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Join host Rick Pantaleo to examine global issues in science, technology, health, agriculture, and the environment on Science World.

November 2013

November 30, 2013

Rice Graduate Students Help Develop iPod App that Tests for Drug Toxicity

A group of graduate students from Rice University in Houston, Texas have developed a new Apple Ipod application that could make the development of needed drug therapies faster and cheaper.  A member of the group joins us on today's One on One Segment to tell us more about their work as well as the resulting app. Also... As the world marks World AIDS Day on Sunday December 1st, a new UN report is providing some hope in the battle against this deadly disease. Did the “comet of the century” ISON fizzle out after its close brush with the Sun or did it survive to continue its journey back into the far reaches of our solar system? We'll hear how a unique network of thousands of volunteers and personal computers from around the world has helped scientists discover four new gamma-ray pulsars. South Korean officials say that North Korea has trained a cyber-army to carry out cyber-attacks and its soldiers are receiving support in China. U.S. scientists are conducting a study that they hope will increase the number of donor lungs available to patients needing transplants.   Fire experts say most of the so-called megafires that have caused so much damage in various countries stem from a combination of climate change, land use and human mismanagement that is turning landscapes into tinderboxes.


November 23, 2013

The Best of Science World

On this program we feature four of our One on One interview segments from past Science World programs. Health experts having been warning us for years about the health risks of living a sedentary lifestyle and now researchers in Australia and here in the United States have examined the associations of sitting time and chronic diseases and found that the more you sit the greater your risk of developing potentially deadly conditions and diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.  Richard Rosenkranz a researcher and assistant professor of human nutrition at Kansas State University a member of the investigative team told us what he and his colleagues learned from their research and what we need to do to keep ourselves healthy. A team of researchers successfully drilled through about 800 meters of Antarctic ice and retrieved clean whole samples of the waters and sediments from the fresh water subglacial Lake Whillans.  The researchers then ran some tests and found what they were looking for, microbial life.  John Priscu one of the leaders of the Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling project said that underneath Antarctica's ice sheet lies a large wetland ecosystem with an active microbiology. Dr. Priscu told us about the project and its findings. Astronomers say that the giant Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) located in the Chilean Andes will allow them a greater ability to peer even farther into the depths of the universe than ever thought possible.   Dr. Alison Peck, ALMA Deputy Project Scientist told us about the radio telescope, what it offers scientists that previous technology didn't and what they hope they'll find with the vast radio telescope array. Have you ever heard of a phenomenon called Dark Lightning?  No, I'm not making it up and it's not science fiction.   Professor Joseph Dwyer and his colleagues from the Florida Institute of Technology have been researching dark lightning and have developed what they describe as a promising physics-based model of exactly how thunderstorms manage to produce high-energy radiation.  Professor Dwyer told us about Dark Lightning and what he and his team have learned about this strange phenomenon.


November 16, 2013

The Sun is About to Flip It's (Magnetic) Poles

Scientists who study the sun say that a major solar event is about to take place.  They're saying that the sun's magnetic field is about to reverse or flip its polarity.  A solar physicist at California's Stanford University says not to worry though... we'll be ok.  He joins us on today's One on One Segment to tell us more about this solar event. Also… In the aftermath of the typhoon that recently caused so much death and destruction in the Philippines some are wondering if man-made climate change can be blamed. A new study has revealed that a dog's tail wag can actually communicate much more than that. US health officials this week recommended that more Americans should be taking cholesterol lowering drugs called statins in order to help prevent heart attacks and strokes. Vietnam wants a vibrant digital economy but most of the computer software used there is pirated, with users experiencing an epidemic of malware attacks. What to do about a smelly invasive bug appropriately called the Stink Bug as continues to spread across the United States, alarming both farmers and scientists.


November 09, 2013

Mammals Shrank in Size During Two Extreme Climate Events

Researchers announced this past week that mammals got smaller in size during two extreme climatic events that occurred some 50 million years ago.  We'll talk with the leader of the study that outlines these findings. Also… India's space program made a major leap this past week when it launched an unmanned probe to Mars… The World Meteorological Organization said this week that the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a record high in 2012. Researchers in California are putting together an international database of brain images from hundreds of chronic pain patients. A US and a Swiss group have published a new report of the world's worst polluted places and the factors that led to them. 


November 02, 2013

Scientists Find Another Clue in Unlocking Secrets of the Brain

Researchers in North Carolina this week announced that they found brain cells that most thought only served as a kind of wiring system... but they do a lot more than that by actually boosting the brain's computing power. And… On November 5th, India will head to Mars when it launches an unmanned spacecraft that should reach the Red Planet by next September. A study released this past week has identified a weather pattern in the atmosphere that may help meteorologists better predict the onset of dangerous and deadly heat waves. Scientists, studying pirouetting ballet dancers found that the dancers had differences in their brain structure. The findings could lead to the development of dance therapy for patients suffering from chronic dizziness. A town in Norway has come up with a unique way to keep the sun shining on their town throughout the long dark winter. Scientists who are excavating California’s La Brea Tar Pits are now examining some of these fossils for clues about climate change.

November 2013

Science World is VOA’s on-air and online blog covering science, health, technology and the environment.

Rick PantaleoHosted by Rick Pantaleo, Science World‘s informative, entertaining and easy-to-understand presentation offers the latest news, features and one-on-one interviews with researchers, scientists, innovators and other newsmakers.


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Science World begins after the newscast on Friday at 2200, Saturday at 0300, 1100 and 1900 and Sunday at 0100, 0400, 0900, 1100 and 1200. The program may also be heard on some VOA affiliates after the news on Saturday at 0900 and 1100. (All times UTC).
 

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