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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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New! Sigma Xi SmartBrief

Science in the News has been replaced by Sigma Xi SmartBrief, an enhanced daily summary of science news.  You can follow it on the web here,  or subscribe here to receive free daily bulletins.

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T-DM1 Treats Breast Cancer With Fewer Side Effects

According to results of a study presented to the American Society of Clinical Oncology at its meeting last week in Chicago, a drug that delivers a powerful poison to tumors without some of the side effects of traditional treatments can delay the worsening of breast cancer and also appears to substantially prolong lives. ...

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Building With Cross-Laminated Timber

Among the many apartment buildings in the London borough of Hackney, the nine-story structure on the corner of Provost Street and Murray Grove stands out, its exterior a mix of white and gray tiles rather than the usual brick. But it's what's underneath the tiles that makes the 29-unit building truly different. From the second floor up, it is constructed entirely of wood, making it one of the tallest wooden residential buildings in the world. ...

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'Open Tree of Life' to Include All Known Species

Scientists are drawing a tree of life that includes every known species. A tree with about two million branches. "I think it is an amazing step forward for our community if it can be pulled off," said Robert P. Guralnick, an expert on evolutionary trees at the University of Colorado, who is not part of the project. ...

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Audio: Using Computing to Advance Toxicology

Chemicals have changed our lives, providing new products and capabilities, but sometimes causing harm to ourselves and the environment... (click the link above to read more).

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