October 06, 2015 05:28 UTC

Science & Technology

Beach Mat Charges Mobile Phone

A beach mat designed by a Lebanese student can charge a cell phone, like this Microsoft Lumia 640 smartphone.

Some people do not like being separated from their telephone, even while enjoying a restful holiday at the beach. So, a university student from Lebanon developed a most unusual beach mat. The device both provides power to cell phones and keeps drinks cool. More

Audio Great Barrier Reef Choking on Pollutants

The Great Barrier Reef is off the coast of Queensland in northeastern Australia. It is the largest living organism on Earth. However, the reef is being damaged by climate change and pollutants from farms that flow into the reef.

Video Glider Plane to Study the Stratosphere

Gliders are light aircraft that fly with no engine. They are pulled by a powered plane into the sky and set free to fly on air currents. They soar on wind currents called “mountain waves.”

Audio NASA: Strong Evidence of Liquid Water on Mars

NASA has found salt minerals that provide strong evidence that there was liquid water on Mars. NASA has found lines of "hydrated" salt minerals on Mars. Scientists say these minerals would require liquid water to be created. And where there’s liquid water, they say, there could be life.

Video 'Part-Time Scientists' Try to Put Vehicle on Moon

Sixteen teams from around the world have set their sights on the moon. The teams are also hoping to win the $30 million Lunar XPRIZE. Google, the U.S. technology company, launched the international space competition in 2007.

Video Solar Power Free to Low-Income Homes in DC

Solar panels are an increasingly common sight on the tops of homes in wealthy parts of Washington, D.C. Now the costly technology is moving into a poorer area of the city. And, the people who live there are getting the panels for free.

Audio Rare 'Supermoon' Eclipse Only Days Away

This weekend, a lunar eclipse will take place at the same time as a “supermoon,” when the full moon is closest to earth. This “supermoon eclipse” can be seen in some areas at sunset Sunday night, and in others before sunrise Monday morning.

Audio Invasion of Earth Unlikely, Say Researchers

Aliens not likely to visit anytime soon. Birds prefer to pick their own mates. And more from the world of science.

Video Saving the Honeybees, One Hive at a Time

The mysterious decade-long decline in the number of honeybees has led Master Beekeeper Billy Davis to take action. Founder of the Sustainable Honeybee Program, Billy Davis is developing stronger bees and teaching beekeepers how to strengthen bee colonies. He's been keeping bees since the 1960s.

Video NASA Satellites Help Protect Developing Nations

A NASA satellite system called SERVIR captures images and environmental data, like dangerous weather and changes in water resource use. Scientists feed that information into complex computer programs. The results of the analysis are shared to help people make better policy decisions.

Video NASA’s Astronauts Reach Halfway Point of Year in Space

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Mikhail Komienko hits halfway point of yearlong spaceflight. The two experienced astronauts arrived at the International Space Station in March this year and won’t return to Earth until March 2016.

Audio Singers Use Music to Light Up World's Poorest Places

Pop singer Raghav Mathur is using his music to light up African villages where there is no electricity. The song is called “Until the Sun Comes Up.” The Canadian-Indian singer says he wanted to help others when he learned that more than one billion people live without electric power.

Video Palestinians Turn Organic Waste into Gas for Cooking

Rural communities in developing countries often have trouble securing dependable supplies of energy for cooking and lighting. But energy exists everywhere organic waste is breaking down. It is just a question of how to harness or make use of it.

Video Whale Deaths On the Rise in Alaska

Scientists blame warmer water for the deaths. They say the rising temperatures are as a result of changing weather and wind conditions, which are not linked to climate change. Scientists say carbon dioxide emissions and other pollution are making the Arctic warm faster than anyplace on the planet.

Video A Dog's Sniffer Could Be Your Best Friend in Disaster

When devastating earthquakes hit Haiti, Japan and Nepal, rescue dogs were among the first to arrive. American search-and-rescue teams and their specially trained dogs also helped during U.S. hurricanes Katrina and Sandy.

Audio Researchers Announce Discovery of Early Human Ancestor

The discovery is the result of finding bones in a hard-to-reach area of a cave near Johannesburg, South Africa. The researchers say they have recovered about 1,500 bones from the cave. Scientists wonder whether others could have placed dead bodies there in a behavior rarely found in early humans.

Audio Scientists Predict Wet Winter for Dry American West

Much of the area has been experiencing severe drought conditions for years. Experts are now saying that rain will fall there this winter. But they say the changing weather may also affect Asia, Australia and Africa.

Audio New iPhones, Watches, TVs, Big iPads Offer Better Selfies

Apple held a two-hour Special Event on Wednesday, announcing new products and new models of existing products. Among the new hardware are a large iPad and a gaming controller for the Apple TV. You will also be able to ask the TV to rewind and add closed captions.

Video Meteor Explodes in Skies Over Thailand

This image from a video shows a meteor exploding over the sky in Bangkok, Thailand. The meteor, or shooting star, was recorded by cameras motorists have installed on their dashboards. Some observers worried about the cosmic significance of the event, but scientists said this was only "astronomical."

Audio Fewer Creatures in Future Oceans Could Provide Less Food

A new study is predicting that warmer ocean waters will mean fewer marine species through the end of the century. But other plants and animals will survive by expanding their territory. That is a finding from the largest study ever of marine plants and animals by an Australian university.

Learn with The News

  • Trade ministers from a dozen Pacific nations in Trans-Pacific Partnership Ministers meeting post in TPP Ministers "Family Photo" in Atlanta, Georgia, October 1, 2015.

    Audio Twelve Countries Reach Trans-Pacific Partnership Deal

    For the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal to take effect, the agreement needs approval from national legislatures in all 12 countries. Completion of the deal is a major foreign policy victory for U.S. President Barack Obama. However, U.S. congressional approval of the deal is not guaranteed. More

  • Nobel prize in Medicine - winners

    Audio Ireland, Japan, China Scientists Share Nobel Prize for Medicine

    The first of the 2015 Nobel Prizes has been announced. The committee awarded the prize to scientists from Ireland, Japan and China for discoveries that will reduce death and suffering. For one of these countries, it is a first-ever win. More

  • In this photo made from the footage taken from Russian Defense Ministry official web site on Oct. 4, 2015, an aerial view of a bomb explosion in Syria.

    Audio Western Nations Criticize Russia’s Air Campaign in Syria

    Western military experts have studied video recordings and said Russia is mostly using unguided, or dumb, bombs. Experts say such weapons greatly increase the risk of damage and death in civilian areas. Russia began the airstrikes September 30. More

  • Video US Promises to Investigate Afghan Hospital Attack

    The aid group Doctors Without Borders says at least 22 people died in the attack in Kunduz. Afghan officials say Taliban fighters were hiding in a hospital and on its grounds. But the Taliban and Doctors Without Borders say that is not true. More

  • New Zealand Marine Reserve

    Audio New Zealand To Establish Massive Marine Reserve

    Marine reserves are special places offer great opportunities to see rare and abundant sea creatures and environments. The Kermedec Sanctuary will cover 620 thousand square kilometers of largely clean ocean. It will be one of the largest marine reserves to protect wildlife in the South Pacific. More

Featured Stories

  • Video Know Your Enemy

    Do you have an enemy? Hopefully, you don’t. An enemy is someone who hates you and you hate them back. An enemy threatens you, attacks you or tries to harm you. In some languages, there are different words for a personal enemy versus an enemy of war, political enemy or enemy of the state. More

  • Audio Everyday Grammar: Comparatives and Superlatives

    When we want to compare things we use comparative and superlative forms. Find out some of rules and exceptions of these important forms in Everyday Grammar for this week. More

  • Video ‘The Martian’ Mixes Science, Science Fiction

    Hollywood's latest space operation gone wrong movie stars Matt Damon as an astronaut mistakenly left on Mars. The film is a hit with movie critics. But what do science critics think? More

  • The Open Boat by Stephen Crane, Part 2

    Video The Open Boat by Stephen Crane, Part Two

    We continue the story of “The Open Boat” by Stephen Crane. As we told you last week, the story is based on true events. In eighteen ninety-six, Crane was traveling to Cuba as a news reporter. On his way there, his ship sank in the Atlantic Ocean. Crane climbed into the last remaining lifeboat. More

  • Audio Great Barrier Reef Choking on Pollutants

    The Great Barrier Reef is off the coast of Queensland in northeastern Australia. It is the largest living organism on Earth. However, the reef is being damaged by climate change and pollutants from farms that flow into the reef. More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner
Confessions of an English Learner blog

Tell us About Our Programs