Joe Palca appears in the following:
Thursday, March 06, 2014
An astrophysicist is using something called the Z machine at Sandia National Lab to recreate the conditions on a white dwarf star — only for a few nanoseconds, but still, enough to study.
Wednesday, March 05, 2014
Removing bacteria and other impurities from water could be done more cheaply thanks to researchers at MIT. They're taking advantage of the way trees move water to filter it.
Monday, February 03, 2014
Students at Rice University designed a low-cost medical device to help premature infants breathe. The instrument, which uses a cheap aquarium pump, boosted the survival rate of newborns with respiratory problems by 60 percent at a rural hospital in Malawi.
Saturday, January 04, 2014
Students at Rice University in Houston are finding low-cost solutions to big global health problems. The women running the program are hoping to get these young engineers hooked on helping. One particularly successful device that helps infants breathe has already been tested in Malawi and will be distributed to hospitals around the country.
Wednesday, November 06, 2013
A research chemist applied his analytical smarts to his son's eye cancer. By analyzing family photos starting with some taken just a few days after birth, the dad found that signs of retinoblastoma, a rare eye cancer, could be detected quite early.
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Cut a tumor from a child's brain and you may save a life. But surgery can hurt the child if healthy brain cells are removed. A Seattle doctor is working on a substance that might help. It binds tightly to cancer cells and makes them glow, so they're easier to distinguish from healthy tissue.
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer is on its way to the Moon. It lifted off on time Friday night from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Some early software problems have been successfully resolved.
Friday, September 06, 2013
A satellite is scheduled to take off for the Moon Friday — carrying an instrument that could represent the future of deep space communication. Instead of sending data back to earth using radio waves, the Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration will use pulsed light waves.
Thursday, September 05, 2013
Scientists aren't sure exactly why holes form in the hot and glowing outermost layer of gas surrounding the sun. But one theory is that the dark blotches we see on images of the sun could be the remnants of the (relatively) cool splotches called sunspots.
Wednesday, September 04, 2013
Images that evoke a phobic reaction to holes have unique characteristics in terms of contrast and fine detail. Researchers found they were similar in some respects to features of venomous animals.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Late summer tends to be a slow month for news. But at All Things Considered, we put on a two hour program, no matter what. So — without a trace of irony — one of our science correspondents offered to help fill some holes in the show with a series of stories about holes. Today he looks at how the brain copes with the ambiguity of "the hole idea," and "the whole idea."
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Late summer tends to be a slow month for news. But at All Things Considered, we put on a two hour program, no matter what. So — without a trace of irony — one of our science correspondents offered to help fill some holes in the show with a series of stories about holes. Today, he explores the complex philosophical question, what is a hole? And when is a hole not a hole?
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Smart windows change how much sunlight they let through on a hot day. Such windows could reduce the demand for energy by reducing the need for air conditioning. This quest has been going on for years but it's got years to go before the project becomes a reality.
Monday, August 12, 2013
What happens when you drop a ball down a hole drilled through the center of the Earth? The answer might surprise you.
Wednesday, August 07, 2013
Late summer tends to be a slow month for news. But at All Things Considered, we put on a two hour program, no matter what. So — without a trace of irony — one of our science correspondents offered to help fill some holes in the show with a series of stories about holes. In this edition: Black holes.
Monday, August 05, 2013
One year ago, NASA's Curiosity rover landed on Mars. We look at the science the mission has accomplished and the strange gravity anomaly engineers stumbled onto at the bottom of Gale Crater, where the rover landed.
Monday, August 05, 2013
In its first year on the red planet, the six-wheeled rover has driven a little bit more than a mile, drilled into rocks and performed chemical and mineral analysis. Its next journey is a 5-mile trek to the foothills of Mount Sharp to help study Mars' watery past.
Thursday, July 25, 2013
For bakers, turning a donut into a donut hole is simple. For a mathematician, it's impossible.
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
On July 19, a spacecraft nearly 900 million miles from Earth took a color picture of our planet. NASA's Cassini spacecraft snapped the picture from orbit around Saturn. Now scientists have finished processing the picture. It shows a small blue dot next to the giant ringer planet.
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
This doesn't look like your trusty potato battery: a prototype device made by scientists at the University of Maryland uses wood fibers coated with carbon nanotubes to create an electric current.