Joe Palca appears in the following:
Wednesday, September 03, 2014
Engineers at Stanford University have designed a microscope that fits in your pocket and costs less than a dollar to make. Here's the best part: You put the microscope together yourself.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
You think bringing a new toothbrush to market is easy? The seven-year saga of two dental entrepreneurs struggling to bring their patented brush to consumers suggests otherwise.
Monday, August 18, 2014
What happens when you add folds to materials that are only a few atoms thick? Several scientists set out to find the answer — and discovered that these nano-wrinkles can be quite useful.
Monday, August 11, 2014
If you think that an artificial eye looks like a big glass marble, you're not alone. And you're wrong. We visit the people who made a prosthetic eye for a 5-year-old boy who lost an eye to cancer.
Thursday, August 07, 2014
Start with paper; add Shrinky Dinks, a microprocessor, heat, and voila! It's not quite that easy. But this engineering project might one day lead to a printable, flat spacecraft that folds itself.
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.