Science + Technology

Science + Technology
9:35 am
Fri July 31, 2015

Tonight, Look For A Rare (But Not Quite Blue) Moon

People are silhouetted against a nearly full moon as they ride an attraction at Worlds of Fun amusement park Thursday in Kansas City, Mo. July 31 marks the second full moon of the month, a rare occurrence that has come to be known as a "blue moon."
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 12:34 pm

Updated at 11 a.m. ET

Get ready for a very rare event tonight — a blue moon.

But don't expect to see a new hue. A blue moon, at least according to the modern definition of the term, has nothing to do with color. It simply means a second full moon in the same calendar month.

As NASA explains in the video above: "Most blue moons appear pale gray and white, just like the moon you've seen on any other night."

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Science + Technology
5:08 am
Fri July 31, 2015

In Michigan, A Testing Ground For A Future Of Driverless Cars

A pedestrian crosses in front of a vehicle as part of a demonstration at Mcity on July 20, on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 11:18 am

When engineers at Ford want to see how a new car handles, they take it to a large track with loops and straightaways. But that traditional testing ground isn't much help to Randy Visintainer, director of Ford's autonomous vehicles program.

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Science + Technology
6:42 pm
Thu July 30, 2015

Shell Announces Plans To Eliminate 6,500 Jobs

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Oil companies are coming to terms with the prospect that oil prices could stay low for years. Today, Royal Dutch Shell announced it's laying off 1,600 workers. NPR's John Ydstie reports.

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Science + Technology
6:24 pm
Thu July 30, 2015

AP Study Finds Viruses Linked To Raw Sewage In Rio De Janeiro Olympic Waters

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Science + Technology
2:03 pm
Thu July 30, 2015

Scientists Urge Ban On Salamander Imports To U.S. To Keep Fungus At Bay

The Ensatina salamander, a lungless species common along the U.S. West Coast, is one of hundreds of species of salamanders endemic to North America threatened by an emerging infectious pathogen.
Courtesy of Tiffany Yap

Originally published on Thu July 30, 2015 3:12 pm

Scientists are calling for an immediate ban on live salamander imports in the U.S. to try to prevent the spread of a fungal disease that could potentially devastate wild North American salamanders.

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Science + Technology
5:05 am
Wed July 29, 2015

Beam Me Up? Teleporting Is Real, Even If Trekkie Transport Isn't

Star Trek's Mr. Spock and Captain Kirk never even lose pocket change when they use a transporter to get from TV's Starship Enterprise to distant worlds. What gives?
Paramount Television/The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Wed July 29, 2015 7:00 pm

"I have a hard time saying this with a straight face, but I will: You can teleport a single atom from one place to another," says Chris Monroe, a biophysicist at the University of Maryland.

His lab's setup in a university basement looks nothing like the slick transporters that rearrange atoms and send them someplace else on Star Trek. Instead, a couple million dollars' worth of lasers, mirrors and lenses lay sprawled across a 20-foot table.

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Science + Technology
4:02 pm
Tue July 28, 2015

Human Error Caused Virgin Galactic Crash, Investigators Say

SpaceShipTwo crashed in the Mojave Desert in California on Oct. 31. The co-pilot was killed.
Ringo H.W. Chiu AP

The crash of a Virgin Galactic spaceship last fall in California's Mojave Desert was caused by pilot error and design problems, the National Transportation and Safety Board announced Tuesday after a nine-month investigation.

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Science + Technology
12:19 pm
Tue July 28, 2015

Bones In Church Ruins Likely The Remains Of Early Jamestown's Elite

3-D renderings of four skeletons found buried near the altar of an early church in the Jamestown settlement in Virginia.
Smithsonian X 3D

Originally published on Wed July 29, 2015 7:22 pm

Jamestown, Virginia — the first successful English colony in North America — was a difficult place, to say the least. Most of the colonists who arrived in 1607 died shortly thereafter.

Now archaeologists have discovered the remains of some of the colony's first leaders — Jamestown's elite.

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Science + Technology
9:23 am
Tue July 28, 2015

The Divergence Of Art And Science

iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue July 28, 2015 2:29 pm

Here at 13.7, we have have spent considerable time thinking about art and science. In particular, we've often tried to unpack the meaning of their similarities.

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Science + Technology
6:08 am
Mon July 27, 2015

Major Flaw In Android Phones Would Let Hackers In With Just A Text

A security gap on Android, the most popular smartphone operating system, was discovered by security experts in a lab and is so far not widely exploited.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue July 28, 2015 1:48 pm

Android is the most popular mobile operating system on Earth: About 80 percent of smartphones run on it. And, according to mobile security experts at the firm Zimperium, there's a gaping hole in the software — one that would let hackers break into someone's phone and take over, just by knowing the phone's number.

Just A Text

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Science + Technology
5:11 am
Mon July 27, 2015

Beneath Alaskan Wildfires, A Hidden Threat: Long-Frozen Carbon's Thaw

Some of Alaska's wildfires are dramatic: flames, vast plumes of smoke and firefighting battles. Here, on June 17, a helicopter releases hundreds of gallons of water onto the Stetson Creek Fire near Cooper Landing, Alaska. But even fires that look far quieter, like they're all burned out, can continue to smolder underground — and pose a dangerous threat to permafrost.
Sgt. Balinda O'Neal/U.S. Army National Guard AP

Originally published on Mon July 27, 2015 7:38 pm

The Fish Creek Fire in Interior Alaska isn't much to look at. It's about 7,500 acres in size, sitting about an hour south of Fairbanks near the twisty Tanana River. The main fire front — the made-for-TV part, with torching trees and pulses of orange heat — flamed out more than a week ago, leaving behind a quiet charred landscape.

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Science + Technology
1:08 pm
Fri July 24, 2015

Delaware Gets A Rare Out-Of-State Visitor: A 7-Foot Manatee

A manatee spotted in the Chesapeake and Delaware (C&D) Canal on Thursday. It's very unusual for the Florida native to get so far north.
Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife

A manatee was seen swimming in a northern canal that joins the Chesapeake Bay with the smaller and shallower Delaware Bay just days after the marine mammal was spotted in an estuary of the Potomac River.

The docile "sea cow," is normally found in the warm waters of Florida and is a rare sight so far north.

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Science + Technology
7:56 am
Fri July 24, 2015

In The Heat Of The Moment, Drones Are Getting In The Way Of Firefighters

A helicopter flies near the Lake Fire in California's San Bernardino National Forest on June 19. Firefighters mobilized to combat the wildfire from the air, but they had to be grounded to avoid drones in the area.
David McNew Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 24, 2015 3:26 pm

Soon after the Lake Fire started last month, it threatened hundreds of homes. Fire officials in Southern California's San Bernardino National Forest, where the wildfire raged, responded quickly by sending helicopters and more than a thousand firefighters to combat the blaze.

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Science + Technology
6:14 pm
Thu July 23, 2015

NASA Announces Discovery Of Earth-Like Planet Around Distant Star

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Science + Technology
6:14 pm
Thu July 23, 2015

Looking For Earth-Like Planets Provides Clues For Finding 'Life Like Ours'

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Science + Technology
2:50 pm
Thu July 23, 2015

Putting Spiders On Treadmills In Virtual-Reality Worlds

iStockphoto

The methodology described in a recent study, a peer-reviewed paper on animal behavior — in which biologists Tina Peckmezian and Phillip W. Taylor of Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, worked with 56 female jumping spiders — is fascinating.

Here's what the biologists did:

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Science + Technology
1:35 pm
Thu July 23, 2015

Kepler Telescope Introduces Earth To A Very Distant Cousin

Artist's concept compares Earth (left) to the new planet, called Kepler-452b, which is about 60 percent larger in diameter.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle

Originally published on Thu July 23, 2015 4:24 pm

NASA's planet-hunting Kepler Telescope has spotted the first roughly Earth-sized world orbiting in the "Goldilocks zone" of another star – offering perhaps the best bet so far for life elsewhere in the universe.

A year on Kepler-452b, which is about 1,400 light years from us in the constellation Cygnus, is 385 days, meaning its orbit is just a bit farther away from its star than the Earth is from the sun. That places it squarely within what planetary scientists call the habitable zone, or "Goldilocks" zone — not too cold and not too hot.

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Science + Technology
9:40 am
Thu July 23, 2015

Follow The Leader: Drones Learn To Behave In Swarms

The Naval Posgraduate School's Timothy Chung stands with the unmanned aerial vehicles his team attempted to swarm in May, 2015. That day they were able to launch 20 into a swarm. After a second attempt in July, they got 30.
Krista Almanzan KAZU

Originally published on Thu July 23, 2015 4:40 pm

At a restricted airfield at a quiet National Guard base in central California, researchers from the Naval Postgraduate School have loaded a drone they call a flying wing onto what looks like a giant sling shot.

The drone soars up into the air and settles into a racetrack pattern. It's up so high it's hard to see, but the sound is inescapable — like a buzzing bee. With the launch of several more, the buzz grows louder as they all settle into that racetrack pattern.

The aim is to get 24 drones into a swarm and have it behave like one.

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Science + Technology
7:10 am
Thu July 23, 2015

Wildfires In Montana, California Scorch Thousands Of Acres, Trigger Evacuations

Smoke from the the Reynolds Creek wildfire rises above the landscape at St. Mary Lake in Glacier National Park, Mont.
Erin Conwell AP

Originally published on Thu July 23, 2015 9:43 am

Fast-moving wildfires in Montana and California have scorched thousands of acres and triggered evacuations.

NBC News has a bit more on the fire at Montana's Glacier National Park:

"The Reynolds Creek Wildland Fire was first reported about 6 p.m. ET on the east side of Glacier National Park, according to a news release by the National Parks Service.

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Science + Technology
5:16 am
Thu July 23, 2015

Trying To Keep Your Data Safe? You're Probably Doing It Wrong

Security experts' and non-experts' top security practices, according to Google's survey.
Google Online Security Blog

Originally published on Sat July 25, 2015 2:26 pm

Long gone are the days when you could pass off all your computer issues to an expert — IT support or the broadband 1-800 number. Today, in this always-connected, mobile world, regular people find themselves in a challenging situation.

On our own, we have to manage security on our devices, patch software and update passwords. And according to a new survey by Google, we're not prioritizing well.

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