Spotlight

Science scholars start new tradition

This summer, the two dozen incoming scholars participated in a science and math boot camp designed to prepare them for the rigors of a program meant to shape and help create the innovators of the future.

Beach bacteria

“When a beach is closed, what we’re really saying is that based on yesterday’s water sample, we’re closing the beach today,” says UNC-Chapel Hill marine microbiologist Rachel Noble. “It’s archaic. You’re just telling people that yesterday they swam in contaminated water.” That’s because the standard water-quality test used at beaches around the country takes time. Lab…

Beekeeping in Brooklyn

Surely Kate Grady must be in the wrong neighborhood. It was the hottest day she could remember. As the July sun baked the pavement of the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., she passed warehouse after warehouse. She was looking for a large patch of green here? Finally, she stumbled upon a huge, windowless building with…

Mending a child’s heart

Eight-year-old Maryam of Afghanistan has been adapting to American life this summer – swinging at the playground, eating hamburgers, playing at the beach and spending some time at a bowling alley. She’s also been well cared for by N.C. Children’s Hospital staff, who this month fixed a hole in Maryam’s heart. Maryam and five other…

Eat This, Walk That

Say you’re at a fast-food place ordering a crispy chicken sandwich. Would seeing that it has 620 calories give you pause? What if you saw that it might take a 6.5-mile walk to burn it off? “Calorie information alone is so out of context,” says Anthony Viera, a public health researcher and doctor at UNC Family Medicine.…

“There truly is a Carolina spirit”

In a video message, Carolina’s new chancellor, Carol Folt, says that the meetings she’s had with members of the campus community affirm what she already knew: “There truly is a Carolina spirit.” “It shows in the timeless principles of excellence, inclusivity and integrity on this campus,” Folt says. “That spirit will keep us steady and…

The Ph.D. fabricator

As with many budding researchers, Glenn Walters found his calling in the field. In his case, however, “the field” was not a clinical site, a remote corner of the globe or a neighborhood ruined by industrialization. For Walters, inspiration came from a junkyard. “The junkyard wasn’t far from where I grew up in Vermont,” Walters…

Child hears father’s voice for first time

Grayson was born with no cochlear nerves and as a result could not hear. The 3-year-old from Charlotte received the first-ever auditory brain stem implant in a child during a surgery done in spring 2013 at UNC Hospitals. “I’ve never seen a look like that today,” said Grayson’s father, Len Clamp, of the day that…

Champion of undergraduate research

On a cold winter night in 1979, Pat Pukkila woke up at 3 a.m., turned to her husband and said, “Honey, I have to go into the lab.” A biology postdoc at Harvard, Pukkila knew that after many months, the results of her experiments, designed to show how bacteria correct mistakes made when DNA is…

Unlocking life’s code

UNC clinical geneticist Jim Evans helped to open the new Smithsonian exhibition, Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code. Portions of the exhibit include – understanding DNA; the role of genomics in health and medicine; biodiversity; medical testing and direct-to-consumer genomics; and genetic ancestry. The exhibition, open to the general public, is a collaboration between the Smithsonian’s National…