Science & Technology

Science and Technology

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.

Amateur rocketeers launching port-a-potty

Nov 20, 2014

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.

Researcher studies microbiome of the dead

Nov 10, 2014
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.

Video games offer learning opportunities in the classroom

Oct 21, 2014
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.

Lansing Maker Week encourages ingenuity

Oct 7, 2014

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.

Michigan-born astronaut recalls his three space missions

Oct 2, 2014
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.

What's in a mosquito's meal plan?

Aug 13, 2014
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.

MSU's rare corpse flower comes to life

Jun 23, 2014
WKAR/Marie Steinbock

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

Open Science movement challenges status quo

May 28, 2014
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.

Deadly piglet virus hits farms statewide, nationally

May 12, 2014
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.

Bionic eye helps Michigan man see again

May 1, 2014
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).

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