Sunday, July 27, 2014

Big Picture Science for 07/28/14 - Replace What Ails You

Image for Big Picture Science weekly radio show
Big Picture Science - Replace What Ails You

Germs can make us sick, but we didn’t know about these puny pathogens prior to the end of the 19th century. Just the suggestion that a tiny bug could spread disease made eyes roll. Then came germ theory, sterilization, and antibiotics. It was a revolution in medicine. Now we’re on the cusp of another one. This time we may cure what ails us by replacing what ails us.

Bioengineers use advancements in stem cell therapy to grow red and white cells for human blood. Meanwhile, a breakthrough in 3D printing: scientists print blood vessels and say that human organs may be next.

Plus, implanting electronic grids to repair neural pathways. Future prosthetics wired to the brain may allow paralyzed limbs to move.

We begin with the story of the scientist who discovered the bacteria that caused tuberculosis, and the famous author who revealed that his cure for TB was a sham.

Guests:

Permalink: http://radio.seti.org/episodes/Replace_What_Ails_You

You can listen to this and other episodes at http://radio.seti.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

Weekend fireballs kick off annual Perseid meteor shower


Space Weather News for July 27, 2014: http://spaceweather.com

WEEKEND FIREBALLS:  Fireballs detected this weekend by NASA meteor cameras signal the start of the annual Perseid meteor shower.  The shower's peak isn't due until August, but now might be the best time to look.  Find out why at http://spaceweather.com

SOLAR FLARE SURPRISE? Lately, the sun has been remarkably quiet. Statistics show, however, that the most potent eruptions often occur during the declining phase of the solar cycle, taking forecasters by complete surprise. 

More than ever, now is the time for X-flare alerts available from http://spaceweathertext.com (text) and http://spaceweatherphone.com (voice).

Thursday, July 24, 2014

New Views of the Rosetta Comet


Source - NASA Science News for July 24, 2014

As the European Space Agency's Rosetta probe approaches Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko for an August rendezvous, the comet's core is coming into sharper focus. Today ESA released a new set of images and a must-see 3D model.

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/24jul_rosetta/

Mystery in the Perseus Cluster


NASA Science News for July 24, 2014

A mysterious X-ray signal from the Perseus cluster of galaxies, which researchers say cannot be explained by known physics, could be a key clue to the nature of Dark Matter.

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/24jul_perseuscluster/

A companion video is posted below and can also be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3439YtdQZ1Y



 License: Standard YouTube License

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Near Miss: The Solar Superstorm of July 2012


NASA Science News for July 23, 2014

Today is the second anniversary of a near-miss. On July 23, 2012, the sun produced an extreme solar storm that could have rocked the technological underpinnings of modern society. Fortunately, Earth was outside the line of fire.

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/23jul_superstorm/

A companion video is posted below and can also be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ukQhycKOFw



License: Standard YouTube License

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Big Picture Science for 07/21/14 - A Stellar Job

Image for Big Picture Science weekly radio show
Big Picture Science - A Stellar Job

The stars are out tonight. And they do more than just twinkle. These boiling balls of hot plasma can tell us something about other celestial phenomena. They betray the hiding places of black holes, for one. But they can also fool us. Find out why one of the most intriguing discoveries in astrobiology – that of the potentially habitable exoplanet Gliese 581g – may have been just a mirage.

Plus, the highest levels of ultraviolet light ever mentioned on Earth’s surface puzzles scientists: is it a fluke of nature, or something manmade?

And a physicist suggests that stars could be used by advanced aliens to send hailing signals deep into space.

Guests:
  • Paul Robertson – Postdoctoral fellow, Penn State Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds
  • Mike Joner – Research professor of astronomy at Brigham Young University
  • Nathalie Cabrol – Planetary scientist, SETI Institute
  • Anthony Zee – Theoretical physicist at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara

Permalink: http://radio.seti.org/episodes/A_Stellar_Job

You can listen to this and other episodes at http://radio.seti.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sunspot Number Drops to Zero


Source - Space Weather News for July 18, 2014: http://spaceweather.com

ZERO SUNSPOTS:  On July 17th, for the first time in nearly 3 years, the sunspot number dropped to zero.  Is Solar Max finished? 

Forecasts and further discussion of this "All Quiet" event highlight today's edition of http://spaceweather.com

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Rosetta Comet May Be a Contact Binary


Source - NASA Science News for July 17, 2014

New images of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko show that the target of ESA's Rosetta probe is no ordinary comet.

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/17jul_rosetta/

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Eerie Quiet Descends on the Sun


Source - Space Weather News for July 17, 2014: http://spaceweather.com

SUDDEN QUIET: Less than two weeks ago, the sun was peppered with large active regions.  Now, the face of the sun is almost completely blank.  Suddenly, the sunspot number and the sun's x-ray output have dropped to their lowest levels in years.  Is Solar Maximum finished?  Probably not, but the ongoing quiet spell is remarkable. 

Check http://spaceweather.com for forecasts and further discussion.

Monday, July 14, 2014

New Horizons Only One Year from Pluto


Source - NASA Science News for July 14, 2014

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is only a year away from Pluto. Researchers are buzzing with anticipation as NASA prepares to encounter a new world for the first time in decades.

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/14jul_pluto2015/

A companion video is posted below and can also be viewed at: http://youtu.be/RDIsbN-e1qU



License: Standard YouTube License

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Big Picture Science for 07/14/14 - Skeptic Check: About Face

Image for Big Picture Science weekly radio show
Big Picture Science - Skeptic Check: About Face

ENCORE: Face it – humans are pattern-seeking animals. We identify eyes, nose and mouth where there are none. Martian rock takes on a visage and the silhouette of Elvis appears in our burrito. Discover the roots of our face-tracking tendency – pareidolia – and why it sometimes leads us astray.

Plus, why some brains can’t recognize faces at all … how computer programs exhibit their own pareidolia … and why it’s so difficult to replicate human vision in a machine

Guests:
  • Phil Plait – Astronomer, Skeptic, and author of Slate Magazine’s blog Bad Astronomy
  • Josef Parvizi – Associate professor, Stanford University, and clinical neurologist and epilepsy specialist at Stanford Medical Center
  • Nancy Kanwisher – Cognitive neuroscientist, at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT
  • Greg Borenstein – Artist, creative technologist who teaches at New York University
  • Pietro Perona – Professor of electrical engineering, computation and neural systems, California Institute of Technology
This encore podcast was first released on February 25, 2013

Permalink: http://radio.seti.org/episodes/Skeptic_Check_About_Face
You can listen to this and other episodes at http://radio.seti.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Three Supermoons in a Row

Source - NASA Science News for July 10, 2014

The summer of 2014 will be bathed in moonlight as three perigee "supermoons" occur in consecutive months: July 12, August 10, and September 9.

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/10jul_supermoons/

A companion video is posted below and can also be viewed at: http://youtu.be/D1KKpeW231Y


  
License: Standard YouTube License

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Solar flare erupts from unexpected source


Source - Space Weather News for July 8, 2014: http://spaceweather.com

M6-CLASS SOLAR FLARE: On July 8th, Earth-orbiting satellites detected a strong M6-class solar flare.  The flare itself came as little surprise because there is a phalanx of large sunspots crossing the solar disk.  However, the source of the flare was unexpected.  

Check http://spaceweather.com for more information about the blast site and prospects for additional eruptions in the days ahead.

Fruit Flies on the International Space Station


Source - NASA Science News for July 8, 2014

A new species is about to join astronauts on the International Space Station: Drosophila melanogaster, also known as the "fruit fly." Genetically speaking, the bug-eyed insects have a lot in common with human beings, and they are poised to teach researchers a great deal about voyaging into deep space.

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/08jul_fruitflies/

A companion video is posted below and can also be viewed at: http://youtu.be/ArHDSjfKDAs



License: Standard YouTube License

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Big Picture Science for 07/07/14 - Deep Time

Image for Big Picture Science weekly radio show
Big Picture Science - Deep Time

ENCORE: Think back, way back. Beyond last week or last year … to what was happening on Earth 100,000 years ago. Or 100 million years ago. It’s hard to fathom such enormous stretches of time, yet to understand the evolution of the cosmos – and our place in it – your mind needs to grasp the deep meaning of eons. Discover techniques for thinking in units of billions of years, and how the events that unfold over such intervals have left their mark on you.

Plus: the slow-churning processes that turned four-footed creatures into the largest marine animals that ever graced the planet and using a new telescope to travel in time to the birth of the galaxies.

Guests:
This encore podcast was first released April 22, 2013.

Permalink: http://radio.seti.org/episodes/Deep_Time

You can listen to this and other episodes at http://radio.seti.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.