Joe Palca

Joe Palca appears in the following:

70 years ago, two scientists changed the world by discovering DNA's structure

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

On Feb. 28, 1953, two scientists named James Watson and Francis Crick had a flash of insight that changed the world. They discovered the double helix structure of DNA.


Saying goodbye to NPR's longtime science correspondent Joe Palca

Saturday, October 08, 2022

Correspondent Joe Palca is retiring after 30 years covering science for NPR. We have an homage to his work - sometimes silly, sometimes serious, always scientific.


25 years later, looking back on the accomplishments of the Mars Pathfinder

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

More than two decades ago a small probe carrying an even smaller rover landed on Mars. Pathfinder and the Sojourner rover paved the way for sophisticated robotic explorers that have landed since 1997.


The world's biggest digital camera is almost ready to be installed on its telescope

Friday, September 23, 2022

Technicians are putting the final touches on the world's largest digital camera at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The camera will be sent to Chile and installed on a telescope in the Andes.


NASA's InSight Mars lander may shut down soon. Here's what it's achieved so far

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

NASA's InSight probe landed on Mars in 2018 to help scientists study the planet's interior. But Martian dust has been building up on InSIght's solar arrays, which could end its mission.


Sexual harassment and assault plague U.S. research bases in Antarctica, report says

Thursday, September 01, 2022

A new report commissioned by the National Science Foundation finds a culture of silence and fear among employees at U.S.-run facilities in Antarctica.


Whatever happened to the new no-patent COVID vaccine touted as a global game changer?

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

The inventors of Corbevax said it was cheap, easy to make, effective and safe. They hoped it could bring vaccine equity to countries that can't access costlier shots. Has it lived up to its promise?


Moderna sues Pfizer over COVID-19 vaccine patents

Friday, August 26, 2022

The vaccine maker alleges that its rivals Pfizer and BioNTech used some patented features of its mRNA technology to develop their COVID vaccines.


It's summer and people are hot. We answer some questions about sweat

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

As part of our summer series on sweat, we get answers to the questions: Do we need to sweat during sleep? And, why does a warm bath help you sleep, even if it makes you sweat?


The importance of sweat: We need it to keep cool

Monday, August 15, 2022

NPR begins a celebration of sweat — what it's made of, where it comes from and what it smells like. Spoiler alert: most of the time it doesn't have any smell at all.


Russia says it will pull out of the International Space Station after 2024

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

The head of the Russian space agency has said his country will end its participation in the International Space Station in 2024. What does this mean for the future of its partnership with NASA?


NASA's spectacular new photos could alter our understanding of the universe

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

NASA is releasing four more cosmic images from the James Webb telescope.


A NASA telescope will soon show us the universe as we've never seen it

Monday, July 11, 2022

NASA's $10 billion new telescope will show the world something remarkable today: an image of some of the first galaxies to form in the universe.


NASA has lost contact with a small satellite called CAPSTONE

Tuesday, July 05, 2022

NASA has lost contact with a satellite called CAPSTONE intended to study a new kind of orbit around the moon. It's the same orbit the agency plans to use in future missions to send humans to the moon.


Canada aims to provide medical technologies for deep space exploration

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Twenty teams in Canada received small grants to develop portable medical tools that could be used on long interplanetary space flights. They could also be useful in remote parts of Canada.


A computer program designed to sort mice squeaks is also finding whales in the deep

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

By converting sounds to images, scientists can use artificial intelligence to quickly find and assess animals' calls, even deep in the ocean.


A Texas team comes up with a COVID vaccine that could be a global game changer

Wednesday, January 05, 2022

Peter Hotez and Maria Elena Bottazzi used an oldie-but- goodie technology to devise a vaccine that's easy to make — and relatively cheap. India has already ordered 300 million doses.


Cheers erupt after James Webb Space Telescope deploys huge sunshield. Next up? Mirrors

Tuesday, January 04, 2022

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope successfully deployed its massive sunshield Tuesday, a critical step in the powerful observatory's unfolding. It begins deploying its secondary mirror Wednesday.


This new, low-cost COVID-19 vaccine could be a game changer for low-income countries

Tuesday, January 04, 2022

A low cost vaccine called Corbevax may help solve the problem of getting safe and effective COVID vaccines to poor and middle-income countries.


NASA has successfully deployed the sunshield on the James Webb Space Telescope

Tuesday, January 04, 2022

NASA mission managers successfully completed the most complicated part of the unfolding process of James Webb Space Telescope's sunshield — a critical stage in the powerful observatory's deployment.