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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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Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
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Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
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Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
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Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
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Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
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Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
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Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
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Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
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Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
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Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
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Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
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Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
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Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
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Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
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Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
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Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

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