Science + Technology

Science + Technology
3:04 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Cloning, Stem Cells Long Mired In Legislative Gridlock

After President Obama overturned Bush-era policy restricting federal funding of embryonic stem cell research in 2009, Nebraska Right to Life led a protest of the research outside the University of Nebraska regents' meeting.
Nati Harnik AP

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 11:53 am

The news that U.S. scientists have successfully cloned a human embryo seems almost certain to rekindle a political fight that has raged, on and off, since the announcement of the creation of Dolly the sheep in 1997.

Read more
Science + Technology
3:03 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Water Trapped For 1.5 Billion Years Could Hold Ancient Life

This map, from the United States Geological Survey, shows the age of bedrock in different regions of North America. Scientists found ancient water in bedrock north of Lake Superior. This region, colored red, was formed more than 2.5 billion years ago.
United States Geological Survey

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 9:25 am

Scientists have discovered water that has been trapped in rock for more than a billion years. The water might contain microbes that evolved independently from the surface world, and it's a finding that gives new hope to the search for life on other planets.

The water samples came from holes drilled by gold miners near the small town of Timmins, Ontario, about 350 miles north of Toronto. Deep in the Canadian bedrock, miners drill holes and collect samples. Sometimes they hit pay dirt; sometimes they hit water, which seeps out from tiny crevices in the rock.

Read more
Science + Technology
10:26 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Cup Of Joe With Apple CEO Goes For $610,000

An anonymous bidder has offered $610,000 to have coffee with Apple CEO Tim Cook, in a charity auction that closed Tuesday afternoon.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 9:55 am

It turns out that the desire to speak with Apple CEO Tim Cook, along with $610,000, will buy you a cup of coffee. That's the winning bid offered in a charity auction for up to an hour of Cook's time.

As we reported last month, the chance to grab coffee with Cook at Apple's headquarters zoomed past the suggested value of $50,000 set at the Charitybuzz auction site, rising to more than $600,000 in just three days.

Read more
Science + Technology
3:35 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

With Rising Seas, America's Birthplace Could Disappear

Colonists built the original glass-blowing kiln in Jamestown, Va., at this beach for easy access to the sand. Now the site is just inches above the water level.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 7:15 pm

By the end of the century, the birthplace of America may be underwater.

The first successful English colony in America was at Jamestown, Va., a swampy island in the Chesapeake Bay. The colony endured for almost a century, and remnants of the place still exist. You can go there and see the ruins. You can walk where Capt. John Smith and Pocahontas walked. But Jamestown is now threatened by rising sea levels that scientists say could submerge the island by century's end.

Read more
Science + Technology
1:18 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

What Is It About Bees And Hexagons?

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 1:26 pm

Solved! A bee-buzzing, honey-licking 2,000-year-old mystery that begins here, with this beehive. Look at the honeycomb in the photo and ask yourself: (I know you've been wondering this all your life, but have been too shy to ask out loud ... ) Why is every cell in this honeycomb a hexagon?

Bees, after all, could build honeycombs from rectangles or squares or triangles ...

But for some reason, bees choose hexagons. Always hexagons.

Read more
Science + Technology
12:37 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Litterbugs Beware: Turning Found DNA Into Portraits

Self portrait by Heather Dewey-Hagborg. Portrait generated from her own DNA.
Heather Dewey-Hagborg Heather Dewey-Hagborg

Originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 5:22 pm

Heather Dewey-Hagborg was sitting in a therapy session a while ago and noticed a painting on the wall. The glass on the frame was cracked, and lodged in the crack was a single hair. She couldn't take her eyes off it.

"I just became obsessed with thinking about whose hair that was, and what they might look like, and what they might be like," she says.

Read more
Science + Technology
3:48 pm
Sun May 12, 2013

New Closed-Captioning Glasses Help Deaf Go Out To The Movies

Sony's Entertainment Access Glasses, seen here in a prototype image, display captions for deaf and hard-of-hearing moviegoers.
Sony Entertainment

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 3:30 pm

There will be a special attraction for deaf people in theaters nationwide soon. By the end of this month, Regal Cinemas plans to have distributed closed-captioning glasses to 6,000 screens across the country.

Read more
Science + Technology
1:47 pm
Sun May 12, 2013

For Year-Round Buzz, Beekeepers 'Fast-Forward Darwinism'

The Plymouth County Beekeepers Association distributed more than 500 crates of honeybees this spring.
Katherine Perry for NPR

Originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 6:51 pm

Beekeepers In Massachusetts are taking the mission to save the bees into their own hands.

There has been a dramatic disappearance of honeybees across the U.S. since 2006. A recent U.S. Department of Agriculture report blamed a combination of problems, including mites, disease, poor nutrition and pesticides.

Read more
Science + Technology
2:46 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Atop A Hawaiian Mountain, A Constant Sniff For Carbon Dioxide

Researchers use the 120-foot tower atop Mauna Loa in Hawaii to collect air samples and measure the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Mauna Kea looms in the distance.
Forrest M. Mims III forrestmims.org

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 1:22 pm

Climate scientists have a good reason to want to get away from it all. To get an accurate picture of the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere, you have to find places where the numbers won't be distorted by cities or factories or even lots of vegetation that can have a major local impact on CO2 concentrations.

Read more
Science + Technology
3:16 am
Fri May 10, 2013

College Divestment Campaigns Creating Passionate Environmentalists

Students associated with the group Brown Divest Coal protested in front of the Brown University president's office during a rally May 3. The group is demanding that the university stop investing in certain oil and coal companies.
Courtesy of Brown Divest Coal

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 11:04 am

At about 300 colleges across the country, young activists worried about climate change are borrowing a strategy that students successfully used in decades past. In the 1980s, students enraged about South Africa's racist Apartheid regime got their schools to drop stocks in companies that did business with that government. In the 1990s, students pressured their schools to divest Big Tobacco.

This time, the student activists are targeting a mainstay of the economy: large oil and coal companies.

Read more
Science + Technology
4:34 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Could You Talk To A Caveman? Scientists Say It's Possible

Would Mel Brooks' famous 2,000-Year-Old Man have understood modern language? Researchers say there's a possibility.
ABC/Photofest

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 5:41 pm

In 1961, Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner came up with some basic theories of caveman linguistics in their 2,000-Year-Old Man skit. Most of them had to do with rocks, as in, "What are you doing with that rock there?"

Now, a professor in England has questioned the validity of the famous caveman's rock-centric theories. And Mark Pagel of the University of Reading is reaching even further back, to the time of the 15,000-year-old man.

Read more
Science + Technology
12:54 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Moths That Drive Cars (Really)

YouTube

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 10:07 am

What you are about to see — and I'm not making this up — is a moth driving a car.

Read more
Science + Technology
3:33 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Consumers Facing Subscription Service Overload Will Only Get More Choices

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 4:02 pm

YouTube is expected to announce in the coming days that it will launch paid subscription channels, a first for the online video platform that's been around since 2005. But, with the growing number of subscription services available for entertainment, shopping and news, some consumers say they're reaching digital subscription overload.

Read more
Science + Technology
2:53 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Will Tweaking Windows 8 Be Enough To Revive The PC?

Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system was criticized when it was released last year for features some said didn't mesh with a desktop PC environment. The company has indicated that it will address some of those issues in an upcoming update.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 11:43 am

When Microsoft introduced Windows 8 last year, the software giant billed the new operating system as one of the most critical releases in its history. The system would bridge the gap between personal computers and the fast-growing mobile world of tablets and smartphones.

But this week, the company sent signals that it might soon alter Windows 8 to address some early criticism of the operating system.

Read more
Science + Technology
7:06 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Study: 'Fossil' Words Are Older Than We Thought

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 8:58 pm

The origin of some of the words we use today goes back much further than scientists once thought, suggesting an Ice Age-era proto-language that spawned many of the world's contemporary linguistic groups, according to a new study by a group of U.K.-based scientists.

Read more
Science + Technology
6:12 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Bee Deaths May Have Reached A Crisis Point For Crops

A bee inspector checks on a frame of bees to assess the colony strength near Turlock, Calif., in February. More than 30 percent of America's bee colonies died off over the winter.
Gosia Wozniacka AP

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 10:56 pm

According to a new survey of America's beekeepers, almost a third of the country's honeybee colonies did not make it through the winter.

That's been the case, in fact, almost every year since the U.S. Department of Agriculture began this annual survey, six years ago.

Over the past six years, on average, 30 percent of all the honeybee colonies in the U.S. died off over the winter. The worst year was five years ago. Last year was the best: Just 22 percent of the colonies died.

Read more
Science + Technology
11:46 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Our Very Normal Solar System Isn't Normal Anymore

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 8:53 am

Some things you just count on. Like if we ever meet a space alien, it should have eyes (and maybe a head). Like somewhere out there, there are planets like ours. Like we have an ordinary solar system — "ordinary" because you know what it looks like ...

It's got a sun in the middle, little planets on the inside, bigger ones farther out. That's what most of them should look like, no?

Read more
Science + Technology
3:03 am
Tue May 7, 2013

U.S. Turns Up Heat On Costly Commercial Cybertheft In China

Chinese cyber-espionage is threatening U.S. economic competitiveness.
Andy Wong AP

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 1:04 pm

American companies that do business with China make good money. They also lose a lot of money there to cyberthieves, who routinely hack into the computers of the U.S. firms and steal their trade and technology secrets.

Read more
Science + Technology
2:59 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Envisioning The Future With Cori Lathan

AnthroTronix Founder and CEO Corinna Lathan, at the company's offices in Silver Spring, Md.
Courtesy of AnthroTronix, Inc.

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 11:04 am

Computers were created to be useful tools, but all too often it's still a chore to get technology to do our bidding.

Read more
Science + Technology
3:45 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Chicago's Famed Field Museum Struggles To Dig Out Of A Hole

"Sue," the Tyranosaurus rex skeleton, is one of the most famous exhibits at Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History
John Zich AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 8:25 pm

The economy may be on the rebound, but many cultural institutions are still struggling to regain their financial footing. That's especially true for one of the country's most recognized museums — the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. Known internationally for its research as well as its exhibits, the Field Museum must pay off millions in bond debt — and toe an ethical line as it does.

Read more

Pages