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Federal spending on scientific research has not kept up with inflation in recent years, and it's made it harder for researchers to fund their work. Some of them are turning to another source -- crowdfunding. But, this new funding source raises new questions for scientists.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

At least four tornadoes ripped through central and northern New York Tuesday evening. It's the National Weather Service that makes that determination if a funnel cloud touched down. It's a careful and calculated process.

Armed with a compass, camera and notepad and paper the next morning, meteorologists Erik Heden and Mike Jurewicz retraced a storm that roared through Onondaga County, knocking down trees and power lines.

http://www.chess.cornell.edu/

Cornell University’s state-of-the-art particle accelerator won’t face a loss of funding for the next few years at least. The National Science Foundation will spend $100 million to keep the synchrotron running.

Cornell’s High Energy Synchrotron Light Source, or CHESS, is one of only two of its kind in the United States. CHESS uses high intensity x-ray and radiation to test hypotheses in physics, biology, and chemistry.

The lab will now receive $100 million over the next five years.

Sarah Elliott / Flickr

This Sunday, FOX Television Network is premiering a reboot of the late Carl Sagan's TV show "Cosmos." WRVO's Gino Geruntino spoke with the show's new host astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson in November about how the show differs from his other work, including as host of PBS' Nova ScienceNOW and his podcast "StarTalk."

GG: Do you think the new Cosmos will have the same flair that Nova ScienceNOW and StarTalk have?

A Syracuse University professor is beginning a study of the sensory issues many children with autism face.  More than 70 percent of autistic children have sensory issues, like extreme sensitivity to sound or light. 

Natalie Russo, of Syracuse University’s psychology department, says there isn’t much research on the issue and she’s hoping a study funded with a $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health will find out how these issues fit in with a disorder that affects 1 out of every 88 children.

Jake Mulholland / OWLeS

While most of those living along the eastern shore of Lake Ontario and the Tug Hill Plateau have been cursing this winter and its seemingly constant snowfall, a group of researchers from 11 colleges, including SUNY Oswego, couldn't have been happier with the situation.

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High school students in upstate New York watched as a rocket carrying one of their science experiments was launched Thursday. Its destination is the International Space Station orbiting the earth over 200 miles above us.

Vicki Aman and Cheyanne Jeffrey are in their senior year at Rochester Early College International High School (RECIHS). The team is hoping their research will contribute to our growing knowledge of life in space.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Biomedical researchers across central and western New York are getting a new piece of sophisticated machinery that will allow them to get a closer look at the way cells and proteins interact.

Officials announced a $2 million federal grant this week that will allow a consortium of six upstate colleges and universities to buy what's called an 800-megahertz nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer.  

Kate O'Connell/Innovation Trail

Upstate company Qmetrics has developed technology that can take medical images like MRIs and turn them into a three-dimensional image or model.

The technology has implications for lowering health care costs and increasing patient-specific treatments.

While X-rays and MRIs can be useful, surgery is still frequently required to look inside a joint, explains Qmetrics CEO Edward Schreyer. For example, keyhole surgery or arthroscopy is still used to see the extent of a knee injury.

How humans are "wired for story"

Jul 19, 2013

Humans are different from other mammals in many ways, but scientific evidence shows that one of the greatest distinctions is that the human brain is hard-wired to learn through storytelling. Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen, hosts of WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," spoke to writer Lisa Cron who wrote a book on why people crave and need stories.

Ashley Hassett/Innovation Trail

Mobile technology has created some new opportunities for citizen scientists to play an active part in research, especially with tighter budgets. Now a nationwide project is enlisting the public to gather up-to-date information on water levels.

Brian Vick/University of Rochester

Researchers in upstate New York have identified the chemical that leads to cancer resistance in laboratory animals: naked mole rats.

The discovery could eventually lead to new cancer treatments and even the ability for cancer resistance in humans according to the authors.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

A small cylinder armed with research equipment is bobbing through Lake Ontario this week. It’s collecting data from a seasonal temperature barrier known as a thermal bar.

Ashley Hassett/Innovation Trail

More than 100 kids showcased their ideas at the 11th annual Western New York Invention Convention, held recently at Medaille College in Buffalo. It was created to promote creative thinking and encourage scientific problem solving.

The chemical responsible for the death of 14 people and injury of over 200 in West, Texas, is in wide use. Leaving many upstate New Yorkers wondering how ammonium nitrate is regulated in New York state.

spaceappschallenge.org

Syracuse University is one of two upstate universities have been chosen as host sites for the international NASA space apps challenge. The challenge, taking place this month, brings together collaborators in 41 different countries to solve some of the toughest challenges facing space exploration and society.

jovelstefan / via Flickr

As far as weather measurements go, Syracuse crushed its old record for the warmest year ever recorded. Central New Yorkers dealt with the warmest temperatures in more than 80 years during 2012.

DVIDSHUB / Flickr

A report published Thursday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) finds that sea level increases over the next century will have significant impacts on coastal communities.

Kate O'Connell/Innovation Trail

A new facility in upstate New York is being touted as the ‘bridge’ from research to stem cell therapies that could potentially cure conditions like cancer, Alzheimer’s, and spinal damage.

Mercury levels among fish caught in the Atlantic Ocean are dropping, but it's not the same case for fish from the Pacific Ocean.

Researchers try to individualize light therapy

Nov 23, 2012

As upstate New York heads into some of the darkest days of the calendar year, researchers at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy are trying to shed some light on our individual cycle of sleeping and waking known as the circadian rhythm.

Why some people ignore weather warnings

Oct 29, 2012
Screen shot / Weather Underground

Just like the weather, human beings can be unpredictable.

With memories of overblown predictions regarding Hurricane Irene’s impact on the New York City area last year, some people aren’t taking Sandy that seriously. But this disconnect between forecast data and human behavior can be dangerous.

Scientists uncover hidden history of polar bears

Jul 26, 2012
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service / Public domain

It all started with a fossil.

“We have this polar bear jawbone from the Svalbard archipelago in the North Atlantic,” says Charlotte Lindqvist, a professor at SUNY Buffalo and lead author of a landmark new study into the history of polar bears.

There's more to fireflies than a backyard light show.  Scientists at Syracuse University are working on a project that ultimately would put the insect's luminescense to use.

Marie Cusick / WMHT

Officials from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) cut the ribbon today on a brand new Stem Cell Research Center.

It's paid for through a $2.45 million grant from the New York State Stem Cell Science Program (NYSTEM) - a state agency dedicated to funding this kind of research.

Dan Grossman is a freelance environmental journalist who has frequently appeared on public radio and the BBC, and has written for the New York Times, Rolling Stone, and Scientific American. He’s won a host of prestigious awards and been funded by many highly respected organizations—among them the Peabody award, the National Science Foundation, and the Fund for Investigative Journalism.