Biology

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.

Oh Shuck!

Raw oysters, delicious with hot sauce, can carry a bacteria that makes people very sick. Researchers are working to better understand Vibrio bacteria and create a warning system for oystermen, which would alert them to the best and worst times to harvest oysters.

Reef Life

Researchers discover natural oyster reefs grow fast enough to keep up with the projected rise in sea levels, suggesting oyster reefs could be used for storm protection and erosion control, all the while doing what oyster reefs naturally do, which is filter the water and provide a habitat for fish.

Life on the Rocks

North Carolina's rocky offshore reefs provide nurseries for juvenile fish, foraging grounds, hiding places, and spawning grounds. Research into offshore wind energy has prompted a new look at the health and diversity of life on the rocky reefs off the NC coast, where wind turbines could be located.

Greening the Golf Course

The restoration of historic Pinehurst #2 golf course, site of the 2014 U.S. Open, to its original design is a model of golf going green. The course, filled with native plants needing less care, matches the Sandhills environment, using less water and chemicals. The USGA and PGA say it's a model of golf going back to nature.

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