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Science and Technology

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Shalina Chatlani/WPLN

Exactly 10 years ago, one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history happened near Kingston, Tennessee. Over a billion tons of coal ash spilled from a pit at a Tennessee Valley Authority plant into the Emory and Clinch rivers and surrounding land on Dec. 22, 2008. 

Brian Latimer / WPLN

Gallatin Fossil Plant, one of several coal-fired power plants in the Tennessee Valley Authority's network, has been cited for ineffective leadership and safety concerns. 

That comes from TVA's Office of Inspector General, an independent arm that looked into the utility's business operations and interviewed employees over a four-year period.

Courtesy of Nashville Board of Parks and Recreation



Metro Nashville Parks and Recreation is planning to construct a small “pocket park” in North Nashville. The project is part of the city's 10-year Greenway's Master Plan to increase the number of green spaces across the city.

Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

How does technology affect our brain? Suzana Herculano-Houzel has spent years trying to figure this out, and the Vanderbilt neuroscientist tells WPLN's Emily Siner during our live series Movers & Thinkers it's actually responsible for an important part of human evolution.

Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

There's still quite a bit we don't know about what happens when the brain starts to deteriorate. And that can be frustrating for someone who works with people with Alzheimer's and other dementias. Nashville gerontologist Beverly Patnaik talked to WPLN's Emily Siner about this in our live series Movers & Thinkers.

Courtesy of Oak Ridge National Laboratory

A massive room in East Tennessee is now home to the fastest supercomputer in the world. Oak Ridge National Laboratory officially unveiled the machine called Summit late last week, which takes up the size of two tennis courts.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

To many, a pound is a pound and a gallon is a gallon. But setting those exact standards is one of the basic functions of government.

It's even in Article I of the U.S. Constitution, alongside coining money.

Now, the state of Tennessee has a new lab — entirely dedicated to checking whether things are being weighed and measured correctly. Last week, the Department of Agriculture opened a new metrology laboratory in Nashville, and it replaces a building that was so out-of-date, federal authorities essentially said Tennesseans couldn't use it.

Natasha Senjanovic / WPLN

Tim Wildsmith isn’t your typical Southern Baptist youth minister. He's used to holding thorny discussions on issues that the youth group members of Nashville’s First Baptist Church face, like dating and sex. Now, science has been added to that list — namely, how it can and does coexist with faith.

Cumberland Island National Seashore / National Park Service

Tim White works for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

That puts him on the front line of any change in the state's fauna, including the arrival of armadillos.

Reader Of The Pack via Flickr

The latest research from a Vanderbilt University neuroscientist has some potentially controversial findings, depending on your pet preference: Suzana Herculano-Houzel's team found that dogs have more neurons in their cerebral cortex than cats.

But does this mean dogs are smarter? Not necessarily.