Month: April 2016

New Series: Behind the Scenes of Lab Science

New Series: Behind the Scenes of Lab Science

When you work in an academic lab and are fully engaged in your research, it’s easy to overlook all of the people that provide support for your experiments and keep the lab working like a well-oiled machine. The microscope facility, the tissue culture facility, or…

The Yellow Blanket of Spring

The Yellow Blanket of Spring

For a few weeks every spring, Chapel Hill and Carrboro are covered in a yellow blanket of pine tree pollen and everything’s a mess. Birches, oaks, pines, and more get the signal to “spread the love” and distribute their genetic material all over the place,…

Golden Goose Award Eggs On Basic Science Research

Golden Goose Award Eggs On Basic Science Research

       As a scientist watched jellyfish float in Friday Harbor, Washington, he wondered what caused them to fluoresce green. It took years of determination to unravel the mystery behind the green glow, but he finally discovered that a protein, which absorbed blue light…

What’s the big deal about Zika?

What’s the big deal about Zika?

To me, it seems that the media hypes all new disease outbreaks as the advent of the apocalypse. More often, the facts about these epidemics are simply overstated or misrepresented. The Zika virus, also known as ZIKV, is the most recent epidemic in the news.…

In Your FACE! The Science Behind Resting B Face

In Your FACE! The Science Behind Resting B Face

Kristen Stewart. Her Majesty the Queen. The cartoon character Daria. Yours truly. What do we all have in common?

Science and Advocacy in an Era of Climate Disinformation: A Profile of James Hansen

As noted climate scientist Michael Mann observes, to do climate science is to enter the “climate wars.” War is an apt descriptor for this sociopolitical milieu, in which veracious research is routinely obfuscated by entrenched interests. It is the battleground in which Exxon has been…

Say It Ain’t So, Joe!

Say It Ain’t So, Joe!

As a huge Minnesota Twins fan, I was sad to hear that former catcher and current first baseman Joe Mauer is still reporting concussion-related vision problems. These symptoms stem from three years ago, when multiple concussions led to his full-time conversion from behind the plate…

Avoiding the blank stare: workshop at UNC helps researchers communicate their work to the public

Avoiding the blank stare: workshop at UNC helps researchers communicate their work to the public

From graduate students to faculty members, scientific researchers generally receive training in writing technical documents. Usually these documents are intended to communicate findings to other scientists.