Tag: Explainer

How a Protein “Cancer Cop” Targets UV Damage in DNA

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014 | Tags: , , , ,

Ah, summer. People are outside enjoying the warm weather, swimming, playing, or just soaking up that glorious, skin-damaging, high-energy UV radiation from the sun. We know that prolonged sun exposure damages skin – the sun is a nuclear reactor, after all. But how does our body respond to and repair this damage at the DNA

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Why You Can See the Moon During Daylight Hours

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013 | Tags: ,

I have a friend whose young son gets incredibly excited when he can see the moon during the day. After several excited shouts of “day moon!” the youngster asks his mom why he can sometimes see the moon when the sun is up, and not just at night. Good question. Objects in the sky appear

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How Do Bees Make Honey? (It’s Not Just Bee Barf)

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013 | Tags: , , ,

Last weekend, my daughter asked me how bees made honey, and I realized that I didn’t know the answer. How do bees make honey? I did some homework, and can now explain it to her – and to you. Different honey bees have different jobs. Some of these bees are “forager” bees, which collect nectar

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Cretaceous Cold Case #4: Graveyard Shift

Monday, June 17th, 2013 | Tags: , ,

This is the fourth post in a series called “Cretaceous Cold Cases” in which the science of taphonomy, or prehistoric forensics, is explained by fascinating cases from the files of Terry “Bucky” Gates, a research scientist with a joint appointment at NC State and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. The graveyard shift in

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That Four-Leaf Clover You Found May Not Be a Four-Leaf Clover

Monday, June 3rd, 2013 | Tags: , ,

Are four-leaf clovers becoming more common? That was the question put to me by a reader recently. Apparently her kids are finding four-leaf clovers on a daily basis as they walk home from school. What gives? While it is possible that her children are simply amazing four-leaf clover finders, it’s more likely that the “four-leaf

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