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Mar 23, 2021

After Years of Research, Personal Struggle, NC State Prof Succumbs to ALS

Michael Bereman, a biology professor at North Carolina State University whose research focus dovetailed with his own diagnosis, died last week of ALS. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive disease that gradually weakens the muscles until sufferers can no longer move, speak or, ultimately, breathe. Bereman first noticed his symptoms in 2015 at the age of 33. Increasing muscle weakness eventually led the family man and highly regarded N.C. State biology professor to a motorized chair and special computer tools to help him write as he continued his research in hopes of helping himself and others. 

Mar 22, 2021

Study Finds Plants Would Grow Well in Solar Cell Greenhouses

A recent study shows that lettuce can be grown in greenhouses that filter out wavelengths of light used to generate solar power, demonstrating the feasibility of using see-through solar panels in greenhouses to generate electricity. “We were a little surprised – there was no real reduction in plant growth or health,” says Heike Sederoff, co-corresponding author of the study and a professor of plant biology at North Carolina State University. 

Mar 19, 2021

Lettuce Grows Just Fine in Solar-Panel Greenhouses

“We were a little surprised—there was no real reduction in plant growth or health,” says Heike Sederoff, a professor of plant biology at North Carolina State University and co-corresponding author of the study in Cell Reports Physical Science. “It means the idea of integrating transparent solar cells into greenhouses can be done.” 

Mar 17, 2021

What Would Volcanoes Look Like on Metallic Planets?

“Cryovolcanism is volcanic activity on icy worlds, and we’ve seen it happen on Saturn’s moon Enceladus,” says Arianna Soldati, assistant professor of marine, earth,and atmospheric sciences at North Carolina State University and lead author of a paper describing the work. “But ferrovolcanism, volcanic activity on metallic worlds, hasn’t been observed yet.” 

Mar 2, 2021

NCSU Researchers Identify Self-Sterilizing Polymers Effective in Killing Novel Coronavirus

ABC 11
“So far, we have not encountered any viruses or bacteria that have been able to survive,” explained Rich Spontak, a distinguished NCSU professor in both chemical and biomolecular engineering, and a professor of material sciences and engineering. “Which is promising in that as other types of infectious microbes, start to rear their ugly heads, this material, could be available to help mitigate the spread of those types of pathogens.” 

Mar 2, 2021

New Study Shows the Gulf Stream Could be Changing

PBS North Carolina
“While the evidence isn’t direct, the proxies are strong enough that when taken together it is clear the current is changing and that is a worry,” said Ruoying He, Leader of the Ocean Observing and Modeling Group and a Professor in the Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at North Carolina State University. 

Feb 26, 2021

What Underwater Sounds Can Tell us About the State of Coral Reefs

Popular Science
“When you have a bunch of little damselfish next to each other, they’re very territorial,” says Kayelyn Simmons, a PhD candidate at North Carolina State University. “So they do these like little pops and chirps. And it’s basically to tell another critter to get away from my home.” A new study led by Simmons and published on February 24 in the open-access journal PLOS One, examines the aural impacts of Hurricane Irma on a coral reef habitat in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The team, which also included NC State University professors David Eggleston and DelWayne Bohnenstiehl, found only subtle changes in the sounds of some reef-dwellers, suggesting the ecosystem may have returned to business as usual following the storm. 

The NC State Belltower against a blue sky, with flowering trees in the foreground

Feb 26, 2021

Statistician Tsiatis Serves on U.S. Board Evaluating COVID-19 Vaccine Trials

Anastasios A. Tsiatis has been appointed to the Data and Safety Monitoring Board for the U.S. government-sponsored clinical trials evaluating COVID-19 vaccines. 

Feb 23, 2021

Why a Garbage Video Went Viral Before NASA Could Release the Real One

“It’s this weird ‘taking the wind out of your sails’ feeling when you’re really anticipating something amazing happening and a cheap ripoff is passed around as though it’s the real thing,” Katie Mack, an astrophysicist at North Carolina State University, tells Inverse. “It’s like a bootleg from inside a movie theater of a film you really want to see. It sort of spoils the whole thing somehow.” 

Feb 22, 2021

Chemists Bake Cookies With C&EN

“Cooking is the oldest form of chemistry,” says Gallardo-Williams, a baking enthusiast and director of the organic chemistry teaching labs at North Carolina State University. “It is also for many people the most tangible. You mix things, change their properties, and it results in a new and delicious product. I think most people can relate to that.”