Science news

What Do Your Pets Say About Your Love Life?

Feb 9, 2018

With pets in 68 percent of U.S. households these days, it can be hard to find a person who doesn’t have a furry friend—or a person who will admit they don’t like them.

Source: Psychology Today

Ever wondered why you’re so obsessed with pets? Or repulsed at the idea of having one? Your romantic love style might provide an explanation.

Michelle Guthrie, a lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Penn State University, studies the six types of romantic love:

submitted by Kelsey Murray

Kelsey Murray is a PhD candidate and adjunct professor at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. She is also the owner of the consulting firm Crossover Biomedicals. Her study found new testing methods to assess the public health risk from fecal contaminated waters by singling out and testing for genes associated with harmful forms of E. coli, including Shiga-toxigenic E. coli (STEC). 

Murray’s research included over 1000 DNA extractions from bacteria in water samples taken out of Rapid Creek and the Big Sioux River over a two-year period. 

Distracted? Use This Hack to Get Back On Track

Feb 7, 2018

We all have days at work when we feel that, try as we might, we just can’t get anything done. Constant interruptions—by meetings, urgent tasks or technology—can leave you feeling stressed at the end of the day. Hopping from one task to another and back again can make your head spin.

Experts on distraction have discovered an easy method for staying focused on whatever you need to accomplish in that moment. It’s called a “ready-to-resume plan,” and you can make one today.

Scrubbing away attention residueSource: University of California, Irvine

Looking for a good night’s sleep? You’re not alone. More than a third of adults aren’t getting the recommended seven hours of sleep (never mind the ideal eight), according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2014.

It’s one of the most famous cases of mistaken identity in the literary world: Frankenstein. When the name comes up, a majority of people think of a tall, green fellow with a flat head and bolts in his neck — an image that began with the original “Frankenstein” movie in 1910. Or you may think of the 1931 film with the title character played by Boris Karloff.

Predictive algorithms have been aiding us for years (see several of Google’s products, for instance) under the guise of making our lives easier by helping us make decisions.

But when do predictive algorithms cross the ethical line? Recently more jurisdictions at the state and local levels in the US have been buying software products from companies that use such algorithms along with data mining to make decisions that could have irreversible impacts on individuals and communities — such as determining jail sentences and predicting public policies.

Does Sexual Harassment Training Work?

Feb 2, 2018

We all sit through sexual harassment training at work. And ever since sexual harassment began being seriously studied two decades ago, awareness of the issue has skyrocketed. Today, 64 percent of people believe workplace sexual harassment is a serious problem, according to an ABC News-Washington Post poll.

The Doctor-Patient Relationship Goes Digital

Jan 31, 2018

One of the most eye-opening things about moving away from my parents was that I could—and needed to—choose to see any doctor or dentist I wanted. After 23 years of my mom making all my appointments for me, it was oddly disorienting. How was I supposed to decide who was right for me? How had my parents decided all those years ago?

Source: Beckman and Frankel

Since then, I’ve picked them randomly from the internet or gotten recommendations from coworkers. I’ve chosen based on proximity or who could see me fastest.

What's Behind a Quarter-life Crisis?

Jan 29, 2018

In 1968, a developmental psychologist by the name of Erik H. Erikson published a collection of papers that suggested human beings navigate up to eight developmental stages throughout their lifetimes.

Source: LinkedIn

Though he didn’t name it as such, Erikson’s research birthed what is now colloquially referred to as the “quarter-life crisis.” According to a recent LinkedIn study, 75 percent of 25- to 33-year-olds have experienced one.

As cold weather grips a majority of the country, it may be easy to think that all life is dead when the ground is frozen, at least until spring breathes new life into the plant systems and surrounding environments.

The signs have been there all along when it comes to using mechanical stimulation to stimulate regeneration and growth of tissue by simply pulling or pushing on cells. Think of a pregnant woman whose womb expands as the baby grows or a doctor telling a patient to lift weights to fight off osteoporosis by promoting bone growth.


Avera announced it is part of an international collaboration for the care of lung cancer patients. This FDA approved clinical trial is called the SPRING trial. It stands for Survival Prolongation by Rationale Innovative Genomics. Patients are given a three-drug protocol that incorporates immunotherapy (avelumab) and two other therapies (palbociclib and axitinib). Dr. Ben Soloman, principal investigator for the SPRING clinical trial, and medical oncologist with Avera Cancer Institute joins us to discuss the study.

Chris Laughery

Dr. Ranjit Koodali is the Dean of the Graduate School and Professor of Chemistry at the University of South Dakota. He joins us each month to discuss the latest research in chemistry.

This month, we discuss a new application for chemically strengthened glass.

Belinda Engelhart is the Regional Director for the South Dakota Small Business Development Center. Roger Foote is the owner of Twisted Canoe Boat Shop. Roger turned his hobby into a business with the help of the Small Business Development Center. They both join the program today for this discussion.

Blockchain seems to be all the hype these days.

Combating climate change by storing CO2 underground

Jan 25, 2018

In the past year Iceland has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. First the banks collapsed, then the economy, and then the government. But here’s something that survived -- a research project aimed at removing excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it beneath the earth’s surface. CO2 emissions contribute to climate change and rising sea levels and many countries, including the US, are investing millions to develop so-called CO2 sequestration technology. The project in Iceland is especially promising.

Ghost No More: The Rise of the Unnecessary Breakup Text

Jan 24, 2018

“I don’t want to go on another date with you,” he texted back. A jarring response considering I hadn’t asked him out. After three mediocre dates with a man I met on an app, I had a decision to make—accept the sunk cost or give it one more shot.

In this particular instance, there was nothing really wrong with the man and, as is the situation when most risky texts are sent, I was bored and wanted attention. So with some encouragement from my forever-optimistic friends, I composed a text asking how his weekend was.

Following weeks of talks about a regulatory crackdown on cryptocurrency exchanges, South Korean officials will reportedly begin taxing some exchanges operating in the country.

South Korea's government has been signaling for a while that it plans to crack down on virtual currency trading in the country, likening virtual currency trading to gambling, and claiming it encourages illicit behavior.

The teens are huddled, hushed, peering at a motionless giant tortoise that lies at their feet. Is it alive?

The tortoise’s shell glistens, but it doesn’t move. No one dares to talk. And then, ever so slowly, the huge creature begins to lift its scaley, elongated head, and exhales — an incongruously loud gushing sound — and the students squeal with relief and shock. They’ve found their first tortoise, it’s time to get to work.

St. Paul schools apologize for hundreds of stuck kids after snowstorm

Jan 23, 2018

Dateline: St. Paul
Updated: 5 p.m. | Posted: 6:51 a.m.

St. Paul school officials are apologizing to parents and students after long delays on buses in Monday night's snow storm.

About 300 St. Paul students were stuck on buses or in schools between 10 p.m. and midnight Monday, according to the district. The last student arrived home at 12:05 a.m. Tuesday.

District officials said they don't know how many students were affected by delays, but they estimated the total at about 10,000, or about a third of all students the district buses.

Why Gratitude Journals Are Good for Everyone

Jan 22, 2018

One of my goals is to spend a few minutes before bedtime daily on a written reflection on the day. My life gets so busy that it’s easy to rush past feelings—good or bad—in the interest of getting everything done. But it seems that making journaling a routine can actually change your brain chemistry and boost your feelings of goodwill. We can all use some of that.

Source: Michigan State University Inc. will open its checkout-free grocery store to the public on Monday after more than a year of testing, the company said, moving forward on an experiment that could dramatically alter brick-and-mortar retail.

The Seattle store, known as Amazon Go, relies on cameras and sensors to track what shoppers remove from the shelves, and what they put back. Cash registers and checkout lines become superfluous — customers are billed after leaving the store using credit cards on file.

When Everyone is Sick, Who Really Needs Antibiotics?

Jan 19, 2018

If you’ve avoided the plague this winter, consider yourself lucky. Everyone I know has been sick at least once. But if you’re battling a bug right now and go to the doctor hoping for an antibiotics prescription to take you out of your misery, you might come home empty-handed.

More and more, in an attempt to stop the growing problem of drug-resistant bacteria, experts are cautioning doctors to avoid prescribing antibiotics for low-grade infections, like sore throats and sinus infections.

Overuse has caused resistance

International student enrollment in graduate science and engineering programs in the US dropped in 2017 after several years of increases.             

Science and engineering fields saw a 6 percent decrease in international graduate students from the fall of 2016 to the fall of 2017, and almost all of that decrease was concentrated in two fields: computer science and engineering.

The odds were infinitesimal at best. First, there was the fact that two meteorites both fell to Earth in 1998 — in Monahans, Texas, and Zag, Morocco, to be exact, giving each its namesake.

His personal Facebook page

Mike Headley, Executive Director of the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority and the Lab Director at Sanford Underground Research Facility reflects on the accomplishments in 2017 and gives us a preview of what’s to come. 

We discuss the construction, the experiments, and what it takes to continue to do deep underground science when people don’t really understand what it is they’re doing.

Thomas Loveland, Chief Scientist at the USGS Earth Resource Observation and Science Center and co-chair for the Landsat Science Team. NASA and USGS have selected a new Landsat science team.  The team will serve for five years (through 2023). They will conduct scientific research on technical issues critical to the overall Landsat mission; evaluate the quality of data when Landsat 9 is launched (in the year 2020); and discuss future missions. 

In the tech realm, a new year brings new gadgets — and new worries about cybersecurity as more and more security breaches are revealed.

The most recent scare, called Spectre or Meltdown, involves vulnerabilities to processing chips that date back to 1995, resulting in billions of devices that are susceptible to intrusion, says Jason Koebler, editor-in-chief of the online publication Motherboard.

For years, Lucas Joppa has been fascinated with the world that exists at the intersection of technology and the environment.

Now, in a recent article in the journal Science, he is calling on governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academia and the private technology sector to join him in finding new ways that artificial intelligence (AI) can help collect new information and data into managing and protecting Earth’s resources with higher efficiency.

Call it a pleasant surprise — or a maybe a big hairy deal would be more accurate. At first, a group of researchers from the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis were trying to develop inner ear tissue of a mouse using stem cells.

What they ended up doing — as chronicled in a new academic paper in the journal Cell Reports — was essentially create an inverted ball of mouse skin, complete with the epidermis (outer) and dermis (inner) layers as well as hair follicles.