Science & Technology

Science and Technology

M. Emin Kutay photo
Kevin Lavery / WKAR

MSU researcher Dr. Emin Kutay is looking for ways to use rubber from scrap tires in asphalt. Will his work lead to better roads in Michigan?


Baby doll wrapped in TheraB blanket
TheraB Medical

A partnership between a Michigan State University start-up company and a Michigan-based medical sector investment firm is bringing a new treatment for infant jaundice closer to market.

Flickr/USDAGOV

 

With summer upon us, more of us will be spending more time outdoors…some of it in Michigan’s deep woods. Smart campers, hikers and bushwackers know that a “tick-check” might be in order after some time in the wild. Ticks are known carriers of Lyme Disease – an affliction that’s widespread throughout the Eastern U.S.

Courtesy Spencer Hughes Photography

Picture this: you’re walking along the shores of Lake Michigan on a warm spring day. The lake breeze is blowing and the waves are lapping at your feet when all of the sudden you see something strange out on the water. Like, say, the Chicago skyline.

http://davidpogue.com/

From the New York Times to "CBS Sunday Morning" to PBS’s "Nova," David Pogue is one of media’s best known presenters and reviewers of tech topics. Among his many notable accomplishments, Pogue is also recently known as technology columnist for Yahoo Tech. Pogue’s acclaimed public TV series "Making Stuff" aired last year on WKAR-TV. His show combines his unique blend of humor and analysis of the latest consumer and scientific innovations.

WOOD-TV

Social media and the internet have helped solve a Michigan-based disappearance dating back more than 30-years. 17-year old Carol Ann Cole of Kalamazoo vanished in 1980 shortly after leaving Michigan for Texas. For about as long, Louisiana authorities had been trying to identify the body of a young woman found in woods near Shreveport. Posts on Facebook and Craigslist, described as “happenstance”, helped bring together authorities and members of Cole’s family in February. It was six days after the Facebook page was launched.

Courtesy CERN

The Large Hadron Collider is one of the world’s major research facilities. 27 miles in circumference and spanning the French-Swiss border, the LHC has been shut down for two years of planned maintenance. Before the shutdown, the collider had run for three years, and the discoveries there have included the long-sought Higgs boson. This month, the facility re-opened, and researchers from Michigan State University have a prominent role in the work being done there.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

Last Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission enacted historic new rules governing broadband technology. The FCC moved to reclassify internet service providers under Title Two of the Telecommunications Act, an 80-year-old law originally written to regulate telephone companies. Democrats hailed the decision as a victory for open access to the Internet, and a means to prevent so-called “fast lanes” for those who could afford to pay for quicker service. Some Republicans criticized the move as increased government control over the Internet.

Kevin Lavery/WKAR

The construction of what will become the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, or FRIB, continues at Michigan State University. The massive concrete floor of the underground chamber has been poured. Last week, the MSU Board of Trustees approved plans to connect a new power line from the T.B. Simon Power Plant on the south end of the main campus here in East Lansing to FRIB. It will require a substantial amount of power.

Michigan is not among the first states that come to mind when you mention the aerospace industry. An amateur rocket launch scheduled for Saturday in southwest Michigan is unlikely to change that. On Saturday afternoon, members of a Michiana Rocketry Club plan to blast a port-a-potty into space near the community of Three Oaks, near the Indiana state line.

http://msutoday.msu.edu/

Dead bodies are not completely dead. Bacteria and insects live on and near corpses, and what kind of organisms are there can tell scientists lots of useful things, including how long a body has been dead. To learn from what’s called the “microbiome,” though, researchers need access, unfortunately, to dead bodies, and the more recent, the better. Bodies that are donated to research institutions are kept in cold storage for long periods of time which means the results are different.

O'Donnell at desk with computers
Courtesy

If you’re a parent living in the 21st century, chances are you’ve had to tell your kids to turn off the video games and go outside to play. But video games aren’t just for recreation anymore. They’re also increasingly being used as learning tools in the classroom.

Scott Pohl / WKAR

Michigan State University opened the Abrams Planetarium 50 years ago.  That's five decades of giving kids and adults from all over the state a glimpse of the solar system and the universe.  As you might expect, the equipment to do that has improved a lot in those 50 years.  Current State's Scott Pohl speaks with planetarium director Shannon Schmoll about the upgrades.

Dreamers. Inventors. Tinkerers. Builders. In the 21st century, they’re often called  “makers.” This creative impulse runs deep in Michigan and in America. “Lansing Maker Week”, a series of events that runs through Sunday, is meant to nurture that tradition.

http://www.jsc.nasa.gov

Beginning in the late 90’s, Colonel Michael Bloomfield was a part of three space shuttle missions to the International Space Station, the third as commander. He grew up in Lake Fenton in Genesee County.

Flickr - Macroscopic Solutions

As summer winds down and people try to make the most out of the beautiful Michigan environment, many may be fighting off nature’s age-old enemy: the mosquito. But what makes mosquitoes more attracted to some people than others? Many myths have circulated about the cause of this rather annoying phenomenon, but scientific research is also out there about what factors make mosquitoes swarm to certain people (Hint: It has to do with a lot more than blood).

Flickr

Thousands of farmers from all over Michigan will take some time away from the fields next week to visit the Michigan State University campus for Ag Expo. Starting Tuesday, the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources will be joined by MSU AgBioResearch scientists and MSU Extension educators to conduct education programs. And, farm equipment producers always bring the latest in farming technology to display.

WKAR/Marie Steinbock

The Michigan State University campus here in East Lansing is often described as one of the most beautiful in America.

Wikimedia Commons

Studying the final frontier of space got a little bit easier this month. On May 5th, a group of scientists launched an online simulator that allows users to explore our galaxy in incredibly accurate detail in a span of billions years. But what’s the most innovative part of this new project? Anyone can use it whether you’re getting your doctorate in astrophysics or you’re just a curious websurfer.

Wikimedia Commons

Pig farmers in Michigan and around the nation are losing piglets to a virus that is easily spread and almost always lethal to very young animals. So far, it’s killed over six million piglets.

Courtesy - Second Sight

Restoring sight to the blind and visually impaired has long been thought of as more in the realm of science fiction than actual science. But Roger Pontz of Reed City, Michigan would beg to differ. Diagnosed with a degenerative eye disease as a teenager, Pontz was almost completely blind until last January, when he became just the fourth person in the United States to have a device called the Argus II implanted.

Flickr - Sherman Mui

If you were a fan of the 1980’s TV show “Knight Rider,” you’ll remember actor David Hasselhoff riding around in a modified Pontiac Firebird Trans Am that could talk, fly and even scan other vehicles. It was cutting edge TV sci-fi at the time, but so-called “smart cars” are not that far away (minus the flying, of course).

Wikimedia Commons

The planet Mars won’t be the only red object in the night sky tomorrow. If you happen to be up before dawn, check out the moon around 3 a.m.  If the weather is clear, Earth’s celestial neighbor will take on a reddish tone during a total lunar  eclipse.

Flickr - Jared Kelly

The Michigan State University Science Festival continues through this weekend. A familiar voice will speak at Kellogg Center as part of the festival: Robert Krulwich. Current State’s Melissa Benmark spoke with him earlier this week.

Kevin Lavery/WKAR

Spring planting season for corn in Michigan is still at least a month away, but scientists who study the crop’s amazing versatility want you to cast your vote for a “home-grown” project. The Michigan Biotechnology Institute, or MBI, is developing a process that seeks to get more use out of the leftover  residue of the plant that’s not fit for human consumption.

Courtesy of John French


This year MSU’s Abrams Planetarium is celebrating 50 years. To mark the milestone the Planetarium's original star projector is being resembled by one of the original staffers. Current State’s Emanuele Berry spoke with John Hare, who worked at Abrams nearly 50 years ago.

Flickr - Steve Petrucelli


Last December, some high tech grinches tried to steal Christmas for one major retailer. Computer hackers broke into the Target Corporation mainframe and downloaded some 40-million credit card numbers.  The breach was executed despite the fact that Target had installed malware detection software months before.

Courtesy of frib.msu.edu

This is a big day at Michigan State University for one of the biggest projects in mid-Michigan. A host of dignitaries are formally breaking ground at the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, commonly known as FRIB.

NASA project detects 715 new planets

Mar 7, 2014
Wikimedia Commons

Last week, NASA announced its latest findings from the Kepler mission.  Kepler is a space telescope that was launched in 2009 to look for habitable planets.  Current State’s Emanuele Berry sat down with Michigan State University astronomer Megan Danahue to learn more.

Joe Linstroth/WKAR

One of the newest gadgets that is fascinating and disturbing to people is the Google Glass. You wear it on your face like a pair of glasses, and you’re able to get information, take pictures, and all kinds of things, mostly through voice and touch commands. Google has asked people to become “Explorers,” to get feedback on the product, and we found one right here in Lansing. Ari Adler is the Michigan House GOP press secretary, and also a Google Glass Explorer.

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