Science

3:28pm

Mon August 5, 2013
Space

No Tax Dollars Went To Make This Space Viking Photo

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 4:02 pm

The Vikings Have Landed: Photographer Ved Chirayath staged this photograph in Palo Alto Foothills Park in California last December.
Courtesy of Ved Chirayath

Scrutinizing the books of government agencies can turn up lavish parties or illicit trips at the taxpayers' expense. But not every investigation turns out that way. And when they don't, the hunt for waste can appear to be a waste itself.

Such appears to be the case with a recent inquiry involving NASA and Viking re-enactors. This whole saga began with an idea from Ved Chirayath, an aeronautics graduate student at Stanford University who loves photography. He was talking over what to shoot one day with a colleague, and thought of Vikings.

Read more

10:16am

Mon August 5, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

How To Fall Forever Into The Night Sky

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 6:31 pm

The Milky Way dominates the sky over Chile's Atacama Desert, home to the European Southern Observatory.
John Colosimo ESO

It's your neck that's the problem. Your neck is lying to you.

All your life you've had to look up at the stars. You walk along on a summer's evening and they're always there, those stars, those bright mysterious points of light, waiting for you to notice, waiting for you to understand what they are saying about time and space and your own place in it all.

Read more

3:22am

Mon August 5, 2013
Space

A Year On Mars: What's Curiosity Been Up To?

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 10:55 am

This self-portrait of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity combines dozens of exposures taken by the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager during the 177th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars, plus three exposures taken during Sol 270 to update the appearance of part of the ground beside the rover.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Imagine winning the World Series, the lottery and a Nobel Prize all in one day. That's pretty much how scientists and engineers in mission control at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., felt one year ago when the 1 ton, six-wheeled rover named Curiosity landed safely on Mars.

Within minutes, the rover began sending pictures back to Earth. In the past year it has sent back a mountain of data and pictures that scientists are sorting through, trying to get a better understanding of the early climate on Mars.

Read more

1:16pm

Sun August 4, 2013
The Two-Way

Talking Robot Astronaut Heads To International Space Station

Kirobo, a small talking humanoid robot, is unveiled by a team of Japanese researchers in Tokyo on June 26.
Kyodo /Landov

HAL 9000 he's not. But Kirobo, the first-ever talking robot in space is heading to the International Space Station this week ahead of his human companion, Japanese astronaut Kochi Wakata, who takes over as ISS commander in November.

Read more

7:03am

Sun August 4, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

So, You Think You Can Dance?

iStockphoto.com

4:30pm

Sat August 3, 2013
Research News

Worms' Bright Blue Death Could Shed Light On Human Aging

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 7:50 pm

A nematode worm glows as it nears death in this screenshot from a YouTube video showing the work of researchers in London.
Wellcome Trust YouTube

Last year, researchers at University College London's Institute of Healthy Ageing were looking through their microscopes when they saw something amazing.

Read more

7:27am

Sat August 3, 2013
Remembrances

Wildlife Sound Archivist Remembered

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 1:46 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Twenty years ago today, Ted Parker, one of the world's great ornithologists and sound recordists died in a plane crash in Equator. He was only 40. Parker contributed nearly 11,000 wildlife recordings to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Macaulay library.

He could identify some 4,000 different bird species by sound alone. In this audio montage, the lab's director, John Fitzpatrick offers a remembrance.

JOHN FITZPATRICK: I've rarely met anybody as passionate about his love of nature and of birds than Ted Parker.

Read more

1:04pm

Fri August 2, 2013
Health

Reexamining the Definition of Cancer

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Welcome back. I'm Ira Flatow.

Read more

10:55am

Fri August 2, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

Why Dentists Should Fear Snails

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 4:30 pm

Robert Krulwich NPR

She was 34, on a trip to Europe, got sick from a flu or maybe it was a virus, had to lie down and stay in bed — for months and months. A friend brought her a snail. You might enjoy its company, she was told.

"Why, I wondered, would I enjoy a snail?," Elisabeth Tova Bailey asks in her book The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating. "What on earth would I do with it?"

Read more

3:17am

Fri August 2, 2013
Environment

Our Once And Future Oceans: Taking Lessons From Earth's Past

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 12:48 pm

Changes to the acidity of the Earth's ancient oceans affected the coral reefs more than 50 million years ago. And researchers are using that information to try to predict how the planet might fare in our rapidly changing climate. Above, the Wheeler Reef section of the Great Barrier Reef.
Auscape UIG via Getty Images

One of the most powerful ways to figure out how the Earth will respond to all the carbon dioxide we're putting into the atmosphere is to look back into the planet's history.

Paleontologists have spent a lot of time trying to understand a time, more than 50 million years ago, when the planet was much hotter than it is today. They're finding that the news isn't all bad when you take the long view.

Read more

Pages