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UK and U of L to Benefit from National Science Foundation Grant

Sep 22, 2015

The Universities of Kentucky and Louisville are joining together to create a national center of excellence in micro and nanotechnology.   The announcement came Monday along with a $3.7 million grant from the National Science Foundation.  Todd Hastings, director of the Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering says facilities, tools, and expertise at UK and U of L will be made available to outside users.  “This is gonna be really beneficial for the Commonwealth," Hastings said.

Tobacco Research and Development Center Ready to Bottle Tobacco

Sep 21, 2015

Officials with the Kentucky Tobacco Research and Development Center are finalizing their offerings of reference tobacco. Center Managing Director Orlando Chambers says raw tobacco is placed in bottles and used for comparison against commercial products. He says the program falls within the new purview of a federal agency.  “Now, the FDA has regulatory authority over tobacco products and as part of developing that science, you have to be able to analyze the tobacco that’s in cigarettes or smokeless tobacco products,” said Chambers.

Stu Johnson / WEKU News

A University of Kentucky anatomy and neurobiology professor was among the scientists who discovered hundreds of human-like skeletal fossils in South Africa.  The discovery is considered to be evidence of a new species of human relative.  Paleoanthropologist Andrew Deane says it’s hard to say where the fossils fit in.  “The human family tree is much more like a bush than it is a tree or a ladder," Deane explained. "There’s quite a bit of diversity there and quite a bit of variability in the human family.”

A 559 thousand dollar grant from the National Science Foundation could benefit several UK math graduate students from Appalachia.   University officials today announced details of the Graduate Scholars in Mathematics program.   First generation and Appalachian students are being urged to apply. 

Probe's Landing on the Comet Catching Attention in Kentucky

Nov 13, 2014

The European space probe landing on a comet is hitting home in central Kentucky.   Watching it with interest is Suzanne Smith at the University of Kentucky.  She heads the NASA Kentucky space Grant Consortium.  Smith says one of the students involved in Kentucky's NASA program spent the past summer overseas at the European Space Agency.   "I bet that she was involved with or met some of the people that were involved with this project and is truly excited for them and celebrating along with them as is everyone else," said Smith.

Landfill Gas-Recovery System to Generate Electricity in Glasgow

Apr 9, 2014

Gov. Steve Beshear Wednesday announced funding to help create an environmentally friendly methane gas recovery system in Glasgow that will also save taxpayer dollars. The new system will harness the gas emitted from the Glasgow Regional Landfill and turn it into electricity.

Amy Harris

A crowd of hundreds braved snowy and icy weather to attend a much-publicized debate in Northern Kentucky Tuesday. Bill Nye the Science Guy and Ken Ham, the founder and CEO of the Creation Museum faced off over the topic, “Is Creationism a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era.”

The Creation Museum

The debate over the belief in divine creation versus evolution will be played out Tuesday evening in Northern Kentucky. Bill Nye, the Science Guy, will face off with one of the most outspoken supporters of creationism

Digging Kentucky

Mar 18, 2013

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.

UK Physiologist Helps Identify Usher Syndrome Gene

Oct 2, 2012

A University of Kentucky physiologist 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.

And Mankind is Grateful...

Aug 27, 2012
Cheri Lawson / WNKU Radio

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 .

Kentucky Ground Zero for 2017 Eclipse

Aug 22, 2012
Tom Kane / Kentucky New Era

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.

UK Develops Spray-On Concrete

Jun 13, 2012
Bill Estep

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.

U of L Professors Receive Grant for Spinal Cord Research

May 29, 2012

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.

KSP Unveils 3D Crime Scene Scanner

May 23, 2012
Hannah Reel/The State 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.

UK Healthcare

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.

Brenna Angel / Kentucky Public Radio

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.

Discovery of Parasitic Fly on Honeybees

Jan 5, 2012

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.

Middle School Class Uses Social Networking

Dec 27, 2011

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.

Corbin Considers Smoking Ban

Nov 15, 2011

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 planning…nutrition… exercise….all these plans have to be ready to implement,” said Goodloe.

Miraculous Recovery for Mason Co. Senior

Nov 13, 2011

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."

Dog Detects Abnormal Blood Pressure

Nov 13, 2011
Jim Pearson / Madisonville Messenger

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.