Joe Palca http://wlrn.org en Rosetta Spacecraft Readies For Rendezvous With Comet http://wlrn.org/post/rosetta-spacecraft-readies-rendezvous-comet Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>Next month, the European Space Agency's Rosetta space probe will catch up with a comet, which it has been chasing across the solar system for a decade. Once there, the Rosetta probe will take pictures, make measurements and drop a probe down to the comet's surface. Last January, NPR science correspondent Joe Palca reported that for more than two years the spacecraft had shut off most of its instruments, including the radio for communicating with Earth, in order to save energy. Tue, 22 Jul 2014 08:45:00 +0000 Joe Palca 35937 at http://wlrn.org To Make A Spacecraft That Folds And Unfolds, Try Origami http://wlrn.org/post/make-spacecraft-folds-and-unfolds-try-origami Scientists and engineers at NASA are using <a href="http://www.origami-resource-center.com/">origami techniques</a> to help solve a fundamental dilemma facing spacecraft designers: How do you take a big object, pack it into a small container for rocket launch, and then unpack it again once it arrives in space — making sure nothing breaks in the process.<p>Brian Trease, an engineer at NASA's <a href="http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/">Jet Propulsion Laboratory</a>, says one way is to use something called the <a href="http://www.ijpam.eu/contents/2012-79-2/8/8.pdf">Miura fold</a>, named for its inventor, Thu, 17 Jul 2014 20:27:00 +0000 Joe Palca 35744 at http://wlrn.org Why Theories On Black Holes Are Full Of Holes http://wlrn.org/post/theories-black-holes-are-full-holes Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>Scientists announced, earlier this week, they had discovered three supermassive black holes orbiting close together in a single galaxy. That indicates that black holes are more common than astronomers previously thought. And it's a good reason to revisit a report from Joe Palca on black holes. In this encore segment, he reports that the theories about these super powerful bodies are still, well, full of holes.<p>JOE PALCA, BYLINE: Astronomers know a few things about black holes. On the other hand, Ensign Chekov and Mr. Tue, 01 Jul 2014 10:31:00 +0000 Joe Palca 34811 at http://wlrn.org If They Want To Make Anything, Proteins Must Know How To Fold http://wlrn.org/post/if-they-want-make-anything-proteins-must-know-how-fold Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>Events unfold. Plots unfold. And this summer, NPR science correspondent Joe Palca has been telling us how science unfolds. It's series we're creatively calling Unfolding Science.<p>(SOUNDBITE OF THEME SONG)<p>BLOCK: Today, Joe tells us about large biological molecules called proteins that have to fold and unfold properly to keep us alive.<p>JOE PALCA, BYLINE: When we talk about food, protein is a kind of nutrient you get in meat, fish or foul. Fri, 27 Jun 2014 20:20:00 +0000 Joe Palca 34676 at http://wlrn.org A CRISPR Way To Fix Faulty Genes http://wlrn.org/post/crispr-way-fix-faulty-genes Scientists from many areas of biology are flocking to a technique that allows them to work inside cells, making changes in specific genes far faster — and for far less money — than ever before.<p>"It's really powerful, it's a really exciting development," says <a href="http://profiles.umassmed.edu/profiles/display/129741">Craig Mello</a> of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Thu, 26 Jun 2014 20:44:00 +0000 Joe Palca 34625 at http://wlrn.org A CRISPR Way To Fix Faulty Genes Phone App Might Predict Manic Episodes In Bipolar Disorder http://wlrn.org/post/phone-app-might-predict-manic-episodes-bipolar-disorder There are smartphone apps for monitoring your diet, your drugs, even your heart. Sat, 31 May 2014 09:22:00 +0000 Joe Palca 33222 at http://wlrn.org Phone App Might Predict Manic Episodes In Bipolar Disorder The First American Teenager, Millennia-Old And Underwater http://wlrn.org/post/first-american-teenager-millennia-old-and-underwater Transcript <p>TESS VIGELAND, HOST: <p>From the studios of NPR West in Culver City, California it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'M Tess Vigeland. Let us contemplate the American teenage girl, perhaps the very first one. Apparently, there's been some scientific debate about who she is and whether she hails from the same gene sequence as what we think of as the first Americans, American Indians. And when I say gene sequence, we're not talking about Skinnies from Urban Outfitters. Sun, 18 May 2014 21:00:00 +0000 Joe Palca 32538 at http://wlrn.org Faith Drives A Father To Create A Test For Childhood Cancer http://wlrn.org/post/faith-drives-father-create-test-childhood-cancer When Bryan and Elizabeth Shaw learned that their son Noah had a potentially deadly eye cancer, like a lot of people, they turned to their religious faith to help sustain them. But faith is also impelling Bryan Shaw to create software to detect eye cancer in children as soon after birth as possible.<p>The Shaws are Christians, and their faith is extremely important to them. When they were at their bleakest, "Bryan would pull out the Psalms and say, 'This is how King David suffered in the Psalms, and we're going through this," says Elizabeth. Wed, 07 May 2014 07:33:00 +0000 Joe Palca 31931 at http://wlrn.org Faith Drives A Father To Create A Test For Childhood Cancer Chemist Turns Software Developer After Son's Cancer Diagnosis http://wlrn.org/post/chemist-turns-software-developer-after-sons-cancer-diagnosis A scientist's ambitious plan to create an early detection system for eye cancer using people's home cameras is coming along.<p>Last fall, we told you about Bryan Shaw's <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/11/05/243189819/how-pictures-of-infant-boys-eyes-helped-diagnose-cancer">scheme</a>. He believes parents' cameras can reveal whether their baby has <a href="http://www.aapos.org/terms/conditions/67">leukocoria</a>, a white glow coming from the pupil when you shine a light in their eyes. Tue, 06 May 2014 07:37:00 +0000 Joe Palca 31873 at http://wlrn.org Chemist Turns Software Developer After Son's Cancer Diagnosis The Scientist Who Makes Stars On Earth http://wlrn.org/post/scientist-who-makes-stars-earth Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>On the outskirts of Albuquerque, New Mexico, scientists are doing something astonishing. They're creating a white dwarf star - not a whole star but enough of one to study in minute detail. Thu, 06 Mar 2014 21:16:00 +0000 Joe Palca 28842 at http://wlrn.org To Clean Drinking Water, All You Need Is A Stick http://wlrn.org/post/clean-drinking-water-all-you-need-stick Removing all the dangerous bacteria from drinking water would have enormous health benefits for people around the world.<p>The technologies exist for doing that, but there's a problem: cost.<p>Now a scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology thinks he's on to a much less expensive way to clean up water.<p>MIT's <a href="http://meche.mit.edu/people/?id=279">Rohit Karnik</a> is a mechanical engineer who works on water technologies. He says it's relatively easy to make membranes that can filter the bacteria out of water. Wed, 05 Mar 2014 21:35:00 +0000 Joe Palca 28784 at http://wlrn.org To Clean Drinking Water, All You Need Is A Stick Inexpensive Aquarium Bubbler Saves Preemies' Lives http://wlrn.org/post/inexpensive-aquarium-bubbler-saves-preemies-lives <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0rGMRdZiOY</p> Mon, 03 Feb 2014 19:33:00 +0000 Joe Palca 27361 at http://wlrn.org Inexpensive Aquarium Bubbler Saves Preemies' Lives Scientists Come Close To Finding True Magnetic Monopole http://wlrn.org/post/scientists-come-close-finding-true-magnetic-monopole Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>Scientists may have filled in a gap in one the fundamental theories of physics. We've always been told that magnets have two poles, north and south. But theory suggests there should be something called a magnetic monopole, a magnet that has either a north pole or a south pole but not both of them. So far no one has found this elusive magnetic monopole.<p>As part of his project, Joe's Big Idea, NPR's Joe Palca brings us the story of scientists at Amherst College in Massachusetts. They have created a synthetic magnetic monopole. Fri, 31 Jan 2014 10:04:00 +0000 Joe Palca 27242 at http://wlrn.org Saving Babies' Lives Starts With Aquarium Pumps And Ingenuity http://wlrn.org/post/saving-babies-lives-starts-aquarium-pumps-and-ingenuity <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0rGMRdZiOY</p> Sat, 04 Jan 2014 13:19:00 +0000 Joe Palca 26017 at http://wlrn.org Saving Babies' Lives Starts With Aquarium Pumps And Ingenuity 'The Coolest Thing Ever': How A Robotic Arm Changed 4 Lives http://wlrn.org/post/coolest-thing-ever-how-robotic-arm-changed-4-lives <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1jbEvhFzQM</p> Thu, 28 Nov 2013 08:05:00 +0000 Joe Palca 24346 at http://wlrn.org 'The Coolest Thing Ever': How A Robotic Arm Changed 4 Lives