Wed, 01/17/2018 - 1:39am

Biology

Mystery Dino

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences researchers discovered fossils of an unknown dinosaur while working in Utah. Using only a few bones, they'll learn the creature's size, diet, age and other features, and this mystery dinosaur could become the museum's first holotype, the example with which other species are described.

Aquaponics

Aquaponics is a system for farming fish and plants together in a mutually beneficial cycle. Fish produce waste that is a fertilizer for plants while plants suck up the nutrients as they purify the water. The system is efficient and environmentally friendly. A farm in Norwood, NC is pioneering the technique.

Acorns Count

The acorn is not only a symbol of fall, but the nuts are a baseline indicator of the current and future health of the forest ecosystem. U.S. Forest Service researchers studying acorns find a bounty of acorns indicates healthy trees and a plentiful food supply for the creatures that form the base of the forest food chain.

Switching Heart Cells

A heart attack does serious damage to the cells that drive the heart. Cells that would normally create new blood vessels and heal the heart often become useless scar-forming cells. UNC School of Medicine's Eric Ubil discovered a way to reverse this process, turning scar cells into blood-vessel builders and healing the heart in mice. Listen in as UNC-TV's Daniel Lane and Eric Ubil discuss this research, its significance and the next steps toward practical application for patients.

Dinosaur GPS

Paleontologists working in the field looking for fossils have always faced a painstaking process that required a lot of luck to be successful. But using Landsat satellite imagery, a UNC Greensboro scientist is replacing luck with educated efficiency in the quest for fossils.

Epidemiologist Dr. Seronda Robinson

The 2014 Ebola epidemic is the largest in history, affecting multiple countries in West Africa and isolated patients around the world. Although the risk of an Ebola outbreak in the US is very low, the CDC and its partners are taking precautions to prevent this from happening. We recently sat down with epidemiologist Dr. Seronda Robinson to find out more about the disease and what can be done to prevent its spread.

Leaping Lemurs

Duke Lemur Center preserves and protects lemurs, unique primates that are the ancient relatives of monkeys, apes and humans. Lemurs evolved in isolation on Madagascar, but are threatened as the island's human population grows. Researchers study behavior, genomics, physiology and conservation biology in order to preserve the existence of lemurs worldwide.

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