Arkansas Science

Alexander Beeser Lyon College beer fermentation
Lyon College

Lyon College in Batesville, Ark. is introducing a new course for students this Spring: beer fermentation. The class, a liberal arts hybrid laboratory offered to students 21 years and older, is taught by biology professor Dr. Alexander Beeser. He saw a need to offer more opportunities to inspire students to take science classes, beyond the credits needed for graduation.

Dr. Alex Biris, director and chief scientist at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock's Center for Integrative Nanotechnology Services.
UA Little Rock

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has been awarded a $5.6 million grant to advance technology with the potential to regenerate bones. The funding from the U.S. Department of Defense goes toward work on an implantable medical device known as NuCress scaffold, which has been in development since 2006.

It holds the promise of helping people with what have been considered untreatable injuries experience bone regeneration in places where parts of a bone are missing. In particular, researchers say it could help people avoid having limbs amputated because of injuries.

Science Cafe Little Rock: CRISPR

Oct 23, 2019
UAMS

The gene editing process CRISPR is a new technology that allows scientists to target, delete, and repair the DNA of plants, animals and humans. The concept of gene editing is not new, but CRISPR is low cost and easy to use. In this month’s episode of Science Café, Charles O'Brien explains the basics of CRISPR techonolgy, some of its current applications, and the ethics involved in this type of gene editing.

O’Brien is Professor of Medicine and VA Research Scientist at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System.

Is your yard a food desert? I’m not asking whether you have a garden. I’m asking whether your yard supports native species of animals. Let’s take the chickadee as an example, because it has been studied recently. Carolina chickadees are native to Arkansas and live here year-round.

If you have a feeder in your yard you probably see them. But did you know that they eat insects as well as seeds? In fact, they must have insects to feed their young, or their young will die. And here’s where your yard comes into it.

Who doesn’t love hummingbirds? The hummingbird is the only bird that can fly backwards and even upside down, and they have a larger brain to body ratio than any other animal, including us. The ruby throat-ed hummingbird is the only species native to Arkansas. They arrive in March, raise two broods, and leave in September.

Have you ever seen a distinctive orange, black, and white monarch butterfly? April brings monarchs north to Arkansas from Mexico. A female will lay a single egg on the underside of a milkweed leaf. The caterpillar that hatches will molt five times before it forms a chrysalis. Out will hatch a butterfly, who will mate and continue the next part of the migration north, as far as Canada.

Science Café — ‘The Science of Language’

Sep 25, 2018

Language comes in all different forms – verbal, written and physical. While all languages appear to have the common cornerstone of an object and then description of that object or what it is doing, languages can differ vastly from there.

Gretchen Cobb, language research and teacher at Arkansas School for the Deaf joined us in the studio to talk about the commonalities and differences in language, American Sign Language, the social context of language and how language is changing over time.

Science Cafe: Regulating The Growing Uses Of Drones

Jun 23, 2018
Drone
Don McCullough / Wikimedia Commons

The possible uses of unmanned aircraft vehicles, more commonly known as drones, are growing faster than regulations can keep up with. Uses include crop monitoring, disaster operations, photography, express shipping and more.

On KUAR's Science Café Little Rock, Charles Wilson, an FAA certified manned aircraft pilot with Aerial Digital Photography, discusses his experiences with drones.

Science Cafe: Police Forensic Science In Little Rock

May 25, 2018

Forensic science is wildly popular across many age ranges and career levels, thanks in part to very successful crime dramas on TV over the last couple of decades.

Meagan Buchert, Crime Scene Specialist with the Little Rock Police Department came into our studio to talk about what the real world of CSI. She discussed the process of working a crime scene, the evidence that is collected and what can be learned from that evidence.

Hendrix College / Hendrix College

TRANSCRIPT: KUAR’s David Monteith interviewed Dr. Courtney Hatch, assistant professor of Chemistry at Hendrix College, who received $550,000 from the National Science Foundation.

DAVID MONTEITH: You were awarded a $550,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. Congratulations.

DR. COURTNEY HATCH: Thank you.

Becker1999 / Wikimedia Commons

Advocates for using science and data to drive policy decisions plan to take their concerns to the steps of the Arkansas State Capitol Saturday.

The second annual March for Science happened in many states, including the nation’s Capitol, a week ago on April 14. Arkansas Sierra Club Executive Director Glenn Hooks says each march relates to the environmental issues in that state.

Tyson
Tyson Foods

Arkansas-based Tyson Foods Inc. has invested in a food-tech startup that's developing methods to produce meat directly from animal cells.

Springdale-based Tyson announced Monday that its venture capital arm, Tyson Ventures, now has a minority stake in Memphis Meats. The terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but Memphis Meats says it expects to use the funds to accelerate product development.

Tyson says the investment reflects the company's commitment to find new, innovative ways of meeting a growing global demand for protein.

J. Matthew Grant / University of Arkansas

The University of Arkansas’s Department of Physics in Fayetteville has announced progress that could lead to a great reduction in the size of electronics. Assistant Professor Dr. Hugh Churchill spoke with KUAR’s Michael Hibblen to explain this development.

Science Cafe: Hibernation In Arkansas Black Bears

Nov 29, 2017

On November's episode of Science Cafe-Little Rock, a look at hibernation. Myron Means, Large Carnivore Coordinator for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, joined host Dorothy Graves to talk about black bears in Arkansas and their unique form of hibernation. Means has worked with black bears for more than 21 years and shares his expertise.

David Monteith / KUAR

Even though Arkansas wasn’t in the path of totality for Monday's solar eclipse, people in the state came together at different locations and took joy watching as the moon covered much of the sun.

Phil Stein was among the hundreds who gathered at Riverfront Park in Little Rock at one of several watch parties organized by the Central Arkansas Library System.

solar eclipse 2017
NASA

Tales of viewing solar eclipses are passed down through the generations. In Arkansas they have made their way into family histories and narratives of identity, even for those who were too young to understand it. That has helped build the anticipation about Monday's rare eclipse.

Eclipse
NASA

Arkansas will join much of the U.S. Monday in seeing a partial eclipse of the sun for the first time in almost 100 years. Local experts say the state will see a lot of sun coverage, producing unusual sights in the daytime sky.

Dr. Tony Hall, an astronomy professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, says people all over the nation can see a partial or full eclipse.

The S.P.A.C.E Hogs group at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville.
Facebook

Students and scientists from around Arkansas will gather in Fulton, Missouri next Monday for the first cross-continental solar eclipse in almost 100 years. In addition to just enjoying the sight, they’re also planning to document and collect information for NASA.

Dr. James Kennon saw his first solar eclipse in 1991, and it was so spectacular, he knew it wouldn’t be his last.

"The one I saw in Hawaii, I watched it, and I’m standing there thinking, 'do that again! I want to see that again," he said. "The one I saw in Hawaii lasted a little over four minutes."

Governor Hutchinson and the Arkansas Research Alliance (ARA) gave recognition to five university researchers in the state by awarding them an ARA fellowship that comes with a $75,000 grant.

The ARA Fellows program supports distinguished researchers already working at one of the five research universities in the state, including Arkansas State University, University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, and University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

The impact of social media and the internet on political and cultural movements of all stripes - from peaceful political organizing to radicalization, is pretty widely recognized now-a-days. But methods for studying, categorizing, and tracking online groups still has a ways to go.

KUAR’s Jacob Kauffman sat down to talk about government research with Dr. Nitin Agarwal with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The conversation covers a range of national security issues from Saudi women's rights, to ISIS Twitter bots, to how Russians perceive NATO exercises.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) and Microsoft Vice President of Governmental Affairs Fred Humphries sign a memorandum of understanding (left to right).
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

The state of Arkansas and Microsoft signed a memorandum of understanding on Monday to further the instruction of computer science in schools. Under the agreement Microsoft, with no cost to the state, would help with professional development for computer science teachers in addition to hosting a range of workshops and events for students.

Mid-America Science Museum Casey Wylie Diane LaFollette
whitehouse.gov

The Mid-America Science Museum in Hot Springs was one of 10 museums and libraries nationwide honored during a ceremony Wednesday at the White House. It received a medal for community service, which is the highest award given to such institutions in the U.S.

In particular, Janelle Brevard with the Institute of Museum and Library Services touted the work of former volunteer and employee Casey Wylie as the award was presented.

The Martian movie poster.
20th Century Fox

This month's Science Cafe looks at the psychology of long-term space travel and isolation through the lens of the popular movie The Martian, based on a 2011 novel.

Host Dorothy Graves sits down to talk space psychology with Jennifer Fayard, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Ouachita Baptist University.

An excerpt from the Guardian sets the scene:

Science Cafe: The Intersection Of Art And Science

Feb 23, 2016

In this month's Science Cafe Little Rock, we explore the connection between art and science by looking at creativity in the business sector. Marla Johnson, CEO and co-founder of Aristotle, discusses the value of creativity in business and how creativity can translate into economic impact.

venus mars jupiter saturn
www.skyatnightmagazine.com

Researchers at the University of Arkansas Center for Space and Planetary Sciences have received more than $1 million from NASA to study Venus, Mars and one of Saturn's moons.

The three grants focus on the study of surface liquids and volatile compounds on the planets. They include a $434,000 cooperative grant with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study the formation of ice islands on Titan, which is Saturn's largest moon.

An early version of the Atari classic Centipede.
Venture Center

Arkansas is in the midst of push to teach computer coding to students and the Venture Center in Little Rock hosted one pioneer programmer of Atari fame that claims Arkansas as home, Dona Bailey, on Tuesday night.

KUAR's Jacob Kauffman sat down with Dona Bailey before her Code IT talk in a conversation covering women in the early days of the industry and the increasingly entrenched place of video games in modern society.

Ten Arkansas univerities are sharing a five-year, $20 million grant from the National Science Foundation to support research.

The funding comes under the foundation's Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, which sets up partnerships among government, higher education and industry. The grant was made through the science and technology division of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. The top investigators are Gail McClure of the AEDC and Min Zou of the University of Arkansas.

Biologists at the University of Arkansas are using a federal grant to track the migration of the familiar American woodcock, a bird whose population is slowly declining across eastern North America.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has awarded nearly $50,000 for the project to the U.S. Geological Survey Arkansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, which is housed in the University of Arkansas Department of Biological Sciences.

UAPB Receives Grant To Study Foodborne Pathogens

Feb 11, 2015

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff has received a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant of $149-thousand to study food safety.  It will allow research on controlling foodborne pathogens in ready-to-eat foods.

It specifically concerns natural microbrials and bacteriophage. Bacteriophage is a virus that doesn’t attack humans or animal cells, but kills bacteria. 

The project will be multi-institutional, with UAPB working with Mississippi State University, Arkansas State University and the USDA. 

jbu.edu

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a $14,520 grant to John Brown University for a drinking water disinfection project in Guatemala. Every year, the program helps student teams pursue projects that deliver sustainable, alternative methods to address environmental challenges.

The project will design a low-cost, low-impact drinking water purification system for a community in Escuintla, Guatemala. Most of the freshwater in that area isn't fit for human consumption due to industrial waste, volcanic chemicals, viruses and bacteria.