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Author: Nate DeGraff

Heather Patisaul in her lab in David Clark Labs

Jul 18, 2019

Biologist Patisaul Named Associate Dean for Research

Heather Patisaul, a decorated biologist and an expert on how environmental chemicals affect our health, has been named the new associate dean for research in NC State’s College of Sciences. 

Jul 16, 2019

50 Years Later: NC State Alumni Reflect on Their Role in Launching the Apollo 11 Mission

“Apollo 11 really changed our understanding of our place in the universe,” said NC State professor Paul Byrne. The Apollo 11 mission shaped his field of study as a planetary geologist, but it did much more than that. “It gets people dreaming about what might be possible when a whole nation gets together behind one goal supports it and sees it through,” he said. 

Lewis Owen works in the field

Jul 15, 2019

Geologist Owen Named Head of MEAS Department

Lewis Owen, a prominent geologist at the University of Cincinnati, has been named head of the Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences. 

Jul 8, 2019

A Scientist Who Found Her Faith In Physics: Meet Katie Mack, AKA AstroKatie

NC State physicist Katie Mack, well-known on Twitter as @AstroKatie, discussed black holes, dark matter and whether aliens exist on The State of Things. 

Jul 8, 2019

Ground Beetle Genitals Have the Genetic Ability to Get Strange. They Don’t

One early idea linking genital shape with the formation of species proposed that developing a unique his-and-hers fit worked as a lock and key that separated members of one species from another. One of Sota’s early papers, in 1998, proposed that the genital quirks of the ground beetles worked as just this kind of separator of species. The lock-and-key concept sounded great, says NC State's Brian Langerhans. But disputes over evidence of the process led “to many believing it played little role in reality.” Recently though, he says, the idea is rousing interest again. 

Jul 2, 2019

Oyster Restoration Work Nears Completion

Coastal Review Online
“We recently completed a comprehensive survey of reefs in Pamlico Sound, including reefs that are harvested, natural, intertidal and subtidal. And what we found, is that while subtidal sanctuary oyster reefs in Pamlico Sound only occupy about 6% of the total footprint of oysters, they account for an estimated 40% of the oyster population in Pamlico Sound,” said Dave Eggleston, director of NC State's Center for Marine Science and Technology. 

Jul 1, 2019

Fossilized Dino Bones Are Home to Diverse Microbial Communities

The Scientist
Some of the most widely publicized reports of ancient proteins have been based on samples that are tens of millions of years old. The lab of NC State paleontologist Mary Schweitzer, for example, has published multiple papers describing the presence of soft tissue and proteins in pieces of bone from Tyrannosaurus rex and other dinosaurs. 

Jul 1, 2019

As Moon Landing Anniversary Arrives, Astronaut Christina Koch Makes History of Her Own

The News & Observer
“Most kids probably dream of becoming an astronaut. I was just the one that never grew out of it,” said Koch in an interview Monday with The News & Observer from the space station. Koch, a graduate of N.C. State University, left for space March 14 and has been in orbit for just over 100 days as a flight engineer for NASA’s expedition 59 and 60. 

Jun 25, 2019

Contaminated Drinking Water May Stretch Beyond Eastern Wake County Private Wells

The News & Observer
The contamination of private wells comes from a 200-million-year-old geological formation of granite underneath the ground. Uranium is not a common mineral, but is found in granite and can remain in the ground for a very long time, said Bill Showers, a geochemist at NC State. 

Jun 18, 2019

The Evolution of Puppy Dog Eyes

Nature World News
Co-author and anatomist Adam Hartstone-Rose, at NC State, said: “These muscles are so thin that you can literally see through them – and yet the movement that they allow seems to have such a powerful effect that it appears to have been under substantial evolutionary pressure."