Science and Technology

Science news

Taylor Slifko / APSU

One of the universities closest to the center of totality will document how animals on campus will react to the sudden darkness of Monday's total solar eclipse.

Researchers from Austin Peay State University's agriculture department will record observations on university cattle, bees and crickets.

Rick Fienberg / TravelQuest International / Wilderness Travel

The eclipse passing over Nashville in less than two weeks seems to have everyone's attention now.

But we know there are some of you out there that still just don’t understand what all the hype is about. That’s why we’re going back to the basics: answering five questions that you may have felt too afraid to ask at this point.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory hope a new federal grant will help them turn plants into fuel. The Department of Energy announced this week that it's providing $12 million next year to the lab in East Tennessee, with the potential for more than $100 million over the next five years. 

U.S. Department of Energy

What might be the most ambitious health care data analysis to date is happening in East Tennessee.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is working through a massive batch of records from the Department of Veterans Affairs — the records that VA doctors keep on their more than 22 million patients. About a quarter of a million veterans have also donated their genome sequence — basically, their DNA — to the VA, which has been handed over to the national lab.

Emily Siner / WPLN

In the era of Facebook Live and other on-demand video, it's perhaps no surprise that the largest celestial event in America this summer will be live-streamed. Students from Vanderbilt University will launch a high-altitude weather balloon — connected to a video camera — to send images of the total solar eclipse back to NASA on Aug. 21.

Julieta Martinelli / WPLN

Local tech startups are more popular than ever — with investors outside of Tennessee, that is.

Data that tracks capital investment trends in the last five years show a steady rise in funding from out-of-state backers. But funding from investors in Tennessee hasn’t seen the same growth. 

J. Intintoli / MTSU

Middle Tennessee State University is setting its sights on big federal money — specifically, research grants from funding agencies like the National Science Foundation. After launching a number of Ph.D. programs in the past several years, the school is trying to establish itself as a research powerhouse.

Emily Siner / WPLN

Astronomy enthusiasts across the country are already planning out where they’ll be on Aug. 21, when a total solar eclipse will make a path across North America.

As the largest city on that path, Nashville is expecting a boost in tourism from visitors excited about the eclipse. But the Adventure Science Center is also trying to make sure people who live here understand the importance of the celestial occasion, too.

Ken Catania

The star-nosed mole is unlike any mole you might have seen wreaking havoc on your garden. Bursting from its snout is a ring of 22 retractable fleshy appendages arranged in a bright pink star. While one look at the nose of the slick dark-furred creature might be frightening to most, neuroscientist Ken Catania sees past its unusual appearance.

Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Sometimes, the desire to fit in stops people from doing things they really love. Morley Bankston, a computer programmer in Nashville, avoided anything related to math or science in high school because she was afraid of being labeled a “nerd.” She talked to WPLN’s Emily Siner as part of our live series Movers & Thinkers about discovering that side of herself as an adult.


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