There’s still a lot of ground to cover when it comes to archaeology in Kentucky. Kentucky Heritage Council Archaeologist Nick Laracuente says Kentucky excavations have been going on since the 1930’s. But, he says only five to ten percent of Kentucky has undergone archaeological study. Laracuente cites the distillery business as just one example. “There were thousands across Kentucky and we have, what, 30 operating today, but remains of many, many more that could tells us a lot about what’s going on in that industry in the past.
By Amy Wilson, Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues
A University of Kentuckyphysiologist has teamed with researchers from several institutions to report a novel type of gene associated with Usher Syndrome, a hereditary disease that causes individuals to lose both hearing and sight. The work of Gregory Frolenkov, associate professor at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, and others led by Zubair M. Ahmed from the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, is being published in the November 2012 issue of Nature Genetics.
A constant stream of people filed through Cincinnati’s Museum Center Sunday to honor the late Neil Armstrong and view a piece of rock he brought back from the moon. Kentucky Public Radio’s Cheri Lawson reports the Museum Centers’ Museum of Natural History and Science offered free admission yesterday and extended it through Labor Day in honor of Armstrong .
At 1:24 p.m. CDT on Aug. 21, 2017, the sky will go dark for 2 minutes and 40 seconds and the stars will come out. The reason for that is, at that moment, a total eclipse of the sun will take place, and the best place to watch it will be just northwest of Hopkinsville, where the eclipse will last longer than anywhere else on earth. “We have been getting emails for five years about this, and we have five more years to go,” said Cheryl Cook, executive director of the Hopkinsville-Christian County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “People are already calling for hotel rooms, but the hotels don’t book that far out.”
The peak viewing period for the annual Perseid meteor shower occurs this weekend. But, it’s not the only time meteors make their mark over Kentucky. Eastern Kentucky University physics professor, Marco Ciocca says that most of the time there is some material falling from the sky.. “On any given day there is all kind of stuff falling from the sky. It falls all the time. We see very few, because the majority burn before we can see anything and especially if they fall during the day. I don’t know the numbers off the top of my head, but it’s not zero,” said Ciocca.
An ultra fast-drying, spray-on concrete developed at the University of Kentucky could be used to stabilize buildings damaged in terrorist attacks or natural disasters, but also has commercial uses, according to researchers. Officials demonstrated the product Tuesday at UK's Center for Applied Energy Research, which developed it in partnership with Minova North America, a company headquartered in Georgetown that supplies products to the mining and construction industries.
Kentucky now has a law which clarifies the types of nuclear based technologies allowed in the commonwealth. The legislation was signed into law Thursday by Governor Beshear. It permits nuclear related industries to exist in Kentucky as long as electricity generated is not the primary aim. The house bill allows industry development for nuclear assisted coal or gas conversion where electricity is not the primary output. It also clears the way for re-enrichment of depleted nuclear tails, recycling or reprocessing of spent nuclear fuels and the processing of metals contaminated with radioactive materials.
Two University of Louisville professors have received a $6.3 million grant to continue their work helping paralyzed patients restore movement by using electrical stimulation. The grant was awarded to Susan Harkema and Dr. Jonathan Hodes from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. Last year, they received much acclaim when they published a study in the journal The Lancet "showing that the use of continual, direct, electrical stimulation of a patient's lower spinal cord using technology designed for pain relief can allow a person using a wheelchair to stand and bear weight," reports Laura Ungar for The Courier-Journal.
Kentucky State Police revealed a 3D scanner that could cut crime and crash investigation times in half. Commissioner Rodney Brewer said the $65,000 scanner is the first of its kind in Kentucky, and has been used at nine crime scenes, including three from a murder-suicide in Powell County Tuesday night. The new equipment will also help during accident investigations by allowing roads to open more quickly after wrecks. Brewer said the time and personnel at a road accident could be cut by 40-50 percent.
The University of Kentucky has entered into a Master Alliance Agreement with Kentucky-based Alltech for a variety of research-related projects. The pact allows even closer collaborations between scientists and researchers at the global animal health and nutrition company and their counterparts at UK. Scott Smith, Dean of the UK College of Agriculture, says the partnership signifies a new way forward for research.
Doctors in Lexington have successfully implanted an artificial heart, marking the first time the procedure was performed in Kentucky. The SynCardia Freedom Driver beats a steady rhythm that’s keeping 20-year-old Zack Poe alive. It powers the Total Artificial Heart doctors implanted in February. “The device is a polyurethane device. It has two pumps, each driven by its own drive line, and it has four mechanical valves," says Dr. Mark Plunkett, chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Kentucky.
Saturday is a big day for nearly 700 Fayette County public, private and home school students participating in the 28th annual Kentucky American Water Science Fair at Bryan Station High. Fayette County Public Schools Science Contest Specialist David Helm, a twenty-year veteran of the science fair, says the event is an opportunity for kids to put what they've been studying into action.
The University of Kentucky will unveil its latest medical advance next month, as the region's first hybrid operating room opening its doors. The room merges state-of-the-art imaging technology able to render 3-D pictures of human anatomy in seconds with the latest surgical capabilities to produce a unique operating environment. Dr. Zwischenberger, surgeon-in-chief at UK HealthCare, says the result is a combination of the best ORs in the country.
New library resources are now available for the commonwealth’s police officers, firefighters and other first responders. It’s a new refurbished facility at Eastern Kentucky University. A newly renovated Justice and Safety Library at Eastern Kentucky University features more technology and fewer hardback books. The refurbished center officially opens this week. Justice and Safety Librarian Nicole Montgomery says 18 desktop computers and ten laptops were added. Prior to the half-million dollar renovation, Montgomery says it was a traditional library.
This past holiday season, millions of people bought video games, iPads, and other high-tech gadgets. But many are still playing with a toy that's been around for more than 30 years: the Rubik's Cube. The puzzle that challenges players to align a single color on each side first went on the market in 1980. As Kentucky Public Radio's Brenna Angel reports, a new generation of players is pushing the limits of the Rubik's Cube using modern technology.
The discovery of a parasitic fly on honeybees in California has given scientists new clues to colony collapse disorder, which has killed millions of bees. But it’s too early to determine whether the fly is affecting bees in Kentucky. For the past five years, numerous honeybee colonies have disappeared, and scientists aren’t really sure why. The discovery of a parasitic fly in California that makes bees fly zombie-like off into the night may provide some clues.
Ella Bowling's seventh grade science class has something to tweet about. It's their use of the popular social networking site, Twitter, in the classroom. Bowling, who teaches at Mason County Middle School, said she had heard about colleges and even the Kentucky Department of Education using Twitter in order to share information. Most of Bowling's students have cell phones and use Twitter or other sites regularly. "I know in the past we have been so afraid of using social media and have discouraged it," Bowling said in an email sent to MCMS coworkers. "But, it's like they always say, if you can't beat them, join them! Students are going to use social media so why not find a way to get them to use it for an educational purpose!"
A veteran state lawmaker from a tobacco rich region is noticing more and more interest in making Kentucky communities smoke free. Senator Joey Pendleton has represented a heavy tobacco growing area in western Kentucky for years. He's gone to bat for farmers as they see dwindling income due to dropping cigarette sales. Still, Pendleton sees a statewide anti-smoking trend.
Citing repeated requests from area business owners and the majority of people who voted for him in the last election, Corbin City Commissioner Joe Shelton made a motion Monday night for the city attorney to draw up an ordinance that would ban smoking in all public places within the city limits. When the motion was put to a vote, only one commissioner voted against it.
When planning for retirement, older Kentuckians need to be suspicious. Too often their finances are devastated by a person they trusted. Such financial abuse was the focus of a forum today in Lexington. Among the participants in the day-long seminar was Mark Goodloe, who’s elderly parents live in Lexington. When it comes to managing their finances, Goodloe learned it pays to be skeptical. “It’s going to be like an ongoing plan..estate planning…nutrition… exercise….all these plans have to be ready to implement,” said Goodloe.
In September, Chrissy Tull's family believed it was likely she would not be home for Christmas. At the time, the 17-year-old Mason County High School student was lying in a hospital bed at Cincinnati Children's Hospital in critical condition. A little more than two months after the accident that landed Tull in critical condition, she is back home with her family and attending school full-time. In her family's eyes, that makes Chrissy Tully a miracle. "She beat all the odds," said Tull's mother, Patricia Tull. "She's pretty much back to normal. It's a miracle."
Piper, the yellow labrador retriever, starts to whine. This isn’t just typical puppy behavior — Piper is letting owner Beth Turmero know that her 3 1/2-year-old son Aiden’s blood sugar is not within the normal range. Aiden was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in August and receives regular insulin shots. Since he is so young, Aiden doesn’t have the vocabulary to say when his blood sugar is too low or high, so Piper does the job for him.
Over the next 50 years, a sociologist says America’s newest generation of veterans could be as influential as the World War Two generation. For example, Veterans Administration researcher Neale Chumbler says today’s disabled veteran demands a normal lifestyle and looks to the VA for support.
In the smoker-heavy state of Kentucky, a cancer center is suggesting something that most health experts won't and the tobacco industry can't: If you really want to quit, switch to smoke-free tobacco. The James Graham Brown Cancer Center and the University of Louisville are aiming their new "Switch and Quit" campaign at the city of Owensboro. It urges smokers to swap their cigarettes for smokeless tobacco and other products that don’t deliver nicotine by smoke.
Kentucky Department for Public Health officials are urging Kentuckians to get a flu vaccination after the season’s first lab-confirmed case of influenza was reported this week. The case was from Jessamine County. DPH is reporting the results to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as part of statewide flu surveillance efforts. Kentucky’s flu activity is currently classified as "sporadic," the lowest level of flu activity.
It’s been 20 years since N-B-A star Magic Johnson revealed he tested H-I-V positive. Over those two decades, the HIV-AIDS landscape in Kentucky has changed greatly. Magic Johnson was proof, in a high profile way, that an early diagnosis of H-I-V positive didn’t always end in disease and death. In the early-1980s, when AIDS was first identified, the mortality rate was virtually 100 percent in Kentucky. In 2009, Fayette County H-I-V coordinator Sarah Alleyne says the mortality rate stood at five percent. Alleyne adds early diagnosis allows for early treatments that keep H-I-V in check.
The Louisville Board of Health is continuing its deliberations on the pending hospital merger. The board held a public forum with officials from University of Louisville Hospital, Jewish/St. Mary’s Healthcare and Catholic Health Initiatives last month to clear up concerns that Catholic-led supervision would affect access and availability of care.
The state announced Thursday the planned installation of new weather detection technology – Automated Weather Observation Systems or AWOS – to improve safety at 14 Kentucky airports. With AWOS, aircraft can receive weather information at altitudes up to 10,000 feet and distances up to 25 nautical miles from each installation. The airports were selected for AWOS upgrades based on recent inspections of existing airport weather observation systems.
Watermelon: It's not just for summer picnics any more. University of Kentucky researchers have been studying the fruit's juice, and results show that it might be good for keeping your weight down and your heart strong. Sibu Saha, lead investigator on UK's project, cautions that consumers should not storm grocery stores and start juicing watermelons but should continue to eat a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables.
Kentucky’s three new managed care operators, MCOs, say they’re ready for members to switch over to privatized Medicaid care this week. The switch on Nov. 1 is expected to save the state around $375 million over the three year contracts while managing patient care more efficiently.