How Do We Track Down Alien Life? We Follow Their Farts!

Oct 29, 2020

By Brandon Le Does life exist outside the confines of our home planet? If this question captivates you, you’d find good company among astrobiologists – multidisciplinary scientists who seek to understand the origins, evolution, and distribution of life beyond Earth. Many astrobiologists agree that the special conditions allowing life to emerge on Earth are rare, […]

“Bearing Down” on Muscle Loss

Oct 15, 2020

By Alec Chaves If you’ve been following my previous blog posts, you’ll notice I like to talk about skeletal muscle. This is because, in my opinion, skeletal muscle is the coolest and most fascinating organ to study. Not only do skeletal muscles allow you to move, they also release chemicals called cytokines, which communicate with […]

Wolves of Yellowstone

Sep 10, 2020

By Whitney Bell The United States has 62 National Parks. Some of the most famous and most visited include Great Smoky Mountains, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and Zion National Parks.  Yellowstone National Park, created by President Ulysses Grant in 1872, was the country’s very first national park. National Parks are popular tourist destinations because of their […]

Variegated Varietals

Aug 03, 2020

By Jenna Beam If I had to pick a theme for the coronavirus lockdown, it would be a close race between sourdough bread and houseplants. It seems like everyone either has a sourdough starter, approximately 100 new houseplants, or both. Since I’ve already written an article about sourdough bread (you can check it out here), […]

Animals Speak with Accents, Too!

Jul 21, 2020

By Emma Goldberg Everyone, young and old, loves Disney movies.  And have you ever noticed that some of the most iconic and loved characters talk in an accent? Think of The Little Mermaid’s Sebastian, or Finding Nemo’s Crush!  Both of these beloved characters sport their very own accent.  Although part of why we love Disney […]

What Makes a Flower Perfect?

Jul 16, 2020

By Lane Scher Yesterday, as I was tending to my garden and admiring the young squash developing on the vine of my squash plant, something caught my eye. A few flower buds on the vine had what looked like tiny squash babies at their base. Other flowers on the same vine were fully opened, but […]

Aspergillus: the Not-So-Fun Fungi

Jul 09, 2020

By Jenna Beam The microbiome is a complex network of microbes living in and on your body. This group of microbes is really important for helping you digest food, protecting your skin and gut from infections, and may even play a role in brain health. When people use the term microbiome, they are often describing […]

Keystone Species: Holding the Ecosystem Together

Jun 25, 2020

By Whitney Bell Keystone species are like the keystone in a stone archway. The keystone in an archway is responsible for holding all the other stones in place and maintaining the structure, and just like it, keystone species are vital to their ecological communities. Keystone species are plants or animals that are critical for maintaining […]

Water Tasting

Jun 18, 2020

By Devina Thiono  When you go to a different place, you may notice that the water tastes different than what you are used to at home. Even different commercial water bottles, like Dasani or Fiji Water, can taste different from one another. A lot of this has to do with the amount of minerals present […]

Leaping Into Science: the Lemurs of NC

May 19, 2020

By Whitney Bell From Crikey! It’s the Irwins!, to Wild Kratts, to Planet Earth, TV shows and channels like Animal Planet featuring animals are not in short supply. Those of us who were growing up in the mid-90s might remember a PBS TV show called Zoboomafoo which starred brothers Chris and Martin Kratt (the creators […]

Pink Manta Ray on Parade!

Apr 30, 2020

By Emma Goldberg Everyone has a favorite color: I like blue, my mom likes purple, my brother likes red and one very special manta ray in the Great Barrier Reef loves neon pink!  In fact, this manta ray, named Inspector Clouseau after the well known inspector from the Pink Panther, loves neon pink so much […]

Poison Ivy

Apr 28, 2020

By Alan Curtis Hiking can be a fun and rewarding form of exercise but it comes with plenty of dangers ranging from blistered feet to wild animals. One of the most common dangers, however, is a seemingly harmless plant called Toxicodendron radicans, or more commonly, poison ivy. Poison ivy is a hardy, flowering summer plant […]

Sunscreen: Armor for the Skin

Apr 23, 2020

By Yogitha Chareddy Spring is in full bloom and the warming weather is encouraging North Carolinians to leave their cozy homes in search of fun outdoor activities. As we shed our winter jackets, sweaters, and fuzzy socks, we must remember to add a new layer of protection: sunscreen. Everyone knows what sunscreen is. It’s the […]

In Spring, Timing is Everything

Apr 16, 2020

By Lane Scher If you’ve been spending time outside lately, you’ve probably noticed a lot more green over the last few weeks. Maybe you’ve also noticed more birds singing, and if you’re really paying attention, you’ll see different types of birds every couple of days. These are changes that happen every year in the Spring, […]

Have you ever wanted to play fetch with a wolf?

Apr 07, 2020

By Emma Goldberg There are nearly 90 million dogs in the US and each has a unique personality.  There is, however, one thing nearly all dogs have in common: if you throw a ball, they will bring it back!  We have long believed that the “fetching skill” only existed in modern dogs, but researchers at […]

The Amazing Horseshoe Crab

Mar 31, 2020

By Eva Vitucci The horseshoe crab, an animal that’s actually more closely related to sea spiders than sea crabs, has swum through our coastal waters for the past 445 million years – dating them beyond the existence of dinosaurs! While these animals are ancient, they are relatively well-equipped to handle today’s world. In fact, the […]

The magical minds of sunflowers

Mar 12, 2020

By Lane Scher Sunflowers are one of my favorite plants. I like them not just because they grow tall and make beautiful flowers but also because of their amazing tricks to get sunlight and attract pollinators. When I was in college, I got to work in a research lab that studied these behaviors in sunflowers, […]

Buzz Like a Bee

Sep 09, 2016

By Kelsey Gray Edited by Mike Pablo and Anna Chiarella Communication is essential for surviving and thriving in our daily lives. We communicate with others all the time. Maybe you enjoy talking about books, shopping, writing, video games, traveling? Perhaps you prefer topics such as exercise, studying, sports, relationships, or other hobbies, such as playing […]