Joe Palca

Joe Palca appears in the following:

A Non-GMO Way To Get More, Tastier Tomatoes

Monday, November 03, 2014

Farmers want tomato varieties that yield more fruit. Consumers want tastier ones. How to resolve that tension? A new genetic toolkit could help growers maximize the best of both worlds.


Look Here: Phone App Checks Photos For Eye Disease

Friday, October 31, 2014

Bryan Shaw showed it was possible to detect early signs of eye cancer from a family photo album. Now, he and his research team have made an iPhone app.


In Hopes Of Fixing Faulty Genes, One Scientist Starts With The Basics

Monday, October 13, 2014

Jennifer Doudna used to worry that her science wasn't doing anything important. Then some basic research led her team to a discovery that could one day be crucial in healing some genetic diseases.


Slippery When Coated: Helping Medical Devices Prevent Blood Clots

Sunday, October 12, 2014

When blood flows over an artificial surface, whether it's an implanted pacemaker or tubing for a dialysis machine, there's an increased risk that a dangerous clot will form.


Mars Has A New Visitor From Earth

Monday, September 22, 2014

NASA's MAVEN spacecraft on Sunday night fired its six main rocket engines for 33 minutes. That slowed the probe down enough so it could be captured by the Red Planet's gravity.


Mission To Study Mars' Climate Enters Red Planet's Orbit

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Scientists hope NASA's MAVEN probe, which went into orbit Sunday night, will provide insight into why the Martian climate changed drastically billions of years ago.


A $1 Microscope Folds From Paper With A Drop Of Glue

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.


Build A Toothbrush, Change The World. Or Not

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.


At The Nano Level, Wrinkles Aren't Always A No-No

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 โ€” and discovered that these nano-wrinkles can be quite useful.

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Where We Learn That Artificial Eyes Really Aren't Round At All

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.


Transformer Paper Turns Itself Into A Robot. Cool!

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.


Close Encounters Of The Radio Kind? Mystery Bursts Baffle Astronomers

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.


Rosetta Spacecraft Readies For Rendezvous With Comet

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.


To Make A Spacecraft That Folds And Unfolds, Try Origami

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.


Why Theories On Black Holes Are Full Of Holes

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).


Nasa Bends The Rules To Get Two Rovers To Mars

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.


If They Want To Make Anything, Proteins Must Know How To Fold

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.


A CRISPR Way To Fix Faulty Genes

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.


How Did The Meter Get Its Length?

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?


To Put Two Rovers On Mars, Scientists Had To Get Clever With Packing

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 โ€” a prime example of what NPR science correspondent Joe Palca calls "unfolding science."