Science and Technology

Science and Technology
4:21 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Conservation dept. needs extra hands for turtle research

Credit Staff / Missouri Department of Conservation

The Missouri Department of Conservation is searching for help to track the state's turtle population. Interested biology enthusiasts would help trap and release turtles in the water at the Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area south of Columbia. The department needs between two and three dozen people who don't mind getting messy in the name of science.

Eagle Bluffs manager Vic Bogosian says the information gathered during these turtle round ups are crucial to ensuring the continued well-being of the animals.

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Missouri Environment
7:52 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Universities turn food waste into compost

This trashcan full of food waste at the Plaza 900 dining hall was sent to Bradford Research Farm to be turned into compost.
Bridgit Bowden KBIA

  Food waste is something we all produce, but don’t like to think about. That’s why several large universities in Missouri are turning food waste from dining halls into compost.

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Science and Technology
5:28 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Unlocking prairie secrets from a sod house

Researchers prepare to take down a section of a sod house in Gates, Neb., in order to study the bricks made of dirt.
Credit Jackie Sojicko / Harvest Public Media

 

Ecologists in Nebraska are trying to find out what the Great Plains looked like when homesteaders settled there in the 19th century. To do that, they’re working with a team of archaeologists and historians dissecting a sod house, a house built out of bricks cut from dirt.

Larry Estes has had a sod house in his backyard in Gates, Neb., for as long as he can remember. He never really thought anything about it until a year ago when a repairman asked him about it.

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Science and Technology
5:29 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Under the Microscope: Asian carp, monarch migration

Recently processed Asian carp hang in racks at the Two Rivers Fisheries processing plant in Wickliffe, Ky. The fishing industry hopes demand from China can both create a market for, and help rid U.S. rivers of, the invasive species.
Credit Jacob McCleland / Harvest Public Media

    

Water experts in the Midwest are worried about Asian carp. They say the invasive fish are taking over U.S. waterways -- the Mississippi River and its tributaries like the Illinois and Missouri Rivers, where they out compete native fish.

But as Jacob McCleland reports for Harvest Public Media, river watchers at their wits end have found new hope. And it lies on dinner tables in China.

Monarch butterflies are in trouble. The latest estimates show their numbers have dropped dramatically at their wintering grounds in Mexico.

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Science and Technology
5:30 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Under the Microscope: Secret life of plants; changing dominant hands

Jack Schultz, director of the Bond Life Sciences Center at MU, leads a discussion on the “Thoughts of Plants.”
Credit Marissane Lewis-Stump / KBIA

When we think of plants, intelligence is usually not the first thing that comes to mind. But maybe plants are more than a decorative feature to our dining room table.

KBIA’s Marissanne Lewis-Thompson checked in with a monthly science conversation series in Columbia. This month’s topic: the secret lives of plants.

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Science and Technology
5:29 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Training the brain to learn a new dominant hand

Scott Frey, PhD, discusses his research into how amputees learn to use a non-dominant hand, and how this research could help those suffering from disabilities following a stroke.
Credit Jacob Jones / KBIA

University of Missouri researchers are starting to uncover details about how the brain adapts to the loss or impairment of an individual's dominant hand. Dr. Scott Frey with MU's Department of Psychological Sciences has been working with amputation and stroke patients and his research may hold the secret to training the brain and the body to use a non-dominant hand. I recently say down with Frey to learn more: 

Can you give me a little background information as to what got you started with this research?

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Science and Technology
5:28 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Intelligent plants? Researcher unravels mysteries of plant life

Jack Schultz, director of the Bond Life Sciences Center at MU, leads a discussion on the “Thoughts of Plants.”
Credit Marissanne Lewis-Thompson / KBIA

When we think of plants, intelligence is usually not the first thing that comes to mind. But maybe plants are more than a decorative feature to our dining room table.

On a recent Tuesday night, the sounds of restaurant chatter, music and the aroma of food fill Columbia’s Broadway Brewery. But in the middle of the crowd, on a wooden stool sits an ordinary green plant.

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Science and Technology
12:31 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Biomedical researcher Robert Gallo sparks excitement for some MU faculty

Credit Sara Pang / KBIA

Dr. Robert Gallo is the biomedical researcher who unearthed HIV as the cause of AIDS and was the first to identify a human retrovirus known to cause human cancer. Gallo’s discoveries don’t just stop there; his current research includes finding a prevention for the disease despite the challenges.

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Missouri Environment
7:04 am
Tue April 15, 2014

University of Missouri helps Feds with climate change research

M.U. School of Natural Resources research specialist Tom Bonnot works with data to develop models that predict how climate change will effect forests and wildlife.

With all the bickering taking place in Congress about what to do or what not to do about climate change, you might think federal agencies wouldn't be dealing with it either.

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Science and Technology
9:19 am
Mon April 14, 2014

MU researchers shed light on how stroke victims learn to use their hands again

Some studies being done at the University of Missouri may shed some light on how stroke victims learn to regain control of an impaired hand, or even learn how to use their opposite hand. 

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Science and Technology
11:29 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Is Anti-Gravity Possible? Brian Greene's WSU Has The Answer

Master science communicator Brian Greene shares the spotlight with Muppet scientist Dr. Bunsen Honeydew ahead of the 2008 World Science Festival in New York City.
Scott Gries Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 8:16 am

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Science and Technology
11:02 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Q&A with policy advisor for the ACLU on net neutrality

Gabe Rottman, legislative council and policy advisor for the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office.
Credit ACLU

In January the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision on the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) “net neutrality” regulations.

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Science and Technology
8:58 am
Wed April 2, 2014

University Hospital receives national certification for environmental design

The Patient Care Tower Expansion at University Hospital was finished in March of 2013.  The eight-story, $190 million building earned the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

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Morning Edition
2:55 am
Wed April 2, 2014

So You Think You're Smarter Than A CIA Agent

A group of 3,000 ordinary citizens, armed with nothing more than an Internet connection, is often making better forecasts of global events than CIA analysts. Here, a man crosses the CIA logo at its headquarters in Langley, Va.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 12:04 pm

The morning I met Elaine Rich, she was sitting at the kitchen table of her small town home in suburban Maryland trying to estimate refugee flows in Syria.

It wasn't the only question she was considering; there were others:

Will North Korea launch a new multistage missile before May 10, 2014?

Will Russian armed forces enter Kharkiv, Ukraine, by May 10? Rich's answers to these questions would eventually be evaluated by the intelligence community, but she didn't feel much pressure because this wasn't her full-time gig.

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Missouri Environment
7:04 am
Tue April 1, 2014

The geology behind Columbia's water supply

One of the 15 wells atop the McBaine aquifer that pump a total of 30 million gallons of water a day to the city of Columbia.
Credit Gary Grigsby / KBIA News

You've probably read the headlines about the drought in California.  It got me to thinking about what many of us probably take for granted, our water supply.

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Science and Technology
2:01 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

New Dwarf Planet Found At The Solar System's Outer Limits

This diagram for the outer solar system shows the orbits of Sedna (in orange) and 2012 VP113 (in red). The sun and terrestrial planets are at the center, surrounded by the orbits (in purple) of the four giant planets — Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. The Kuiper belt, which includes Pluto, is shown by the dotted light blue region.
Scott S. Sheppard Carnegie Institution for Science

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 7:44 am

Scientists have spotted a new dwarf planet at the edge of our solar system. It's a kind of pink ice ball that's way out there, far beyond Pluto.

Astronomers used to think this region of space was a no man's land. But the new findings suggest that it holds many small worlds — and there are even hints of an unseen planet bigger than Earth.

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Intersection
5:40 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Net Neutrality: where the debate is going and how it might affect you

The internet age has brought to us the ability to get large amounts of information, from across the globe, delivered to our fingertips within seconds. This access provides us with a powerful amount of interconnectedness, and information (not to mention entertainment!). But how should this access and interconnectedness be distributed? Should it be available to everyone equally, or should big companies - like Netflix and Amazon - be restricted because of the amount of data they are streaming? What does all of this mean for the economy, democracy and those of us just trying to stream movies at home?

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Science and Technology
10:12 am
Fri March 21, 2014

What the heck is net neutrality? A primer for Monday's Intersection

Credit Sean MacEntee/Flickr Creative Commons

Intersection on Monday will focus on the issue of Internet (or "net") neutrality — a tussle at the crossroads of law and technology that could end up affecting Americans' wallets.

To prepare you for the show, we've pulled together a short explanation of the topic, including a timeline of key dates.

What is net neutrality?

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Science and Technology
5:39 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Under the Microscope: Farm drones, Bill Nye at MU

MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin presents Bill Nye The Science Guy with a new bow tie.
Credit Bridgit Bowden / KBIA

The University of Missouri invited Gerald Friedman, a professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, to speak to students and local Columbia residents earlier last week.  The lecture was hosted by the MU Truman School of Public Affairs as the Monroe-Paine annual lecture event.  Friedman’s lecture focused on the benefits of the Affordable Care Act and the future possibility of a single payer healthcare system.

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Science and Technology
5:29 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Drones: Coming soon to a farm near you?

Agriculture consultant Chad Colby shows a room of Midwest farmers how GPS can control a high-definition camera attached to a UAV.
Credit Peter Gray / Harvest Public Media

 

Unmanned aerial vehicles aren’t just for spies or for the battlefield. Farmers all over the country think drones can give them a leg up, too.

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Science and Technology
5:23 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Bill Nye preaches 'coolness' of science to packed house

MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin presents Bill Nye "The Science Guy" with a new bow tie.
Credit Bridgit Bowden / KBIA

TV’s Bill Nye the science guy spoke at the University of Missouri Columbia last week as a part of the Life Sciences and Society Symposium.

Jesse Auditorium was packed on Saturday morning with people ready to learn about science. Tickets to the event were free, but ran out within 30 minutes of the box office opening. That’s more than 1700 tickets.

Jack Schultz is the director of MU’s Bond Life Sciences Center, and oversaw the event. He said  they weren’t initially expecting such a huge turnout.

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Missouri Environment
7:04 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Management of Ozark National Scenic Riverways sparks controversy

Kim Rains and Eric Mansfield prepare to gig for the first sucker, a fish in the Current River. “We get pretty competitive,” said Rains, who comes out on the river as often as she can.
Meredith Turk KBIA

Deep in the heart of the Ozark Mountains in southern Missouri a battles rages over the use of a National Park, The Ozark National Scenic Riverways. This National Park is visited by millions each year and was the first federally protected river system, established in 1964.

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Science and Technology
5:18 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Health concerns grow as frac sand mines creep into Missouri [INFOGRAPHIC]

A frac sand mine in Wisconsin. There are more than 100 located within the state.
Credit Carole Mitchell / Flickr

In Ste. Genevieve County, Mo., about 100 residents gathered for a town hall meeting in 2013 to discuss a new frac sand mine in their backyard. Officials from the county, state and mining company attended to answer questions residents might have.

Neighbors peppered the panel with questions: How will the mine’s sand dust be regulated? How will you prevent it from getting into our lungs? How will the traffic and explosions affect my health, my property and the ecosystem? Concerns about breathing in the microscopic sand particles, which could lead to silicosis in the lungs, abounded.

Jane Hardy, who lives about 1000 feet from the mine, said she wasn’t satisfied with the answers.

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Science, Health and Technology
4:22 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Under the Microscope: hog virus, frac sand mine threats

Illinois hog farmer Phil Borgic says the PED virus killed many of his piglets. The virus is expected to cut pork supplies this year.
Credit Peter Gray / Harvest Public Media

For nearly a year now, hog farmers have been battling a virus. It’s deadly to newly born piglets and farmers are scrambling to protect their herds. With fewer pigs comes less pork. Harvest Public Media’s Amy Mayer reports.

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Science, Health and Technology
3:24 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Local biotech startup receives $200,000 investment

Animal Health Specialties aims to develop drugs treating cachexia, a condition occuring in cancer patients which increases the body's metabolic rate.
Amylovesyah Flickr

Local biotech startup Animal Health Specialties has announced it is receiving an investment of more than $200,000 from Columbia-based investment group Centennial Investors.

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Science, Health and Technology
9:03 am
Tue March 11, 2014

MU welcomes author Rebecca Skloot

Author Rebecca Skloot signs copies of her book at Jesse Hall in Columbia, Mo., Monday, March 10, 2014.
Credit Melody Myers / KBIA

The University of Missouri welcomed Rebecca Skloot on Monday night at Jesse Auditorium as part of the university’s Decoding Science: Life Sciences and Society Symposium. Skloot spoke about her book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, and the lessons learned from doing research and writing the book.

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Science, Health and Technology
8:20 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Study: For Women, Free Birth Control Doesn't Lead To Risky Sex

IUDs and implants are 20 times more effective at preventing pregnancy than short-term birth control options like the pill, patch, or vaginal ring (pictured).

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 9:48 pm

New research out of Washington University has found that giving women free birth control does not increase risky sexual behavior.

The analysis included 7,751 St. Louis-area women between the ages of 14 and 45.

It was part of an even larger effort called the Contraceptive CHOICE Project, whose goal is to promote the use of long-term contraceptive methods like intrauterine devices (IUDs) or implants.

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Science, Health and Technology
5:31 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Under the Microscope: Invasive weeds, MU prof on USDA council

Ellen Nelson has battled invasive plants that out-compete native grasses on her grass-fed beef ranch near Bellvue, Colo., Some climate studies suggest that fight will worsen in the coming decades.
Credit Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

Most climate models paint a bleak picture for the Great Plains a century from now. Scientists say it’ll be warmer, and the air will be more rich with carbon dioxide. To what degree is still unclear. But even small fluctuations in climate throw farmland ecosystems out of whack. A new study shows certain invasive plant species will not only be able to withstand climate change, but thrive. Harvest Public Media’s Luke Runyon has more.

Shibu Jose is the director of the Center for Agroforestry at the University of Missouri Columbia.

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Science, Health and Technology
8:26 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Missouri has backlog of Medicaid applications

Credit images_of_money / flickr

Missouri has a backlog of about 22,000 parents and children waiting to learn whether they will be covered by Medicaid.

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