Biology | KERA News

Biology

Advancing the clock forward each year is out of sync with how our internal clocks actually work.
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Some love that extra hour of sun in the evening, but research suggests daylight saving time is potentially harmful to our health.

The spring-fed pool, photographed in 2006, at Balmorhea State Park has been closed since last May.
Associated Press

An oil and gas company operating in West Texas has donated $1 million to reach the fundraising goal for repairs to what's touted as the world's largest spring-fed swimming pool.

Pain is a complicated experience. Our skin and muscles sense it, just like they sense softness or warmth. But unlike other sensations, the experience of pain is distinctly unpleasant.

Pain has to hurt for us to pay attention to it, and avoid hurting ourselves further.

But for people in chronic pain, the pain has largely lost its purpose. It just hurts.

While it has long been understood how nerves signal pain to the brain, scientists haven't known how the brain adds a layer of unpleasantness.

A team of biologists announced this week they’d found three new species of rare salamanders in Central Texas. The discovery of any new species is big news for science, but in Texas – where the fate of salamanders and people are often linked – it could also set up a new fight over endangered species protections.  

Courtesy of Trinity River Authority

In the last decade, a multibillion-dollar industry has emerged - and much of its products end up in our toilets. We’re talking about the wet wipes industry. 

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This summer, dozens of mosquitos in testing sites across North Texas have turned up positive for West Nile virus. It’s nothing like the record year of 2012 when 89 people died across Texas. So far this year, only two human cases of the virus have been reported in North Texas. But the dry weather that's come after big rains could mean we're in for a long skeeter season.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

For the past decade, UTD professor Orlando Auciello has been obsessed with growing diamonds. But instead of trying to create the biggest gem possible, he’s been trying to craft the thinnest possible layer of diamond. This thin coating could advance everything from hip implants to hydraulic pumps.

A plant that grows quickly and cheaply in Texas may become an alternative to building materials that are non-biodegradable, and may someday change the way businesses like Brown's Boat Repair in Mesquite operate.