explainer

Aug 29, 2018  |  The Abstract

What Is the Epigenome? What is Epigenetics?

Most people know that genetics is the study of genes, but what is epigenetics?

May 24, 2018  |  The Abstract

It’s Not the Mayonnaise: Food Safety Myths & Summertime Food

Warm weather means picnics and outdoor get-togethers. Here are some tips on how to avoid making your friends and loved ones barf this summer.

Jun 13, 2016  |  The Abstract

What Is CRISPR? And How Can It Be Used to Turn Genes ‘Off’?

CRISPR systems have been a hot research topic since they were shown to have utility as genetic engineering tools in 2012. And they’re often explained in a way that most folks can understand. But those explanations often overlook key details.

Jun 6, 2016  |  The Abstract

5 Things You Should Know About Grilling Burgers (To Avoid Getting Sick)

To help you avoid barfing this grilling season, a food safety expert gave us these five things to remember when it comes to making a delicious (and safe) burger.

May 10, 2016  |  The Abstract

Why Do Strawberries Have Their Seeds on the Outside?

This is a tricky question because: one, those "seeds" aren't seeds; and, two, we're not really sure.

Dec 2, 2015  |  The Abstract

Questions About the Science of Beer

Sure, there’s an art to brewing – but there’s science as well.

Oct 26, 2015  |  The Abstract

Spiders: How Spooky Are They?

Spooky scenes of fake spiders in giant webs are everywhere this time of year. But despite the Halloween hype, spiders hardly deserve their reputation as dangerous creatures.

Jun 26, 2015  |  The Abstract

Tackling the Mysteries of Everyday Life

For a few years new, science writers at NC State have tried to help folks solve some of the mysteries of everyday life. What mysteries should they tackle next?

Sep 23, 2014  |  The Abstract

Fast Facts About Cutting Boards and Food Safety in Your Kitchen

Anything that touches your food can be a source of contamination and foodborne illness – including cutting boards. Learn what you can do to limit the risk of foodborne illness.

Jun 4, 2014

How a Protein “Cancer Cop” Targets UV Damage in DNA

Ah, summer. People are outside enjoying the warm weather, swimming, playing, or just soaking up that glorious, skin-damaging, high-energy UV radiation from the sun. We know that prolonged sun exposure damages skin – the sun is a nuclear reactor, after […]

May 21, 2014

The Difference Between Baking Soda and Baking Powder

Note: This post is part of an ongoing series in which we try to answer questions about the science behind food – from farm to fork. If you have a food-related question, please let me know at matt_shipman@ncsu.edu. What’s the […]

Aug 21, 2013

Why You Can See the Moon During Daylight Hours

I have a friend whose young son gets incredibly excited when he can see the moon during the day. After several excited shouts of “day moon!” the youngster asks his mom why he can sometimes see the moon when the […]

Jun 19, 2013

How Do Bees Make Honey? (It’s Not Just Bee Barf)

Last weekend, my daughter asked me how bees made honey, and I realized that I didn’t know the answer. How do bees make honey? I did some homework, and can now explain it to her – and to you. Different […]

Jun 17, 2013

Cretaceous Cold Case No. 4: Graveyard Shift

This is the fourth post in a series called “Cretaceous Cold Cases” in which the science of taphonomy, or prehistoric forensics, is explained by fascinating cases from the files of Terry “Bucky” Gates, a research scientist with a joint appointment […]

Jun 3, 2013

That Four-Leaf Clover You Found May Not Be a Four-Leaf Clover

Are four-leaf clovers becoming more common? That was the question put to me by a reader recently. Apparently her kids are finding four-leaf clovers on a daily basis as they walk home from school. What gives? While it is possible […]