Tue, 10/16/2018 - 10:57am

Biology

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.

The Bone Lab

Bones tell the story of a person's life. Forensic anthropologists at NC State University use advanced forensic science techniques to identify victims and solve crimes. Their work in using skeletal measurements to identify where a person is from has drawn worldwide attention.

Vaccine Hunters

Chikungunya and dengue fever are two mosquito-carried viruses that threaten almost three billion people worldwide. Both illnesses cause serious flu-like symptoms, and dengue fever can be fatal. A Raleigh biotech start-up is using technology from NC State in its race to create a vaccine to stop the spread of the viruses.

Super Fruit

Blueberries are nature's super fruit, packed with fiber, antioxidants and vitamins. Blueberries are also a big industry for North Carolina. Now scientists are working to decode the blueberry genome and create the super blueberry bush, which would help the state's blueberry industry.

What a Pain!

UNC School of Medicine researchers have found a new treatment for chronic pain, which is pain that lasts for months and affects 116 million people. Scientists discovered an enzyme that blocks the reception of pain signals by sensors in the skin. It could lead to safer and more effective pain medications.

Pages