Joe Palca http://wkms.org en Rosetta Spacecraft Readies For Rendezvous With Comet http://wkms.org/post/rosetta-spacecraft-readies-rendezvous-comet Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>Next month, the European Space Agency's Rosetta space probe will catch up with a comet, which it has been chasing across the solar system for a decade. Once there, the Rosetta probe will take pictures, make measurements and drop a probe down to the comet's surface. Last January, NPR science correspondent Joe Palca reported that for more than two years the spacecraft had shut off most of its instruments, including the radio for communicating with Earth, in order to save energy. Tue, 22 Jul 2014 08:45:00 +0000 Joe Palca 42274 at http://wkms.org Why Theories On Black Holes Are Full Of Holes http://wkms.org/post/theories-black-holes-are-full-holes Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>Scientists announced, earlier this week, they had discovered three supermassive black holes orbiting close together in a single galaxy. That indicates that black holes are more common than astronomers previously thought. And it's a good reason to revisit a report from Joe Palca on black holes. In this encore segment, he reports that the theories about these super powerful bodies are still, well, full of holes.<p>JOE PALCA, BYLINE: Astronomers know a few things about black holes. On the other hand, Ensign Chekov and Mr. Tue, 01 Jul 2014 10:30:00 +0000 Joe Palca 41715 at http://wkms.org If They Want To Make Anything, Proteins Must Know How To Fold http://wkms.org/post/if-they-want-make-anything-proteins-must-know-how-fold Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>Events unfold. Plots unfold. And this summer, NPR science correspondent Joe Palca has been telling us how science unfolds. It's series we're creatively calling Unfolding Science.<p>(SOUNDBITE OF THEME SONG)<p>BLOCK: Today, Joe tells us about large biological molecules called proteins that have to fold and unfold properly to keep us alive.<p>JOE PALCA, BYLINE: When we talk about food, protein is a kind of nutrient you get in meat, fish or foul. Fri, 27 Jun 2014 20:20:00 +0000 Joe Palca 41638 at http://wkms.org The First American Teenager, Millennia-Old And Underwater http://wkms.org/post/first-american-teenager-millennia-old-and-underwater Transcript <p>TESS VIGELAND, HOST: <p>From the studios of NPR West in Culver City, California it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'M Tess Vigeland. Let us contemplate the American teenage girl, perhaps the very first one. Apparently, there's been some scientific debate about who she is and whether she hails from the same gene sequence as what we think of as the first Americans, American Indians. And when I say gene sequence, we're not talking about Skinnies from Urban Outfitters. Sun, 18 May 2014 21:00:00 +0000 Joe Palca 40640 at http://wkms.org The Scientist Who Makes Stars On Earth http://wkms.org/post/scientist-who-makes-stars-earth Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>On the outskirts of Albuquerque, New Mexico, scientists are doing something astonishing. They're creating a white dwarf star - not a whole star but enough of one to study in minute detail. Thu, 06 Mar 2014 21:16:00 +0000 Joe Palca 39100 at http://wkms.org To Clean Drinking Water, All You Need Is A Stick http://wkms.org/post/clean-drinking-water-all-you-need-stick Removing all the dangerous bacteria from drinking water would have enormous health benefits for people around the world.<p>The technologies exist for doing that, but there's a problem: cost.<p>Now a scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology thinks he's on to a much less expensive way to clean up water.<p>MIT's <a href="http://meche.mit.edu/people/?id=279">Rohit Karnik</a> is a mechanical engineer who works on water technologies. He says it's relatively easy to make membranes that can filter the bacteria out of water. Wed, 05 Mar 2014 21:35:00 +0000 Joe Palca 39071 at http://wkms.org To Clean Drinking Water, All You Need Is A Stick Scientists Come Close To Finding True Magnetic Monopole http://wkms.org/post/scientists-come-close-finding-true-magnetic-monopole Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>Scientists may have filled in a gap in one the fundamental theories of physics. We've always been told that magnets have two poles, north and south. But theory suggests there should be something called a magnetic monopole, a magnet that has either a north pole or a south pole but not both of them. So far no one has found this elusive magnetic monopole.<p>As part of his project, Joe's Big Idea, NPR's Joe Palca brings us the story of scientists at Amherst College in Massachusetts. They have created a synthetic magnetic monopole. Fri, 31 Jan 2014 10:04:00 +0000 Joe Palca 38402 at http://wkms.org Treating Kids' Cancer With Science And A Pocket Full Of Hope http://wkms.org/post/treating-kids-cancer-science-and-pocket-full-hope Try to imagine someone who is supremely calm while at the same time bursting with energy, and you've got a pretty good idea of what <a href="https://www.fhcrc.org/en/diseases/featured-researchers/olson-jim.html">Jim Olson</a> is like.<p>He's a cancer researcher, physician, cyclist, kayaker and cook, not always in that order. Fri, 13 Sep 2013 07:03:00 +0000 Joe Palca 34841 at http://wkms.org Treating Kids' Cancer With Science And A Pocket Full Of Hope Why Painting Tumors Could Make Brain Surgeons Better http://wkms.org/post/why-painting-tumors-could-make-brain-surgeons-bette Perhaps one of the most uncomfortable things a doctor has to tell patients is that their medical problems are iatrogenic. What that means is they were caused by a doctor in the course of the treatment.<p>Sometime these iatrogenic injuries are accidental. But sometimes, because of the limits of medical technology, they can be inevitable. Thu, 12 Sep 2013 07:45:00 +0000 Joe Palca 34809 at http://wkms.org Why Painting Tumors Could Make Brain Surgeons Better Coronal Holes: The (Rarely Round) Gaps In The Sun's Atmosphere http://wkms.org/post/coronal-holes-rarely-round-gaps-suns-atmosphere There's a hole in the sun's corona. But don't worry — that happens from time to time.<p>"A coronal hole is just a big, dark blotch that we see on the sun in our images," says <a href="http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/mission/team/team_pesnell.php">Dean Pesnell</a>, project scientist for NASA's <a href="http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/mission/team/team_pesnell.php">Solar Dynamics Observatory</a>. "We can only see them from space, because when we look at them [through] a regular telescope, they don't appear."<p>That's because you have to look at wavelengths of light that the human eye can't see. Thu, 05 Sep 2013 19:38:00 +0000 Joe Palca 34630 at http://wkms.org Coronal Holes: The (Rarely Round) Gaps In The Sun's Atmosphere