Science

Lake Michigan
3bylunch via Wikimedia | CC BY 2.0 / Wikimedia.org

Scientists are retrieving data from an underwater robot for the first time since it was deployed to gather information about the Lake Michigan fish food supply.

The U.S. Geological Survey and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute launched the vehicle Aug. 1.

It is measuring volumes of algae and tiny animals called zooplankton, which form the base of aquatic food chains.

The public is being offered tours of a nuclear science facility that's being built at Michigan State University.

A free open house is scheduled 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 20.

The Lansing State Journal reports tours will be available of the 570-foot-long underground tunnel where beams of charged particles will travel at half the speed of light before colliding.

During the self-guided tours, the public also will be able to tour the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams' surface structure and the nearby National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory.

Smgrimes via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 / wikimedia.org

Michigan State University is getting a $900,000 National Science Foundation grant to help boost the study of plants.

The East Lansing school says a team will study plants' stomata, which are specialized pores on the surface of leaves, and look at how plants can avoid diseases.

Brad Day, associate professor of plant, soil and microbial science and the grant's co-lead investigator, says those involved want to find out how plants battle bacterial pathogens at the molecular level.

They'll explore how plants respond to environmental threats.

Grand Rapids Public Museum
grpm.org / Grand Rapids Public Museum

The Grand Rapids Public Museum shares their latest happenings, including Science Tuesdays, Free Museum Day, and the latest exhibits. We talk to Christie Bender.

Kayla Tucker

A federal mobile laboratory is in town, testing for possible indoor air contamination in homes and properties near an evacuated structure in southeast Grand Rapids.

"So this week, one of the major things that we’re working on is we started sampling the neighborhood that we’re targeting for additional vapor intrusion assessment – just to verify the indoor air is safe."

grpm.org

The Grand Rapids Public Museum is hosting a series of classes that offer a scientific look at the brewing and tasting of beer.
 
The museum has partnered with Brewery Vivant on the "Beer Explorers" classes, which are inspired by the "Earth Explorers" exhibit that's at the museum.

The classes are being held in conjunction with the museum's Science Tuesdays programs.
 
Classes will be held June 21, July 19 and Aug. 16. They're titled "Science of Beer," "Science of Flavor" and "Yeast Science/Wild Fermentations," respectively. 

Mariano Avila / WGVU

Did you point your telescope at the sun in time to catch Mercury making its 12-year pass on Monday? If so, hopefully you had a sun filter. Some folks got a free chance to look at it right from the streets of downtown.  

“And when you look through there you will see the disk of the sun and Mercury, right now, is currently in the lower-left-hand portion of the disk, it’s a tiny, little, black dot.”

Hilary Farrell

West Michigan officials say robotics programs boost student engagement in engineering and science – as well as other skills.

Sarah Jespersen, Vered Heidenfeld and Ruby Taylor are sixth graders at C.A. Frost Environmental Science Academy. And right now, they’re introducing Carl.

"He’s our FTC robot."

"He has four motors, one controlling each wheel." 

"And there’s two phones that talk to each other basically through WiFi direct, that tell him what to do basically. And it’s really cool because - I mean, they’re phones."

The Republican-controlled state Senate has approved legislation to make it illegal to pay someone to distribute or sell fetal tissue in Michigan.

Senators approved the pair of bills Wednesday in a 26-10 vote along party lines.

Democrats say such payments already are illegal.

Republican bill sponsor Phil Pavlov of St. Clair told fellow lawmakers that the bills send a strong message that "baby parts are not for sale in Michigan."

Research microscope
Kulivan via Wikimedia | CC BY 2.0 / Wikimedia.org

A $3 million gift is helping the University of Michigan start a fund to help bring potential developments in the engineering and medical research fields to market.

The Ann Arbor school's Board of Regents on Thursday approved the Monroe-Brown Seed Fund, which is a collaboration between the university's College of Engineering's Center for Entrepreneurship and the Medical School's Fast Forward Medical Innovation program.

The gift is from the Monroe-Brown Foundation.

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