2011 In the News Archive
Highlights of recent media coverage of NC State, as well as its faculty, staff and administrators. (Links to online stories provided where available.)
A Year in the Woods of Bodies, Bedrooms and Bathrooms Scientific American, Dec. 30, 2011. I’ve been fascinated by discoveries made on, in and around our bodies, discoveries relevant to us, no matter who we are. Blog post written by Dr. Rob Dunn, biology.
How New Teaching Merits Higher Pay News & Observer, Dec. 26, 2011. Pay our most efficient teachers per pupil and then allow them the option to increase class sizes and/or the number of classes they teach. Op/ed piece written by Dr. Lodge McCammon, NC State curriculum and contemporary media specialist.
Unemployment Rate Drops to 10 Percent Winston-Salem Journal, Dec. 23, 2011. Early holiday hiring by retailers led to the biggest one-month decline in the state’s jobless rate in 1 1/2 years, the N.C. Commerce Department said Tuesday. Dr. Michael Walden, agricultural and resource economics, featured.
NCSU Chancellor’s Home Serves As ‘a Great Venue’ News & Observer, Dec. 21, 2011. Randy Woodson and his wife, Susan, moved into the new N.C. State University chancellor’s home a few weeks ago, but they have already hosted more than 2,000 visits and at least eight official events.
Scammers Target The Elderly During Holiday Season USA Today, Dec. 18, 2011. This is the season for giving. Unfortunately scammers know it and are getting smarter about ways to cash in. Dr. Karen Bullock, social work, featured.
How To Avoid Scams This Holiday Season USA Today, Dec. 18, 2011. Monica Leach and Jodi Hall, researchers at North Carolina State University, offer tips on avoiding consumer frauds. Drs. Monica Leach and Jodi Hall, social work, featured.
NC Warns Older Adults To Be Wary of Holiday Scams Associate Press, Charlotte Observer, et al., Dec. 18, 2011. At a time of year when generosity runs high and donations flow to favorite charities, North Carolina State University researchers are warning people to be wary of a darker side to the season. Dr. Karen Bullock, social work, featured.
Using Microneedles for Real-Time Monitoring of Body Chemistry The Atlantic, Dec. 16, 2011. Researchers from North Carolina State University, Sandia National Laboratories, and the University of California, San Diego, published about a new technology that uses micro needles for real-time detection of chemical changes in the body. Dr. Roger Narayan, biomedical engineering, featured.
Fir Real? Christmas Trees in Crisis as Americans Flock to Fakes WSJ, Dec. 16, 2011. Christmas tree geneticist John Frampton rubs the sprigs of a two-inch seedling, planted two years ago from the seed of a fir cone from the Uludag Mountain region in western Turkey. Dr. John Frampton, forestry and environmental resources, featured.
Durham architect Freelon named to national arts commission N&O, Dec. 13, 2011. Durham architect Phil Freelon has been appointed, by President Obama, to a four-year term on the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts. Phil Freelon, trustee, featured.
Income Gap Widens Within The Black Community Business Week, et al., Dec. 8, 2011. What happens within the black community when the gap widens between the poor and the affluent? Dr. Blair Kelley, history, featured.
A Key Trick To Bed Bugs’ Persistence: Inbreeding Time, Dec. 7, 2011. If bed bugs seem to be everywhere, it’s probably because they are. Dr. Coby Schal, entomology, featured.
Bed Bugs Use Incest for Colonizing Entire Apartment Buildings BusinessWeek, et al., Dec. 6, 2011. Like any truly bad roommate, a single female bedbug can infest an entire apartment, a study shows. Dr. Coby Schal, entomology, featured.
Making Money By Making Money PRI’s The World, Dec. 5, 2011. Billions of dollars, euros and yen zap around the globe electronically in milliseconds these days. That’s the way that modern economies work. But there’s still a need for cold, hard cash. Dr. Michael Walden, agricultural and resource economics, featured.
Security Researchers Find Privacy Leaks In Fundamental Pre-Installed Android Apps Gizmodo, Dec. 2, 2011. Though phone manufacturers have been distancing themselves from the Carrier IQ furore, there are plenty of other pieces of software that could be tracking you, too. Dr. Xuxian Jiang, computer science, featured.
Researchers Find Big Leaks In Pre-Installed Android Apps Ars Technica, Dec. 1, 2011. Researchers at North Carolina State University have uncovered a variety of vulnerabilities in the standard configurations of popular Android smartphones from Motorola, HTC, and Samsung, finding that they don’t properly protect privileged permissions from untrusted applications. Dr. Xuxian Jiang, computer science, featured.
Ancient Animal Bones Pose a West Indies Mystery LiveScience, Dec. 1, 2011. Bones from five non-native species of animals found on a tiny Caribbean island present a puzzle about the people who lived in the region long before Christopher Columbus arrived. Dr. Scott Fitzpatrick, anthropology, featured.
Bacteria’s Kryptonite? C&EN, Nov. 30, 2011. Disease-causing bacteria become more virulent when they form a slimy biofilm. Researchers have now synthesized a chemical that breaks through the microbial goo. Dr. Christian Melander, chemistry, featured.
NC State Student Wins Grant To Solve Icky Problem News & Observer, et al., Nov. 26, 2011. If ever a machine to suck sludge could be called elegant, it is the one dreamed up by an N.C. State University student to solve one of the most ancient public health dilemmas in the Third World: finding an easy, cheap and sanitary way to remove sludge in cities that don’t have modern sewer systems. Dr. Robert Borden, civil, construction and environmental engineering, featured.
7 Tips for a Safe (and Non-Explosive) Turkey Day LiveScience, Nov. 21, 2011. Few people cook a massive feast complete with a roast turkey more than once or twice a year — and that fact means that Thanksgiving’s warmth and camaraderie can just as soon turn into a tale of undercooked bird and food-borne illness. Dr. Ben Chapman, family and consumer sciences, featured.
The Physics of Christmas The Economist, Nov. 18, 2011. With the festive season fast approaching, here’s a question that has perennially puzzled the eight-year-old in all of us: How does Santa Claus manage to deliver presents to billions of children across the globe during the course of a single night? Dr. Larry Silverberg, mechanical and aerospace engineering, featured.
NC State Wins $1.5 Million Research Grant From Intel News & Observer, Nov. 15, 2011. N.C. State University has received one of its largest corporate grants to finance a private research project for Silicon Valley computing giant Intel. Dr. Paul Franzon, electrical and computer engineering, featured.
Public-University Leaders Plan for More Hard Times Ahead Chronicle of Higher Education, Nov. 14, 2011. At a gathering here of leaders of public and land-grant universities, the talk is of navigating the “new normal.” Chancellor Randy Woodson featured.
Project Seeks Your Tiny Squatters Scientific American, Nov. 14, 2011. Think of the weirdest creatures you’ve even seen in a sci-fi film. Now think of this: there are far stranger, albeit smaller, critters living in your own home. Dr. Rob Dunn, biology, featured.
A Word In Defense Of The Witnesses Scientific American, Nov. 13, 2011. You and I – and every single other decent person on the planet who has heard about the Penn State abuse allegations – are having the same revenge fantasy. Dr. Jeff Braden, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, featured.
2D Patterns Self-Assemble Into 3D Objects Wired UK, Nov. 11, 2011. Researchers at North Carolina State University have come up with a way to make two-dimensional patterns self-assemble into three-dimensional objects by simply shining light on them. Dr. Michael Dickey, chemical and biomolecular engineering, featured.
Light Creates Instant Origami New Scientist, Nov. 11, 2011. Too lazy to learn origami? Now you can sit back and let heat do the work, thanks to a new technique developed by Michael Dickey and his team at North Carolina State University that uses a material that can fold up on its own. Dr. Michael Dickey, chemical and biomolecular engineering, featured.
Bugs of Death May Help Solve Murder Cases LiveScience, MSNBC, etc., Nov. 11, 2011. When investigators exhumed the body of 33-year-old Jonathan Blackwell, they found something they didn’t expect: insect larva on his remains. Dr. Wes Watson, entomology, featured.
Mercury, Mining and Empire State of Things, Nov. 10, 2011. The roots of today’s global economy can be traced all the way back to Peru in 1569. Nick Hopkins, history, featured.
Why We Lie About Using Food Thermometers NPR, Nov. 10, 2011. Come Thanksgiving, cooks tend to go rummaging in the drawer to dig out the food thermometer; it may be the day we feel most compelled to deploy the slender little probe to keep the killer microbes at bay. Dr. Ben Chapman, family and consumer sciences, featured.
Voters Revolt Against Ideological Contest News & Observer Nov. 9, 2011. Wake County voters Tuesday said they had enough bitter partisan wrangling and opted for more unity and stability in the leadership of North Carolina’s largest school district. Dr. Steven Greene, political science, featured.
NC State Wants To Know About Your Home Wild Life Charlotte Observer, et al. Nov. 6, 2011. Creatures. They’re everywhere: in your hot water heater, under your bed, even in your bellybutton. Dr. Rob Dunn, biology, featured.
Can An Engineer from N.C. State Rebuild Libya As Prime Minister? News& Observer, et al. Nov. 3, 2011. Despite not being a politician or public figure el-Keib still had a certain presence, said John Grainger, a professor emeritus at NCSU who oversaw el-Keib’s work on his theses and acted as his academic mentor. Dr. John Grainger, electrical and computer engineering, featured.
NC State Device Monitors Floods, Droughts WUNC Nov. 2, 2011. North Carolina has seen its fair share of both flooding and drought over the past several years. One of the problems has been getting accurate information, especially in rural areas. Dr. Francois Birgand, biological and agricultural engineering, featured.
Libya’s New PM Balances Demands of Ex-Rebels, West Time, et al. Nov. 1, 2011. He holds a doctorate in electrical engineering from North Carolina State University and joined the teaching staff of the University of Alabama in 1985, according to a biography posted by a former employer, the Petroleum Institute in the United Arab Emirates. Dr. Abdurrahim el-Keim, alumnus, featured.
E.coli Has No Place At the Fair News & Observer, Nov. 1, 2011. The source of the current illnesses is unknown and, like many outbreaks, may never be pinpointed. Ben Chapman, family and consumer sciences, featured.
N.C. State Researchers Help Solve Terrible Hairy Fly Mystery News & Observer, Oct. 31, 2011. This summer, researchers at N.C. State helped solve the mystery of the terrible hairy fly. Since it was first spotted more than six decades ago, the unusual insect has not been seen – and scientists have debated ever since what kind of fly this actually is and whether it is a fly at all. Brian Wiegmann and Warren Booth, entomology, featured.
What Are Spider Webs Made Of? News & Observer, Oct. 31, 2011. David Stephan is an insect identification specialist at the N.C. State Plant Disease and Insect Clinic. Here he explains all you ever wanted to know about spider webs. David Stephan, entomology, featured.
Wake Forest Baptist forms regenerative-medicine partnership with N.C. State Winston-Salem Journal, AP, Oct. 28, 2011. Two of the state’s leading medical-research groups said Thursday that they have formed a partnership in the hope of advancing regenerative-medicine treatments for humans and animals. Jorge Piedrahita, genomics, featured.
Improving Education For Foster Children WUNC, Oct. 26, 2011. Researchers at N.C. State are working with Cumberland County Schools in an effort to improve education among foster children. Joan Pennell, social work, featured.
Scrubbing Is Key To Keep Hands Bacteria Free WRAL, Oct. 26, 2011. With a recent outbreak of the E. coli infection, the Wake County health department is reiterating the importance of washing hands thoroughly to prevent the spread of disease. Ben Chapman, family and consumer sciences, featured.
Geithner Trails Obama to North Carolina Pushing Jobs Bill BusinessWeek, Oct. 26, 2011. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner followed President Barack Obama to North Carolina, praising Corning’s Inc.’s fiber-optics factory as a model of innovation and prodding Congress into jobs bill passage. Michael Walden, agricultural and resource economics, featured.
Scientists Solve Riddle of First Supernova Ever Detected by Man UK Daily Mail, Fox News, Reuters, AP, UPI, Space.com, et al, Oct. 24, 2011. The riddle of the first documented star explosion has been solved – 2,000 years after the ancient supernova was spotted. Brian Williams, physics, featured.
Kids Try Field Research Through NC State Program News & Observer, Charlotte Observer, Oct. 24, 2011. Angel Lafone’s students aren’t your usual entomologists collecting data for an academic population study. Rob Dunn, biology, featured.
Reasons to Crow About Ever-Bigger Chickens Wall Street Journal, Oct. 22, 2011. Ten years ago, Dr. Gerry Havenstein At North Carolina State University did a careful study of weight gain in chickens, comparing (under identical conditions) a modern 21st century breed with a 1957 breed that had been kept going. Gerry Havenstein, poultry science, featured.
Obama Hails 12 for Science, Technology, Innovation BusinessWeek, Oct. 21, 2011. President Barack Obama said the 12 people he recognized Friday for achievement in science, technology and innovation should make others feel embarrassed about their old science projects. Jay Baliga, electrical and computer engineering, featured.
NCSU Prof To Receive Medal For Device News & Observer, Oct. 21, 2011. B. Jayant Baliga’s most important invention – a kind of switch for efficiently controlling the flow of electrical power – is obscure but nearly everywhere, and without it life would be really, really different. Jay Baliga, electrical and computer engineering, featured.
‘Kudzu Bug’ Shifts to Soybeans News & Observer, et al, Oct. 18, 2011. Kudzu – the “plant that ate the South” – has finally met a pest that’s just as voracious. Jack Bacheler, entomology, featured.
Publishers Turn to Cloud Computing to Offer Digital Content Education Week, Oct. 17, 2011. While many schools are struggling to strike a balance between print and digital curricula for students, textbook publishers are taking to the cloud to house new digital resources and curricula. Eric Wiebe, mathematics, science and technology education, featured.
Help These Scientists Find The Microbes Living In Your Couch io9, Oct. 17, 2011. What kind of organisms grow in your couch? Are they the same species as those living on someone’s door frame a couple hundred miles away? Rob Dunn, biology, featured.
Raleigh’s Smart Grid Bid Businessweek, Oct. 13, 2011. Alex Huang keeps busy as a full-time electric engineering professor at North Carolina State University, but outside the classroom he has his hands in a really big project. Alex Huang, electrical and computer engineering, featured.
A Word From the Wise is Sufficient Innovation Policy Blog, Oct. 13, 2011. Some of the country’s most promising young scientists, in Washington this week to be honored at the White House, offered some useful insights for policymakers about the nation’s science innovation ecosystem. Michael Escuti, electrical and computer engineering, featured.
Parents, Talk About Sex, Even If Teens Tune You Out USA Today, Oct. 12, 2011. Parents need to keep talking to their teens about sex, contraception and other “sensitive” topics, even if they’re embarrassed or kids don’t want to listen, say sex educators. Sinikka Elliott, sociology, featured.
‘Green’ NC State Chemist Looks for Cleaner, Safer Fuel Process NBC Learn, Oct. 12, 2011. NC State chemist Elon Ison is designing catalysts to make safer, cleaner alternative fuels. Elon Ison, chemistry, featured.
Animals in Motion – With Prosthetic Limbs Wired, Oct. 11, 2011. Two North Carolina State University professors – Denis Marcellin-Little and Ola Harrysson – created this prosthetic, which is made of thermoplastic and lined in foam.
NCSU Shares $4 Million Biofuels Grant Triangle Business Journal, Oct. 10, 2011. Researchers at North Carolina State University will look at the best ways to get biofuels from the forest, thanks to a $4 million grant.
Researchers Create Stealth Virtual Machine That Can Run Alongside Insecure VMs Ars Technica, Oct. 6, 2011. A team of researchers has devised a way to create an isolated and trusted environment on virtual servers. Peng Ning, computer science, featured.
Bedbugs: How Contagious Are They Really? Slate, Oct. 6, 2011. North Caroline State University entomologist Ed Vargo has gathered bedbug specimens from dozens of sites up and down the East Coast and analyzed their DNA to trace the outbreak’s origins and spread. Ed Vargo, entomology, featured.
Propane Powers Patrol Cars in North Carolina, New York Times, Oct. 4, 2011. Thanks in part to confiscated drug money, criminals in Iredell County, N.C., may catch a ride in patrol car powered by liquid propane. North Carolina Solar Center featured.
College Students Don’t Judge Women For Hooking Up, LiveScience, Oct. 4, 2011. Casual sex in college — known colloquially as “hooking up” — gets a lot of attention for supposedly being unhealthy for women. But a new study finds that hooking up may actually allow women more sexual agency than traditional dinner dates. Sinikka Elliott, sociology, featured.
For College Women, Dating Could Be Worse Than Hooking Up, Jezebel, Oct. 4, 2011. When researchers asked college students to talk about a hookup scenario, they learned that “hookup culture” isn’t nearly as male-dominated as many claim. Sinikka Elliott, sociology, featured.
How Skulls Speak, Scientific American, Oct. 3, 2011. Like the detectives on the CBS drama Cold Case, anthropologist Ann H. Ross of North Carolina State University spends many of her days thinking about unsolved crimes. Ann Ross, anthropology, featured.
NCSU Researchers Develop ‘Jell-O’-like Memory Implants, News & Observer, Oct. 3, 2011. Electronic devices hold data just as the brain does, but until now that’s been the only characteristic these hard, inflexible machines shared with the organ that stores memories. Michael Dickey and Orlin Velev, chemical and biomolecular engineering, featured.
Animal Prosthetics Help Human Amputees Move Again, Wired, Sept. 29, 2011. Denis Marcellin-Little, a veterinary orthopedist, and Ola Harrysson, an engineering professor, both at North Carolina State University, have custom-designed prosthetics for a number of cats and dogs missing legs. Marcellin-Little and Harrysson, featured.
IBM’s Watson Wows NCSU Students News & Observer, Sept. 29, 2011. Watson, the “Jeopardy!” winning computer built by IBM, demonstrated his smarts Wednesday in a trivia throw-down with some N.C. State University students.
U.S. Backs New Loans for Projects on Energy New York Times, Sept. 28, 2011. North Carolina State University, in Raleigh, will get $3.7 million to work on increasing the yield of oil per acre from the camelina plant, in a project to make a fuel that can substitute for jet fuel or diesel.
Mobile Security’s Future: 4 Expert Predictions InformationWeek, Sept. 28, 2011. Despite gloomy predictions, the amount of malicious software affecting mobile devices today is miniscule, primarily because mobile app stores act as a first line of defense against the pernicious programs. William Enck, computer science, featured.
President honors NCSU professors News & Observer, Sept. 28, 2011. Two N.C. State University faculty members have been named recipients of prestigious national awards this week. Jay Baliga and Michael Escuti, electrical and computer engineering, featured.
Top honours for twelve US scientists and engineers Nature News, Sept. 27, 2011. Coming back to his office after teaching a class last week, Javant Baliga, a professor of engineering at North Carolina State University, found an unexpected email waiting for him: a message from the White House, telling him that he had won the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. Jay Baliga, electrical and computer engineering, featured.
NCSU Professor Honored For Inventions WRAL, Sept. 27, 2011. President Barack Obama on Tuesday named a North Carolina State University professor as one of five recipients of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the highest honor the government bestows on scientists, engineers and inventors. Jay Baliga, electrical and computer engineering, featured.
NCSU team working to defend against Wi-Fi attacks News & Observer, Sept. 26, 2011. The next time you’re mainlining caffeine at the local coffee shop only to be disrupted by the Wi-Fi connection’s glacial speed, take a look around. It may be your neighbor – not your computer – that’s slowing you down. Wenye Wang, electrical and computer engineering, featured.
School controversy could mean big Wake voter turnout WRAL, Sept. 23, 2011. Wake County elections officials said Friday that they are expecting a larger turnout this year than in previous off-year elections because of the school board races. Andy Taylor, political science, and Toby Parcel, sociology, featured.
Health Data Could Spot Genocide Risk Scientific American, Sept. 22, 2011. It often takes military intervention to halt genocide. But health data also might help—by providing markers that show a population’s risk of being genocide victims.
Of All U.S. Cities, Raleigh is ‘Best’ News & Observer, Sept. 22, 2011. Then there are the three world-class universities – NC State University, UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University – only one of which is physically in Raleigh.
Wired Campus: North Carolina State U. Physics Prof Wins a McGraw Prize For Digital Teaching Chronicle of Higher Education, Sept. 21, 2011. A North Carolina State University physics professor was honored today as one of three winners of the 2011 Harold W. McGraw Jr. Prize in Education. Bob Beichner, physics, featured.
Bones Tell Tale Of Suffering Before Bosnian Genocide LiveScience, MSNBC, et al., Sept. 20, 2011. The victims of the mid-1990s genocide in Bosnia were allowed to suffer long before Bosnian Serb forces began their massacres, according to a new study of bones from mass graves in the region. Ann Ross, anthropology, featured.
Microbe-Managing Your Life News & Observer, Sept. 19, 2011. Can gut parasites be good for you? Rob Dunn, biology, featured.
Back Off, Mom. Parents Who Hover Impede Kids’ Activity Time, Sept. 16, 2011. Parents, if you want your kids to get more exercise, you’d be wise to get out of their way. Jason Bocarro, parks, recreation and tourism management, featured.
Penguins Colonized Africa. Thrice. Scientific American, Sept. 14, 2011. The history of penguins in Africa is a history of false starts. Dan Ksepka, paleontology, featured.
Obama Touts Jobs Bill Benefits for Small Business CBS News, et al, Sept. 14, 2011. President Barack Obama urged enthusiastic college students Wednesday to join him in his fight to get Congress to act on his new jobs bill. “Every single one of you can help make this bill a reality,” the president called out in a hot and noisy rally at North Carolina State University.
At NC State, Obama Gives Homework New York Times, Sept. 14, 2011. Plunging into his third battleground state in five days, Mr. Obama told highly charged students in a packed basketball arena at North Carolina State University that he was sick of the partisanship that has engulfed Washington during the last three years.
Researchers develop method to measure effects of WiFi attacks Engadget, Sept. 13, 2011. America is built on the principles of life, liberty and WiFi, the latter of which has increasingly become a target for hackers hoping to mess up our chi.
5 Essential Mobile Security Tips InformationWeek, Sept. 9, 2011. Security firms have long predicted that cybercriminals would focus efforts on smartphones and tablets. Well, this year that prediction might finally come true for mobile users. William Enck, computer science, featured.
“Helicopter” Parents Make Kids Fat? What New Study Says CBS, Sept. 9, 2011. Do helicopter parents make for hefty kids? Jason Bocarro, parks, recreation and tourism management, featured.
From Sushi to Tunisia: A Guide to Swaying Majority Opinion The Atlantic, Sept. 9, 2011. A study on network theory finds that the tipping point needed for a committed minority to win over the majority is just 10 percent. Andrew Binder, communication, featured.
The ups and downs of U.S. News rankings Washington Post, Sept. 9, 2011. Think U.S. News rankings never change? Ask Randy Woodson. Randy Woodson, Chancellor, featured.
Texas Wildfires: Is Rick Perry Being Hypocritical Asking For Federal Aid? Christian Science Monitor, Sept. 7, 2011. In the short run, Perry’s ditching the campaign for the emergency command in Austin could help him contrast himself with other candidates, including Obama. Andrew Taylor, political science, featured.
Romney Lays Out Comprehensive Jobs, Economic Program News & Observer, McClatchy Newspapers, Sept. 6, 2011. Economists warned that there’s no simple answer to strengthening the economy. Mike Walden, agricultural and resource economics, featured.
Invasion of the Stink Bugs Charlotte Observer, News & Observer, Sept. 5, 2011. The Asian stink bug has started its migration into North Carolina, and a team of researchers at NC State University have prepped their labs, set their traps and launched a monitoring website – all in an effort to stop the pest’s spread. Jim Walgenbach and Mark Abney, entomology, featured.
Long-term solution for NC 12 elusive WRAL, Aug. 31, 2011. State transportation engineers have a week to devise a plan to get traffic flowing again quickly on Hatteras Island, where the sole overland link to the mainland was severed by Hurricane Irene. Billy Edge, civil, construction and environmental engineering, featured.
Travel Back In Time (Virtually) to Hear John Donne Preach The Atlantic, Aug. 31, 2011. Ever wish you could visit a great moment in history? Until we figure out time travel, carefully crafted virtual journeys will have to suffice. John Wall, English, and David Hill, Architecture, featured.
Brothers turn female marmots into ‘Tom Boys’ BBC News, Aug. 31, 2011. Female yellow-bellied marmots that have many male litter-mates become “tom boys”, according to a study of these big, playful rodents. John Vandenbergh, biology, featured.
Farmers Suffer Huge Loss, N&O, et al., Aug. 30, 2011. Hurricane Irene caused hundreds of millions of dollars in crop damage, leaving farms in Eastern North Carolina devastated and putting a big dent in the state’s projected agricultural output for the year. Loren Fisher, crop science, featured.
What is a Gustnado? N&O, Aug. 29, 2011. Dr. Matthew Brown Parker, associate professor of marine, earth and atmospheric sciences at N.C. State University, explains the meteorological event known as a gustnado (gust-NAY-doe) – which may have caused the collapse this month of a stage at the Indiana State Fair. Matt Parker, Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, featured.
Politicians Pushed to Stay Out in Front of Events, Wall Street Journal, Aug. 29, 2011. As Hurricane Irene bore down on the East Coast, governors, mayors and President Barack Obama made sure they were seen driving disaster preparations. Andy Taylor, political science, featured.
Wake Forest Battles Pine Bark Beetles, News & Observer, Aug. 29, 2011. The town of Wake Forest is asking residents to keep an eye out for a destructive and unwelcome pest. Fred Hain, entomology, featured.
Halfway Point for 1,001 Genomes Quest, Nature, Aug. 28, 2011. The mining of natural variation for genetic information has gained momentum as faster DNA sequencing has delivered multiple genomes from wild populations. Trudy Mackay, genetics, featured.
North Carolina Farmers Brace For Irene’s Impact, Bloomberg Businessweek, Aug. 26, 2011. The storm’s winds and torrential rain could mean devastating losses for those who grow corn, cotton, soybeans, tobacco and timber. Michael Wagger, crop science, featured.
Astronomers report seeing supermassive black hole swallowing star, LA Times, Aug. 25, 2011. For the first time, astronomers say they’ve borne witness to a supermassive black hole consuming a star. Davide Lazzati, astrophysics, featured.
To Stay Or Go? Officials Ponder Irene Evacuations, Associated Press, et al, Aug. 25, 2011. Hurricane Irene could hit anywhere from North Carolina to New York this weekend, leaving officials in the path of uncertainty to make a difficult decision. Samantha Rich, parks, recreation and tourism, featured.
Showing Where Community Colleges Pass, Fail, Miller-McCune, Aug. 25, 2011. Community colleges, the often-overlooked workhorses of America’s higher-education system, are finally getting some respect. Audrey Jaeger, higher education.
Black Hole Caught Grabbing A Starry Treat, New Scientist, Aug. 24, 2011. A giant black hole has been caught with its hand in the proverbial cookie jar, in the earliest stages of ripping apart and consuming a star. Davide Lazzati, physics.
Irene On Path To Test Coffers Of State-Run Insurers, Wall Street Journal, Aug. 24, 2011. Hurricane Irene could be a major test of “insurers of last resort” created by U.S. states to protect homeowners marooned by private insurers. Tom Birkland, public administration.
The Most Creative Teachers in the South, Oxford American, Aug. 23, 2011. Dr. Michael Steer used his expertise in electrical engineering to develop a method of detecting the cell-phone triggers used to detonate roadside bombs. Michael Steer, electrical and computer engineering, featured.
Researchers Find First Android Malware Targeting Gingerbread, Computerworld, Aug. 23, 2011. Researchers have spotted the first malware that exploits a critical vulnerability in Android 2.3, aka Gingerbread, finding samples tucked into legitimate apps on Chinese download sites. Xuxian Jiang, computer science.
A Hotter Planet Doesn’t Have to Be Hungrier, Bloomberg, Aug. 22, 2011. For the rest of this summer and through the fall, we’re going to see great volatility in agricultural commodity prices. Michael Roberts, agricultural and resource economics.
Tar Heel of the Week: She Gets a Grant to Study What Makes You Sick, News & Observer, Aug. 21, 2011. Lee-Ann Jaykus thinks a lot about things most people would rather forget. Lee-Ann Jaykus, food, bioprocessing and nutrition sciences, featured.
Cutting Off Illegal Labor Would Have Upsides and Downsides, New York Times, Aug. 17, 2011. If Congress passed a bill requiring that farm workers’ immigration status be verified, enforcing it might prove as challenging as enforcing the immigration laws themselves. Michael Roberts, agricultural and resource economics.
NCSU creates clothing with UV protection, WRAL-TV, Aug. 17, 2011. Designing affordable, ultraviolet-resistant clothing that lessens wearers’ risk of skin cancer is the goal of North Carolina State University researchers. Textile engineers Chris Oldham and Jesse Jur, featured.
Human ancestors went to sea, team says, N&O, Daily Mail, et al, Aug. 16, 2011. Early manlike creatures may have been smarter than we think. Karl Wegmann, marine, earth and atmospheric sciences, featured.
Scientists Want You to Track Ants in Your Neighborhood, Wired UK, Aug. 15, 2011. The School of Ants project is recruiting ant-gathering citizen-scientists for help creating detailed lists and maps of ants living in urban areas, particularly around homes and schools. Andrea Lucky, biology, featured.
The ABCs of Restaurant Grades, L.A. Times, Aug. 15, 2011. At a time when foodborne outbreaks are in the headlines, a restaurant’s health score may seem even more important than its reviews. Ben Chapman, family and consumer sciences, featured.
NC State researcher looks for bedbug remedy, WRAL, Aug. 12, 2011. Entomologist Coby Schal of North Carolina State University is working on ways to stop the nationwide bedbug invasion. Coby Schal, entomology, featured.
NCSU Scientists get grant to help firefighters, News 14 Carolina, Aug. 10, 2011. Firefighters across the state have been battling wildfires and woods fires all summer long. Now researchers at N.C. State are working to make sure firefighting gear is doing its job for those who risk their lives to keep us safe. Roger Barker, textile engineering, featured.
Safer Eating, News & Observer, Aug. 8, 2011. Into the search for causes and cures comes NC State University, through its respected College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
NCSU Economist: Markets Push Politicians to Act, WRAL-TV , Aug. 7, 2011. Any long-term improvement in the U.S. economy will require painful choices, the kinds of choices that politicians have thus far been unable to make, according to Mike Walden, an economist and professor at North Carolina State University.
A Major Flaw in Land-Use Law, News & Observer , Aug. 6, 2011. The General Assembly made important changes to property law this year, particularly with regards to annexation and eminent domain. Andrew Taylor, political science.
NCSU’s Turtle Rescue Team helps wounded turtles come out of their shell, Indy Week, Aug. 3, 2011. Van Gogh lay on his side, propped up between two slabs of foam and covered by a plastic sheet with a hole in it large enough for Kahlina Frey to stitch up his right eye. Dr. Greg Lewbart, veterinary medicine, featured.
NCSU Gets Federal Grant to Study Food Poisoning, News & Observer, et al, Aug. 3, 2011. A national team led by NC State University has received a $25 million grant to research and help control the viruses that cause food poisoning. Lee-Ann Jaykus, food, bioprocessing and nutrition sciences, featured.
Belly Button Home to Bacterial Zoo, ABC Science, Aug. 2, 2011. Whether you’re an innie and not an outie, your belly button is home to at least 60 species of bacteria, fungi and yeasts, according to new research. Rob Dunn, biology, featured.
Send Ants To College, Scientific American, July 29, 2011. Nothing says summer like ants. They’re at your picnics, on your porch, why there’s one crawling up your leg right now.
Marvelous Destroyers: The Fungus-Farming Beetles, Wired, July 27, 2011. Ecological catastrophes are unfortunate. But they can be utterly fascinating, too. Jiri Hulcr, biology, featured.
Researchers Lower Mosquito Population Without Bug Spray, NBC 17, July 26, 2011. There may not be a way to get rid of the summer heat, but researchers at North Carolina State University have found a way to get rid of another summer nuisance, mosquitoes. Bill Hunt and Trisha Culber, biological and agricultural engineering, featured.
Caution: Your Child’s First Job May Be Hazardous To Her Health, The Atlantic, July 26, 2011. An estimated 80 percent of teens are employed at some point during their high school years–but many of them are ill-equipped to deal with on-the-job hazards. Michael Schulman, sociology, featured.
Cheat With Science: Why Smart B-Ballers Bank on the Bank Shot, Wired, July 26, 2011. If you’re playing basketball, forget the swish and go for the bank. Larry Silverberg, mechanical and aerospace engineering, featured.
Empire of Evolution, New York Times, July 25, 2011. On a recent afternoon, James Danoff-Burg and Rob Dunn were clambering around in a narrow Broadway median on the Upper West Side. Rob Dunn, biology, featured.
Going Fishing For a Better Breed, Charlotte Observer, News & Observer, July 25, 2011. More than two decades ago, a group of researchers at NC State University’s Sea Grant program set out to create the hybrid striped bass, a meaty fish about the size of a snapper that can be grown in ponds. Craig Sullivan, biology, featured.
Super-foam Makes Contaminated Water Fit to Drink, Reuters TV, July 22, 2011. Researchers at North Carolina State University have created an eco-friendly super absorbent foam they say could revolutionize efforts to purify drinking water in developing countries and disaster-stricken areas. Joel Pawlak, forest biomaterials, featured.
Beetles Bore Into State’s Trees, News & Observer, et al., July 18, 2011. Tiny Asian beetles that tunnel into dead wood are invading the U.S. But in North Carolina, they’re boring holes into living trees as well as dead ones. Steven Frank, entomology, and Jiri Hulcr, biology, featured.
It’s Time to Kick Farmers Off the Federal Dole, Forbes, July 18, 2011. The rest of the federal budget is filled with outrageous special interest pay-offs. Consider the agricultural dole. Barry Goodwin, agricultural and resource economics, featured.
Scientist Looks at How Civilization Affects Health, Charlotte Observer, July 17, 2011. Dunn thinks civilization has fundamentally changed our relationship with nature. Rob Dunn, biology, featured.
Soft, Submersible Memory Device Created, Gizmag, July 14, 2011. Researchers have developed a memory device that is soft and squishy, and not affected by wet environments. Michael Dickey, chemical and biomolecular engineering, featured.
Factions In Congress, Pressure From Outsiders Impede Debt Deal, Charlotte Observer, et al., July 13, 2011. Besieged by single-interest groups, vocal constituencies insisting on ideological rigidity and influential fundraisers they’re eager to please, many congressional lawmakers are dividing into small blocs that could make it hard to pass any deficit-reduction deal. Steven Greene, political science, featured.
Invasive Beetles Attacking Living Trees May Mis-Smell Them, USA Today, July 13, 2011. A species of fungus-farming beetle that’s been hitching rides on wooden shipping pallets has become a serious pest in some areas, killing avocados, poplars and oaks worldwide. Jiri Hulcr, biology, featured.
Experiments From UNC-CH And NCSU Aboard Final Shuttle Mission, News & Observer, July 8, 2011. The official countdown clock at the Kennedy Space Center is ticking down to the end of an era. Caroline Smith and Imara Perera, plant biology, and Ted Bateman, biomedical engineering, featured.
NC Projects Headed To Space With Shuttle Launch, News & Observer, et al., July 8, 2011. The final space shuttle flight will take North Carolina research projects into space to help investigators better understand bone loss and how plants fare under stressful conditions.
NC State Research To Be Onboard Friday’s Shuttle Launch, NBC 17, July 7, 2011. The flight of Atlantis Friday morning marks the end of an era, with NASA’s shuttle program coming to an end, and North Carolina State University is playing a big part in the mission. Chris Brown, plant biology, featured.
Will Shuttles’ End Leave Science Landlocked?, LiveScience, July 7, 2011. The payload on the final space shuttle trip to the International Space Station is expected to include containers of plant seeds. Imara Perera and Chris Brown, plant biology, featured.
Scientists Find a Rich Array of Unknown Bacteria in Human Navels, Washington Post, July 4, 2011. The human navel should be designated as a bacterial nature reserve, it seems. Jiri Hulcr and Rob Dunn, biology, featured.
Human Belly Button is Home to Hundreds of Never-Before-Seen Species, Popular Science, July 1, 2011. Call it a twist on the study of gut bacteria. Rob Dunn and Jiri Hulcr, biology, featured.
Belly Button Biomes Begin to Blossom, New Scientist, June 30, 2011. The human navel should be designated as a bacterial nature reserve, it seems. Jiri Hulcr and Rob Dunn, biology, featured.
Shade: A Weapon Against Skin Cancer, Childhood Obesity, USA Today, June 29, 2011. Most playground planners “just don’t think about shade,” says architect Robin Moore, director of the Natural Learning Initiative at North Carolina State University, which aims to integrate nature into playgrounds.
Deadly Animal Disease That Shaped History Is Eradicated, CNN International, June 29, 2011. But after years of global efforts, rinderpest – German for cattle plague – doesn’t exist anymore. Peter Cowen, veterinary medicine, featured.
Global Warming Continues As Greenhouse Gas Grows, Associated Press, et al, June 28, 2011. The world’s climate is not only continuing to warm, it is also adding heat-trapping greenhouse gases even faster than in the past, researchers said. Peter Thorne, marine, earth and atmospheric sciences, featured.
Discovering My Microbiome,Discover, June 27, 2011. All told, I now discover, my belly button harbors at least 53 species of bacteria. Jiri Hulcr, Andrea Lucky and Rob Dunn, biology, featured.
Android Phones Are Tempting Targets For Hackers, Boston Globe, June 24, 2011. Criminals who infect personal computers worldwide with malicious software programs, hoping to steal credit card numbers and other personal data from computer users, are setting their sights on a new target: the millions of smartphones running Google Inc.’s Android software. Xuxian Jiang, computer science, featured.
Champion Of Cities, Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2011. With New York’s High Line park expansion, Amanda Burden’s urban revitalization efforts set a model for the world. Marvin Malecha, design, featured.
Blessed Are The Beekeepers, Wall Street Journal, June 22, 2011. The last week of June is National Pollinator Week. Birds, bats and wild insects all pollinate the flowering plants around us. Walter Thurman, agricultural and resource economics, featured.
Self-Healing Sensor Can Take The Strain, ScienceNOW, June 21, 2011. Whether it’s monitoring the integrity of buildings during earthquakes or airplane wings during flight, so-called strain sensors are getting more and more important for our safety. But what if a sensor itself is broken? Kara Peters, mechanical and aerospace engineering, featured.
Ant workers carry over friends to help forage for food, BBC, June 21, 2011. A common species of stinging ant has a simple way to handle food items that are too large for one ant to carry alone. It brings in a fellow worker to help. Benoit Guenard, biology, featured.
NCSU Takes Leading Role In Developing Smart Grid News & Observer, June 20, 2011. It takes up enough space to cover a billiards table, but next year it will fit inside a backpack. The electronic contraption, only in its first generation, was named this year by experts at Massachusetts Institute of Technology as one of the 10 most important technology innovations of 2010. Dr. Alex Huang, electrical and computer engineering, featured.
Dogs Help Chase Rogue Genes News & Observer, June 20, 2011. Matthew Breen is a rogue gene hunter whose job involves encounters with potential killers. And Breen, who’s British, has the foreign accent to give his white lab coat an adventurous tinge. Dr. Matthew Breen, genetics, featured.
Study: Biodegradable Plastics Can Release Methane News & Observer, June 20, 2011. New plastics designed to break down naturally have been hailed as environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional plastics. Instead of taking decades or even centuries to decompose, they vanish in a few years. But new research at N.C. State University suggests they may not be so green after all. Dr. Morton Barlaz, civil, construction and environmental engineering, featured.
How Game Developers Can Predict Behavior Patterns Through Rewards Ars Technica, June 17, 2011. As the video game industry continues to grow and expand, many developers and publishers are on a quest to find more cost- and time-efficient methods of developing their products, especially as budgets continue to grow for high-profile titles. Dr. David L. Roberts, computer science, featured.
NC State Builds Self-Healing Structural Stress Sensor Engadget, June 16, 2011. “Sensor, heal thyself,” goes an old saying, and North Carolina State University researchers have given it a new spin.
Biodegradable Products Damage Environment, Too Discovery, June 16, 2011. Buying “biodegradable” products is an easy way to reduce guilt about your impact on the Earth. Dr. Morton Barlaz, civil, construction and environmental engineering, featured.
What Gamers Want: Researchers Develop Tool To Predict Player Behavior U.S. News & World Report, June 15, 2011. Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new method that can accurately predict the behavior of players in online role-playing games. Dr. David L. Roberts, computer science, featured.
NCSU Study Yields Clue to Parkinson’s N&O, June 15, 2011. A study by researchers at N.C. State University could pave the way for new treatments for Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative disorder whose patients suffer from tremors and loss of muscle function. Frisco Rose, Ph.D. candidate in physics, featured.
Shocker! Gamer Behavior Is Actually Quite Predictable Engadget, June 14, 2011. Researchers at North Carolina State University claim they’ve found a way to predict your in-game behavior with “up to 80 percent accuracy.” Dr. David L. Roberts, computer science, featured.
Twisted Structure Preserved Dinosaur Proteins Nature News, June 14, 2011. Scientists have discovered how fragments of the protein collagen might have survived in fossilized dinosaur bones. Dr. Mary Schweitzer, marine, earth and atmospheric sciences, featured.
Android Malware Found In ‘Angry Birds’ Apps Wired, June 13, 2011. Google recently removed at least 10 applications from the Android Market, all of which contained malicious code disguised as add-ons to one of the most popular apps of all time. Dr. Xuxian Jiang, computer science, featured.
Google Pulls More Malware From Android Market Computerworld, et al., June 13, 2011. Google removed more malware-infected applications from its Android Market last week, according to a security researcher who reported the rogue software to the company. Dr. Xuxian Jiang, computer science, featured.
NCSU Entomologist Is Building A Better Insect News & Observer, June 12, 2011. Fred Gould started out like the rest of us, playing no more than a minor role in evolution. Now, though, he speeds it up, slows it down and changes its direction to create weapons in some of mankind’s most epic battles against insects. Dr. Fred Gould, entomology, featured.
Identifying Source of Deadly E. Coli Remains a Challenge Voice of America, June 8, 2011. Frustration is building in Europe as the source of Germany’s E. coli outbreak remains unsolved. Dr. Ben Chapman, family and consumer sciences, featured.
Cicadas Emerge With An Unearthly Racket News & Observer, June 8, 2011. The invasion began about a month ago. Drs. Clyde Sorenson and David Stephen, entomology, featured.
Goo Of Death Helps Solve Mystery Of Headless Corpse LiveScience, June 7, 2011. A headless human corpse floating in a bay of Lake Brienz in Switzerland — first thought to be a dead sheep as its thigh bones and an upper arm bone protruding from its torso were encased in a cement-like cocoon — has divulged its secrets. Dr. Ann Ross, anthropology, featured.
Smart Transformers Lead to Renewable Energy U.S. News & World Report, June 7, 2011. So-called smart transformers now under development potentially could transform the power grid in ways that will make power more reliable, cost-efficient and environmentally friendly, allowing consumers to both store and generate energy in addition to what they do now, which is just to use it . Drs. Alex Huang and Louis Martin-Vega, engineering, featured.
More Android Malware Uncovered Wall Street Journal, June 6, 2011. Bad news for Android users. A new piece of Android malware, called DroidKungFu, which appears to be able to avoid detection by mobile anti-virus software, has been detected.
Food Supply Under Strain on a Warming Planet New York Times, June 4, 2011. Two economists, Wolfram Schlenker of Columbia University and Michael Roberts of North Carolina State University, have pioneered ways to compare crop yields and natural temperature variability at a fine scale. Their works shows that when crops are subjected to temperatures above a certain threshold – about 84 degrees for corn and 86 degrees for soybeans – yields fall sharply.
Biodegradable Products May Be Bad For The Environment U.S. News & World Report, June 2, 2011. Research from North Carolina State University shows that so-called biodegradable products are likely doing more harm than good in landfills, because they are releasing a powerful greenhouse gas as they break down. Dr. Morton Barlaz, civil, construction and environmental engineering, featured.
Biodegradable Products May Not Be So Green LiveScience , June 1, 2011. Once thrown out, biodegradable products — everything from trash bags and diaper liners to pens — are designed to break down relatively quickly and disappear into the natural environment. But these products may not live up to their green image, new research indicates. Dr. Morton Barlaz, civil, construction and environmental engineering, featured.
Student Designers Design a Tent Perfect for Camping Out on Mars Popular Science, June 1, 2011. A team of student engineers at North Carolina State University is planning for a camping trip way off the beaten path…
Top 10 Myths About Bedbugs Scientific American, May 27, 2011. “By every metric that we use, it’s getting worse and worse,” says Coby Schal, an entomologist at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.
Is speculation the reason for oil price hikes? News & Observer, May 26, 2011. There’s been some speculation lately that Wall Street speculators are driving oil prices to unreasonably high levels – that there’s a direct cause and effect relation between the amount of speculative activity in oil and the price paid for oil by consumers. Srinivasan Krishnamurthy and Richard Warr, finance, featured.
Supporters Say Yarn Bill Can Put Dent in Trafficking Winston-Salem Journal, May 24, 2011. A renewed attempt to identify and eliminate illegal yarn trafficking probably won’t lead to a wave of restored jobs, supporters of a congressional bill said Monday. Blanton Godfrey, dean of the College of Textiles, featured.
Triangle is Central for Smart Grid News & Observer, May 24, 2011. The Triangle has quietly emerged as a national hub for an industry that barely existed five years ago: smart grid. Dr. Alex Huang, electrical and computer engineering, featured.
School’s On for Summer Wall Street Journal, May 23, 2011. For instance, applications doubled for the summer engineering programs at North Carolina State University …
Pressure Polarizes Congress Charlotte Observer, et al May 21, 2011. As a result, “there’s less space for politicians to compromise and not have repercussions from it,” says Steven Greene, an associate professor of political science at North Carolina State University.
Hardware Encryption Developed For New Computer Memory Technology U.S. News, May 18, 2011. Security concerns are one of the key obstacles to the adoption of new non-volatile main memory technology in next-generation computers, which would improve computer start times and boost memory capacity. Dr. Yan Solihin, Electrical and Computer Engineering, featured.
Using Biomechanics to Improve Surgical Instruments New York Times, May 17, 2011. “Recently Dr. Crenshaw and Mr. Pell worked with their North Carolina State colleagues to test their invention, in a study financed by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.” Dr. Greg Buckner, mechanical and aerospace engineering, featured.
Better Times Help UNC, N.C. State get More Donations N&O, May 16, 2011. “The two largest state universities are getting more private donations than last year, and officials at both N.C. State University and UNC-Chapel Hill say the modest improvement in the economy is likely one reason.” Nevin Kessler, vice chancellor for advancement, featured.
Eat Your Fruit; It’s Good For You Charlotte Observer, May 16, 2011. A world-renowned berry expert, Mary Ann Lila studies the health benefits of blueberries and other berries as head of NC State’s Plants for Human Health Institute in Kannapolis, where what was once a textile mill is now a state-of-the-art research facility. Dr. Mary Ann Lila, director of Plants for Human Health Institute, featured.
GOP Plan Likely to Seek Simpler N.C. Tax Returns Associated Press, Charlotte Observer, May 15, 2011. “Our forms are complicated,” said Roby Sawyers, an accounting professor at North Carolina State University, adding that every potential adjustment “makes the return incredibly complex. That shouldn’t be.”
Hunger Hits Harder in the Summer for N.C. Children Associated Press, News & Observer, May 13, 2011. The figure is higher for children in rural North Carolina, where one in five live in below-poverty-level households, according to figures from the Institute for Emerging Issues at North Carolina State University.
Study: It’s Not Teacher, But Method That Matters Associated Press, et al, May 12, 2011. A study by a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, now a science advisor to President Barack Obama, suggest that how you teach is more important than who does the teaching. Dr. Bob Beichner, physics, quoted.
Industry Weighs Policing Mobile Apps Wall Street Journal, May 11, 2011. Vincent Freeh, a professor at North Carolina State University, has developed code that could be built into Android and would allow users to provide limited or false information to apps depending on the user’s preference. Dr. Vincent Freeh, computer science, featured.
‘Alien Buzz’ Kicks Off Cicada Mating Season WRAL-TV, May 9, 2011. “They come out in mass, all at once. This is a really cool natural phenomenon and the only place it happens is in eastern North America.” Dr. Clyde Sorenson, entomology, featured.
To Kill a Mockingbird: ‘Hey, Boo’ Documentary Traces Rise of Harper Lee’s Novel Los Angeles Times, May 7, 2011. The book focuses “on the racial tension, and there’s a strong sense of place, painting the portrait of Maycomb, Ala., on the first page.” Jill McCorkle, English, featured.
Gene in Corn Provides Armor Against Three Key Diseases Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 6, 2011. A single gene in corn appears to confer resistance against three diseases that cripple corn plants around the globe, according o research by a team at North Carolina State University. Dr. Peter Balint-Kurti, plant pathology, featured.
NCSU Opens New Veterinary Center N&O, AP, et al, May 6, 2011. “Many humans would be thrilled to have their relatives treated at a hospital as modern and well-equipped as N.C. State University’s new veterinary medical center.” Dr. Mike Davidson, CVM, featured.
Lawsuit: Furniture Rental Company Spies on PC Users Associated Press, USA Today, et al, May 4, 2011. “If I’m renting a computer … then I have the right to know what the limitations are and I have the right to know if they’re going to be collecting data from my computer,” said Annie Anton, a computer and privacy expert with North Carolina State University.
Laser steering system uses liquid crystal to destroy the enemy on the cheap Engadget, May 3, 2011. It might look like a poor man’s game of Pong now, but a new laser steering system coming out of North Carolina State University could make blowing things up Star Wars-style cheaper and more efficient.
Wild pig explosion may spread disease to humans National Geographic, May 2, 2011. The wild pig, Sus scrofa, was first introduced to the U.S. from Europe as livestock in the 1500s, but over the years many animals have escaped captivity. Today there’s an estimated four million wild pigs spread across 39 states, with large populations in California, Texas, and the Southeast, according to the study. Dr. Chris DePerno, fisheries and wildlife, featured.
The sound of hockey pucks News & Observer, May 2, 2011. For most Triangle university students, the end of the academic year means simply having their work evaluated and assigned a letter grade by their professors. But for eight seniors in N.C. State University’s Textile Engineering Program, the true test took place over the weekend on an ice rink in Montreal, Canada. Dr. Russell Gorga, textile engineering, featured.
Soap is crusting up sewers, but it’s not the clean kind USA Today, April 27, 2011. Nationwide, about 22% of sanitary sewer overflows are caused by accumulations of a hard, gucky, adhesive substance called FOG, short for “fats, oils and grease.” But until now, no one knew exactly what it was or how it formed. Dr. Joel Ducoste, civil, construction and environmental engineering, featured.
An App To Protect Your Information Wall Street Journal, April 25, 2011. With all the smartphone apps that track users’ data, there is one in the making that helps protect the privacy of app users. Dr. Xuxian Jiang, computer science, featured.
What’s Blocking Your Drain? Smithsonian, April 25, 2011. If you put something down a drain you shouldn’t have and the drain gets blocked, it’s usually not much more than annoying. But for the people who manage the sewers, blockages in the pipes that go from our homes and businesses to treatment facilities cause bigger problems—sewage spills called “sanitary sewer overflows.” Dr. Joel Ducoste, civil, construction and environmental engineering, featured.
The thrill of victory, the agony of the car crash MSNBC, April 25, 2011. As the radio announcer screamed that my favorite team, the Colorado Rockies, had just tied the game with a clutch ninth-inning knock, blue police lights abruptly gleamed behind my car. I slowed, steered to the shoulder and smiled. Dr. Stacy Wood, marketing, featured.
Close games raise risks of traffic death USA Today, April 24, 2011. Just in time for the NBA and NHL playoffs, a new study brings disturbing news for sports fans: When your team wins a nail-biter, you face a higher risk of dying in a crash on the way home. Dr. Stacy Wood, marketing, featured.
That kitchen grease isn’t sliding through sewers MSNBC, et al., April 21, 2011. Next time you’re about to pour that extra cooking grease down the drain, you might want to think first: In the sewers below, the grease transforms into hardened deposits of soaplike chemicals that can cause serious headaches for sewer maintenance workers and can pose environmental and health hazards by causing sewer overflows. Dr. Joel Ducoste, civil, construction and environmental engineering, featured.
NCSU Teases TISS for Android, a security manager that keeps personal bits private Engadget, April 19, 2011. Witnessing Android’s recent string of privacy vulnerabilities, it’s certainly refreshing to report on creative efforts to keep your identity secure.
What’s in Your Belly Button? New York Times, April 14, 2011. Scientists at North Carolina State University have launched the Belly Button Biodiversity project, tracking a variety of microorganisms lurking in human navels. Dr. Jiri Hulcr, biology, featured.
New meaning to ‘navel-gazing’: Scientists study belly button bacteria MSNBC, April 14, 2011. A group of scientists at North Carolina State University is taking navel-gazing to another level. Dr. Jiri Hulcr, biology, featured.
Researchers Develop Android Security Software PC World, et al., April 13, 2011. For Google Android, the best selling mobile OS in the world by some accounts, that popularity comes with a predictable price: Hackers, malware writers and other ne’er-do-wells are all over it. Dr. Xuxian Jiang, computer science, featured.
New App To Fix Android’s Privacy And Data-Security Holes Coming Soon Fast Company, April 13, 2011. Android phones have many good qualities, but privacy protection and personal data security aren’t high on the list. Enter a new app that enables privacy mode. Dr. Xuxian Jiang, computer science, featured.
Researchers Develop Material to Remove Radioactive Contaminates From Drinking Water Forbes, April 13, 2011. As my colleague Jeff McMahon has noted earlier this week, one risk of nuclear that has come to light in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster is the possibility of radioactive contaminants, particularly iodide, making its way into drinking water. Dr. Joel Pawlak, forest biomaterials, featured.
Munching Microbe Rules Methane Production Scientific American, April 11, 2011. Landfills produce methane—which can be valuable as an energy source. But scientists haven’t known why landfills make so much methane. Drs. Francis de los Reyes and Morton Barlaz, civil, construction and environmental engineering, featured.
How The Wild Hamster Was Tamed NPR, April 10, 2011. In the spring of 1930, a biologist named Israel Aharoni ventured into Syria on a mission. He was searching for a rare golden mammal. Dr. Rob Dunn, biology, featured.
The Problem with Pirates State of Things, April 5, 2011. Criminals who commit modern day maritime piracy pose a serious challenge for law enforcement. Drs. Mark Nance and Michael Struett, political science, featured.
Skulls of Spanish Women Grew Over 300 Years CBS News, et al., April 5, 2011. Like his body, a man’s skull and its features are generally larger than a woman’s. Dr. Ann Ross, anthropology, featured.
Men and women look more alike than ever before, scientists claim Daily Mail, April 5, 2011. They say that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. But when it comes to their faces at least, the two sexes are more similar than you might think. Dr. Ann Ross, anthropology, featured.
Study finds facial structure of men and women has become more similar over time Smithsonian Science, April 4, 2011. Research from North Carolina State University shows that they really don’t make men and women (and women particularly) like they used to, or at least in Spain. Dr. Ann Ross, anthropology, featured.
Soil, insects near Cooper’s body get turn in trial’s spotlight News & Observer, April 4, 2011. Prosecutors in the Brad Cooper murder trial called scientists to the stand this morning to testify about soil samples and insects collected from the scene where Nancy Cooper’s body was found. Dr. Wes Watson, entomology, featured.
Spanish female faces getting bigger MSNBC, April 4, 2011. Female faces have gotten larger in Spain over the past four centuries while those of men have stayed essentially the same, according to a new study that suggests differences in the craniofacial features of men and women have become less pronounced. Dr. Ann Ross, anthropology, featured.
Software Tool Allows Programs To Run Faster Without Sacrificing Security Gizmag, April 3, 2011. Protecting computer systems from malicious attack using complex software solutions is a constant, but necessary, struggle. Dr. James Tuck, electrical and computer engineering, featured.
Manning Marable, influential scholar of black American experience and Malcolm X, dies at 60 Washington Post, et al., April 2, 2011. Manning Marable, an influential historian whose forthcoming Malcolm X biography could revise perceptions of the slain civil rights leader, died Friday, just days before the book described as his life’s work was to be released. Dr. Blair Kelley, history, featured.
Belly button biome is more than a piece of fluff New Scientist, April 1, 2011. In late February, I visited Rob Dunn’s lab at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, where a team led by Jiri Hulcr has launched the Belly Button Biodiversity Project. Dr. Jiri Hulcr, biology, featured.
Dog will get a new paw at NCSU vet school N&O, March 30, 2011. Zeus the Siberian husky had to rest through most of his news conference Wednesday. Dr. Denis Marcellin-Little, orthopedic surgery, and Dr. Ola Harrysson, engineering, featured.
Symposium at NC State Combats Bullying WUNC News, March 29, 2011. There could be some help coming for victims of bullying in North Carolina. Dr. Tina Hancock, social work, featured.
Companies push for tax break News & Observer, March 29, 2011. Some of North Carolina’s biggest corporations are pushing for a change in U.S. tax law that would allow them to spend foreign earnings in this country without paying the U.S. corporate tax rate of 35 percent on those earnings. Dr. Roby Sawyers, accounting, featured.
A Bone’s Telltale Shape Eases Weight Estimates New York Times, March 28, 2011. When a human skeleton is found, forensic scientists create what is called a biological profile. By studying the bones, they can guess the person’s height, sex and age.
NCSU Professor Sees Opportunity in Japan Nuclear Crisis News & Observer, March 27, 2011. As the nuclear crisis in Japan has played out, William J. Kinsella has been watching with particular interest. Dr. Bill Kinsella, communication, featured.
The Untold Story of the Hamster, a.k.a. Mr. Saddlebags Smithsonian, March 25, 2011. The hamster may be ubiquitous now, but it was a pioneering scientist who brought the rodent into labs and homes across the world. Dr. Rob Dunn, biology, featured.
Overweight People Really Are ‘Big Boned’ Fox News, et al., March 23, 2011. A skeleton can hold many clues about its deceased flesh-and-blood owner, and now research indicates that bones can show whether or not that person was overweight. Dr. Ann Ross, anthropology, featured.
Prehistoric Skin Holds Building Blocks of Life Discovery News, March 22, 2011. Mary Higby Schweitzer, a professor at North Carolina State University and one of the world’s leading paleontologists, told Discovery News that she welcomes “any attempt to use analytical technology to bring about a better understanding of the fossil record.” Dr. Mary Schweitzer, marine, earth and atmospheric sciences, featured.
The jump on cuts News & Observer, March 18, 2011. Some people will say that if organizational streamlining at N.C. State University makes so much sense, why did it take a budget crisis for officials to see the light? Better, though, to give the university credit for seizing opportunity amid financial hardship that could be crippling if not well managed.
Beware: It’s raining creepy crawlies New Scientist, March 17, 2011. If creepy crawlies give you nightmares, then this animation intended for dome-shaped planetarium screens might not be one for you.
Legislator says the state needs its own currency News & Observer, March 17, 2011. Cautioning that the federal dollars in your wallet could soon be little more than green paper backed by broken promises, state Rep. Glen Bradley wants North Carolina to issue its own legal tender backed by silver and gold. Dr. Mike Walden, agricultural and resource economics, featured.
Facing Up to Nuclear Risk BusinessWeek, et al., March 17, 2011. Nuclear accidents like Japan’s Fukushima crisis are scary. So is a future without nuclear power. Dr. Bill Kinsella, communication, featured.
NC State is home to nuclear reactor WRAL, March 16, 2011. In the middle of campus of North Carolina State University lies a working 1-megawatt nuclear reactor. Dr. Ayman Hawari, nuclear engineering, featured.
Study: March Madness can make driving dangerous USA Today, March 16, 2011. Do you live in a city that has a strong rooting interest in the NCAA tournament? Then a study that find some sports fans drive dangerously after games with close finishes should be of interest. Dr. Stacy Wood, marketing, featured.
NC State professor explains nuclear reactors WRAL, March 15, 2011. Paul Turinsky, a professor of nuclear engineering at North Carolina State University, explains how boiling water reactors work. Dr. Paul Turinsky, nuclear engineering, featured.
March Madness Extends to Roadways after Close Games LiveScience, March 15, 2011. Don’t get too mad this March: Engaging matchups in sports — such as between big college basketball rivals — may result in greater driving dangers for fans of the winning team. Dr. Stacy Wood, marketing, featured.
Entomologists map the evolutionary history of flies Wired UK, March 15, 2011. Entomologists at North Carolina State University and collaborators across the globe have mapped the evolutionary history of flies in a project that has been dubbed the “fly tree of life.” Dr. Brian Wiegmann, biology, featured.
N.C., S.C. say their reactors safe News & Observer, et al., March 15, 2011. As Japan struggles to contain its radiation-leaking plants, a U.S. nuclear industry that’s still looking for a renaissance braces for the domestic fallout. Dr. Michael Doster, nuclear engineering, featured.
At Japanese nuclear plant, a battle to contain radiation USA Today, March 15, 2011. An unprecedented series of crises in the reactors at three of Japan’s 54 nuclear power reactors, triggered by Friday’s massive quake and tsunami, is continuing to fuel fears of a fresh, enduring catastrophe of radioactive contamination — a prospect that is particularly alarming in the only nation to be attacked with atomic bombs. Dr. John Gilligan, nuclear engineering, featured.
NCSU Plots ‘Thoughtful’ Cuts to Programs, People WRAL, March 15, 2011. The move is part of Chancellor Randy Woodson’s strategic realignment plan , designed to make the university more effective and efficient in anticipation of a reduction in state funding. Chancellor Randy Woodson featured.
NCSU Tries to Manage Cuts News & Observer, March 15, 2011. NC State University leaders will announce a major reorganization plan today that’s designed to protect the university’s core teaching and research missions while absorbing state budget cuts that have become annual events. Chancellor Randy Woodson and Provost Warwick Arden featured.
Winning fans can be deadly drivers, NCSU study says Charlotte Observer, March 14, 2011. A study released last week finds an increase in fatal traffic accidents in the home towns of winning teams after big, closely fought games. Dr. Stacy Wood, marketing, featured.
Discovery could make LEDs brighter News & Observer, et al., March 14, 2011. An experiment in Salah Bedair’s lab at N.C. State University generated curious holes in gallium nitride, a semiconductor material used to make light-emitting diodes. Dr. Salah Bedair, electrical and computer engineering, featured.
Fans of Winning Teams Linked to Fatal Crashes U.S. News & World Report, et al., March 11, 2011. Watching your team win a major sporting event that ends in a close score can be thrilling, but there may be a drawback: aggressive, testosterone-fueled driving by victorious fans. Dr. Stacy Wood, marketing, featured.
How To Hit The Perfect Bank Shot Discovery News, March 11, 2011. Before you ask, here’s how to rack up points without flashy moves, but rather the nonchalance of a player who knows he’s got it in the basket: First, aim for the backboard. Dr. Larry Silverberg, mechanical and aerospace engineering, featured.
Job growth picks up just a little in N.C. News & Observer, March 11, 2011. North Carolina’s stop-and-go economy added a scant 4,500 jobs in January, a small consolation for the ranks of the unemployed who had counted on a healthy recovery being well under way by now. Dr. Mike Walden, agricultural and resource economics, featured.
Choose Your Avatar Wall Street Journal, March 9, 2011. Animated avatars are becoming more and more common in online instruction, but what should they look like? Dr. Lori Foster Thompson, psychology, featured.
Project CATCH focuses on homeless kids News 14, March 9, 2011. It’s a growing problem, amplified by the recent recession – children living in poverty. Dr. Mary Haskett, psychology, featured.
The New Digital Tribalism Fast Company, March 4, 2011. Avatars, they’re just like us! Or should be for maximum effectiveness, according to recent studies. Dr. Lori Foster Thompson, psychology, featured.
Online, People Learn Best From Virtual ‘Helpers’ That Resemble Them Chronicle of Higher Education, March 3, 2011. Turns out looks and personality still count in online learning. Dr. Lori Foster Thompson, psychology, featured.
A Flash Memory That Doubles as DRAM IEEE Spectrum, March 3, 2011. Engineers at North Carolina State University have refurbished flash memory in an attempt to create something new: a “unified memory” type that can be fast but volatile, like the memory workhorse dynamic RAM, or slow but nonvolatile, like the flash storage in MP3 players. Drs. Paul Franzon and Neil Di Spigna, electrical and computer engineering, featured.
Gates Says Benefits Costs Hit Schools Wall Street Journal, March 3, 2011. Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates will step into the national debate over state budgets Thursday with a call for states to rethink their health care and pension systems, which he says stifle funding for public schools. Dr. Robert Clark, economics, featured.
Killer whales hunt in silent ‘stealth mode’ BBC News, March 3, 2011. Orcas avoid being overheard by their prey by hunting in “stealth mode”, according to researchers. Rudiger Riesch, Biology, featured.
NCSU Wants to Add Climate Change Master’s News & Observer, March 2, 2011. NC State University is seeking permission to start a new graduate program in the rapidly emerging field of planning for the effects of climate change.
Where Do Internet Memes Come From? Discovery News, March 1, 2011. Unlike ideological memes in the real world, Internet memes are human-replicated, with users forwarding, tweeting, and posting those videos and links that strike a certain chord, says Matt Morain, a doctoral student at North Carolina State University who studies viral Internet culture.
Bug Fighters to Bring Jobs Here News & Observer, March 1, 2011. TyraTech, a Florida company that develops pesticides and products to fight internal parasites, is relocating its headquarters to Morrisville. In a release, the company cited the Triangle’s high-quality universities, particularly NC State University’s programs in entomology and veterinary sciences, as the main reason for the move.
Nuclear Weapons and Conservation: Connecting the Dots Miller-McCune, Feb. 28, 2011. Ecologist Nick Haddad discusses his massive experiment in creating habitat corridors on lands protected because they surround guarded nuclear sites. Dr. Nick Haddad, biology, featured.
NC inspectors make odd findings at school kitchens Charlotte Observer, et al., Feb. 26, 2011. During a November 2009 inspection of a lunchroom at a western North Carolina boarding school, Corey Morris found flies in the air, expired milk in the fridge and mouse droppings in a utensil drawer. Dr. Ben Chapman, food science, featured.
Philip K. Dick, the sci-fi writer who fires Hollywood’s imagination in film after film Washington Post, Feb. 25, 2011. Philip K. Dick isn’t really Hollywood’s favorite dead author. It only seems that way. John Kessel, English, featured.
Language Patterns Are Roller-Coaster Ride During Childhood Development U.S. News & World Report, Feb. 25, 2011. Why, and when, do we learn to speak the way that we do? Dr. Walt Wolfram, English, featured.
Fire Ants Using U.S. As Staging Ground for Global Invasion Science, Feb. 24, 2011. For a tiny insect, red fire ants pack a nasty sting. Dr. Ed Vargo, entomology, featured.
Sex in schools – it’s happening WRAL, Feb. 24, 2011. Reading, writing and arithmetic aren’t the only things going on at school. Students say sex in school is more common than some might think. Dr. Kami Kosenko, Communication, featured.
Gas prices rise as Middle East unrest continues WRAL, Feb. 24, 2011. Oil prices had been rising for months, but they jumped this week to $100 a barrel as violence gripped Libya. Dr. Michael Roberts, Agricultural and Resource Economics, featured.
Kids Of Working Moms Are More Likely To Get Hurt TIME, Feb. 18, 2011. In the cage match that is the debate over whether kids do better if their moms stay home or work, everything is contested. Dr. Melinda Morrill, economics, featured.
Working Moms Linked To Kids’ Risk News & Observer, et al., Feb. 18, 2011. Stay-at-home mothers may have been right all along when their maternal instincts told them they’re best equipped to care for their children. Dr. Melinda Morrill, economics, featured.
Public Understanding of Science State of Things, Feb. 16, 2011. When it comes to science, the public doesn’t know what to think. Dr. Andrew Binder, communication, featured.
NCSU Horticulturists Put Their Mettle to the Petals News & Observer, Feb. 14, 2011. That which we call a rose, even when crossed with a homely celery plant, would smell as sweet. At least that’s the hope of scientists at N.C. State University. Drs. John Dole and John Williamson, horticultural science, featured.
Waste to Energy Beats Landfills, Experts Say Charlotte Observer, Feb. 13, 2011. Turning trash into electricity is a better bet for the environment and local government budgets than burying it in landfills, said experts who convened at UNC Charlotte last week. Dr. Morton Barlaz, civil, construction and environmental engineering, featured.
NC Coaches Fish Farming Businesses to Profits News & Observer, Feb. 11, 2011. North Carolina State University aquaculture specialist Thomas Losordo says fish farmers are at the forefront of a major growth industry.
Langston Hughes and Lynching State of Things, Feb. 10, 2011. Writer Langston Hughes is famous for uplifting poems like “I, Too” and lyrical poetry like “A Dream Deferred,” but North Carolina State Assistant Professor of English Jason Miller says that hidden within Hughes’ works are powerful statements about the practice of lynching. Dr. Jason Miller, English, featured.
NCSU Wins Obesity Grant News & Observer, Feb. 10, 2011. With one report saying nearly half the state’s children are at risk of obesity-related ailments, the federal government on Wednesday announced a $3 million grant for N.C. State University researchers looking for ways to keep kids fit.
Light Turns On Caged Enzyme Chemical & Engineering News, Feb. 9, 2011. An unnatural amino acid has given researchers a switch to turn on a specific enzyme with light. This tool will allow scientists to determine the timing of cellular signaling and identify which parts of a signaling network might be good drug targets. Dr. Alexander Deiters, chemistry, featured.
NC State Researchers Work to Improve Soil News & Observer, Feb. 7, 2011. A $700,000 federal grant is helping N.C. State University scientists evaluate how inedible crops planted in the winter can help organic farms make soil healthier and more productive. Dr. Julie Grossman, soil science, featured.
Southern Accent in Danger News & Observer, Feb. 5, 2011. “Language is always changing, always in flux,” said Robin Dodsworth, an associate linguistics professor at N.C. State University. “Over time in Raleigh, the Southern variant is disappearing.”
Thousands Huff, Puff and Stuff News & Observer, Feb. 5, 2011. As the ritual demands, they lined up at the N.C. State University Memorial Bell Tower, sloshed two miles through a chilly rain to the Krispy Kreme store on Person Street, and wolfed down a dozen doughnuts, or as close to 12 as they could manage.
NCSU Students Find Better Job Picture News & Observer, Feb. 4, 2011. The college’s graduates are primed for employment, even in today’s economy, said Shannon Davis, dean of the undergraduate program at Poole.
Swine, ‘Super’ Bacteria Linked News & Observer, Feb. 4, 2011. Cockroaches and house flies that feed on the dung of hogs in industrial farms are picking up antibiotic-resistant bacteria that could then be spread into nearby communities, scientists at N.C. State University have shown. Dr. Coby Schal, entomology, featured.
Computer Memory Heralds Green PCs BBC, Jan. 25, 2011. A new form of computing memory which could lead to faster starting, user-friendly computers has been developed by US researchers. Dr. Paul Franzon, electrical and computer engineering, featured.
Superstreets Would Limit Left Turns News & Observer, Jan. 18, 2011. It’s a drag when six lanes of rush-hour traffic are backed up at a side-street stop light – just to let a couple of cars turn left or drive across the intersection. So how can we get things moving? Dr. Joe Hummer, civil, construction and environmental engineering, featured.
Is It Safer To Turn Left Or Right? ABC News, Jan. 14, 2011. Study finds driving without left turns is faster, safer and more fuel efficient. Dr. Joe Hummer, civil, construction and environmental engineering, featured.
The Top 10 Life-Forms Living On Lady Gaga (And You) Scientific American, Jan. 4, 2011. A new truth about Lady Gaga’s health has recently been revealed. She is covered in other life-forms—“her little monsters” you might call them. Dr. Rob Dunn, biology, featured.