Joe Palca http://wuwm.com en Close Encounters Of The Radio Kind? Mystery Bursts Baffle Astronomers http://wuwm.com/post/close-encounters-radio-kind-mystery-bursts-baffle-astronomers Astronomers have a mystery on their hands. Two large radio telescopes, on opposite sides of the planet, have detected very brief, very powerful bursts of radio waves.<p>Right now, astronomers have no idea what's causing these bursts or where they're coming from. And nothing has been ruled out at the moment — not even the kind of outrageous claims you'd expect to see in tabloid headlines.<p><strong>Australian Recordings Inspire Curiosity And Doubt</strong><p>The first report of these "fast radio bursts" appeared in 2007. Sat, 26 Jul 2014 12:13:00 +0000 Joe Palca 36903 at http://wuwm.com Close Encounters Of The Radio Kind? Mystery Bursts Baffle Astronomers Rosetta Spacecraft Readies For Rendezvous With Comet http://wuwm.com/post/rosetta-spacecraft-readies-rendezvous-comet <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.<img src="http://www.google-analytics.com/__utm.gif?utmac=UA-5828686-4&utmdt=Rosetta+Spacecraft+Readies+For+Rendezvous+With+Comet&utme=8(APIKey)9(MDAxODc0NzU5MDEyMTgyMDUxMzlkN2IzMw004)"/></div><p>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. Tue, 22 Jul 2014 08:45:00 +0000 Joe Palca 36556 at http://wuwm.com To Make A Spacecraft That Folds And Unfolds, Try Origami http://wuwm.com/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 36276 at http://wuwm.com Why Theories On Black Holes Are Full Of Holes http://wuwm.com/post/theories-black-holes-are-full-holes <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.<img src="http://www.google-analytics.com/__utm.gif?utmac=UA-5828686-4&utmdt=Why+Theories+On+Black+Holes+Are+Full+Of+Holes&utme=8(APIKey)9(MDA4NjQ1MDk3MDEzMjMxOTI5Mzc4NjVjNA004)"/></div><p>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. Tue, 01 Jul 2014 10:31:00 +0000 Joe Palca 35008 at http://wuwm.com If They Want To Make Anything, Proteins Must Know How To Fold http://wuwm.com/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 34797 at http://wuwm.com A CRISPR Way To Fix Faulty Genes http://wuwm.com/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 34707 at http://wuwm.com A CRISPR Way To Fix Faulty Genes How Did The Meter Get Its Length? http://wuwm.com/post/how-did-meter-get-its-length Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>Three countries in the world do not routinely use the metric system for making measurements. Those three countries are Liberia, Myanmar and the United States of America. Although to be fair, both Liberia and Myanmar are taking steps to go metric. Not to say the United States does not make use of the metric system. The official U.S. government definition of a foot is 0.3048 meter. But if the length of the foot is based on the meter, NPR science correspondent Joe Palca wondered, what is the length of the meter based on? Mon, 23 Jun 2014 10:25:00 +0000 Joe Palca 34377 at http://wuwm.com How Did The Meter Get Its Length? To Put Two Rovers On Mars, Scientists Had To Get Clever With Packing http://wuwm.com/post/put-two-rovers-mars-scientists-had-get-clever-packing To fit in their shipping container, two Mars rovers had to be folded up into a tiny package and then unfolded — a prime example of what NPR science correspondent Joe Palca calls "unfolding science." Mon, 09 Jun 2014 20:06:00 +0000 Joe Palca 33368 at http://wuwm.com Phone App Might Predict Manic Episodes In Bipolar Disorder http://wuwm.com/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 32722 at http://wuwm.com Phone App Might Predict Manic Episodes In Bipolar Disorder The First American Teenager, Millennia-Old And Underwater http://wuwm.com/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 31736 at http://wuwm.com