Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 11:41 am
By Adam Frank
Tourists are dwarfed by the <a href="http://www.vla.nrao.edu/">Very Large Array</a> in 2005. The facility, on the Plains of San Agustin, 50 miles west of Socorro, N.M., has been closed as a result of the government shutdown. The VLA consists of 27 radio antennas linked together to simulate the capabilities of a single dish 17 miles in diameter.
Credit Robyn Beck / AFP/Getty Images
On Saturday night I saw Gravity, the new semi-realistic space survival flick. I thought: an astrophysicist's view of this film would certainly be worth a 13.7 post. But I've left that thought behind for an email I had received the day before:
The prize was given "for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider."
It looks like even Antarctica isn't far away enough to avoid getting caught up in the government shutdown.
That's because it's currently springtime there, and scientists who study this remote, rugged continent are poised to take advantage of the few months when there's enough daylight and it's warm enough to work. Advance teams have already started working to get things set up and ready for the researchers, who usually begin heading south right about now.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel.
Three scientists will win this year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their role in figuring out how cells talk to one another. They do that by releasing and soaking up molecules. This basic knowledge also helps explain diseases, from mental illness to immune disorders.
You'll know you've gotten somewhere on the long and winding road to veganism when the greenery you see along the way starts to look seductively delicious.
I blame it on the collard greens. While we're pointing fingers, I blame it on a recipe for black-eyed pea collard rolls. Don't get me wrong, the rolls were delicious. But the recipe led to the purchase of a small tub's worth of collard greens, initiating a week of giant leaves: steamed, sliced, diced, wrapped, and rolled. It was towards the end of that week that I spotted the Darmera peltata growing on the side of the road.
M-Block cube robots rest on a work table in the Distributed Robotics Lab in CSAIL at MIT in Cambridge, Mass. The robots are 50mm cubes that can reconfigure themselves into various arrangements using self-propulsion and magnets.
Credit M. Scott Brauer / MIT
They're called M-Blocks and the tiny, cubical robots that can spin, flip and jump their way into new configurations are the brainchild of scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 12:01 pm
From left: Randy Schekman, Thomas Suedhof and James Rothman shared the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
Credit Reuters /Landov
The three scientists who shared this year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine all made discoveries that illuminate how the body's cells communicate.
The research has sweeping implications for our understanding of how nerves in the brain transmit signals, how the immune system attacks pathogens and how hormones, like insulin, get into the bloodstream.
Bioengineers have already harnessed the discoveries to manufacture new vaccines and improve the quality of insulin for diabetics.
Two Americans, James Rothman and Randy Schekman, and German-born researcher Thomas Südhof have won the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for "solving the mystery of how the cell organizes its transport system," according to the Nobel committee.
OK. This year's Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine will go to three scientists who have figured out how cells package up material - like hormones - and how they deliver those materials to other cells. This is one of the most basic functions for living cells and diseases can result when the machinery goes awry, so it's important to understand.
The vast majority of professional scientists, mathematicians and engineers are men. But why? More young women than ever are pursuing advanced degrees, but there are still very few female professors of physics, math or engineering. We caught up with some young women at UCLA, all good students who had scored well enough in math to get into UCLA, and asked them why they decided not to study science or math in college.