News / Science
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
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
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
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
Kansas University students are designing cars to monitor a driver's health or deliver a doctor's office to your home.By Elliot Hughes
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
On her second attempt at tree climbing using the single-rope technique, Rebecca Tripp quickly ascended a 15-foot rope hanging from a branch of a pin oak on the Baker University campus. “ “You want a higher tree, don’t you?” said Dan House, a member of Tree Climbing Kansas City, who was instructing the first-time climber in the technique. Tripp nodded yes — and lowered herself into her wheelchair. She and seven other students from around the country were being introduced to tree climbing Thursday as part of a two-month summer research project. By Elvyn Jones
The Lawrence school district's Science and Engineering Fair will take place this weekend at Southwest Middle School. More than 300 students will exhibit projects in life science, physical science and engineering. By Peter Hancock
Lutkenhaus and the other two scientists were honored for research that led to a greater understanding of bacteria cells.
At the annual Monarch Watch tagging event Saturday morning, there was a lot of watching — but not so many monarchs.
• 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 ...
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
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 ...
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, 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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.