Science and Technology

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIUC Eclipse Committee Co-Chair Bob Baer, Planetary Radio Host Mat Kaplan, and Adler Planetarium Master Educator Michelle Nichols about their preparation visit ahead of the August 21 solar eclipse.

Consumer rights groups in Illinois are leading the opposition to proposals before the state legislature that they say could end traditional landline phone service. They claim AT&T wants to shift customers to more expensive plans. But the telecommunications company says that conclusion is not accurate.

Officials with NASA and SIU-Carbondale are teaming up to offer webinars to area educators about the upcoming total solar eclipse.

The first webinar, a live, hour-long interactive program Wednesday will offer eclipse details and an overview of the two additional webinars scheduled for next week.

If you were outside in the Midwest at around 1:30 local time this morning, you might have received quite a shock.

A meteor streaked across the sky in a vivid, bright green flash. It set off sonic booms that were loud enough to shake houses in east-central Wisconsin, as National Weather Service meteorologist Jeff Last tells The Two-Way.

photo of forest post fire
The John Muir Project

A new study by the John Muir Project shows that fire does important ecological work in forests and it may be time to re-think our federal policy on logging and forest fire suppression.  Chad Hanson is a forest fire ecologist and author of the book – The Ecological Importance of Mixed Severity Fires.  In this edition of In The Author's Voice, WSIU's Jeff Williams talks with Hanson about the study’s findings and his work as a forest fire ecologist.

Have you ever wondered what's inside toothpaste? Or nail polish? Or dry erase markers?    Well, MIT trained chemist and science Educator George Zaidan has.  Ingredients, The Stuff Inside Your Stuff takes a closer look at the science behind everyday things.  WSIU's Jeff Williams talked with Zaidan about the series that is featured on National Geographic's YouTube channel. 

You can watch this season's episodes of Ingredients, The Stuff Inside Your Stuff here.

The Nobel Prize in Physics for 2016 has been awarded to three theoretical researchers for their insights into the odd behavior of matter in unusual phases, like superconductors, superfluid films and some kinds of magnets.

David J. Thouless receives half the prize, and Duncan M. Haldane and J. Michael Kosterlitz share the other half. All three used mathematics to explain the the properties of matter in certain states.

People in much of the country are familiar with ethanol, a type of biofuel made from corn that is added to gasoline.

But many may not know that it is also possible to make biofuel from bacteria like e-coli. That could change, now that engineers at Washington University have found a more cost-effective way to make fuel from bacteria.

Gayle Bentley, a doctoral student in the Department of Energy, Environment and Chemical Engineering  at Wash U, has discovered how to change an enzyme in some types of bacteria so that it produces compounds that act like the ones in petroleum. Bentley recently published her findings in the journal Metabolic Engineering.