Lucy and our tangled family tree
A new hall at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History tells the still-emerging story of human evolution
The Cleveland Museum of Natural History has unveiled its new human origins gallery. The highlight of the exhibit is a lifelike model of the prehuman known as ‘Lucy’. In this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair finds that in the 40 years since her discovery, our prehistory has both expanded, and become more convoluted.
The true costs of mountaintop removal
New research shows that 3,000 miles of mountain streams have been impacted by mountaintop removal mining to produce just two years worth of coal
Mountaintop removal is the controversial mining process where layers of rock and soil that sit above a thin seam of coal are stripped off and dumped in adjacent valleys. Half the coal produced in central Appalachia now comes from these kinds of mines. New research is putting an environmental price tag on each ton of coal produced this way. And it allows for comparison of mountaintop removal with other energy sources. In this week’s Exploradio, Jeff St.Clair talks with one of the authors of the study, Brian Lutz, bio-geochemistry professor at Kent State University.
A tree falls in the woods
Scientists from around the world come to Davey Tree's research farm to gather data on the biomechanics of falling trees
Trees are an integral part of our Northeast Ohio landscape. But trees felled by storms cause hundreds of millions of dollars in damage each year. Likewise, keeping trees healthy and upright can be challenging. In this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair takes us to an international gathering of scientists studying the biomechanics of how trees topple, tilt, and heal.
Coyote documentary is an inside look at wildlife research
Metroparks' coyote tracking project reveals a healthy, widespread, and elusive population of wild canines in Northeast Ohio
A four-year study tracking and monitoring Northeast Ohio’s coyotes is wrapping up. And researchers have produced a mini-documentary to share their findings. In this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St. Clair reports on what they learned about our wily neighbors.
Gojo and the science of clean
Hospital acquired infections affect 1.7 million patients and cost health providers $4 billion a year, and better hand washing is the cure
A company that got its start in the grimy machine shops of post-war Akron is now the world leader in fighting hospital-acquired infections. In this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair looks at how Gojo is changing the way we think about clean.
Filling the pediatric void
Medical devices for babies lag years, even decades behind similar devices available for adults. That's something a Cleveland non-profit is working to remedy.
Developing new medical devices is an expensive process, but companies can usually recoup the costs when the products hit the market. That formula doesn’t work for pediatric devices because, like the patients, the profit margins are small. In this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair looks at how a Cleveland non-profit is working to bring life-saving technology to the smallest patients.
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 whatâ€™s known as cellular reprogramming - taking one type of cell and turning it into another type. Theyâ€™re now able to turn skins cells directly into brain cells. In this weekâ€™s Exploradio, WKSUâ€™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.
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