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Doing COVID-19 Dirty Work

Employing wastewater epidemiology — proven useful in outbreaks of polio and opioid use — UNC microbiologist Rachel Noble is leading a state-wide collaboration tracking novel coronavirus outbreaks across North Carolina, gaining insight that testing individuals does not offer. Preliminary results have shown that by using wastewater, researchers can identify COVID-19 hot spots five to seven days before they are reflected by clinical testing results.

Taking a Bite Out of Meat Allergies

Food allergies have long baffled scientists — much is still to be learned about how they develop and why certain people are more susceptible than others. Researchers at UNC may be able to answer some of these questions by studying an unusual food allergy to mammalian meat called alpha-gal syndrome.

Moments of Clarity

In the past, cochlear implants were employed in people with severe hearing loss, improving their ability to hear the conversations around them. But now, studies show that these devices offer benefits to patients with mild or moderate hearing loss - a group that UNC researchers and doctors are soliciting to receive cochlear implants as part of ongoing clinical trials.

Taking Research to New Heights

From surveying glacial melt to managing wildfires, there are endless ways drones can be used in research. Over winter break, UNC faculty and students completed a drone workshop ­— the first of its kind at the university — developing aeronautic expertise to apply to their research.

A Stitch in Time

Most of what you see at a theatrical performance can’t be purchased in a store. Each piece is specifically designed, created, and modified for the actor who will wear it on stage. What does that involve? Just ask the team at the PlayMakers Repertory Company costume shop.

A Leading Research Institution

University Research Week, November 4-8, is an annual celebration of Carolina’s research excellence and an effort to increase participation by students, of all levels, in research activity. Through lectures, workshops, lab tours, and more, the campus community will become more familiar with our world-class research and the strategic initiatives that make Carolina one of the top research institutions in the world.

Climate Game-Changers

For thousands of years, the northern Andes Mountains have acted as a carbon sink, preserving organic matter as thick soil. As the planet warms, what will happen to all that carbon? This past summer, Carolina undergraduates traveled to Ecuador to take a closer look.

A Dual Focus

After a 21-year career in the U.S. Army, John Bechtold is now a PhD student in UNC’s Department of American Studies, using photography as a means to discuss American public memory and cultural perceptions of war.

Tuned into Neuroscience

There are a host of ways neuroscientists can study the brain. Some analyze its chemistry, others its structure. UNC researcher Flavio Frohlich examines its electrical system, what he calls the "language of the brain," and investigates how miscommunication in these signals can play a role in psychiatric illnesses.

The Known Unknowns

In 2016, a group of North Carolina researchers published evidence of high rates of PFAS in the Cape Fear River basin. While this unregulated family of chemicals is used in the production of everyday goods, its impact on human health is largely unknown. For the past year, scientists from UNC-Chapel Hill, five other UNC system universities, and Duke University, have researched these potentially dangerous chemicals found in drinking water sources across the state.