Science

Dr. Thayne Munce, Associate Director of the Sanford Sports Science Institute, discuss opening football season and what he’s adding to his football concussion study using youth football teams in Sioux Falls.

Archeology Laboratory, Augustana College

Researchers and students from Augustana College and the University of Exeter in England are finishing up their work at the Thomsen Center Archeodome at the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village. This summer the team made some interesting finds. Last month they uncovered 1,000 year old charred kernels of corn and sunflower seeds. This past weekend they found an intact ceramic pot. It’s small, but it’s the first time archeologists have found an intact piece of pottery since regular research started at the site in 1928.

Persistence Yields Fossils, Holds Mystery

Jun 19, 2015
Charles Michael Ray

Persistence Cave in Wind Cave National Park is yielding a trove of fossils that are shedding light on the distant past in the Black Hills.

The deeper parts of the cave may also contain large caverns yet to be explored.

But, anyone who wants to dig fossils inside Persistence Cave is going to get muddy.  

Patrick Edwin Moran

Dakota Wesleyan University is spider central over the next several days as the Mitchell campus hosts the 39th annual meeting of the American Arachnological Society. The event includes participants from the U.S., Canada, Australia, Japan and the Czech Republic.

Brian Patrick, Dakota Wesleyan assistant professor of biology, is organizing the conference. Patrick has published numerous findings on his research on spiders on the South Dakota prairie and identified several new species.

Mitchell Hosts Annual Spider Conference

Jun 18, 2015
Brian Patrick

Spider lovers from across the world are meeting in Mitchell this weekend for the 39th annual convention of the American Arachnological Society. Scientists will explore the South Dakota ecosystem and share research.

The spider enthusiasts are meeting at Dakota Wesleyan University. Dr. Brian Patrick is an assistant professor of biology. He says he offered to host the conference in Mitchell as the surrounding prairie offers intriguing possibilities for research.

Wikimedia photo by Mark Dumont

This summer visitors to the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls can see a rare Komodo dragon. Four-year-old Natasha made her public debut earlier this month and is on display until September.

The Komodo dragon is a ferocious, carnivore from the islands of southeastern Indonesia. It’s the world’s largest living lizard. Females can get up to six feet long with an average weight of about 150 pounds. The average size for males is eight to nine feet and about 200 pounds.

Science Happy Hour

Jun 12, 2015

Science Happy Hour is taking place Friday night in Sioux Falls.  More than 20 exhibits have local scientists explaining topics in a fun and accessible way for adults to learn while enjoying a beverage.  Physicist Barbara Szczerbinska of Dakota State University and Nancy Wehrkamp, Director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, detailed the event on Innovation with Cara Hetland.  They also discussed the 4th annual "It's All About Science Festival," a family friendly event that explores science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  And they outlined the Center for Theoretical Undergro

Persistence Cave: Windy And Full Of Fossils

Jun 12, 2015

Wind Cave National Park is now home to more than one significant cave.

Persistence Cave discovered at the park in 2004 and kept secret for over a decade is now being explored for the first time.

An initial sample shows the soil near the cave’s entrance contains a trove of fossils, including at least 22 different species of animals dating back at least 11,000 years.   Paleontologists from various institutions including the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs have joined in the study.

Rapid City Archeologist Covers State

May 29, 2015
Photo by Jim Kent

Every city has its share of dark secrets, shadowy history and skeletons lurking in the closets. Some have more than others…much more. Today we’ll go visiting…underground…to a location near the heart of Rapid City where you’re liable to find the remains of…well, just about anything. 

You might think this is an unlikely place for a bone repository…just across the street from the Rapid City Police Department…and just down the block from the Pennington County Courthouse. But you’d be wrong.

Joe Tlustos SDPB

More than 26,000 years ago at the Mammoth Site,  large Columbian and woolly mammoths were trapped in a large sinkhole and died. Their remains were buried and undisturbed for centuries until bones were discovered during excavation for a subdivision in 1974. Since then, 61 mammoths have been identified – 58 Columbian and 3 woolly mammoths. Remains of giant, short-faced bear, camel, llama, prairie dog, wolf and fish have also been uncovered.

Earlier this month the 13th annual Western South Dakota Hydrology Conference was held in Rapid City.  SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray sat down with three of the featured speakers to talk about water management, water rights and the idea of cloud seeding.  Guests include, Andy Detwiler a professor at South Dakota School of Mines --  Robert Hirsch a Research Hydrologist with the US Geological Survey and Rob Harmon The Presdient and CEO of Energy RM.
 

Wyoming University

Ellen Currano has a joint appointment in Botany and Geology and Geophysics at the University of Wyoming. She received a BS in geology and BA in biology from the University of Chicago and PhD in geosciences from Penn State.

The last two years of her graduate career were spent as a pre-doctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Institution. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Wyoming, she was an NSF postdoctoral fellow at Southern Methodist University and an assistant professor of geology at Miami University (OH). 

Innovation: Research On Oilseeds As New Cash Crop

Apr 10, 2015
South Dakota State University

SDSU Research Professor Dr. William Gibbons  says oil seeds are a new major crop that can be grown in South Dakota.  The seeds can be pressed and used as biofuel in diesel engines and even in jet airplanes.  Current research shows the crop can work well in rotation with wheat and can benefit the environment.

Gibbons specializes in industrial microbiology at South Dakota State University.  He also serves as the Director of the South Dakota Oilseed Initiative.  The group of scientists study the possible use of oil seeds as a fuel source and possible crop for this region.

Michael Cherry, PHD Louisiana State UniversityCredit LSU WebsiteEdit | Remove

NASA

On April 11, 1970, Apollo 13 lifted off from Kennedy Space Center for what was to be the third mission to land on the moon. But within two days after lift-off, an oxygen tank exploded crippling the spacecraft and putting the crew in danger. Despite limited power, loss of cabin heat and shortage of drinkable water, the crew returned safely on April 17.

Dr. Steven Powell, with Sanford Health discusses how researchers are looking at immunotherapy as a way to fight cancer.  Immunotherapy develops treatments to harness your immune system and use your own immune system to fight the cancer.

Dr. Keith Miskimins – Senior Scientist and Director of the Cancer Biology Research Center at Sanford Research.  His lab is currently looking at the Translation control of tumor suppressor protein p27Kip1 in normal and cancer cells.  p27 is an inhibitor of cell cycle progression that is commonly down regulated in cancer cells.

How can research help South Dakota’s tribal communities? That’s the question being addressed this week during a symposium in Eagle Butte. “Researching, Restoring and Rebuilding Our Oyate for a Longer Life” is the theme of the symposium. The event features presentations from researchers from Cheyenne River and beyond. It takes place on Wednesday, March 18 at Oglala Lakota College-Cheyenne River College Center.

Daniel Engebretson, PhD, is a physical chemist and is chair of the USD biomedical engineering program.  He’s also the head of the USD Graduate Education and Applied Research (GEAR) Center in Sioux Falls.  He  discusses the latest biomedical engineering research, the bioSNTR statewide efforts and collaborations with clinicians and industry.

TI-Nspire calculatorCredit google imagesEdit | Remove

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

More than 660 middle school girls from southeastern South Dakota are learning about careers in science and math. The Women in Science group hosted a conference Wednesday for its eleventh year. Professionals at dozens of break-out sessions and exhibits at Southeast Tech in Sioux Falls want girls to know that women can have successful careers in STEM fields. STEM stands for Science, Technololgy, Engineering and Math. 

Dr. Gareth Davies, Chief Scientific Officer and Scientific Director at the Avera Institute for Human Genetics.  He was listed as a co-author in Nature, the international weekly journal of science for an article titled “Common Genetic Variants Influence Human Subcortical Brain Structures” which was released Jan.

Charles Michael Ray

A team from Rapid City Stevens High School will represent South Dakota at the National Science Bowl in Washington DC this April.

Stevens won the state competition beating out other schools in South Dakota -- now they go up against the best in the country.  

SDPB's Charles Michael Ray caught up with Stevens Science Teacher Lisa Weisbeck and two students on the winning state team --  Junior Rachel Fenenga and Senior James Donhiser.

To escape the noisy school hallways the three stepped into a quiet science storage room, filled with beakers and instruments…  

Earlier this week, the Sioux Falls Development Foundation made a $3 million investment in SAB Biotherapeutics to bolster the Bio-Tech industry in the area. SAB Biotherapeutics uses genetically engineered cattle to produce human antibodies. CEO and co-founder Dr. Eddie Sullivan discusses his company and the science behind human antibodies.   

Christmas Bird Count At Wind Cave

Dec 12, 2014
Courtesy Wind Cave National Park

Wind Cave National Park is hosting its twentieth Christmas Bird Count this Sunday. Although cold snowy weather canceled the event once in the past, the outlook for this year looks good.

It may feel like spring time today and tomorrow, but temperatures are expected to drop more than 20 degrees by Sunday morning. Notwithstanding, Wind Cave National Park biologist Dan Roddy says the annual Christmas Bird Count tends to be a “go” no matter what.

Report Ties The American Dream To Research Funding

Dec 8, 2014

The United States has long been known as a leader in technology and innovation.   But a new report warns that won’t continue if cuts to federal research funding continue. 

Secret Science Act Irks Some Scientists

Dec 1, 2014

Congress is considering two bills that deal with how the EPA uses science to base its policy decisions.   Those backing the bills say it addresses an increase transparency and accountability over the agency that has overstepped its bounds.

But critics call the bills a thinly veiled attempt to change the science the EPA uses to base its decisions.  They say the legislation undermines scientific integrity and opens the door for polluters to stop or slow the regulation process.

Deadwood History Dinosaur Workshop

Nov 21, 2014
Courtesy Deadwood History, Inc.

If you’ve ever wondered what Loch Ness, Scotland and Deadwood, South Dakota have in common, you may be able to find the answer this weekend. The Adams Museum is hosting Deadwood History’s Dinosaur Workshop this Saturday where the main focus has a very famous cousin in the Scottish Highlands.

Sightings of a large water creature in Loch Ness considered to be an ancient – and extinct – plesiosaur have been circulating in Scotland since the seventh century. And though many doubt the existence of “Nessie”, there’s no question that a rare plesiosaur fossil resides in the Adams Museum.

Courtesy Badlands National Park - Rikk Flohr

As South Dakota marks 125 years of statehood, SDPB is featuring stories that rediscover our identity and heritage through the people, places, and ideas that make this state unique. Although there are many arid areas across the country that bear the name, there’s only one “Badlands” National Park – and it’s located in South Dakota. We visited this former site of an ancient sea to learn more about the area the Lakota have called “Bad Land” for centuries.

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