Science news

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP/WMOT)  --  Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander has used his new position as Chairman of the Senate Health Committee to weigh in on the debate concerning Measles vaccinations.

Health officials say there are now 121 measles cases nationwide, all but 18 are tied to an outbreak that started at the Disneyland amusement park in California.

Until recently, it was unusual to see more than 100 measles cases a year in the United States. However, many parents now avoid getting their kids vaccinated, believing the shots themselves cause devastating illnesses.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  St. Jude’s Children’s hospital in Memphis has launched a program that gives a voice to individuals diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.

St. Jude’s launched a Pediatric AIDS Clinic at the direction of founder Danny Thomas in 1987. The clinic now serves about 250 patients.

In the years since, clinic staff noted how often patients spoke about their isolation, the feeling that they were the only ones dealing with an AIDS diagnosis.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  A well-known minister, author and Ted Talk alum, who refers to himself as an “Evolutionary Theologian” will make a mid-state appearance on Thursday.

The Reverend Michael Dowd is the founder of and the author of the best selling book Thank God for Evolution.

This Thursday evening the Middle Tennessee State University Science and Spirituality Group will host Michael Dowd for a presentation in Murfreesboro.


MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  The number of research dollars awarded to Tennessee’s public universities has fallen dramatically in recent years, thanks in large measure to a drop in federal funding.

University of Tennessee affiliated schools report a decline of about 9 percent in the last three years. The state’s other higher education system, the Tennessee Board of Regents, reports that its six universities saw research funding drop by more than 23 percent during the same period.


MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) — A Middle Tennessee State University professor is driving from Key West, Florida, to Seattle in a vehicle fueled by waste chicken fat and waste vegetable oil from school dining facilities.

Alternatives fuels researcher Cliff Ricketts will begin his journey today, stopping at MTSU along the way and arriving in Seattle next week. The School of Agribusiness and Agriscience faculty member will be driving a 1981 Volkswagen Rabbit pickup truck on the 3,550-mile trek.