Biology

To Attract or Avoid: Butterfly Wing Patterning

May 31, 2018 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:E3000_-_the_wings-become-windows_butterfly._(by-sa).jpg

By Allyson Roberts Spring is finally here to stay. The weather is warming up, the sun is staying out later and later, and we’re beginning to see wildlife flit around outside. Amongst the blooming flowers and buzzing bees, sometimes you can even spot a butterfly perched nearby. Butterflies come in all shapes and sizes, but […]

E. coli: The Bug We Love and Hate

May 10, 2018 https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/84/Diverse_e_Coli.png

By Yitong Li The recent E. coli outbreak is all over the news these days. These malignant bacteria can be found in romaine lettuce, leafy vegetables, and possibly all salad mixes. Many people have been hospitalized because of it and one person has died. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this is […]

The Toxicologist

Apr 26, 2018 Altered by Eva Vitucci from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Paracelsus.jpg

By Eva Vitucci Over 500 years ago, a man named Paracelsus stirred up the world of medicine. At that time the main belief was when an individual became sick it was because fluids in their body, such as their blood or bile, became imbalanced. Paracelsus was one of the first people to propose and support […]

What’s in a face? Paving the way for biometric technologies

Apr 05, 2018 https://pixabay.com/en/eye-iris-biometrics-2771174/

By Chad Lloyd Have you ever met someone and thought to yourself, “They look just like someone else I know?” What allows us to look at someone and be able to recognize them? The reason that we can look at someone and distinguish them from others is due to their unique facial features and landmarks. […]

The Power of Model Organisms

Mar 29, 2018 https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/761/31994514202_71c04bdfb3_b.jpg

By Allyson Roberts While watching the news, reading the paper, or even checking your favorite social media sites, occasionally we stumble across stories about discoveries scientists have made related to how genes contribute to obesity, or how scientists have discovered a cure for Ebola virus. These findings are important for human health, but if you […]

Chlamydia is Sneaky

Mar 09, 2018 http://www.clker.com/clipart-consulting-detective-with-pipe-and-magnifying-glass-silhouette-.html

By Clare Gyorke I’m sure many of you remember the movie, “Mean Girls“ and have heard Coach Carr’s famous caution that “if you touch each other, you will get chlamydia, and die.” As it turns out, he was sadly misinformed. Though it cannot kill you, Chlamydia trachomatis is actually the most common bacterial sexually transmitted […]

Our Unbeliverable Liver

Mar 01, 2018 https://bloominuterus.com/2015/03/04/endo-liver-function/

By Eva Vitucci The human body is an amazing entity, and as can be seen by watching the recent Winter Olympics, the body can accomplish great physical feats! Becoming an Olympic athlete requires years of practice and training. Interestingly, while most people may focus on how critical it must be to build and maintain the […]

Why Can’t Humans Hibernate?

Feb 15, 2018 http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=187990&picture=black-bear-portrait

By Matt Niederhuber North Carolina has had a miserable winter this year, with a heavy dose of snow and bitter cold –  so much that you might wish you could climb under a warm blanket and hibernate till May. Unfortunately, humans can’t hibernate like many of our mammalian relatives, and we’re forced to suffer through […]

The Flu and You

Feb 08, 2018 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Enveloped_icosahedral_virus.svg

By Christina Marvin If you have not come down with the flu yourself, you most likely have had a friend or family member who has. It rears its ugly head each year, infecting those it comes in contact with and discriminating against no one. If you’ve been following this blog, you may have read about […]

Dietary Supplements: #NewYearNewMe or #NewYearNewLiver ?

Jan 25, 2018 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sports_Nutrition_Supplements.jpg

By Eva Vitucci As 2018 makes its grand entrance, so does the ever trending hashtag #NewYearNewMe. This hashtag is frequently used in reference to the undertaking of a healthier lifestyle, and for those hashtag enthusiasts, is often followed by #FitFam and #LegDay.  Shifting to a healthier lifestyle can be a monumental challenge, but often one of […]

How to Copy DNA: The Invention of the Polymerase Chain Reaction

Jan 11, 2018 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Grand_Prismatic_Spring,_Yellowstone_National_Park_(3646969937).jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Thermus_aquaticus

By Matt Niederhuber There’s a good chance you’ve heard about DNA testing before, probably on a crime TV show or on the news. Sometimes, DNA testing is how the police identify suspects, but it has also helped prove the innocence of many people who have been falsely imprisoned. I bring up DNA testing because I […]

Synesthesia: Taste the Rainbow

Jan 04, 2018 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synesthesia#/media/File:Synesthesia.svg

By Jennifer Schiller Close your eyes and remember your breakfast. How did it feel? Was it slimy scrambled eggs? Was it crunchy cereal? Or, like the man after which Richard E. Cytowic’s non-fiction book The Man Who Tasted Shapes is titled, did it feel pointy in your hands from the pepper? Was this last question […]

The Secret Behind How We Choose Our Food

Dec 07, 2017 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MRI_of_orbitofrontal_cortex.jpg

By Yitong Li When it comes to food choice, it’s almost an instinctual question: sometimes I want some chicken and greens for dinner and others I want some BBQ ribs and mashed potatoes. Compared to other decisions, such as which phone to buy or which shirt to put on in the morning, choosing food seems […]

Why the Flu Shot Rocks

Nov 30, 2017 https://www.nobelprize.org/educational/medicine/immunity/immune-detail.html

By Clare Gyorke When I say the flu sucks, I’m not talking about the cold you get every year – you feel crappy for a day or two, but not so crappy that you can’t watch Netflix. I’m talking about the one that starts out feeling like a cold, but progresses to feeling so bad […]

Spiders: Natural Engineers of the Animal Kingdom

Nov 02, 2017 http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com/Web-Yellow-Garden-Spider-Macro-Insect-Outdoors-1982368

By Allyson Roberts As the holiday season marches on, spooky Halloween decorations are being replaced. But, before they have all crawled away, let’s take a moment to consider one commonly feared Halloween staple: spiders. So, how did these “arachnids” (spiders aren’t insects!) become a symbol of horror and Halloween? The easy answer is that, for […]

Lab mice: the true heroes of science

Oct 12, 2017 https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e1/Knockout_Mice5006-300.jpg

********** The NC DNA Day CONNECT blog is back! We’re excited for another year of sharing exciting science news and interesting research going on here in North Carolina and around the world. We will have a new post each Thursday, so make sure to check back every week! ********** By Michelle Engle The phrases “laboratory animals”, […]