Joe Palca http://wknofm.org en Rosetta Spacecraft Readies For Rendezvous With Comet http://wknofm.org/post/rosetta-spacecraft-readies-rendezvous-comet Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>Next month, the European Space Agency's Rosetta space probe will catch up with a comet, which it has been chasing across the solar system for a decade. Once there, the Rosetta probe will take pictures, make measurements and drop a probe down to the comet's surface. Last January, NPR science correspondent Joe Palca reported that for more than two years the spacecraft had shut off most of its instruments, including the radio for communicating with Earth, in order to save energy. Tue, 22 Jul 2014 08:45:00 +0000 Joe Palca 50372 at http://wknofm.org To Make A Spacecraft That Folds And Unfolds, Try Origami http://wknofm.org/post/make-spacecraft-folds-and-unfolds-try-origami Scientists and engineers at NASA are using <a href="http://www.origami-resource-center.com/">origami techniques</a> to help solve a fundamental dilemma facing spacecraft designers: How do you take a big object, pack it into a small container for rocket launch, and then unpack it again once it arrives in space — making sure nothing breaks in the process.<p>Brian Trease, an engineer at NASA's <a href="http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/">Jet Propulsion Laboratory</a>, says one way is to use something called the <a href="http://www.ijpam.eu/contents/2012-79-2/8/8.pdf">Miura fold</a>, named for its inventor, Thu, 17 Jul 2014 20:27:00 +0000 Joe Palca 50198 at http://wknofm.org Why Theories On Black Holes Are Full Of Holes http://wknofm.org/post/theories-black-holes-are-full-holes Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>Scientists announced, earlier this week, they had discovered three supermassive black holes orbiting close together in a single galaxy. That indicates that black holes are more common than astronomers previously thought. And it's a good reason to revisit a report from Joe Palca on black holes. In this encore segment, he reports that the theories about these super powerful bodies are still, well, full of holes.<p>JOE PALCA, BYLINE: Astronomers know a few things about black holes. On the other hand, Ensign Chekov and Mr. Tue, 01 Jul 2014 10:30:00 +0000 Joe Palca 49402 at http://wknofm.org If They Want To Make Anything, Proteins Must Know How To Fold http://wknofm.org/post/if-they-want-make-anything-proteins-must-know-how-fold Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>Events unfold. Plots unfold. And this summer, NPR science correspondent Joe Palca has been telling us how science unfolds. It's series we're creatively calling Unfolding Science.<p>(SOUNDBITE OF THEME SONG)<p>BLOCK: Today, Joe tells us about large biological molecules called proteins that have to fold and unfold properly to keep us alive.<p>JOE PALCA, BYLINE: When we talk about food, protein is a kind of nutrient you get in meat, fish or foul. Fri, 27 Jun 2014 20:20:00 +0000 Joe Palca 49273 at http://wknofm.org A CRISPR Way To Fix Faulty Genes http://wknofm.org/post/crispr-way-fix-faulty-genes Scientists from many areas of biology are flocking to a technique that allows them to work inside cells, making changes in specific genes far faster — and for far less money — than ever before.<p>"It's really powerful, it's a really exciting development," says <a href="http://profiles.umassmed.edu/profiles/display/129741">Craig Mello</a> of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Thu, 26 Jun 2014 20:44:00 +0000 Joe Palca 49235 at http://wknofm.org A CRISPR Way To Fix Faulty Genes