August 30, 2014 22:12 UTC

Science & Technology

No Way to Know When Earthquake Will Hit

Cellar worker Daniel Nelson looks over toppled barrels of Cabernet Sauvignon following an earthquake at the B.R. Cohn Winery barrel storage facility Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014, in Napa, Calif.

Last Sunday, an earthquake struck the Napa Valley area of northern California. Some roads bent, while underground pipes burst. It was the strongest earthquake to strike the Napa Valley in 15 years. There is no way to know when the next one hit. More

Audio Knowledge Does Not Lead to Action on Environment

Researcher says that recognition of problems does not always lead people to solve them. People may not be very worried about environmental problems if they seem far away from their lives.

Audio Is North Korea Preparing to Strike US Electric Grid?

An advisor to Congress says country’s electric system is mostly unprotected and vulnerable to an EMP attack. He said North Korea tested the plan last year when it put a satellite into orbit. The satellite was in a position where it could carry out such an attack against the United States.

Audio Tiny Robots Learn to Work Together

The Kilobots can only make simple shapes like a sea star or the letter K that are first drawn on a computer. Robot swarms are already in use. The online store Amazon uses robots to move items in its huge storage buildings. And groups of robots search the oceans collecting information.

Audio People Use Too Much Salt

An estimated 1.65 million people die every year from overuse of sodium. The study noted that 40 percent of those deaths happen in people younger than age 70. The great majority of early deaths happened among people from non-wealthy countries.

Audio Tobacco Plant to Make Jet Fuel

Boeing, South African Airways, Dutch biofuel company working together to make biofuel; tobacco farmers may have a new market for their crop | As It Is

Audio A Big Step Forward in Artificial Intelligence Research

The American computer company IBM says it has developed a computer chip that works much like the human brain.

Audio Smart Toilet Prevents Water Pollution in Disaster Areas

A United Nations team is now developing a toilet for disaster areas. The experimental project is called eSOS -- for the Emergency Sanitation Operation System. The system is lightweight and operates on sunlight power.

Audio Scientists Trying To Do Away with Passwords

Hackers around the world are getting better at stealing passwords. A hacker is a person who uses a computer to gain information without permission. Now, some computer scientists are trying to stop hackers by not using passwords

Audio WHO Says Experimental Drugs Ethical for Ebola Patients

The World Health Organization has said it is ethical to give ZMapp to Ebola patients to try to fight the disease in West Africa. The WHO said that use of ZMapp must be done with, in its words, "informed consent, freedom of choice, confidentiality, and respect for the person."

Audio How Does One Find a Meteorite?

It may surprise you to know how many meteorites fall to the Earth. But don't worry. There are many scientists recording their explosions as they impact.

Audio Remember Your Chemistry Classes?

An international team of researchers reports the creation of a new element that is 40 percent heavier than lead | Science in the News

Audio Rosetta Spacecraft Catches a Comet

The Rosetta spacecraft is the first to orbit a comet and is expected to be the first to deploy a probe that will make a soft landing on such an icy solar system body.

Audio Astronauts Train in Underwater Laboratory

Four astronauts recently completed training to help prepare for a planned visit to an asteroid, or space rock. The four trained in a special laboratory five kilometers from Key Largo in southern Florida.

Audio Hollywood Movies Used to Teach Science

Sometimes Steve Wolf gets blown up or is set on fire. But he claims his job is not really dangerous at all. He works as a stuntman and a special-effects expert for movies and television. He says his breathtaking activities result from science. And he likes to share that science with school children.

Audio Where Do We Come From?

Would you like to know where your ancestors came from? British and American scientists may have found answers for you. They have developed a new algorithm to study deoxyribonucleic acid, also known as DNA -- the building blocks of life. | Science in the News

Audio From Birds to Bears, Animals Face Danger Around the World

Hundreds of newly-identified plants and animals in Southeast Asia are in danger. Poachers killed a famous elephants in Kenya. And scientists are working to save polar bears population in Alaska and the Bering Sea.

Audio AIDS Researcher Killed in Malaysia Airlines Crash

Several medical researchers were on the Malaysia Airlines plane shot down July 17 in eastern Ukraine. The researchers were traveling to a yearly international conference on AIDS. Among those killed was Dr. Joep Lange, a top AIDS researcher.

Audio NASA: Close to Discovering Life in Outer Space

NASA scientists say they are closer than ever to finding life beyond Earth. That search is centered mostly on Mars and the icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn. But the scientists are looking for life outside the solar system.

Audio How to Survive the Heat

Floods, storms and other natural events kill thousands of people every year. So does extreme heat. In fact, heat may be nature’s deadliest killer. | Science in the News

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