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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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Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
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Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
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Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
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Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
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Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
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Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
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Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
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Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
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Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
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Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
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Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
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Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
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Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
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Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

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