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

June 2014

June 28, 2014

Researchers Find New Evidence of Oceans of Water Deep Inside Earth

A Geophysicist and a seismologist recently found new evidence that deep beneath the surface of our planet lies what could very well be the largest reservoir of water on Earth.  We'll talk with one of the researchers to learn more about their studies and the evidence for their finding. And… The solar energy market is growing rapidly so scientists are looking for more inexpensive and environmentally friendly ways of harnessing the sun's power. NASA's Mars rover Curiosity recently sent a selfie it had taken of itself back to Earth to celebrate its first Mars Year on the Red Planet.  A Martian year is equal to 687 Earth Days. Security experts say those who defend computer systems first need to be able to hack them to understand their weaknesses.  So, tech-savvy kids in San Diego are learning to hack computers. We've talked about the growing problem of the growing amount of space debris a number of times on our program. Now, the European Space Agency is planning to do its part to solve this potentially dangerous problem. A new study says that people, who are low in Vitamin D, appear to be at higher risk for developing high blood pressure/hypertension, which is a risk factor for heart disease and diabetes.   This past week, the UN’s World Meteorological Organization released its El Niño prediction and says that the world can expect hotter, dryer and wetter weather toward the end of the year. These stories and more are coming up for you on VOA's science, health and technology magazine, "Science World."


June 21, 2014

Weather Forecasters are Prediciting Another El Nino to Develop Soon

Just a few weeks ago the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center said that there's a 70% chance of the climate phenomenon known as El Niño would be developing during the Northern Hemisphere sometime this summer but an 80% chance of it during this coming fall and winter. An El Niño develops as the result of warming waters in the equatorial Pacific but often impacts weather systems around the world.  El Niño’s have been blamed for droughts, floods, famine and even wars. Today on our One on One segment we’ll learn about El Nino, the impact it could have on global weather, as well as what we might expect if an El Nino develops as predicted. And... A couple of clever inventors have come up with a new microscope that’s made of paper and only costs $1.  But despite its unconventional construction and inexpensive price, the microscope called the Foldscope is pretty powerful and can magnify samples by 2,000 times. U.S. President Barack Obama announced, this past Tuesday, a new initiative that calls for the creation of the world's largest marine preserve by expanding a remote region of the Pacific Ocean where drilling, fishing and other commercial activities are prohibited. Researchers have discovered that mutations to a particular gene can dramatically lower the risk for heart attack.  So, scientists are now trying to develop drugs that target the gene in the hopes of bringing down the high rate of heart disease.   One of the most wide-spread conspiracy theories of recent years has concerned a radio-frequency facility in a remote part of Alaska, started by the military in 1993 and known by its acronym HAARP.  Critics allege the government was trying to control the weather or even people's minds.  But now scientists who worked at the facility are saying that those fears are unfounded and are fighting to keep the program alive.


June 14, 2014

Mt. Tambora: The Eruption that Changed the World

On our One on One Segment we talk with the author of a new book about the 1815 eruption of Indonesia’s Mt. Tambora, one of most explosive volcanic eruptions of the last several thousand years. Also… Scientists think that one of the best ways to help rid the world of malaria is to get rid of most of the female mosquitoes.  So they’ve come up with a way to produce mostly male mosquito offspring. We’ll hear about a Washington, DC area community science club that is providing a special place for people, especially kids, to work on science projects and hobbies. German researchers have developed a new 3-D X-ray machine that can look inside living insects for a detailed picture of how they move - as they move. A new study shows that the human face evolved so that it could take a punch.  The authors of the paper said it suggests a pugilistic past where violence was key to our evolution. Engineers have long taken taking cues from nature in designing new and innovative products.  We’ll find out what lessons scientists have learned from the sticky tongues of frogs.  


June 07, 2014

Getting A Good Night's Sleep is Important - Five Steps to Quality Sleep

We'll learn more about how important getting a good night's sleep is to our health and well-being from Mark Underwood, a neuroscience researcher.  He'll also share some tips on ways we can improve our own sleep quality. And... A team of scientists announced this past week that they discovered two new planets orbiting a star that is nearly as old as the universe. Farmers are relying on a lot more on technology and various agri-business services to reduce costs and improve yields and profits. We look at one of those services. We have a report about how the human/robot connection was apparent at this year's International Conference of Robotics and Automation in Hong Kong. Mt. Vesuvius blew its top back in 79 AD and totally destroyed the ancient Roman city of Pompeii. Now the California Science Center, in Los Angeles, is presenting the history, and the science, behind the tragedy. A new study shows the microbes that help us digest our food can be damaged by malnutrition and that the damage can continue long after being treated. The Obama administration recently prposed stronger regulations to limit climate-changing emissions from U.S. power plants.   These stories and more are coming up for you VOA's science, health and technology magazine, "Science World."

June 2014

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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US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Wini
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July 28, 2015 12:21 AM
The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
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Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
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Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
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Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
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Video Obama Encourages Kenya to Fix Cultures of Corruption, Discrimination

President Barack Obama bid farewell to Kenya Sunday with a major speech at as stadium outside the capital Nairobi where he called on Kenyans to change the cultures of corruption and discrimination that can hold society back. VOA East Africa Correspondent Gabe Joselow has the story.
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Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
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Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
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Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
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Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
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Video California Towns Welcome Special Olympics Athletes

Cities and towns in Southern California are greeting thousands of athletes who are arriving for Special Olympics, a competition for people with intellectual disabilities. The games will run from July 25th through August 2nd. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, where athletes from Namibia, Singapore and Tanzania got a rousing welcome from local residents.
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Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
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Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
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Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.
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Video Hoverbike Flying Toward Reality

Another long-standing dream of many technological inventors is quickly approaching reality: U.S.- and British-based firms are cooperating in the development of an individual flying platform they call a hoverbike. They say it may revolutionize the concept of flying, including in the U.S. military. VOA’s George Putic reports.
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Video As Japan Expands Defense Role, Protests Follow

The Japanese government is moving forward with a controversial security bill that would authorize the military to fight abroad for the first time since World War II. Leaders say it is critical to defend against rising threats from China and North Korea. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Japan on the big changes ahead, and the opposition they are drawing.
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Video Replacing Poppies with Coffee in Myanmar

The remote mountains of Myanmar’s Shan state are home to the second-largest opium-producing region in the world. After a drop during the 2000s, production surged in the past eight years to feed an increasing demand for heroin in China. But farmers are now making less on the crop, and the U.N. is hoping many will make the switch to growing coffee. Daniel de Carteret reports for VOA from Taunggyi.

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