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

December 2013

December 28, 2013

The Best of Science World

Today we'll feature some of the most interesting conversations we've had on our program's ‘One on One’ segments.   Curiosity Spots Ancient Streambed on Mars - Dawn Sumner from the University of California/Davis the Mars Science Laboratory team. Canadian scientists found that the effect humans have on ecosystems and the food chain has been greatly underestimated.  – Marco Musiani from the University of Calgary A study showed that there's been a ''pause'' in global warming over the past decade. - Alexander Otto, from Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute A heavy bombardment of meteorites delivering an important chemicals may have kick-started life on Earth. - Matthew Pasek, from the University of South Florida


December 21, 2013

Study: Electrical Brain Stimulation Could Some Day Help Improve Human Self-Control

We talk with a member of a research team from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and the University of California, San Diego who successfully demonstrated a technique to improve a form of self-control by using brain stimulation.  It’s hoped that their research might, someday in the future, lead to treating disorders such as ADHD Tourette's syndrome and others. Also on today’s program… Doctors in China were able to keep a man's severed hand alive by attaching it to his leg for a month, before reattaching it to his arm. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says the widespread use of antimicrobial soaps may be contributing to rising rates of drug-resistant bacteria. Bitcoin is virtual money, used outside government-regulated banking systems. This digital currency is creating a lot of interest... and controversy. Smart Phones are growing in popularity in South Africa, only a fraction of the population can afford them.  One South African has plans to change that. This week China reported the death of a woman it says was the first human to become infected with a new strain of bird flu. The WHO says the quick notice about the case shows that China has made improvements in tracking deadly outbreaks. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have come up with a system that allows quadriplegics to control their wheelchairs by using their tongues. A new scientific study confirms that dogs are beneficial not only as pets but also for helping fight allergies.


December 14, 2013

Signs of Water Found in the Atmospheres of Five Exoplanets

Researchers, using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, recently found faint signs of water in the atmospheres of five planets located outside of our solar system.  They were also able to conclusively measure the profile and intensity of each planet’s atmospheric water content as well as compare their findings between the five exoplanets. L. Drake Deming, an astronomy professor at the University of Maryland and formerly with NASA’s Goddard Flight Center, led the census of exoplanet atmospheres that produced these new findings. Professor Deming joins us for today's One on One segment to talk about the research and findings that were made by his team of scientists. Also... Researchers said this past week that they found evidence of what was once an ancient fresh water lake on Mars that might have been capable of supporting life.   Uranium converted from Russian nuclear warheads has provided an estimated 10 percent of U.S. electric power in recent years.  But, the 20-year "Megatons to Megawatts" program has come to an end. The Ziyuan I-03, a satellite jointly developed by Brazil and China failed to enter orbit this past week because the rocket carrying it malfunctioned after launch. Chikungunya, a painful mosquito-borne disease found in Africa and Asia has been found for the first time in the Americas. Scientists using a variety of satellite based devices said this past week that they have found the coldest place on Earth. 


December 07, 2013

LIfe and Legacy of ISON - the "Comet of the Century"

The so called “comet of the century” ISON fizzled out shortly after passing close to the Sun on November 28th.  Some scientists think, however, that some small remnants of the extraterrestrial ice ball may still be around.  We’ll be talking with Dr. Matthew Knight, an astronomer who has been following and studying ISON and he’ll tell us what happened to the comet after its brush with the sun as well as what scientists have been able to learn from it. Also on our program today... Mexican officials found the container of radioactive cobalt 60 that was stolen this past week in Mexico.  Police sealed off the field where the cobalt was found, saying there was no danger to people nearby. A new report from the World Health Organization says as many as 500-thousand people suffer spinal cord injuries every year. Coral sperm in Australia's Great Barrier Reef is being cryogenically frozen to protect some of the animal species from extinction.   Using stem cell technology, scientists have succeeded in creating functional lung cells. Scientists in Australia are listening to their local FM stations with a sensitive space telescope… not to listen to the latest pop tunes, but to locate potentially dangerous space junk. China launched its first robotic expedition to the moon's surface; the lunar probe contains the Jade Rabbit, a buggy that will travel over the lunar surface. And, a new device that’s being developed aims to make diagnosing AIDS easier, less expensive and more accessible for people in developing countries.

December 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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Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
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