Science + Technology

Science + Technology
9:09 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Volcanoes In Iceland, Papua New Guinea Keep Residents On Edge

Smoke billows from Mount Tavurvur after an eruption in Kokopo, east New Britain, Papua New Guinea, on Friday. The eruption has caused some nearby residents to be evacuated and some flights to be rerouted.
Jason Tassell AP

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 1:05 pm

Two volcanoes half a world apart are causing havoc today: Several flights have been diverted around an eruption in Papua New Guinea, and authorities in Iceland briefly put aviation on highest alert (again) owing to a temperamental Mount Bardarbunga, which has been rumbling for the past week.

Read more
Science + Technology
3:18 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Scientists Study How We Evolved To Stand On Our Own Two Fins

Researchers raised two groups of walking, air-breathing Polypterus senegalus โ€” one on land and one on the water. They discovered that each group was able to adapt to be best suited to its environment.
A. Morin, E.M. Standen, T.Y. Du, H. Larsson McGill University

Scientists examining an unusual African fish that can walk and breathe air think they've learned a thing or two about how our distant ancestors made the leap from the oceans to terra firma some 400 million years ago.

Read more
Science + Technology
4:43 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Some Call For More Sharing In Ridesharing

Lyft driver Danielle Kerley showcases the company's iconic mustache, which is displayed on cars used in the service.
Aarti Shahani NPR

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 10:43 am

Taxicabs are fighting tooth and nail against Uber, the company that enables car owners to drive part time or full time for pay, like cabbies.

But behind this battle, there's another one brewing inside the world of ridesharing. Uber and its competitors in San Francisco are sparring over cash, over drivers, and over some basic values, too.

But a researcher says branding the startups Uber and Lyft as ridesharing services isn't quite accurate. Now, an emerging set of services promises to be more about sharing.

Chauffeur Vs. Your Friend With A Car

Read more
Science + Technology
1:23 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

New Camouflage Material Is A Color-Change Artist

Originally published on Sat August 23, 2014 11:48 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Read more
Science + Technology
1:10 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Playlist: Explore The Cosmos

Journey to the stars with these TED Radio Hour stories.
Roman Krochuk iStock

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 10:49 am

We made playlists of TED Radio Hour stories that will keep you curious about big ideas throughout the summer.

Transport yourself to a galaxy far, far away with this TED Radio Hour playlist. It includes stories about the wonder and awe of journeying to space, and defending our own planet from asteroids.

Science + Technology
8:28 am
Mon August 25, 2014

California Quake Means Big Damage For Napa Valley Wineries

Winemaker Tom Montgomery stands in wine and reacts to seeing damage following an earthquake at the B.R. Cohn Winery barrel storage facility on Sunday in Napa Valley.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 1:18 pm

Luckily, a historic magnitude-6.0 earthquake in California over the weekend has not resulted in the loss of any human life.

The wine country, however, was deeply affected. While it's still too early to tell just how much the quake will cost Napa Valley, what's clear is that some wineries lost some of their most cherished reserves, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Read more
Science + Technology
12:16 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Scientists Searching For Alien Air Pollution

In this artist's conception, the atmosphere of an Earthlike planet displays a brownish haze รขย€ย” the result of widespread pollution.
Christine Pulliam Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 3:18 pm

Air pollution is clogging the skies of our planet. Now one scientist thinks Earth may be just one of many polluted worlds โ€” and that searching for extraterrestrial smog may actually be a good way to search for alien intelligence.

"People refer to 'little green men,' but ETs that are detected by this method should not be labeled as green," says Avi Loeb, an astronomer at Harvard University.

The idea of finding alien polluters may be a bit of a long shot, but Loeb says it's possible.

Read more
Science + Technology
12:11 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Coming Soon To A Pole Near You: A Bike That Locks Itself

On a bike made by Yerka, parts of the frame hinge open to form a locking bracket. Its designers say the bike can't be ridden if it's stolen.
Yerka

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 12:52 pm

Cyclists may soon have a convenient way to discourage bike thieves, thanks to new designs that use parts of the bikes themselves as locks. Two projects โ€” one based in Chile, another in Seattle โ€” are promising to provide peace of mind without the fuss of carrying a separate lock.

Read more
Science + Technology
5:21 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

How Long Do CDs Last? It Depends, But Definitely Not Forever

Many institutions have their archives stored on CDs โ€” but the discs aren't as stable as once thought. There is no average life span for a CD, says preservationist Michele Youket, "because there is no average disc."
Sarah Tilotta NPR

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 8:27 am

Back in the 1990s, historical societies, museums and symphonies across the country began transferring all kinds of information onto what was thought to be a very durable medium: the compact disc.

Now, preservationists are worried that a lot of key information stored on CDs โ€” from sound recordings to public records โ€” is going to disappear. Some of those little silver discs are degrading, and researchers at the Library of Congress are trying to figure out why.

Read more
Science + Technology
5:15 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Scientists Test The World's Seas On Ocean Sampling Day

Originally published on Sat August 16, 2014 1:55 pm

Copyright 2014 Georgia Public Broadcasting. To see more, visit http://www.gpb.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Read more
Science + Technology
5:14 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Making Scripts And Science Match

Originally published on Sat August 16, 2014 1:55 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Read more
Science + Technology
5:05 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

For City Dwellers, Stargazing Can Make For A Stellar Vacation

Dan Duriscoe works at a special computer-controlled camera used to photograph the night sky at Dantes View in Death Valley National Park in California.
John Locher AP

Originally published on Sat August 16, 2014 5:49 pm

When was the last time you looked at the Milky Way? Or saw the shape of Cassiopeia? If you live in a city, you might not even remember. In the world's most populated areas, air and light pollution obscure the sight of thousands of stars once visible to the naked eye.

Read more
Science + Technology
5:01 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

New Cameras Will Map Florida's Reefs

Originally published on Sun August 17, 2014 11:39 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Read more
Science + Technology
11:54 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Thinking Like A Scientist Can Help Overcome Allure Of Appearances

iStock

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 12:01 pm

Not long ago, Caren Walker, a PhD student at the University of California at Berkeley, was hiking in Tilden Park with her brother Michael when they came upon what looked like wild carrots.

"Yum, yum, yum!" exclaimed Michael (with perhaps greater eloquence, but no less enthusiasm). "These will make a tasty soup!"

Read more
Science + Technology
5:24 am
Sun August 17, 2014

The Machine That Tried To Scan The Brain โ€” In 1882

Angelo Mosso's "human circulation balance" machine worked like a seesaw to measure blood flow changes to the brain.
Sandrone et al., 2014, Brain

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 12:13 pm

Everyone points to the Wright Brothers as the inventors of human flight. But centuries earlier, it was Leonardo da Vinci who imagined human flight, recognizing how birds used concepts like lift and wing shape to glide high above us.

Read more
Science + Technology
7:03 am
Fri August 15, 2014

When Snails Lose Their Way

Vi Hart YouTube

Originally published on Fri August 15, 2014 1:25 pm

Read more
Science + Technology
3:25 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Biologists Choose Sides In Safety Debate Over Lab-Made Pathogens

An outbreak of bird flu in India in 2008 prompted authorities to temporarily ban the sale of poultry.
Diptendu Dutta AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 5:23 pm

A smoldering debate about whether researchers should ever deliberately create superflu strains and other risky germs in the interest of science has flared once again.

Read more
Science + Technology
7:27 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

The Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks Overnight

A Perseid meteor streaks across the sky over the Lovell Radio Telescope in Holmes Chapel, U.K., on Aug. 13, 2013.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 12:53 am

The annual Perseid meteor shower will streak the sky Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning. The best time to watch is between 3 and 4 a.m., for all time zones across the world, NASA says.

"This year, light from a nearly full moon will make the meteors harder to see, but NASA says you can still expect around 30 to 40 per hour," reports NPR's Geoff Brumfiel.

Brumfiel spoke with Rhiannon Blaauw of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office for shower-watching tips:

Read more
Science + Technology
4:58 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

A Good IT Person Needs To Be Half Technologist, Half Psychologist

iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 1:37 pm

Read more
Science + Technology
2:34 pm
Sun August 10, 2014

Look For The Super-Est Moon Of The Summer

The supermoon rises over Beijing on Sunday. The phenomenon, which scientists call a "perigee moon," occurs when the moon is near the horizon and appears larger and brighter than other full moons.
Andy Wong AP

Originally published on Mon August 11, 2014 12:55 am

We've already had one "supermoon" this summer and there's another one due next month, but the one you might see Sunday night has astronomy fans running out of lunar superlatives. National Geographic is calling it an "extra-supermoon."

As NatGeo explains:

Read more

Pages