Joe Palca http://wgcu.org en To Make A Spacecraft That Folds And Unfolds, Try Origami http://wgcu.org/post/make-spacecraft-folds-and-unfolds-try-origami Scientists and engineers at NASA are using <a href="http://www.origami-resource-center.com/">origami techniques</a> to help solve a fundamental dilemma facing spacecraft designers: How do you take a big object, pack it into a small container for rocket launch, and then unpack it again once it arrives in space — making sure nothing breaks in the process.<p>Brian Trease, an engineer at NASA's <a href="http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/">Jet Propulsion Laboratory</a>, says one way is to use something called the <a href="http://www.ijpam.eu/contents/2012-79-2/8/8.pdf">Miura fold</a>, named for its inventor, Thu, 17 Jul 2014 20:27:00 +0000 Joe Palca 12478 at http://wgcu.org A CRISPR Way To Fix Faulty Genes http://wgcu.org/post/crispr-way-fix-faulty-genes Scientists from many areas of biology are flocking to a technique that allows them to work inside cells, making changes in specific genes far faster — and for far less money — than ever before.<p>"It's really powerful, it's a really exciting development," says <a href="http://profiles.umassmed.edu/profiles/display/129741">Craig Mello</a> of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Thu, 26 Jun 2014 20:20:00 +0000 Joe Palca 11791 at http://wgcu.org A CRISPR Way To Fix Faulty Genes Phone App Might Predict Manic Episodes In Bipolar Disorder http://wgcu.org/post/phone-app-might-predict-manic-episodes-bipolar-disorder There are smartphone apps for monitoring your diet, your drugs, even your heart. Sat, 31 May 2014 09:22:00 +0000 Joe Palca 10882 at http://wgcu.org Phone App Might Predict Manic Episodes In Bipolar Disorder The First American Teenager, Millennia-Old And Underwater http://wgcu.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 10460 at http://wgcu.org Faith Drives A Father To Create A Test For Childhood Cancer http://wgcu.org/post/faith-drives-father-create-test-childhood-cancer When Bryan and Elizabeth Shaw learned that their son Noah had a potentially deadly eye cancer, like a lot of people, they turned to their religious faith to help sustain them. But faith is also impelling Bryan Shaw to create software to detect eye cancer in children as soon after birth as possible.<p>The Shaws are Christians, and their faith is extremely important to them. When they were at their bleakest, "Bryan would pull out the Psalms and say, 'This is how King David suffered in the Psalms, and we're going through this," says Elizabeth. Wed, 07 May 2014 07:33:00 +0000 Joe Palca 10073 at http://wgcu.org Faith Drives A Father To Create A Test For Childhood Cancer Chemist Turns Software Developer After Son's Cancer Diagnosis http://wgcu.org/post/chemist-turns-software-developer-after-sons-cancer-diagnosis A scientist's ambitious plan to create an early detection system for eye cancer using people's home cameras is coming along.<p>Last fall, we told you about Bryan Shaw's <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/11/05/243189819/how-pictures-of-infant-boys-eyes-helped-diagnose-cancer">scheme</a>. He believes parents' cameras can reveal whether their baby has <a href="http://www.aapos.org/terms/conditions/67">leukocoria</a>, a white glow coming from the pupil when you shine a light in their eyes. Tue, 06 May 2014 07:37:00 +0000 Joe Palca 10035 at http://wgcu.org Chemist Turns Software Developer After Son's Cancer Diagnosis To Clean Drinking Water, All You Need Is A Stick http://wgcu.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 7956 at http://wgcu.org To Clean Drinking Water, All You Need Is A Stick Inexpensive Aquarium Bubbler Saves Preemies' Lives http://wgcu.org/post/inexpensive-aquarium-bubbler-saves-preemies-lives <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0rGMRdZiOY</p> Mon, 03 Feb 2014 19:33:00 +0000 Joe Palca 6981 at http://wgcu.org Inexpensive Aquarium Bubbler Saves Preemies' Lives Saving Babies' Lives Starts With Aquarium Pumps And Ingenuity http://wgcu.org/post/saving-babies-lives-starts-aquarium-pumps-and-ingenuity <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0rGMRdZiOY</p> Sat, 04 Jan 2014 13:19:00 +0000 Joe Palca 6037 at http://wgcu.org Saving Babies' Lives Starts With Aquarium Pumps And Ingenuity 'The Coolest Thing Ever': How A Robotic Arm Changed 4 Lives http://wgcu.org/post/coolest-thing-ever-how-robotic-arm-changed-4-lives <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1jbEvhFzQM</p> Thu, 28 Nov 2013 08:05:00 +0000 Joe Palca 4963 at http://wgcu.org 'The Coolest Thing Ever': How A Robotic Arm Changed 4 Lives How Pictures Of Infant Boy's Eyes Helped Diagnose Cancer http://wgcu.org/post/how-pictures-infant-boys-eyes-helped-diagnose-cancer Bryan Shaw never expected to write a research paper about a rare eye cancer.<p>He's a <a href="http://www.baylor.edu/chemistry/index.php?id=75907">chemist</a> who works on how <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24066782">metals and proteins interact</a>. But life has a funny way of interrupting the best-laid plans, and now Shaw may be on to a powerful new way to detect <a href="http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/retinoblastoma/blastoma.asp">retinoblastoma</a> in newborns. Wed, 06 Nov 2013 15:48:00 +0000 Joe Palca 4256 at http://wgcu.org How Pictures Of Infant Boy's Eyes Helped Diagnose Cancer Jupiter Or Bust, But First A Quick Fly-By Of Home http://wgcu.org/post/jupiter-or-bust-first-quick-fly-home After traveling for more than two years and some 1 billion miles, NASA's Juno mission to Jupiter is back where it started. Almost. At 3:21 p.m. ET Wednesday, the Juno space probe will be 347 miles away from Earth, just above the southern tip of Africa.<p>(As an aside, at around 11:30 a.m. ET, it was more than 90,000 miles away.)<p>It's not that Juno got homesick — the return to Earth was a necessity. To send it on a direct path to Jupiter would have required a more powerful rocket than the United Launch Alliance Atlas V-551. Wed, 09 Oct 2013 17:30:00 +0000 Joe Palca 3340 at http://wgcu.org Jupiter Or Bust, But First A Quick Fly-By Of Home Treating Kids' Cancer With Science And A Pocket Full Of Hope http://wgcu.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 2454 at http://wgcu.org Treating Kids' Cancer With Science And A Pocket Full Of Hope Why Painting Tumors Could Make Brain Surgeons Better http://wgcu.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 2412 at http://wgcu.org Why Painting Tumors Could Make Brain Surgeons Better The Inside Story On The Fear Of Holes http://wgcu.org/post/inside-story-fear-holes Trypophobia may be moving out of the urban dictionary and into the <a href="http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/08/23/0956797613484937.abstract">scientific literature</a>.<p>A recent study in the peer-review journal <em>Psychological Science</em> takes a first crack at explaining why some people may suffer from a fear of holes.<p>Trypophobia may be hard to find in textbooks and diagnostic manuals, but a brief Web search will show that plenty of people appear to have it.<p>There's even a website, <a href="http://trypophobia.com/">trypophobia.com</a>, that explains the problem like this:<p Wed, 04 Sep 2013 19:45:00 +0000 Joe Palca 2168 at http://wgcu.org The Inside Story On The Fear Of Holes A Year On Mars: What's Curiosity Been Up To? http://wgcu.org/post/year-mars-whats-curiosity-been 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.<p>Within minutes, the rover began sending pictures back to Earth. Mon, 05 Aug 2013 07:22:00 +0000 Joe Palca 1125 at http://wgcu.org A Year On Mars: What's Curiosity Been Up To? All Charged Up: Engineers Create A Battery Made Of Wood http://wgcu.org/post/all-charged-engineers-create-battery-made-wood The big idea behind <a href="http://www.npr.org/series/156490415/joes-big-idea">Joe's Big Idea</a> is to report on interesting inventions and inventors. Wed, 17 Jul 2013 07:01:00 +0000 Joe Palca 441 at http://wgcu.org All Charged Up: Engineers Create A Battery Made Of Wood