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Science and Technology

Privacy Concerns Decrease Amid Launch Of Tech Giants’ Contact Tracing App

Alabama is one of a few states getting ready to deploy a bluetooth-based contact tracing app created by tech giants Apple and Google.

In Rural Alabama, Pandemic Highlights Need For Broadband Access

The internet is helping a lot of people get through the COVID-19 crisis. But many people in rural areas like the Black Belt have no internet access at all.

New Coronavirus Tracker Hopes To Locate Hotspots In Rural, Underserved Areas

UAB has created a new symptom checker to track the spread of COVID-19. The website hopes to give public health officials insight on virus hotspots, especially in underserved communities.

UAB To Test Potential COVID-19 Vaccine

The University of Alabama at Birmingham and the biopharmaceutical company Altimmune Inc. will test a potential vaccine for COVID-19, the university announced today.

Coronavirus Scams Peddling Fake Cures And Work-At-Home Schemes On The Rise

The continued spread of the coronavirus is making people increasingly anxious. That climate of fear opens up an opportunity for online scammers.

UAB Leads a New Anti-Viral Drug Trial to Combat the Coronavirus

The University of Alabama at Birmingham is leading a new anti-viral drug trial in Wuhan, China to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

How One Climate Scientist Reconciles Her Faith with Global Warming

Some might consider Katharine Hayhoe a walking paradox. She’s an atmospheric scientist who believes in human-caused climate change and an evangelical Christian. And to her, neither of those facets are at odds.

Alabama Broadband Expansion to Improve High-Speed Internet Access

Alabamians, especially in rural areas, will see improvements in their internet access. A new partnership announced today plans to expand current broadband infrastructure and provide faster fiber optic cables throughout the state.

Public Hearing to Consider Future of Alabama Power’s ‘Solar Tax’

Solar power is becoming cheaper and more accessible nationwide. But in Alabama, residents face a roadblock. State regulators will hold a public hearing this week on Alabama Power's fee for solar panel users.

Program Uses ‘Horse Sense’ to Improve Communication with Police

For people who have a communicative disorder such as autism, run-ins with police can escalate quickly. To tackle the issue, a local nonprofit recently developed a training program for police and kids, using horses.

UAB Study Shows Limiting Meal Times Can Lower Appetite

Research out this week shows the timing of your meals could help you eat less. The UAB-led study explored the benefits of a type of intermittent fasting.

Biometric Technology Comes to Birmingham Airport

Air travelers flying out of Birmingham can now identify themselves with the touch of a finger or an eye scan. Officials at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport on Thursday unveiled new biometric technology from the company CLEAR.

Energy Storage Research Center Opens in Birmingham

Energy officials from around the country gathered in Birmingham Tuesday to mark the opening of the Energy Storage Research Center. They say the facility has big implications for the future of renewable power.

Birmingham PD Adds High-Tech Tools To Its Crime-Fighting Arsenal

The Birmingham Police Department will soon have two new high-tech crime-fighting tools at its disposal.

What We Know About CBD

CBD or cannabidiol seems to be everywhere. It's derived from cannabis, and proponents say it can help with conditions from epilepsy to anxiety to pain. But is there evidence for that?

Companies Look to Apprenticeships to Help Fill Jobs

Companies hiring for more technical occupations at Birmingham-area factories and plants often struggle. Now more employers are building their own pipeline through apprenticeships.

Building Mobile Homes to Withstand Tornadoes

One benefit of mobile homes is they tend to be relatively affordable. But these structures can be especially vulnerable during severe weather. Many of the 23 people died in last week's tornado in Lee County lived in mobile homes. Auburn University civil engineering professor David Roueche grew up in one and he wants to make them safer.

Alabama Can Expect Days of Rain, Potential Flooding

Rain is forecast for Alabama this week. A lot of rain. On Monday, the National Weather Service issued a flood watch through Friday morning for roughly north of Interstate 59/20. That area could see up to 6 inches of rain this week.

Birmingham Addresses the Jobs Gap

Birmingham has a workforce problem. Recent reports project thousands of future jobs, especially in information technology, but many potential candidates don’t have the skills to do to do the work.

This Weekend’s Super Blood Wolf Moon … or Something Like That

Alabamians, along with millions in many parts of the world, are getting ready for a show Sunday night. There will be a total lunar eclipse. Some call it a ‘super blood wolf moon.’

Comet Passing is “Space Mission in Reverse”

There is plenty of activity in the night sky this weekend. In addition to the Geminid meteor shower, one of the brightest comets of the year will pass overhead.

Ready, Set, Action: Birmingham’s Become a Film-Making Destination That Brings Jobs, Millions of Dollars to Economy

The Magic City is not quite Hollywood, yet. But Birmingham’s economy is getting a show business-sized boost with millions of film dollars flowing into the local economy. The city’s Red Mountain substituted for the Hollywood Hills, wearing the famous HOLLYWOOD sign in “Bigger,” one of dozens of films made in metro Birmingham in recent years.

UAB Study Calls for Better Tracking of Spectator Injuries

Most people do not expect to go to a baseball game or a NASCAR race and leave in an ambulance, but it happens. Now, a group of UAB researchers says sports officials need to keep better track of it.

Alabama Author Wants People to Take a “Fresh Look at Roadkill”

Why did the chicken cross the road? What about the armadillo? One Alabama writer says we have the answers. We just have to take a deeper look -- at roadkill. The author of a new children's book, Something Rotten, A Fresh Look at Roadkill, takes an up-close look at dead animals on the road. There's apparently a lot to learn from these flattened critters on the pavement.

UAB Partners with Facebook to Fight Online Drug Sales

Computer forensics researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham recently partnered with Facebook on an initiative that could ultimately curb drug sales and drug-seeking behavior on the platform.

Facebook, Twitter, Other Social Media Play Roles in Elections. But Handshakes Remain a Factor Too

Recently, Alabama’s Republican secretary of state, John Merrill, got into a Twitter spat with Mallory Hagan, a Democrat running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, over whether Merrill is suppressing the vote in the state. To have candidates for political office, one of them an incumbent office holder, debate such a contentious issue on Twitter demonstrates how much social media has become a part of the conversations surrounding elections, including the upcoming midterms.

New Program Recruits African-American Girls to Computer Science

The computing workforce continues to grow, but women of color remain largely underrepresented. Tuskegee University recently announced a $1.3 million grant program funded by the National Science Foundation that aims to prepare African-American girls in Alabama for careers in computer science.

New App Aims to Make Game Day Parking Easier

It’s football season which means tailgates and then ... the game. But before fans even get to the stadium, they need to find parking, which can be dreadful. There have been several mobile apps developed around the country to help drivers find parking. WBHM’s Janae Pierre looks at one new mobile app here in Alabama meant to take some of the pain out of parking.

Thompson High Engineering Students Build Solutions Abroad

School’s only been back in for a short time, but at Thompson High School in Alabaster, engineering students have already begun work on their first assignment: Build a solar powered generator for refugees in Kenya.

UAB Study Finds CBD Oil Helps Epilepsy Patients

Researchers at UAB published a study this month that offers hope to those dealing with severe epilepsy. It found cannabidiol or CBD oil helps curb seizures. The substance is derived from marijuana although it doesn’t have hallucinogenic properties.

Connecting With Seniors One Phone Call At A Time

At the Senior Talk Line in Birmingham, volunteers call seniors just to chat. It's an effort to fight loneliness and connect with people who may have few others to connect with.

Tuskegee Researchers Find Key to Earlier Breast Cancer Diagnosis

A team of researchers at Tuskegee University has developed a new test they say may help detect an aggressive form of breast cancer earlier, especially among African American women.