Joe Palca

Joe Palca appears in the following:

Scientists Use Genetic Engineering To Vanquish Disease-Carrying Insects

Friday, January 29, 2016

A city in Brazil is using a genetically modified mosquito to control the spread of diseases like Dengue fever and the Zika virus. NPR reports on whether the scheme is working.


Batteries With A Less Fiery Future

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Overheated lithium-ion batteries have been a problem for airplanes, cars and even "hoverboards." A chemical engineer at Stanford University thinks she has a solution to the problem.


A Physicist Dreams Of Catching Dark Matter In The Act

Friday, January 01, 2016

Hold out your hand for a century, and 100 million particles of dark matter will pass through each second without leaving a trace. Still, a physicist in South Dakota thinks he may be able to catch one.


Gene Editing Tool Hailed As A Breakthrough, And It Really Is One

Monday, December 28, 2015

A tool for modifying genes is spreading through the biomedical research world like wildfire. As part of the series Joe's Big Idea, NPR's Joe Palca explores why CRISPR-Cas9 is becoming indispensable.


Hip-Hop Vocab: The Lexicon Is In The Lyrics

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

College student Austin Martin has created a website that uses rap lyrics to teach vocabulary to middle and high school students.


Scientists Strike Giant Archaeological 'Gold'

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Scientists at the University of Edinburgh have found a field of dinosaur footprints on the Isle of Skye. The footprints were made by giant dinosaurs 50 feet long that weighed nearly 20 tons.


Before There Were Tourists, Dinosaurs Strolled Scotland's Isle Of Skye

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

On a recent fossil-hunting trip to the island, researchers stumbled across a cache of dinosaur footprints in what was once a lagoon.


NASA Uses Lessons From Space To Design An Efficient Building

Monday, November 30, 2015

Named Sustainability Base, a NASA facility in California is a model for energy-efficient federal buildings. It's powered by a fuel cell like those used on spacecraft and recycles water for flushing.


Someday A Helicopter Drone May Fly Over Mars And Help A Rover

Friday, November 27, 2015

NASA is building a 2-pound helicopter drone that would help guide the vehicle on the Red Planet's surface. That way, the rover wouldn't need to wander as much to find its way around.


NASA Probe Prepares For Its Final Pass Around Ceres

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The dwarf planet most recently is famous for the two mysterious, bright spots on its surface.


How Can Robots Learn New Tasks? Practice, Practice, Practice

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Even the smartest robot does a miserable job picking up objects it hasn't been programmed to recognize. One way robots may get better at it is to learn by experience, a researcher says.


A Discoverer Of The Buckyball Offers Tips On Winning A Nobel Prize

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Harold Kroto shared a Nobel in 1996 for finding a new type of carbon molecule that ignited the field of nanotechnology. Find a passion where โ€” with hard work โ€” you can be the best, he advises.


Nobel Prize In Chemistry Awarded To 3 Scientists For DNA Repair Discovery

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry will be shared by three scientists for their work on how cells repair damage to DNA. They have discovered DNA damage can lead to mutations, which in turn can lead to cancer.


3 Scientists Win 2015 Nobel Chemistry Prize

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

The work of Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich and Aziz Sancar details how cells repair damaged DNA and preserve genes.


When Baby Sleeps Near Mom, Guess Who Doesn't Sleep Well?

Friday, October 02, 2015

By measuring sleep patterns of first-time mothers and their infants, Israeli researchers learned just how tiring it can be just having a baby in the same room at night.


Why NASA Didn't Just Send Over A Rover To Look For Water On Mars

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

One reason is that it would take the Curiosity rover about a year to get there, even with no obstacles and no traffic. But the other reason might surprise you.


Why Nonstop Travel In Personal Pods Has Yet To Take Off

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Personal rapid transit was supposed to be the future of public transport: lightweight pods on elevated tracks, on-demand destinations. But funding issues make cities reluctant to change course.


#NPRreads: Senator In Prison, Pitchers Who Hit, Ice Cream, And Overwork

Friday, September 04, 2015

This week's selection of what NPR correspondents, editors and producers are reading online includes a prison story and a baseball tale.


A Lot Of Heat Is Wasted, So Why Not Convert It Into Power?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

What if there were a way to take the waste heat that spews from car tailpipes or power plant chimneys and turn it into electricity? An entrepreneur says something called thermoelectrics is the key.


Scientists Develop App To Turn Smartphones Into Cosmic Ray Detectors

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

If scientists can convince people to use the app, they hope it will help them solve a cosmic mystery. This story originally aired on March 27, 2015 on All Things Considered.