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Microbeads and Lake Erie's floating plastic garbage patch
Initial studies show that parts of Lake Erie contain the largest amounts of floating plastic pollution of any water body yet tested by scientists

The EPA estimates that Americans throw away more than 30 million tons of plastic each year.  But not all of it ends up in a landfill or is recycled.  New research shows that floating plastic is polluting large swaths of the world’s water bodies. In this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair reports on Lake Erie’s hidden plastic soup.
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Sports training can stem the epidemic of knee injuries in girls
Genes, anatomy and physics combine to make girls prone to knee injuries, but proper sports training can combat the epidemic

Girls are up to 10 times more likely than boys to suffer knee injuries in sports like soccer and basketball.  Researchers in Akron have discovered that genetic differences help explain the disparity. But in this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair reports that lack of proper sports training is also partly to blame.
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Butterflies battered by both climate change and urban sprawl
The combination of warming temperatures and habitat loss is shortening the already short lives of some butterflies in Ohio

Citizen-scientists in Ohio have spent the past two decades collecting a set of data that’s unparalleled in the country. It’s a long-term study of butterflies. And in this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair reports researchers combing through the numbers have discovered an unexpected impact from the combined effects of climate change and urbanization.  
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How what we hear affects how we're wired
Partial hearing loss from chronic ear infections changes the brain's circuitry in subtle ways

Ear infections are the most common childhood illness. Three out of four kids will have at least one bout before their third birthday. Most of the time it’s nothing to worry about. But in this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair meets a Northeast Ohio researcher who finds that chronic ear infections can change the brain’s circuitry.
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High-tech physics meets hands-on medicine
Radiation therapy is an effective and expensive form of cancer treatment, but incentives could be lagging behind advances in technology

Two Northeast Ohio hospitals will be among the first in the country to offer the latest developments in radiation therapy.  In this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair looks at how radiation technology is advancing -- along with its costs.
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Tracking Ohio's champion trees
Big trees across the world are threatened, but the list of giants in Ohio is growing

Ohio is home to 11 national champion trees. They’re the largest of their species in the country. On Arbor Day this Friday, four more newly discovered Ohio giants will be added to the list.  On this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair visits two of Ohio’s grand champion trees and meets the people who care for them.  
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Obesity hormone found in birds
Finding the appetite hormone leptin in birds helps scientists understand how they pull off their metabolic magic - the finding could aid human weight loss

A team of researchers in Akron have solved a long-standing scientific mystery. They’ve unlocked one of the secrets of how birds manage epic migrations. The findings could lead to discoveries that help people manage weight loss. In this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair looks at the search for the hormone leptin in birds and what it means for humans.
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Dining on ground sloth in Ohio
A rare find in Norwalk is the only evidence prehistoric people dined on giant ground sloth

Ancient bones that sat for 90 years in the attic of the Firelands Museum in Norwalk have given up their secrets to researchers in Cleveland.

Cut marks on the thigh bone of a giant ground sloth are the oldest evidence of prehistoric hunters in Ohio, and the only evidence in North America that people ate these now extinct animals. In this week’s Exploradio, an ancient bone brings a scene in Ice Age Ohio to life.
This story originally aired March 12, 2012.
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Rediscovering the lost promise of Thorium energy
A group of nuclear enthusiasts is resurrecting an alternate nuclear reactor design abandoned by the US government in the 1960's


A group in Cleveland is promoting an alternative form of atomic power that promises safer and cheaper nuclear reactors. But critics say it may be too late for the technology to be a real player in the quest for clean energy. In this week’s Exploradio WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair looks at the long-lost promise of energy from Thorium.
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Engineering a Chiari breakthrough
Engineers in Akron are developing the new science of neuro-hydrodynamics to better understand a rare and painful brain disorder

Mechanical engineers at the University of Akron are studying the fluid dynamics of the human body to help fight a rare brain disease. In this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair takes us inside the Conquer Chiari Research Center.
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The quest for perpetual pavement
Engineers are testing roads built to lasts more than 50 years, and the design seems to be working

As the winter of our discontent continues, potholes and road conditions are forefront in people’s minds. In this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair looks at road construction research and the quest for perpetual pavement.  
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Unlocking the mysteries of autism
A Cleveland researcher uses mathematical tools borrowed from finance and weather forecasting to reveal the workings of the autistic mind

A Cleveland researcher is trying to unlock the causes of autism … using math. It’s a novel approach to explain why autistic kids struggle with social interaction and communication. In this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair looks at how this local research points to a possible new way to understand the intense inner world of autism.
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From the factory to the freezer at Nestle's R&D center
Nestle is the worlds largest food company and it's making significant investments in northeast Ohio

The world’s largest food company is expanding its operations in Northeast Ohio.  Nestle is building a new $53 million dollar research facility on its Solon campus.  In this week’s Exploradio WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair goes inside Nestle’s current R&D center to look at the challenges of turning a plate of food into a full-scale product.  
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Wearable tech and fashion innovation
Students compete for cash in a 24 hour hackathon that combines computer hardwear with wearable style

You’ve heard of Google Glass and other ways electronics are being integrated into fashion design.  Earlier this month a group of students at Kent State University spent 24 hours trying to develop the next breakthrough in wearable tech. In this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair takes us inside a competition that combines style and innovation.
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Akron companies turn plastic back into petroleum
Vadxx Energy and RES Polyflow are part of a small but growing plastics to oil industry that taps into the flood of wasted hydrocarbons

Two companies in Akron are pioneering technology that turns plastic back into what it originally came from -  petroleum.   In this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair tells us how that plastic spoon you stirred your coffee with this morning, could soon be powering your car instead of spending eternity in a landfill.
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Service and spirituality help teens in recovery
Two northeast Ohio researchers are adding insight into the workings of AA's 12-step program

New evidence coming out of Northeast Ohio supports two of the main tenets of Alcoholics Anonymous. Research conducted not far from AA’s birthplace is shedding light on how the program’s12 steps can help the 1.4 million American teens battling addiction. WKSU’s Jeff St. Clair has more in this week’s Exploradio.
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