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Smart Materials Used to Treat Uterine Fibroids

Katie-Leigh Corder, Sandra J. Ackerman

Uterine FibroidClick to Enlarge Image

Dr. Darlene Taylor is an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry at North Carolina Central University. She uses molecular engineering to develop what she calls “smart materials”- substances that can sense and respond in some way to a change in their environment. Perhaps the most exciting use for smart materials is helping to deliver powerful drugs to specific target sites deep inside the body without affecting other tissues along the way.

Dr. Taylor discusses her research in an interview with Sandra Ackerman, senior editor at American Scientist magazine.

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Pancreatic Cancer and More Effective Treatments

Katie-Leigh Corder, Fenella Saunders

Dr. Antonio Baines is an associate professor in the Department of Biology at North Carolina Central University, an adjunct professor in the Department of Pharmacology in the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a cancer researcher.

Dr. Baines’ research focuses on understanding a gene called Ras, and its role as a molecular target in pancreatic cancer. His research aim is to target certain points in the pathway of pancreatic cancer in order to increase the effectiveness of treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation. Dr. Baines goes into more depth about how his research could increase understanding of how to combat pancreatic cancer.

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How You Can Better Communicate Your Science

Katie-Leigh Corder, Fenella Saunders

Most scientists will tell you that one of the inspirations for their work is to somehow benefit mankind, whether that’s through new medicines or a better understanding of the formation of the universe. But how can scientists ensure that mankind knows about their work?

Science author and journalist Dennis Meredith discusses how scientists can become better communicators of their research.

In 2012, Meredith was inducted as an Honorary Life Member of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, and he is the Chair for American Scientist 's Committee on Communications and Publications.

In this podcast, he discussed with American Scientist managing editor, Fenella Saunders, some of the ways he’s found to help scientists become more effective communicators.

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Robots in Clinical and Home Environments

Katie-Leigh Corder, Fenella Saunders

Dr. Ron Alterovitz, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, talks about current and future research and challenges involving robots used in clinical and home environments.

In this podcast, Dr. Alterovitz talks about his research on creating algorithms for robots and their use mainly in surgical and home environments.

Podcast music is “Spot,” by Ardent Octopus, courtesy of Mevio’s Music Alley.

Funding for Pizza Lunches is provided by the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.

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Rolling the Dice on Big Data

Katie-Leigh Corder, Katie L. Burke

Dr. Ilse Ipsen, a professor in the Department of Mathematics at North Carolina State University, goes in-depth about how mathematicians can use the Monte Carlo method, and other tools, to wrestle with the deluge of data emerging from the wide variety of scientific research areas.

In this podcast, Dr. Ipsen speaks with associate editor, Katie Burke, about her research and viewpoints on using the Monte Carlo method and big data.

Podcast music is “Spot,” by Ardent Octopus, courtesy of Mevio’s Music Alley.

Funding for Pizza Lunches is provided by the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.

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Addressing Emergent Challenges with Wind Power

Katie-Leigh Corder, Fenella Saunders

Dr. Sukanta Basu, an associate professor in the Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at North Carolina State University, talks about the benefits and challenges of wind power and what it could mean for the future of renewable energy. His field of study is boundary layer meteorology, which addresses some of the widespread uses of wind power.

In this podcast, Dr. Basu speaks with associate editor, Katie Burke, about his work and viewpoints regarding wind power usage. 

Podcast music is “Spot,” by Ardent Octopus, courtesy of  Mevio’s Music Alley.

Funding for Pizza Lunches is provided by the  North Carolina Biotechnology Center.

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What Is Intelligence?

Katie L. Burke

Brian Hare, professor of evolutionary anthropology and member of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke University, is interested in what dogs can do cognitively that humans and other primates cannot do. Are humans really the most intelligent species? Hare compares psychology within primates as well as between primates and nonprimates through the Hominoid Psychology Research Group and the citizen science project that he launched, Dognition. You can find out how your dog's breed compares in intelligence measures with other dog breeds, based on Hare's research, by visiting Dognition's new data visualizations.

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Behind the Scenes of Foldit, Pioneering Science Gamification

Katie L. Burke

Proteins are involved in how our bodies develop and fight disease as well as how we behave and 2012-11SciObsBurkeFC.jpgClick to Enlarge Imagehow we sense the world around us. Genes are instructions for making proteins, each of which is made up of some combination of building-block molecules called amino acids. Proteins can be hundreds of amino acids long, so they are complex and difficult to study. Although protein sequencing to find out the order of the amino acids in a particular protein is pretty easy for a biochemist, it is not simple for a biochemist to figure out all the possible shapes those amino acids can fold into. Foldit is a popular online citizen-science game, in which players are scored on the structure of proteins that they’ve folded. In Foldit puzzles, for example, players are rewarded for solving clashes and voids, places where the protein is not consistent with known biochemical patterns.

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Latest Multimedia

ANIMATION: Revealing the Logic Behind Candy Crush2014-11WalshF1.jpgClick to Enlarge Image

Candy Crush is turned into a model electrical circuit, which can be used to structure the equivalent of a logic puzzle. Besides justifying Candy Crush addictions, this information could be used to harness the player power of this game for bigger concerns, including computer security.
Watch the behind-the-scenes movements and how it is truly a logic puzzle.

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