Joe Palca appears in the following:
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Two large radio telescopes have detected very brief, powerful bursts of radio waves, and so far, scientists have no idea what's causing them.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
The Rosetta spacecraft hibernated for 31 months while its orbit took it too far away from the sun for its solar arrays to keep it operational. It's ready for a rendezvous with a comet Aug. 6.
Thursday, July 17, 2014
The traditional Japanese art of folding paper is now adding grace and ease to the deployment of fragile solar panels, seismometers and other vital instruments in outer space.
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
Research indicates that black holes are more common than astronomers previously thought. (This piece initially aired on August 7, 2013, on All Things Considered).
Sunday, June 29, 2014
Space is a premium in space. So NASA ended up folding two rovers inside a shipping container, and then unfolding them when they landed. This story originally aired on All Things Considered on June 9.
Friday, June 27, 2014
As part of the series "Unfolding Science," NPR's Joe Palca presents the science of protein folding. A properly folded protein keeps you alive; a misfolded protein can kill you.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
This technique for manipulating genes borrows a strategy from the way bacteria fight viruses. It's still experimental, but the possibilities excite medical researchers hoping to tailor treatments.
Monday, June 23, 2014
The U.S. doesn't routinely use the metric system. The U.S. government definition of a foot is 0.3048 meters. But if the length of a foot is based on the meter, what's the length of the meter based on?
Monday, June 09, 2014
To fit in their shipping container, two Mars rovers had to be folded up into a tiny package and then unfolded — a prime example of what NPR science correspondent Joe Palca calls "unfolding science."
Saturday, May 31, 2014
Speech patterns change when people enter the manic phase of bipolar disorder, doctors say. A smartphone app might be able to detect those shifts and improve treatment.
Sunday, May 18, 2014
DNA from the skeleton of a 12,000-year-old teenage girl found on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula shows that today's Native Americans are descended from Siberians who spread southward across North America.
Wednesday, May 07, 2014
Noah Shaw was diagnosed with a potentially fatal cancer when he was just 4 months old. That didn't shake his father's faith in God. But it did drive him to try to invent an early cancer test.
Tuesday, May 06, 2014
The parents of a young boy made a terrible discovery while looking through photographs they had taken of him as a baby. They noticed a white dot where a black pupil should have been.
Tuesday, May 06, 2014
Wichita Falls may soon be one of the first cities in the nation where half the drinking water comes directly from wastewater. It will save water, but some residents find the process tough to swallow.
Monday, May 05, 2014
MIT scientist Sebastien Seung at MIT invented the game to help him make a map of the cells in the mammalian retina. A year later, he says the game is producing valuable science.
Thursday, May 01, 2014
The new programming language, developed five decades ago, didn't require code to be entered on punch cards. It also allowed computer novices to begin programming without a lot of academic training.
Thursday, March 06, 2014
An astrophysicist is using something called the Z machine at Sandia National Lab to recreate the conditions on a white dwarf star — only for a few nanoseconds, but still, enough to study.
Wednesday, March 05, 2014
Removing bacteria and other impurities from water could be done more cheaply thanks to researchers at MIT. They're taking advantage of the way trees move water to filter it.
Monday, February 03, 2014
Students at Rice University designed a low-cost medical device to help premature infants breathe. The instrument, which uses a cheap aquarium pump, boosted the survival rate of newborns with respiratory problems by 60 percent at a rural hospital in Malawi.
Saturday, January 04, 2014
Students at Rice University in Houston are finding low-cost solutions to big global health problems. The women running the program are hoping to get these young engineers hooked on helping. One particularly successful device that helps infants breathe has already been tested in Malawi and will be distributed to hospitals around the country.