Exploradio

Exploradio brings you captivating stories about science worth discovering and examines powerful questions worth answering. With a trained scientist as our host, we uncover Ohio’s top science innovations and explore science that impacts us all, in an engaging manner, that is understandable by all.

CHRIS CHARTIER / ASHLAND UNIVERSITY

First impressions can have lasting consequences.

New research is delving into how we evaluate a stranger’s face, and pass judgments based on fleeting impressions.

A new, worldwide collaborative started at Ashland University is helping explain that process, and tackle other questions.

In this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair looks at how the Psychological Science Accelerator is putting a new face on how science is done.

JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

This story was originally published on June 3, 2019.

WKSU asked listeners for ideas for what to explore in the next episode of our Exploradio science series.

We had some great suggestions. When the ideas were put to a vote, the top choice was –

“Is enough being done to find a cure for type-1 diabetes?”

In this week’s Exploradio, we try to find the answer.

photo of mahmood ghannoum
JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

There is an ecosystem living inside of us that scientists are only beginning to comprehend.

Our microbiome aids in digestion and metabolism, but when out of whack, can cause discomfort, disease… even depression.

In this week’s Exploradio, we meet researchers in Cleveland who are working toward a better understanding of how to have a happy gut.

david cooperrider
JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

Cleveland’s greatest export may not be world-class healthcare, auto parts, or even LeBron James, it might be a management philosophy.

Appreciative Inquiry was invented at Case Western Reserve University three decades ago and has become a transformative tool for companies and organizations around the world.

The process was used recently to help create a new vision for Cleveland.

In this week’s Exploradio, we look into the science of positive planning.

a photo of John Nicholas and Stan Smith
JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

Like death and taxes, being hit by a computer virus seems inevitable.

Cybercrime took a $100 billion bite out of the U.S. economy last year alone.

It’s not just individuals who are hacked. Cities, schools and small businesses are increasingly targeted.

In this week’s Exploradio, a look at local efforts to fight the onslaught by training the next generation of cyber warriors.

Kelly Kendrick is IT director at Coventry Local Schools, a small district south of Akron.

photo of Ugandan Man holding infected snails
RTI INTERNATIONAL / FLICKR

The schistosome worm causes schistosomiasis, which just might be the biggest parasitic disease you’ve never heard of.

“You get it walking in water that's infected with infectious snails,” said Emmitt Jolly,  associate professor of biology at Case Western Reserve University.

“There are almost 240 million people infected with schistosomes, and about 300,000 people are dying.”

Jolly is unravelling the genetics of the schistosome to find ways to attack it with drugs. Step one is to figure out which genes do what.   

amish farmer with horses
DOYLE YODER / USED WITH PERMISSION

The Amish are an anachronism in modern America.

They don’t own cars, they’re not on the grid, but researchers at the College of Wooster find that the Amish relationship with technology is more nuanced than it appears at first glance, and doesn’t always fit our stereotypes.

In this week’s Exploradio, we look at the complexities of Amish life in the 21st century.

large metal parts
NICK COOL / TEAM NEO

Additive Manufacturing, better known as 3-D printing, is one of the fastest growing technology sectors.

It’s a printing process where plastic or metal parts are built-up layer by layer.

In this week’s Exploradio, we look at where the industry is headed and how Northeast Ohio is building itself into the nation’s additive leader.

DIARI LA VEU / FLICKR CC

Lake Erie has one of the highest concentrations of microplastic pollution in the world.

Sherri Mason, a researcher at Penn State Behrend in Erie, was the first to report that finding.

Her discovery led to congressional action banning microbeads in consumer products.

On this week’s Exploradio,  we spend some time with Mason finding out how microplastic pollution remains a health hazard.

a photo of a leaf with beech leaf disease
JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

A mysterious disease is killing one of the most majestic trees in American forests, the beech. 

Known for its smooth gray bark, the beech is an important anchor species. 

No one knows exactly what causes Beech Leaf Disease, but a team of tree scientists is narrowing down the list of culprits in this botanical whodunit.

Photo of an Amur tiger
CLEVELAND METROPARKS ZOO

Our local zoos are changing.  The Akron Zoo is in the midst of a $17 million expansion, making new homes for lions and tigers.  The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo recently opened exhibits featuring Asian wildlife and rare Siberian tigers.

In this week’s Exploradio, we examine the research that goes into making captive animals a little more comfortable.

photo of Dr. Matthew Kraay and Clare Rimnac
JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

Nearly one million Americans will have hip or knee replacement surgery this year. They’re among the fastest growing procedures in medicine.

For most people, the implants function just fine, but sometimes, that artificial knee or hip needs taken out …

And in this week’s Exploradio, we investigate what those discarded devices can tell us.

A photo of brain researchers Lique Coolen and Michael Lehman.
JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

The brain remains one of the final frontiers of science.

Researchers are only beginning to unlock how addiction works, how the brain controls other organs, the causes of brain diseases, among other mysteries.

In this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair meets a pair of researchers who are launching a new collaborative at Kent State University to tap into Northeast Ohio’s ‘brain trust.’

photo of a bald eagle
RICK McMEECHAN

Bald eagles were nearly wiped out in Ohio a generation ago. But now they’re back, and a pair is nesting close to the industrial heart of Cleveland.

On this week’s Exploradio, we explore one of the most encouraging signs of a rebounding waterway.

CLEVELAND METROPARKS ZOO

They’re the largest of the great apes.

Imposing and impressive, gorillas inspire fear and admiration.

But local researchers say they also serve as models of gentleness and family harmony.

In this week’s Exploradio, we look at Ohio’s role in gorilla conservation and visit the gorillas in our midst.

GILLETTE

The American Psychological Association has issued new guidelines for understanding and treating the unique problems faced by men.

The project took more than a decade to complete and was launched by a researcher at the University of Akron.

In this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair examines the evolving definition of what it means to be a man in America.

photo of Jay Corrigan
JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

How do you measure the value of something that’s free?

It’s a challenge for economists who study the economic impact of the Internet revolution.

In this week’s Exploradio, we look  at research that puts a price on your network of virtual friends.

How much would someone need to pay you for you to stop using Facebook?

JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

It's something our health depends on, but it's often hard to get.

That something is a good night's sleep. 

Researchers are only beginning to understand the consequences of interrupted sleep, and the long-term health effects of poor sleep habits.

In this week’s Exploradio, we visit a sleep clinic where doctors are developing new treatments for an age-old problem.

We’re visiting one of the Cleveland Clinic’s sleep labs.   

JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

Our climate is rapidly changing. 

Recent studies show earth could be entering a period of warming not seen since the end of the age of dinosaurs.

That is, if current trends continue.

In this week’s Exploradio, we look at local climate research and local plans to help prevent the effects of a warming planet.

JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

Ohio is the birthplace of air and space pioneers like the Wright brothers, Neil Armstrong and John Glenn.

But has the aerospace industry really taken off in the birthplace of aviation?

In this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair meets the new head of the Ohio Aerospace Institute who’s helping map out the state’s aviation future.

ERIC SILVA / FLICKR CC

Mention spiders, and many people shiver.

But a local researcher says they are nature’s most adept architects, spinning intricate webs from amazingly elastic material.

In this week’s Exploradio WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair reports on why the eight-legged arachnids deserve our respect.

We’re in the lab of University of Akron researcher Todd Blackledge.

JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

A major effort is underway to brand Cleveland as a national tech hub.

Blockland is the brainchild of a Cleveland luxury car dealer who’s put together an A-team of backers of blockchain technology.

But what is blockchain and what can it do?

In this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair looks at the challenges of making Cleveland a tech Mecca.

JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

American manufacturing is at a crossroads:

Not only in terms of changing technology and increased competition, but whether workers are ready for the next industrial revolution.

In this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St. Clair looks at how one Cleveland community is adapting to Industry 4.0.

JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

Cleveland has the highest concentration of small manufacturers in Ohio.

Many of these companies have been making things the same way for generations.

In the first of a two-part Exploradio, we look at the way things have been made, and what companies need to change in order to survive.

We may be on the cusp of another industrial revolution, engineers call it Industry 4.0.

Industry 1.0 was the steam engine.   

JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

Fake news is a term that’s come to define our current political landscape, but it’s nothing new.

Propaganda, lies, and fairy tales have always been part of human discourse.

In this week’s Exploradio, we talk with two researchers looking into the psychology behind believable falsehoods and how to guard against them.

We live in an age where facts are called into question, and the truth is slippery. 

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