Science

From physics to social studies, and paleontology to computers, science is important to our everyday lives. This page is a collection of such topics and stories.

Today’s program is by request. Aleq in Southern Utah emailed us to ask for more science on Access Utah and to suggest that we talk about the great work being done in Utah in paleontology.

Our guests today include State Paleontologist Jim Kirkland; and Andrew Milner and Jerald Harris, authors of “Tracks in Deep Time: The St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm.”

In The Evolution of Beauty, Richard O. Prum’s award-winning career as an ornithologist and his lifelong passion for bird-watching come together in a thrilling intellectual adventure. Scientific dogma holds that every detail of an animal’s mating displays—every spot on the peacock’s tail—is an advertisement of its genetic material superiority to potential mates. But thirty years of research and fieldwork around the world led Prum to question this idea.

Utah 'Amateur' Astronomer Discovers Third Supernova

May 19, 2017
Sergiy Vakulenko

Scanning the skies from his Tooele home is a nightly hobby of  Patrick Wiggins’. Most of the time, he said, the activity consists mostly of scanning through anywhere from 600 to 1200 pictures of 300 galaxies each night.

Utah Scientists Join National March

Apr 24, 2017
Emily Means

Like Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax, they spoke for the trees – as well as for air quality, melting glaciers and medical research funding. Thousands of scientists, doctors and lay people marched to the Utah State Capitol Saturday, in solidarity with other marches for science around the world.

 


April 22nd is Earth Day, but this year it will also be the date of the March for Science. The flagship march will take place in Washington D.C., but sister marches are happening around the globe, including at least five in Utah.

D. Kinka

Demographic trends suggest that minorities may soon make-up a majority of the U.S. population. In 2014, white children made up less than 50% of the population in public schools. However these demographic trends are not represented in some academic fields, which remain overwhelmingly white.

The Best Monsters are Works of Science

Jan 24, 2017
https://www.flickr.com/

 

 

 

Have you ever wondered how monsters are created? Hollywood depictions of things like dragons and aliens may seem like the farthest thing from reality, but it turns out that movie monsters are often firmly rooted in the very real sciences of paleontology and comparative anatomy.

The Science Of Beer

Dec 27, 2016

A clean, well-lit taproom just off the beaten path in Salt Lake City, UT. Behind the bar, the words “Uinta Brewing Co.” are carved neatly into the blonde-colored wood, just below the mountains that bare the same name. It’s early, but members of the American Homebrewers Association have gathered here to learn from each other how to improve their craft - the craft of making beer. I went there with a simple question: How do you make beer?

Crowdfunding: A Welcome Resource For Researchers

Dec 7, 2016
https://experiment.com/u/nBzpXw

 

Crowdfunding is a term you have probably heard recently. The idea is to solicit a large number of small to medium donations in order to fund some kind of project or product development, and there are many online platforms that allow their users to do just that. While It’s not difficult to find crowdfunding proposals online ranging from heartwarming to ridiculous, some scientists are now looking to crowdfunding as a way to finance their research.

Wikimedia Commons

New research out of the University of Utah today examines how long it takes poached elephant tusks to reach the illegal ivory market. Researchers used a technique known as bomb-curve radiocarbon dating to age the tusks.

octopup.org

Scientists from the University of Utah will be studying the Salt Flats in Utah for the next two years. 

The Bonneville Salt Flats have attracted racers who want to break a land speed record for years. The texture and thickness of the salt is perfect for going fast—really fast.

But beyond just the racing, the area has one of the largest potash mines. Potash has a lot potassium and is sold as a fertilizer. The flats also offer a unique recreational area.

New Monticello Science Center Raises Overcrowding Concerns

Aug 18, 2016


A new science discovery center will open this weekend just outside of the southeastern Utah city of Monticello. Founders hope the $8 million center will bring tourists to Monticello without causing overcrowding.

Out of Thin Air: Making Fertilizer with Sunlight

Aug 18, 2016
Al Hicks / National Renewable Energy Laboratory

A new scientific discovery may change the way we make fertilizer. A team of researchers have found a new way to produce Ammonia (NH3) from atmospheric Nitrogen (N2) using sunlight instead of fossil fuels. The discovery may have profound effects on the sustainability of food production.

Katie Peikes / UPR

The ability to assess water supply is becoming increasingly important, especially since data shows statewide reservoir storage is lower than last year. Utah State University soil scientists and climatologists have created a device to track snowmelt, that could lead to better assessments on water supply. 

Andrew Crusoe

A few months ago, gravitational waves from a black hole collision were measured by scientists, a discovery many have predicted to win the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2016. One Utah author wrote about this discovery in his science fiction novel—five years before it happened.


http://anthony.darrouzet-nardi.net/

A researcher studying how desert soils can help combat climate change will visit Utah State University this week. 

Many people think of the Utah desert as devoid of life. But deserts are complex ecosystems full of plants, animals, and other less visible microbial fauna that play major roles in the ecosystem.

Utah State Researchers Search for Zika Virus Cure

Feb 24, 2016
cdc.gov

Researchers at the Utah State University Institute for Antiviral Research are out in front of the global outbreak of Zika virus.

ligo.caltech.edu

Yesterday’s announcement of the discovery of gravitational waves, a phenomenon that Einstein predicted, but which he thought humans could never detect, rocked the scientific world.


On Tuesday, undergraduates from Utah State University had the opportunity to present their research to the Utah legislature on topics ranging from synthetic spider silk to using mathematics to convict repeat sex offenders. For university research departments, this is good publicity, but it’s also a valuable opportunity for young researchers.


nps.gov

For his first movie about a mouse, Walt Disney showcased Mickey navigating the river waters by steamboat. But for Dr. Laurie Dizney, the filming of mice happened in the dry Utah desert. Her work shows how using mice and cameras could help protect people from hantavirus and other deadly diseases.


Utah Museum Highlights Modern Uses of Ancient Mummies

Jan 17, 2016
leonardo.org

Mummies of the World is on view at The Leonardo museum in Salt Lake City, with recently discovered mummies from Hungary, as well as mummies from Ancient Egypt and South America. 


Algae As A Source Food For Livestock

Sep 28, 2015
Diego Mendiola

Friday, in a follow up to Growing Algae From Fracking Wastewater As A Biofuel, the research team at USU is finding new ways to feed the world as well, they have found that algae is high in protein and in nutrients.

 

In a small, shanty greenhouse a churning machine spins disks and barrels covered in black green colored algae. The researchers here are testing the most efficient way of growing these multipurpose organisms.

USU Professor Launches Exploration Of Northern Lights

Feb 9, 2015
Jamie Adkins/NASA

In the early hours of Jan. 28, NASA launched a rocket from Poker Flat Research Range in Alaska as part of the Auroral Spatial Structures Probe mission. The rocket’s trajectory was aimed at the Aurora Borealis in an effort to learn more about how solar events affect earth’s atmosphere. Attached to the rocket were six payloads consisting of probes built at the Space Dynamics Laboratory at Utah State University. There to lead the mission was Charles Swenson, director of the Center for Space Engineering at USU.

USU Opens New Synthetic Spider Silk Facility

Feb 6, 2015
Evan Hall

Thursday saw the opening of the USTAR Bioproducts Scale Up facility on the Innovation Campus of Utah State University. The facility was designed for the mass production of material and chemicals derived from renewable biological materials. One of the major areas of interest at the research facility will be synthetic spider silk.

According to Scott Hinton, Director of the Synthetic Biomanufacturing Institute at USU, synthetic spider silk derived from the silk of the banana spider has a wide variety of applications.

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