Sun, 06/24/2018 - 6:00pm

NC Science Now Reporter's blog

One Man's Nobel Idea

Winning a Nobel Prize is definitely a life-changing experience. But the way Nobel laureates find out the good news is pretty unassuming. 

Dr. Aziz Sancar’s experience is typical for a Nobel Prize recipient. Someone from Stockholm, Sweden, where the awards are announced, called him on the telephone. And since the awards are announced during the day in Sweden, it was the middle of the night in North Carolina. 

A Torn ACL and a Long Recovery

I take serious interest in every science story I report on, but I must admit I had a special interest in this story due to personal experience. I tore my ACL a couple years ago. Ironically, I didn’t injure my ACL playing football or basketball or skiing; I tore it while hiking. I was stepping down onto a lower trail and my leg gave out. The doctor told me that many ACL injuries he treats stem from fairly routine activities like what I was doing. This didn’t make me feel any better. 

The Price of Biofuels

Before we talk about future fuels, it’s important to spell out some definitions. 

A biofuel is a fuel that is produced through contemporary biological processes. I know that’s quite a mouthful for a definition, but it takes in agriculture, plants growing wild in the forest, field crops like corn, ocean grasses, and even anaerobic digestion.  In fact, biofuels can be derived directly from plants, or indirectly from agricultural, commercial, domestic, and/or industrial waste.

Make your own Diamond

Scientists are still figuring out just how diamonds were formed in the Earth roughly one-to-three billion years ago. But while the research continues, if you wanted to give creating diamonds a try, maybe because you’re ready to take the next step in your relationship or you're looking for an investment, here’s a rough recipe. 

First, it’s important to know that diamonds are made out of carbon. 

So, start by burying carbon dioxide about 100-150 miles deep in the Earth’s mantle. 

How to Kick that Habit

Now that Duke University researchers have shown how habits form, and unform, in the brain, the idea of actually breaking a bad habit looks like even more of a challenge. But researchers say, take heart, it can still be done! In fact, knowing what you're up against, as revealed in Duke's research, plays a big role in winning the battle. 

Here are some tips for breaking bad habits: 

1. Understand the Situation 

The Clean Revolution

If you want to understand the uniquely American obsession with cleanliness, including the use of deodorants, you have to start with the United States military. More specifically, you have to start with a pivotal point in military history that not only changed America, but in the long run, also changed how Americans viewed sanitation. 

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