Joe Palca

Joe Palca appears in the following:

Ancient Scottish Sea Reptile Not 'Nessie,' But Just As Cute

Sunday, January 11, 2015

It was 15 feet long, with a snout shaped like a dolphin's. This newly identified meat-eater swam the seas near the Isle of Skye in the time of dinosaurs.


Scientists Bring The Sun Down To Earth To Learn How It Works

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Using a giant pulsed powered machine in New Mexico, researchers have recreated the conditions inside the Sun, and their results help reconcile theoretical models with how the Sun behaves.


Do Fish Have Fingers?

Friday, December 26, 2014

Of course they don't, but they do have the genetic machinery to make fingers — something that shows how similar fish are to modern mammals.


Could Glitter Help Solve NASA's Giant Telescope Problem?

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

NASA's next big space telescope costs $8 billion and is very heavy. New York scientists think they may have found the makings of a cheaper, lighter answer for future space scopes — in a crafts store.


Russia Could Be On Brink Of Full-Blown Currency Crisis

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Russian ruble continued to drop in value against the U.S. dollar and the Euro on Tuesday — but the impact of its calamitous decline has yet to be seen on the streets of Moscow.


Methane Bursts On Mars Could Hint At Previous Life

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Scientists have seen mysterious bursts of methane in the Martian atmosphere, and they can't rule out the possibility that the methane was made by something that was once alive on Mars.


Why Some Scientific Collaborations Are More Beneficial Than Others

Monday, December 15, 2014

It turns out that when scientists collaborate internationally, they are more like to have an impact on science than purely domestic collaborations.


To Search For A New Supernova, Build A New Camera

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Most telescope cameras can only capture a small patch of sky at a time. But a new camera has a much larger field of view, and its backers are hoping for help in deciphering its reams of data.


Africa Inspires A Health Care Experiment In New York

Monday, November 24, 2014

Dr. Prabhjot Singh lives and works in Harlem, a neighborhood plagued by chronic disease. He thinks an African model of health care can help — training people in the community to be health educators.


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 — 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.