Science & Technology

Science & Technology
7:43 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Science Fair Entries That Look Beyond The Baking Soda Volcano

Some science fairs are pushing students to answer new questions rather than confirm old answers.
Credit DML East Branch / Flickr Creative Commons

Adam Hochberg reports on the new science of science fairs.

When you think of school science fair projects, you might think of baking soda volcanoes or Styrofoam models of the planets. More to the point, that’s what a lot of students think of – and what they enter – in science fairs.

But to a lot of real scientists, projects like that are a missed opportunity. They say that rather than just building models, children as young as eight or ten can do actual science and discover new things.

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Science & Technology
10:26 am
Fri July 19, 2013

What Happened To The Disease That Caused The Irish Potato Famine?

Potato late blight lesion
Credit Jean Ristaino, NC State University

New research reveals the disease that wiped out millions of potatoes and led to widespread famine in Ireland is still around, and it’s more virulent than ever.  A new study led by NC State University plant pathologist Jean Ristaino investigates the history of the fungus-like organism that caused the Irish potato famine and how its genome has evolved since it first showed up in Ireland in the 1800’s.

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The State of Things
12:03 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Scientist Looks At Super Materials In Superhero Comics

Captain America's Shield
Credit Pop Culture Geek/Flickr / creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en

Suveen Mathaudu joins Host Frank Stasio to talk about material science in comic books.

When you watch an X-men movie or read a Captain America comic, you can find a new way to look at material science. Superhero comics can be just as much science as they are magic.

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Science & Technology
2:32 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Duke Researchers Design Toilet That Turns Waste Into Drinking Water

A self-contained sewage recycling system being designed by Duke and Missouri engineers.
Credit Duke University

Two years ago, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation launched a research competition called “Reinvent the Toilet,” challenging researchers to create a sewage disposal system that requires no electricity and could be used in developing countries. Marc Deshusses, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering, pitched an idea to the Foundation and won $100,000 to take it further.

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Science & Technology
10:13 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Duke To Offer 'Bionic Eye' For Blind Patients

Argus II bionic eye glasses
Credit Second Sight

Duke University Hospital has become one of only 13 sites in the nation selected to offer bionic eyes for severely blind patients.

A company called Second Sight developed the device, and they chose Duke after a lengthy selection process. The device was approved by the FDA in February.

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Science & Technology
4:00 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

UNC Computer System Lets The Coast Know When High Waters Are Coming

A screen shot from the Surge Guidance System shows storm surge data from Hurricane Sandy, which hit the east coast in October 2012.
Credit RENCI

Researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill are using storm surge data to give coastal communities a better idea of what they can expect during hurricanes. 

The university's Renaissance Computing Institute, or RENCI, has a network called the Surge Guidance System.  It gathers intricate details of ocean activity to calculate where, how and when storm surge will affect certain areas. 

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Science & Technology
2:00 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Why Baseball Pitchers (And Other Athletes) Are Getting Taller

The falling forward motion the thrower affects the amount of force applied to the ball.
Credit Adrian Bejan

Scientists have known for years that the athletes topping the podium in speed sports, like swimming and running, have grown taller over the past century. Now, new research from Duke University shows that athletes in a range of other sports, including certain team sports, are following a similar trend.

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Science & Technology
7:32 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Wilson, N.C.: The Self-Described 'Gigabit City'

Credit Michel Tronchetti

The city of Wilson has finished installing a fiber optic Internet system.  It's the first such project in North Carolina that will provide the city of about 50,000 people with ultra-high speed Internet. 

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Science & Technology
2:00 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

New Smartphone App Provides Guide To Outer Banks Beaches

Take Me to the Beach helps people find the right beach in the Outer Banks.
Credit Inductice Ideas LTD

Have you ever visited the North Carolina coast only to have a hard time finding the right public beach access? That’s the situation that Sara Brubaker found herself in when she moved to the Outer Banks three years ago. So Brubaker got in touch with the app development company Inductive Ideas LTD to find a solution to the problem.  The result is a new smartphone app called Take Me to the Beach, a guide to Outer Banks beaches that provides information about public access, beach amenities, lifeguards, and distances from beaches to food and drink.

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Science & Technology
8:42 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Duke Study: Brain Connects Emotions To Monetary Value

Credit Flickr Creative Commons

Researchers at Duke University say the same area of your brain that puts a dollar value on an item also places an emotional value on that item. 

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