Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 5:30 pm
Workers at Japan's Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power station successfully completed the first day of a delicate operation to remove radioactive fuel rods from a reactor damaged in the March 2011 tsunami.
The fuel rods were removed from the Unit 4 reactor, which was offline at the time the tsunami smashed into the plant, overwhelming its backup systems. Although Unit 4 was spared the fate of three other reactors that melted down, a fire in its containment building weakened the structure.
Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 4:38 pm
NASA's MAVEN explorer blasted off Monday on the first leg of its 440-million-mile journey to Mars, where scientists hope it will answer an ancient question: why the red planet went from warm and wet to cold and dry in a matter of just a billion years.
The robot orbiter, called the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution probe, launched aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 1:28 p.m. EST. It will take 10 months to reach Mars.
Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 8:35 am
Imagine a tiny computer embedded under your scalp that's constantly tracking your brain activity and zapping you when it senses something awry.
That might sound like science fiction, but a medical device that does that was just approved by the Food and Drug Administration as an option for people with epilepsy that's resistant to treatment with drugs.
OK. So, let's say you're at work. Someone comes up while you're doing something else and says, hey, did you get that e-mail I sent you yet? And you have no idea what they're talking about, so you spin around and say, huh? But what if you were in Spain?
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Eh?
GONYEA: Or Ghana?
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Ah?
GONYEA: Or Laos?
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #3: Heh?
GONYEA: Turns out, anywhere really, there's some form of the word huh?
One thousand calories, vitamins and minerals, 13 grams of fat every day. Those are the specific ingredients needed to avoid stunting a child's growth physically and mentally in the 1,000 days after conception. New research from the International Food Policy Research Institute looks at the economic rationale for investing in those first few years.
And senior researcher, John Hoddinott, explains some of the consequences for undernourished children in the world's poorest countries.
The Environmental Protection Agency today proposed to scale back the amount of renewable fuels in our nation's gasoline supply, biofuels like ethanol made from corn. The EPA is responding, in part, to oil companies that say they're already taking as much ethanol as they can. They say any more and it will hurt quality. But there's another reason for the EPA's action. As NPR's Elizabeth Shogren reports, cheap biofuels haven't been developed as quickly as hoped.
Now up, it's time for another episode of our App Chat series, where we review the latest apps and talk about new ways to use your smartphone. And today, we're going to talk about mobile payments. Ever gone out to eat with your friends and when the bill arrives, you realize it's cash only and, oh, you have no cash. What are you going to do?
In Falling Upwards, writer Richard Holmes tells the story of early balloon flight--and of the nervy scientists who risked life and limb to take their experiments into the air. Among their discoveries? Insect migration and the stratosphere. Falling Upwards chronicles the balloonists who took science into the stratosphere.
One in every five sunlike stars in the Milky Way may have an Earth-sized planet circling it in the Goldilocks zone--the sweet spot where liquid water could exist. That's according to a new analysis of data from the Kepler spacecraft. Sara Seager, an exoplanet hunter at MIT, talks about what's next in the hunt for Earth 2.0.
Did you know that most mammals, from a house cat to an elephant, take roughly the same amount of time to urinate? Researchers at Georgia Tech collected data from real-life and online video streams, and discovered that a combination of physiology and gravity enable this feat of fluid dynamics.