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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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Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
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George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
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Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
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Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
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Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
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Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
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Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
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Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
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Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
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Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
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Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
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Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
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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 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 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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