Streams

Joe Palca

Joe Palca appears in the following:

In A Far-Off Galaxy, A Clue To What's Causing Strange Bursts Of Radio Waves

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Astronomers have known about the powerful pulses but had never been able to catch one in the act to help figure out what's producing them. Last year, they got one.

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Solving The Mystery Of The Disappearing Quasar

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Scientists were studying the properties of the light coming from a quasar — one of the brightest objects in the universe — when the light just seemed to wink out. Now they think they know why.

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Bulky Cameras, Meet The Lens-less FlatCam

Monday, February 15, 2016

How thin can a camera be? Rice University researchers created a "FlatCam" without lenses — one that can even be potentially made into wallpaper. Its roots trace to early pinhole cameras.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. (This piece initially aired on Dec. 3, 2015, on All Things Considered.)

Copyright 2015 NPR. To ...

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

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Most people visit the Isle of Skye off the west coast of Scotland for the beautiful scenery or historic castles or maybe the Talisker Distillery.

Not Stephen Brusatte. He goes to Skye for the dinosaurs. And he's pretty jazzed about what he and his team discovered on a recent ...

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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.

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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.

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NASA Probe Prepares For Its Final Pass Around Ceres

Thursday, November 26, 2015

This is the time of year that ancient Greeks gave thanks to the goddess Ceres for bringing forth a bountiful harvest. Modern planetary scientists give thanks to a different Ceres — not a goddess, but the largest object in the belt between Mars and Jupiter.

Studying Ceres should help researchers ...

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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.

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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 — with hard work — you can be the best, he advises.

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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.

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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.

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

Friday, October 02, 2015

Mothers have been warned for years that sleeping with their newborn infant is a bad idea because it increases the risk the baby might die unexpectedly during the night. But now Israeli researchers are reporting that even sleeping in the same room can have negative consequences: not for the child, ...

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

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Mars is basically a pretty arid place, so it's pretty astonishing that the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter was able to spot signs of liquid water on the planet's surface.

But even more astonishing in a way is that one of the places where signs of water was spotted is a ...

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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.

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