New Carnivore in the Cloud Forest


A two-pound mammal that looks like a cross between a house cat and a teddy bear has a claim to fame as the first new carnivore species discovered in the Western Hemisphere in 35 years. Today, scientists in Washington, D.C., and Raleigh unveiled the olonguito (oh-lin-GHEE-toe), a member of the same family as raccoons, coatis,

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My Color Patch is Shinier Than His


Evolutionary biologists have long suspected that intense competition for mates may speed up the formation of new species, but it has been difficult to find evidence of this effect. In a new paper, NC State biologist Carlos Botero, co-author Nathalie Seddon and colleagues report that bird populations accumulate differences in their physical appearance more quickly

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Trust and Towns in Transition


Near the Blue Ridge Parkway, three North Carolina towns have grown rapidly as jobs shifted from mining and timber to hospitality and tourism. In Macon County, natural resource-based jobs plummeted from 10 percent to almost zero in the last 35 years. Meanwhile, service-industry employment in the Franklin area topped 30 percent. It’s the kind of

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Writing the Book on How to Use ‘Big Data’


NC State students wrote the book on analyzing “big data” – sifting useful information out of the sea of business, personal and other data available online and elsewhere. Or at least they’ve written a book about mining that big data. Nagiza Samatova, a professor of computer science at NC State, and four Ph.D. students are

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No Rest for the Tornado


Do tornadoes take the weekends off? Researchers from NC State University examined the question of the connection between tornado frequency and aerosol pollution, and found that any link between the two is tenuous at best. Aerosols are tiny airborne particles, many of which are associated with air pollution. Previously, some scientists had hypothesized that these

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