Words

Long-form journalism is becoming scarce. In today's tech-focused world, it is more important than ever to make sure creative and compelling content still exists. Content that goes beyond a one-liner on your favorite social media site. Content that offers both thoughtful and optimistic perspectives of the world —  and highlights the incredible people attempting to solve its problems.

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EMOTIONAL ENVIRONMENT

When Meredith Emery photographed geography researchers in the field, she couldn’t believe what she saw — a slew of litter along streams and forest lines. Now she’s sharing these images through a multimedia project blending art and science in an effort to change how the public relates to the local environment.

 
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the kids are not alright

Even though more than 1.4 million American children under the age of 18 care for siblings or parents who have a chronic illness or disability, support for this demographic is in short supply. Geographer Elizabeth Olson and collaborators look to other countries as models for growing youth caregiver resources in the United States.

 
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WHY A FLY?

The genome of a fruit fly is strikingly similar to that of a human — so much so that scientists have been studying these tiny insects for over 100 years, in search of treatments for diseases like spinal muscular atrophy and neurological disorders. Geneticist Bob Duronio is one of those scientists.

 
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THE LIFE CYCLE OF A PAINTING

What happens to paintings between the time they leave an artist’s hand and arrive on the wall of a museum? Turns out that, like people, they change throughout their life cycle. 

 
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THE Cure code

Elizabeth Davis spent 31 years being misdiagnosed, resigned to spending her entire life on crutches or in a wheelchair. Some doctors thought she had cerebral palsy, while others considered hereditary spastic paraplegia. But none of them ever looked in-depth at her genes — until she joined a research trial at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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tHE MODERN FAMILY

As the world changes and diversifies, so do family dynamics. But research on the topic is slow to move away from the ideas established 50 years ago. To bring it into the 21st century, a team of researchers shine a light on the modern family and offer advice for parents on how to help their teens navigate today’s world.

 
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Like mother, like child

One in nine new moms struggle with depression — and their children, whose brains triple in size and make nearly 1,000 nerve connections during the first three years of life, are directly affected. Nurse scientist Linda Beeber has spent the past two decades developing mental health interventions that treat both the mother and the child as a unit, called the “dyad.”

 
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hunting for salamanders

Changing leaves aren’t the only thing that draw visitors to the southern Appalachians each fall. With more than 30 species of salamanders living in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Highlands Biological Station brings a slew of students to the mountains to study these agile creatures each year.

 
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it takes an army

Fort Bragg features 500 square miles of undeveloped terrain scattered with rare and endangered plants. To protect them, they've partnered with conservation ecologists from the NC Botanical Garden.

 
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making scientists

Anatomically correct toads. Braille textbook illustrations. Prosthetic hands. Thanks to an industry partnership with Eastman and the Eastman Foundation, UNC’s BeAM makerspace program provides the resources for free 3-D printing to all students, faculty, and staff — encouraging a culture of creativity at Carolina.

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tHE South’s time capSule

Cherokee language resources. Dean Smith’s personal papers. A first-person account of an enslaved woman. For more than a century, UNC researchers and libraries have collected millions of southern artifacts and documents — making Carolina a hub for the study of the American South.

 
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Brotherhood of hope

In October 2010, seven men embarked on a rare and unexpected journey — they joined a support group for widowed fathers. The experience was so instrumental in their healing that the group’s organizers, researchers Don Rosenstein and Justin Yopp, wrote a book about it called, “The Group: Seven Widowed Fathers Reimagine Life.”

 
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Speaking math

Imagine a sentence so long that it would take an entire lifetime to read it — that’s the kind of problem Joaquín Drut faces every day. The theoretical physicist strives to develop new equations and methods to calculate astronomical numbers in an effort to better understand the way our universe works.

 
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folklore fx

The experimental environment at WXDU provides an artistic haven for Duke University students and Durham locals alike — a sentiment that archivist and folklorist Jaycie Vos hopes to capture.

 
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water over the bridge

From the innovative flood gates of the Netherlands to the shifting sands of the Outer Banks, the sea creeps farther up the coastline every day, and the distance between the top of the water and the bottom of bridges decreases. Rachel Willis searches for solutions to help the people within these port communities cope with sea-level rise.