Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Yogurt Bacteria Could One Day Prevent HIV

by Hilary Stohs-Krause, NET News 
Listen to the story on

On a recent, crisp winter day at a Lincoln grocery store, shoppers perused dozens of different kinds of yogurt: harvest peach, strawberry, Greek, Greek strawberry … the list goes on and on. Yogurt’s a healthy snack for numerous reasons; it’s high in calcium, protein, magnesium and potassium, to name a few.  And if a University of Nebraska-Lincoln professor’s research goes the way he hopes, yogurt could one day also keep you safe from HIV.

It’s part of the research being conducted by Dr. Shi-hua Xiang, professor with the Virology Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. But to understand how novel his approach is – and the potential it holds, if it proves successful – we need a bit of background first.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Toxic Trash: Nebraska Removes Potentially Dangerous Chemicals From School Science Labs

The whine of the hydraulic lift on the back of a cargo truck is sweet music to Dr. Joan Christen. That's because she won't have to worry any more about the chemicals inside the dozen or so boxes leaving the ground - boxes carrying 320 pounds of toxic and potentially hazardous chemicals that were in a science lab at Beatrice High School in Beatrice, Neb., where Christen teaches. Each container has one of those diamond-shaped caution signs - some say "corrosive," some say "flammable." One said "poison."

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

World's Largest Train Yard Employs Unusual Ally to Sort Cars

(NET Radio) - Sitting three stories above Union Pacific's Bailey Yard, Merle Stillwell has a job many boys and girls would love - but his role as yard master is not child's play.

"It's my job to bring the trains into North Platte, get 'em into the bowl correctly, so I can tell the guy on the other end he's got enough cars to build the train," Stillwell said.

"The bowl" is an area, comprising dozens of tracks, where cars are sent - usually one or two at a time - to connect to a train different from the one they arrived on.

Bailey Yard handles 14,000 rail cars every day, 3,000 of which are sorted.

"These trains can weigh anything from 2,000 tons to maybe 25,000 tons, which is quite heavy."

To assist moving something this big, Union Pacific Railroad employs a seemingly unlikely ally: gravity.

Stillwell observes the yard from above a man-made hill - one of two at Bailey Yard - that make a big difference on the flat plains west of North Platte. The humps, as they are known, replace the work a locomotive would otherwise do.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

North Platte Researchers Seek to Decrease Chemical Drift

(NET Radio) -  For many in Nebraska, wind is merely an occasional nuisance. But for farmers, it can have an impact on their livelihood.

Wind can dry out crops or erode topsoil, and it can also interfere with the chemicals of farming.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Nebraska Science Olympiad Tests High School Students' Mental, Not Physical, Skills

(NET Radio) - Class is over at North Star High School in Lincoln, Nebraska - and Olympic contenders are filing into Room 209.

But these would-be Olympians aren't athletes.

"Did you get the lasers?" asks science teacher James Blake.