Dragons and Damsels
Summer is the season of dragonflies and damselflies, and a local guidebook opens up the world of these ancient insects to new discovery.
Originally broadcast 8/01/2011:
Where there’s water, you’ll find dragonflies. They lived long before the dinosaurs, when they cruised primordial swamps on three-foot wingspans.
Today 140 types of dragonfly, and their smaller cousins the damselflies, hunt mosquitoes in the backyards, rivers, and ponds of Northeast Ohio. On this week’s Exploradio WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair hunts them with naturalist Larry Rosche. He’s co-author of The Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s guide to dragons and damsels.
The beauty in evolution
Natural selection is how new species evolve, but sexual selection is also a powerful driver and one group of birds has taken it to the extreme
Evolution is the process where animals change, adapt and eventually become new species. It’s usually described as ‘survival of the fittest,’ but in this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair looks at how beauty also drives evolution.
The nutraceutical gap
Research shows that natural products can treat a range of diseases, but basic research isn't enough to make nutraceuticals mainstream
Americans spend around $4.3 billion each year on herbal medicine. Nearly one out of five take botanicals of some kind each day, very few of them under doctor’s orders. But in this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair finds that researchers at the Northeast Ohio Medical University are proving plants can provide powerful medicine.
The lore and science of herbal medicine
Medicinal herb lore has been passed down through the generations, but tradition tells us, you first need to get to know your plant
For thousands of years, people have treated illnesses with herbs. And plants are still the source of dozens of modern pharmaceuticals. But many people are rediscovering traditional herbal medicine, taking extracts, capsules, and infusions to treat everything from arthritis to Alzheimer’s, often with little more than vague information to back up health claims. In the first of a two-part Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair looks at bridging the gap between herbal lore and modern science, starting with two people who say we first need to get to know the plants themselves.
Wearable robot is a bold step for Parker-Hannifin
The Cleveland company's first step into the biomedical market offers increased mobility for spinal cord patients
A Cleveland-based company better known for making hydraulic hoses and fittings is now entering the biomedical field. Parker-Hannifin is actually the world’s leading manufacturer in what it calls ‘motion and control’ technology, with $13 Billion in world-wide sales. In this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair explores Parker’s foray into human motion and control that's helping paralyzed people regain mobility.
Launching a start-up revolution
A group of young entrepreneurs is building a community of start-ups that could stem Cleveland's brain drain
More than 8,000 new businesses are started each month in Ohio and a growing number are launched by young entrepreneurs. In this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair visits one of the epicenters of Northeast Ohio’s entrepreneurial groundswell.
Cleveland Clinic study opens new avenue for heart disease research
But questions remain whether a common nutrient and its metabolite actually lead to heart disease
A recent study by the Cleveland Clinic links increased risk of heart disease to a common nutrient found in hundreds of foods, from eggs to peanut butter. But not all researchers are convinced lecithin is a cause of concern. In this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair sorts through conflicting theories on what constitutes a risk.
Cleveland's ion engines power NASA's deep space dreams
Cleveland's NASA Glenn Research Center is building the ion engines that will capture an asteroid and someday take humans into deep space
NASA has set a goal to capture an asteroid and bring it to the moon for study. The engines to power that mission are being built at Cleveland’s NASA Glenn Research Center. In this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair explores the technology behind NASA’s deep space dreams.
Cellular alchemy turns skin into brain cells
Stem cells may not be the only route for individualized therapy as new research shows a more direct route for cellular reprogramming.
Researchers in Cleveland have achieved a breakthrough in what’s known as cellular reprogramming - taking one type of cell and turning it into another type. They’re now able to turn skins cells directly into brain cells. In this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair looks at how the discovery could be used to treat paralyzing diseases.
For the love of vinyl: Tracking the way to Cleveland on Record Store Day
Vinyl records are seeing a resurgence thanks to a new generation of audiophiles, and new fixes to manufacturing LP's
To mark the seventh annual International Record Store Day, WKSU is offering you this encore presentation of Jeff St. Clair Exploradio on two Cleveland organizations that are working to infuse vinyl records with 21st technology:
The home of the Rock Hall has more than a museum to support its claim as a music city. Cleveland also has one of the few remaining companies making vinyl records for a growing fan base of old-school audiophiles. In this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair looks at how Gotta Groove Records keeps LP’s spinning in the digital age.
Simulators replace patients and every body benefits
Today's surgeons are learning their craft on hi-tech simulators instead of practicing on real patients, and every body feels better
New doctors are spending a lot more time in front of computers than they did a decade ago. That’s because they’re learning new surgical skills using sophisticated teaching modules, before they practice on a real patient. In this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair visits a Cleveland company that is the world leader in developing surgical simulators.
The church of innovation
Inspiration is built in to the Cleveland headquarters of one of the nation's top industrial design firms
A Cleveland company housed in a historic church is refining the art of product design. Over the past four decades Nottingham Spirk has designed everything from sweepers to medical devices, inspired by a revered teacher and profound architecture. In this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair visits a University Circle landmark that is home to one of the country’s top industrial design firms.
Additive manufacturing comes of age
An old warehouse in Youngstown is home to the country's first manufacturing research institute under a new private/public initiative
A federal program to boost manufacturing in the U.S. is hitting the ground first in Northeast Ohio. Youngstown’s National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute is the first of fifteen regional manufacturing centers being created under a White House initiative. In this Week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair explores the future of making things.
Big Data and the new era in healthcare
A Cleveland start-up is developing tools to help hospital systems chart a course through a turbulent sea of healthcare data
The healthcare industry is undergoing huge changes as the Affordable Care Act introduces new business models that reward efficiencies. The shift to ‘outcome-based payments’ has hospital administrators experimenting with new tools to help cut costs. In this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair looks at how a Cleveland start-up is harnessing ‘big data’ to guide the way in to the new era of healthcare.
The future of seeing
A breakthrough lens design at Case Western Reserve University is based on the human eye and could change the world of optics
The human eye is a marvel of nature, but scientists in Cleveland have, for the first time, created a bio-inspired lens that can mimic nature’s design. The new polymer lens is also being manufactured locally. In this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair explores a technology that could change the way we see the world.
Citizens take to fields, forests, streams to do real science
Ohio Volunteers collaborate in a wide range of research projects in the growing citizen-science movement
Across the country, millions of non-scientists are conducting research through citizen-science initiatives. It’s a growing movement that is expanding the scope of research. In Cleveland, citizen scientists help monitor the health of streams and forests, track the spread of invasive species and, as WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair finds in this week’s Exploradio, help add to our understanding of urban wildlife.
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