life sciences

Jul 15, 2014

Cretaceous Cold Case No. 5: When Evidence Dries Up

This is the fifth 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 NC State and […]

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 15, 2014

Small Number of Genes Have Big Impact on Fish Egg Quality

NC State researchers have taken a big step toward solving a puzzle that has long vexed vertebrates – predicting egg quality, or the viability of embryos in eggs. Using gene expression data and computer modeling, the researchers examined farmed striped […]

Feb 11, 2014

A Wealth of Wildlife, Right in the Backyard

Zoologist Roland Kays travels the world to study rare species, so he calls it a “cool surprise” to find a wealth of wildlife in the suburban backyards of Raleigh and Durham, N.C. “As scientists, we’ve traditionally thought of residential areas […]

Jan 8, 2014

Poisonous Water Leads to Bigger, But Fewer, Fish Babies

Living in extreme environments often entails taking extreme measures to survive. Live-bearing fish mothers in toxic North and South American waters try to give their offspring the best chance at surviving the harsh environment by giving birth to big babies, […]

Sep 4, 2013

Nature in Your Backyard: Very Hungry Caterpillars

[Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Holly Menninger, director of public science in NC State’s Your Wild Life program. The post originally ran on the Your Wild Life blog.] Over the weekend, our friend and veteran NC State […]

Jul 22, 2013

Coastal Upwelling Linked to Upsurge in Algal Toxicity

Toxic algal blooms affect more than just the shellfish supply – they can sicken or kill marine life and people. That’s why marine scientists are interested in figuring out what triggers them. Astrid Schnetzer studies Pseudo-nitzschia, the alga that causes […]

Jul 18, 2013

New Technique for Assessing Calorie Absorption Sheds Light on Genetic Driver of Obesity

Researchers from Harvard, NC State and five other universities have found a specific genetic on-off switch associated with obesity in both mice and humans, raising the long-term possibility of developing new treatments for obesity. As part of the study, NC […]

Jun 18, 2013

Scientists Seek to Solve Oystercatcher Mystery – and You Can Watch Online

Oystercatchers are beautiful birds, but to biologists they are also a mystery waiting to be solved. And the solution will be gradually revealing itself online over the next couple of years. Wildlife biologists are particularly interested in oystercatchers because they […]

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 […]