Science and Technology

Viruses Could Trigger Early Gray Hair

A new UAB study looking at stem cells in mice might have nudged scientists toward a better understanding of one of the often-dreaded realities of aging: gray hair. The study published last week suggests certain types of infections can start or speed up the hair-graying process in mice. UAB biologists found that triggering some of the animals’ […]

Lack of Guidance Leads to Web Access Lawsuits

In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act required public places to accommodate people with disabilities. But back then, before the Internet grew into what it is now, the law didn’t address the accessibility of websites. Now, with a proliferation of lawsuits, many companies are racing to bring their sites into compliance with industry standards.

A New Way to Grow Tumors in 3-D

If you can grow cancer cells outside the body, it’s easier to figure out how to kill them. With an eye toward faster drug development and more effective treatments, a UAB biomedical engineer has come up with a new way to sustain cancer cells. He calls them "bioreactors."

Innovate Birmingham: A $6 Million Bridge for IT Workers

Greater Birmingham has high demand for computer workers but a workforce that doesn’t meet that demand. In 2016, the US Department of Labor put up almost six million dollars to train future IT workers. The result is a partnership called Innovate Birmingham.

For Aging Bridges, UAB Engineer Wants to Send in the Drones

There are about 16,000 structurally deficient bridges in Alabama. It's a problem here and across the country. But a University of Alabama at Birmingham engineering professor is using a half-million-dollar grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a stopgap solution: drones.

UAB Breaks Ground on Proton Therapy Center

Construction began Tuesday on a new high-tech cancer treatment facility on the campus of UAB. Proton International at UAB, the product of a partnership between the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Proton International, will be a three-story facility at the intersection of 20th Street South and 4th Avenue South focusing on proton therapy. Proton […]


Birmingham Recycling Center Temporarily Stops Taking Glass

The Alabama Environmental Council has temporarily stopped taking glass at its recycling center in Birmingham's Avondale neighborhood.

Concussion Expert on Youth Sports: “Time to Make Some Decisions”

Brain injury specialist Dr. Elizabeth Sandel has been studying that organ and bad things that happen to it for more than three decades. With football season in full swing, and the recent publication of a study linking adolescent concussions with multiple sclerosis, we wanted to check in with an expert.

Tripling Trials? UAB Cancer Center Head Pushes Big Goals

The UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center is trying keep the disease from touching so many lives. It recently recruited oncology leader Dr. Michael Birrer to run the center. He tells WBHM’s Dan Carsen that when he was in training, top medical students did not go into oncology because cancer patients had few options, but things have changed.

Regional Governments Team Up to Lure Amazon to Birmingham

Government and corporate leaders from throughout Jefferson County announced a joint effort today to lure a proposed Amazon headquarters to Birmingham.

High Technology Could Solve Solar Mysteries During Eclipse

Cutting-edge imaging technology from a Birmingham nonprofit could take advantage of the August 21 eclipse to solve solar mysteries. The telescopic camera system will fly almost 10 miles high on two revamped bombers that tag-team as they chase the moon's shadow.

High School Students Track Real Cybercriminals at UAB

What do fake NBA jerseys, black-market pills, and other people's bank data have in common? They’re all available through cybercrime, and they’ve all been tracked by high school students at a weeklong camp at UAB.

To Prescribe or Not to Prescribe? Opioid Crisis Presents Ethical Dilemma

Deaths from prescription opioids have more than quadrupled since 1999. So today, doctors trying to treat pain face a dilemma: to prescribe, or not to prescribe. To understand the quandary, WBHM’s Dan Carsen checks in with two leading specialists who've agreed to disagree.

UAB Research Finds Security Risks with Computer Created Voices

As computers get better at mimicking human speech, new security issues arise. Researchers at UAB looked at some of them.

Tesla to Boost Charging Sites in Alabama to 10

Tesla is known for fast electric cars with price tags that can easily reach six figures. But this summer, the company plans to produce its first mass-market model. To prepare for more Teslas on the road, the company says it’s expanding its network of charging sites in North America by 150 percent, including in Alabama.

UAB Program Unravels Mysteries Of The Human Body

Each year thousands of people suffer from diseases that defy diagnosis, sometimes for decades. They are medical refugees. These undiagnosed diseases, as they are called, mean a doctor can’t figure out what’s wrong with their patient. But UAB is trying to change that.

Alabama to Give New Parents Baby Boxes To Encourage Safe Sleep Habits

For Jernica Quiñones, the reality of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, hit close to home this year when a friend woke up on New Year’s Day and discovered the lifeless body of her baby girl. That’s why Quiñones’ 4-month-old son, Bless’n, has spent a lot of his life so far sleeping in a cardboard […]

NPR’s Joe Palca Takes On Jargon And The Politics Of Science

NPR’s nationally known science correspondent Joe Palca is in Birmingham helping UAB celebrate the anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth. He stopped by WBHM, where sometimes-science-reporter and full-time-geek Dan Carsen jumped at the chance for an interview. They cover research bias, education, and science illiteracy, but Joe starts by explaining why he does what he does.

UAB Researchers Develop New Way to Create Stem Cells

Researchers at UAB have found a new way to create stem cells, one they hope will lead to more efficient and personalized medical treatments.

UAB MakerSpace Provides Place to Explore, Encourage Opportunities

Careers in 3-D printing and design are growing, and college students are taking note. A new student-run makerspace has opened in UAB’s Sterne Library. Students and faculty alike now have a place to learn and explore these new and innovative ideas.

Priming the Pipeline for STEM in the South: Student Incentives in Alabama

Given thousands of related job openings but only hundreds of computer science college graduates, Alabama is trying to ramp up its computer science education. That includes a new policy allowing those classes to count toward core math graduation requirements. WBHM's Dan Carsen concludes the Southern Education Desk series "Priming the Pipeline for STEM in the South" with a visit to a Birmingham-area class that's leading the way.

Alabama Could See Tornadoes, Record-Breaking Christmas High Temps

Forecasters say a heat wave that could deliver the warmest Christmas ever recorded to cities across the South may also fuel tornadoes and storms featuring golf ball-sized hail and damaging winds of up to 70 mph.

UAB Student, Iraq Vet Hopes to Help Feed Black Belt with Aquaponics

Ramon Jeter was raised by a single mother on the west side of Birmingham. Right out of Ramsay High School he joined the Navy. He eventually served as a field medic in Iraq. Now the married new father is studying public health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and he’s been accepted to Clinton […]

Interview: UAB Space Archaeologist and TED Prize Winner Sarah Parcak

To some, the fact that “space archaeology” is actually a thing will come as news. Practitioners use satellite imagery to discover and analyze ancient ruins, and increasingly, to spot looting. University of Alabama at Birmingham archaeologist Sarah Parcak is a leader in the field, and she’s just been named winner of the 2016 million-dollar TED Prize, […]

Alabama’s Science Standards Get a Makeover

Alabama schools are getting new science standards for the first time in a decade. The state Board of Education voted unanimously today to replace old standards that some teachers say were behind the times the moment they were approved. As evidence, they point to their students’ biology textbooks, many of which currently come with warning […]

Dr. Minda Berbeco On Alabama’s New Science Standards

Alabama’s State Board of Education on Thursday approved new K-12 science standards that will go into effect next school year. Science teachers across Alabama say the new standards are better than the current decade-old ones. We wanted a national perspective too, so WBHM’s Dan Carsen caught up with Dr. Minda Berbeco, Programs and Policy Director for […]

UAB Researchers Use CRISPR Technology to Target Childhood Syndrome

In the last couple of years there’s been a bonanza in life sciences around something called CRISPR. This is a process that bacteria do naturally as a defense mechanism, but scientists have figured out how to use it to snip out specific genes from DNA and replace them. In other words, it makes cheaper and more precise genetic editing possible. Dr. Tim Townes, director of the UAB Stem Cell Institute, led a team that published a paper Thursday in Cell Reports on their use of CRISPR to develop a potential new cure for a troubling condition in children.

Parents Look to Headgear to Protect Soccer Players from Concussions

Football players suffer the highest concussion rates among athletes. But players of the "other football," soccer, also experience a notable number of concussions. It’s a sport where most players don't wear protective headgear. But that’s changing as parents look for ways to protect their kids.

In Football Country, Concussions Spark A Parental Dilemma

More and more people are learning about the risks contact sports pose to the brain. So even here in football-loving Alabama, parents and young athletes are wrestling with a serious dilemma, one that could affect them decades later: to play or not to play. To help parents facing that decision, WBHM’s Dan Carsen got some […]

What Stands in a Storm

Monday marks the fourth anniversary of a massive tornado outbreak where 62 tornados raked across Alabama in a single day. More than 250 people died from those storms on April 27, 2011. Writer Kim Cross chronicles that time through several personal stories in her book What Stands in a Storm. It grew out of an article she wrote for Southern Living magazine. She spoke with WBHM’s Andrew Yeager.