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KU alumnus, expert in ancient DNA returning as Foundation Distinguished Professor

A Kansas University graduate who went on to become a leading scholar of migration and settlement of the Americas is coming back to KU as a Foundation Distinguished Professor. Dennis O’Rourke, professor of anthropology at the University of Utah, will join KU’s Department of Anthropology in January 2016, KU announced Monday.

KU physicists working on part for relaunch of world's largest particle collider

Kansas University physicists are racing the clock to complete their part of the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator, on the cusp of restarting collisions again after a two-year hiatus for upgrades. And KU’s research involves a very large part: a machine weighing more than 14,000 metric tons, which is one of four particle detectors located around the 27-kilometer particle accelerator. By Sara Shepherd

KU football team trying new technology to spot concussions, boost national research

The Kansas University football team is trying new technology to take a bite out of the sport’s concussion problem. The Jayhawks will be among the first college football teams in the country to use impact-sensing mouthguards this spring, when they start practicing for the upcoming fall season. By Sara Shepherd

KU scientists enable first-ever comprehensive map of Greenland's ice sheet

Thanks to years of data collected and ultra-sensitive radar equipment developed by Kansas University researchers, scientists have created the first-ever comprehensive map of the Greenland ice sheet. Where others in the past tried and failed, KU-based National Science Foundation Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) researchers and collaborators successfully documented deep and ancient channels of ice to complete the picture. By Sara Shepherd

Kansas quakes likely caused by disposal of saltwater that results from oil and gas fracking process

Kansas officials have been reluctant to link the mysterious earthquakes in south central Kansas to fracking, but last week they said for the first time that the temblors are likely caused by disposal of the waste water that is a byproduct of the oil and gas extraction process. “We can say there is a strong coalition between the disposal of saltwater and the earthquakes,” Rick Miller, geophysicist and senior scientist for the Kansas Geological Survey, told the Journal-World. It's the first time state officials have so clearly stated the likely cause of the earthquakes, which are afflicting a region where fracking is widely used. By Karen Dillon

KU professor questions effort to list monarchs as threatened

Some advocates for endangered species cheered the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's announcement this week that it would take steps to protect the monarch butterfly under the Endangered Species Act. But at Kansas University, one of the country's leading Monarch butterfly scientists and the founder of Monarch Watch was more circumspect about government involvement. By Karen Dillon

Tease photo

KU teacher: 'Mind-blowing' discovery invigorates interest in astronomy

Kansas University associate professor Gregory Rudnick was glad when the recent discovery of a distant galaxy in the process of forming made the news. The “mind-blowing” factor of such discoveries always helps invigorate the public’s interest in astronomy, and that’s a good thing, said Rudnick, who teaches physics and astronomy at KU. By Sara Shepherd

Ancient packrat nests crammed with clues about climate change

Packrats — pests or preservationists? That depends. Modern packrats have a reputation for ruining car engines and invading attics with nests they cram with debris. But Kansas University researchers have found nests of their ancient kin to be a powerful tool for studying climate change’s effect on plants. By Sara Shepherd

KU students working on a car to guard your health

Kansas University students are designing cars to monitor a driver's health or deliver a doctor's office to your home.By Elliot Hughes

Local beekeepers avoid widespread losses

Amid a nationwide conversation about the sudden disappearance of bees, only isolated incidents have occurred in Kansas. Though beekeepers near Lawrence and in most of the eastern part of the state are maintaining their colonies, entomologists and Chip Taylor, a professor of insect ecology at Kansas University, said Colony Collapse Disorder is something that may have widespread and lasting effects. Taylor said the environment is having a negative effect on all pollinators — a species that is, according to the USDA report, essential for one-third of all food and beverages made in the U.S. By Nikki Wentling

Butterfly researchers set up shop in Lawrence

• History was made Wednesday in Lawrence, and it was all due to some winged visitors making their way through town. Princeton University professor and biologist Martin Wikelski is using radio transmitters to track the journeys of monarch butterflies in ...

Lawrence pay growth slows

In today's news: Wage, salary increase behind U.S., state averages in ’07; KU researcher detects missing link in spider evolution. In sports: Taylor named Big 12 Rookie of the Week

Scientists: Kan. faces dangers from rising CO2

Expect clouds with a bit of drizzle this morning. Temperatures will rise this afternoon as the sun comes out. Expect a high in the lower 50s. Temperatures will reach nearly 60 degrees on Thursday with winds from the southwest, but ...

A tour of the Natural History Museum's amphibian and reptile collection

Natural History Museum curator Rafe Brown talks about KU's amphibian and reptile collection. The collection is one of the biggest in the country.

Rafe Brown's most recent research trip to the Philippines

Rafe Brown, curator of herpetology at the Natural History Museum, discusses his most recent trip to the Philippines, where he collected about 400 amphibian and reptile specimens. He traveled there under a National Science Foundation grant to document as many species as possible of amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, along with their parasites.

Ed Taylor's herpetology research while at Kansas University

Ed Taylor is known as the father of Philippine herpetology, which is the study of reptiles and amphibians. Taylor spent his whole teaching career at KU while not out in the field. He discovered many species, a few of which are still housed in the Natural History Museum.

Lawrence Teacher Headed to Galapagos

Southwest Junior High teacher Lisa Ball will spend two weeks in the Galapagos Islands as part of a Toyota International Teacher Program. She's part of a team of 24 teachers searching for environmental solutions.

Biosecurity Research Institute - keeping clean

It might be called the "Get Naked Room" but it's not nearly as much fun as it sounds. Just like surgeons, researchers at the K-State Biosecurity Research Institute have to follow a set of protocols before entering labs where they studied some of the most dangerous animal diseases in the world. Scott Rusk, director of BRI, explains the process that entails lots of showers and outfit changes.

Biosecurity Research Institute - training room

Not just anyone can enter the labs where vials of dangerous animal diseases are studied. Before researchers can do work on these highly secured areas, the must first go through training. BRI Director Scott Rusk talks about what they have to learn.

State Fossil One Step Closer to Reality

State Representative Tom Sloan (R), Lawrence, has announced plans to introduce legislation designating the Xiphactinusas the state fossil. Kansas fossil hunter Alan Detrich gave Sloan a petition with 3,000 names in support of the designation.

Hurricane in a box in Lawrence to stay

A chamber that can produce hurricane-like conditions has found a permanent home in Lawrence. The chamber can be used to test new building materials.

KU student awarded for work in green chemistry

A KU doctoral student earned a national award for his work in green chemistry. Madhav Ghanta, a 24-year-old student from India, was one of two people to win the award.

Stanford professor talks climate at KU

A Stanford professor and author spoke to students at Kansas University about the politics behind climate change Monday. Stephen Schneider believes science is a full contact sport.