," Kalland says.

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Dinosaur Discovery
6:00 am
Sat November 23, 2013

Local Scientist Makes Most Awesome/Terrifying Discovery Of The Year

Credit Jorge Gonzalez

Researchers from North Carolina and Chicago announced  the discovery a new dinosaur today.

Siats Meekerorum (known colloquially as "SEE-ahtch") is thought to have been one of the three largest predators in America, at one time even larger than the Tyrannosaurus. This particular specimen was 30 feet long... and it's an adolesent.

Dr. Lindsay Zanno, a paleontologist at N.C. State and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, is one of the co-discoverers. She told WUNC that we're still trying to figure out what led to Siats's demise. But there are theories.

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The State Of Things
10:39 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Video: Live From Downtown Raleigh Nov. 22

Frank Stasio hosting 'The State of Things' from Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh
Credit NC Museum of Natural Sciences

Today, The State of Things is broadcasting live from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Look below to watch the program live. 

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The State Of Things
10:39 am
Fri November 22, 2013

NC Scientist Helps Discover New Dinosaur

Illustration of the Siats meekerorum
Jorge Gonzales Museum of Natural Sciences

Scientist Lindsay Zanno talks about their latest dinosaur discovery

The Tyrannosaurus Rex is the indisputable king of the dinosaurs, but it wasn’t always that way. Lindsay Zanno -- director of paleontology and geology research at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, and assistant research professor in the department of biology at North Carolina State University -- helped discover a new dinosaur in North America. It is called Siats meekerorum, and it was one of the top three predators ever discovered in North America. In fact, it ruled over the early ancestors of the T-Rex. 

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The State Of Things
10:30 am
Fri November 22, 2013

The Intersection Of Science And Public Policy

Fossil Fair at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
Credit North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

  

Science is a place where facts and objectivity reign supreme while politics is a blend of perspectives and opinions. So what happens when science and public policy collide?

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