Articles from Columbus Dispatch - science

Federal funding for schools' internet connectivity might dry up next year

This school year could be the last chance for nearly 200 Ohio districts to tap into millions of dollars to upgrade the technology that connects students to high-speed internet.Because it’s unclear whether the federal funding will be reauthorized, advocates and state officials are making it a priority to get the word out about the “E-rate” program so the money isn’t left unspent.Funds are allocated for every district but are distributed only to those that apply for help with […]

Evolved tattoo/piercing shop is on cutting edge with solar power

A 12-foot-long poison dart gun hangs in the lobby of Evolved Body Art’s North Side location, a reminder of shop owner Nick Wolak’s extensive travels.But the deadly hunting weapon isn’t the biggest thing that separates Evolved from other tattoo and piercing shops.A hint of what actually sets the shop apart is displayed in a far less conspicuous spot — a computer tablet on a stand a few feet away. The tablet provides daily and weekly energy production reports from […]

Med students learning respect, empathy for older patients

Whatever the cluster of second-year students at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York expected to hear from an 82-year-old woman — this probably wasn’t it.At first, Elizabeth Shepherd, one of several seniors invited to meet with future doctors in an anti-ageism program called “Introduction to the Geriatric Patient,” largely followed the script.As student Zachary Myslinski, 24, read off questions from a standard assessment tool, she responded in matter-of-fact tones. […]

Pediatric research: Scientists developing probiotic biofilms to help smallest preemies

Prematurity is one of the greatest health risks to newborns in Ohio. In 2017, the March of Dimes reported that 10.4 percent of births in Ohio were preterm. And one of the biggest risks to premature babies is necrotizing enterocolitis, or NEC.NEC is an aggressive disease characterized by inflammation and death of the intestine. Despite decades of research, 10 percent of infants born weighing less than 3.5 pounds will develop NEC. They receive antibiotics and, many times, need to have a […]

Robot charms Smithsonian visitors

WASHINGTON — On a gloomy October morning, Smithsonian staff members at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden woke up one of their employees in an office and headed to the third floor. Soon after, the museum doors opened, and visitors were welcomed with a surprise.”Hello, I am Pepper.”Visitors were intrigued. That’s because the simple greeting didn’t come from a typical Smithsonian staffer.Pepper is a 4-foot-tall humanoid robot with wheels for legs. It not […]

Climate change could shrink supply, raise price of beer

Talk about a buzzkill.Beer could be among the casualties of climate change thanks to its main ingredient, barley, struggling to grow during droughts and extreme heat, according to a new study. Supplies will suffer and prices will soar.For the study, published Monday in the scientific journal Nature Plants, scientists used best- and worst-case future climate scenarios and looked at their effects on crops and economics.”We find that these extreme events may […]

Chicago surgical museum caters to the squeamish

CHICAGO — In the Middle Ages, your barber moonlighted as your surgeon and bloodletter. But anesthesia and the rise of hospitals led to a late 19th- and early 20th-century “surgical renaissance,” according to Justin Barr, a Duke University medical history instructor. “These and other factors catalyzed the expansion of safer surgery that could treat effectively a broader array of conditions.”The trade’s gruesome tools from centuries past are among the collection highlights […]

Shark feasts on whale in Cape Cod Bay as passengers on whale-watch cruise look on in awe

BARNSTABLE, Mass. — It was definitely not your average whale-watch cruise on board the Hyannis Whale Watcher Sunday afternoon as patrons watched in awe as a big great white shark feasted on the floating carcass of a fin whale.”She was a monster, 18 feet easily, possibly bigger,” said Joanne Jarzobski, the marine biologist on board the vessel. Jarzobski shot photographs of the shark and the whale and sent them to the state Division of Marine Fisheries.The fin whale […]

Physicist's magnetic device found saltwater ocean on Europa

LOS ANGELES — The data were like nothing Margaret Kivelson and her team of physicists ever expected.It was December 1996, and the spacecraft Galileo had just flown by Europa, an icy moon of Jupiter. The readings beamed back to Earth suggested a magnetic field emanating from the moon. Europa should not have a magnetic field, yet there it was — and not even pointed in the right direction.‘‘This is unexpected,’’ she recalled saying as the […]