Utah Public Radio presents SCIENCE UTAH - the podcast home for all UPR science news. Come along as our intrepid reporters seek to understand such mysteries as gene editing, wildlife disease, and dog poop.
Utah State University’s Synthetic Spider Silk Laboratory is using CRISPR technology to edit the DNA of silkworms in order to increase the strength and elasticity of their silk. Their DNA will contain strands from silk spiders, who are known for their incredibly strong silk.
The smallest dinosaur unearthed in Douglas, Wyoming has been announced and will be on display for the public at Wyoming’s Dinosaur Center.
If you have ever traveled to southeastern Utah, you may have noticed a greenish-colored rock formation sandwiched between the monumental red rocks. This green mudstone is part of the Morrison Formation, a distinct rock layer spread across the western United States.
For Gail Patricelli, when a female sage-grouse dies, it’s arts and crafts time. She collects the corpses and taxidermies them to the top of a robotic tank kit. She then drives the sage grouse around the breeding grounds - known as leks - to try and understand the threatened birds.
Everyone who lives in Utah is aware that we have plenty of mule deer. If you’ve lived here for any appreciable amount of time, you’ve probably seen gopher snakes and maybe even a quail or two, but there are some wildlife species here in Utah that are a little harder to glimpse.
219 million dollars. That’s the price, according to the National Park Service, that it would cost to address the maintenance issues that have been deferred in Utah’s 14 parks, monuments and historical sites. Thanks to a bill introduced by US congressman from Utah Rob Bishop though, these projects may finally get funded.
If everything continues as planned, more than 30 communities in Utah will be at least partly nuclear powered by 2027. The Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, or UAMPS, a cooperative of municipal energy leaders, has contracted to be the first in the world to try out a Modular Nuclear Reactor. That's a small nuclear reactor that is, in theory, safer and more efficient than the traditional reactor. For Utah’s environmentalists, however, this project brings more problems than solutions.
To summit the peak of Mount Everest is an iconic challenge that attracts mountaineers from around the world. However, the journey to the peak is dangerous, and in 2019 eleven people died on the mountain, the highest death count since 2011.
With housing costs along the Wasatch Front climbing 80% since 2005, you might expect the Bastian family, farmers in Salt Lake County, to cash in for a tidy paycheck. But instead they opted to donate 100 acres of prime farmland to Utah State University Extension, with the goal of building a center for increasing agricultural literacy.
Sometimes it’s a good year for one kind of wild plant and sometimes it’s a good year for another kind. But what causes these fluctuations in plant abundances from year to year? A new study suggests it might be linked to soil microbes underneath those plants.
A local non-profit has built a visitor’s center at Bears Ears National Monument to help visitors enjoy the site respectfully. Representatives say the number of visitors has increased since 2017 when the monument became national news.
Smokey the Bear has reminded campers for 75 years that “only you can prevent forest fires” but much of today’s wildfires are more catastrophic than ever, and that isn’t exactly your fault. While fire is a natural and necessary part of forests, fuels have accumulated from years of suppression and mismanagement.
Research tells us that early springs can offset the impacts of climate change. The earlier green-up makes for a longer growing season, and more carbon dioxide captured from the atmosphere. But we haven’t been able to tell if spring is coming earlier for conifers in the mountains – until now.
Soaring thousands of feet above the sandstone cliffs and spires of the desert, California Condors look for their next feeding opportunity. For these prehistoric birds, however, the next meal could be their last.
Wild horses are an iconic symbol of America's West but ecologists say they are damaging our ecosystems and reproducing at an alarming rate. According to Dr. Terry Messmer, a professor of wildland resources at Utah State University, the United States has a horse problem.