science

As any CSI enthusiast understands, the tiniest details can help forensic scientists figure out how and when people died. These days, investigators are taking advantage of information about microbes that live on human bodies and the insects that come to feed on corpses to crack cases.

Elephants at Addo Elephant Park in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Flickr Photo/Clive Reid (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks to University of Washington biology professor Samuel Wasser about how his lab uses elephant DNA to pinpoint where large ivory poaching operations happen in Africa. Representative Eric Pettigrew has sponsored a bill in the Washington state House of Representatives that would ban ivory in the state.

Ross Reynolds talks to Peter Lape, curator of archeology at the Burke Museum, about the origins of the Kennewick Man.

biotech file photo
Flickr Photo/HCC PIO (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Marcie Sillman talks to Luke Timmerman about the growth of a Seattle biotech company, Adaptive Biotechnologies, and what it means for the city's biotechnology industry.

Flickr Photo/U.S. Fish & Wildlife (CC-BY-NC-ND)

There is no such thing as a seahawk, but you super fans probably knew that already.

“Seahawk is one of those colloquial terms much like a sparrowhawk or buzzard or seagull,” said ornithologist John Klicka of the University of Washington's Burke Museum. “From a sort of a scientific perspective there's no such thing.”

Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch makes a run against the Baltimore Ravens at CenturyLink Field in 2011.
Flickr Photo/JBLM PAO (CC0-BY-NC-ND)

Jeannie Yandel talks to John Vidale who explains how local seismologists are harnessing the power of Seahawks fans to test new earthquake sensor technology. Vidale is a professor of earth and space science at University of Washington and the director of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, which allows you to track the shaking of CenturyLink Field during the Seahawks game.

A piece of the original Antikythera Mechanism. Divers found the first pieces off the coast of the Greek island Antikythera in 1901.
Wikimedia Commons

Jeannie Yandel talks with University of Puget Sound professor James Evans about the Antikythera Mechanism, which is believed to be the world's first computer. Evans and a colleague recently found the mechanism may be as old as 205 BC, which is 50-100 years older than originally thought.

Brain scans may soon be able to help predict a person's future — some aspects of it, anyway.

Information from these scans increasingly is able to suggest whether a child will have trouble with math, say, or whether someone with mental illness is going to respond to a particular treatment, according to a review of dozens of studies published Wednesday in the journal Neuron.

A drug that is used worldwide to treat malaria is now being tested as a treatment for cervical cancer. This surprising idea is the result of a new laboratory technique that could have far-reaching uses.

Our story starts with Dr. Richard Schlegel at Georgetown University Medical Center. He's best known for inventing the Gardasil vaccine to protect women from cervical cancer.

How To Print A Hand From Home

Jan 6, 2015
Credit e-NABLE

 Marcie Sillman speaks with Ivan Owen, co-creator of a 3D printed hand design that inspired a collaborative online community to make prosthetics for people on limited budgets.

Wikimedia Commons

Harvard Professor Emeritus E. O. Wilson has spent most of his 60-year career in pursuit of evolutionary biology. His studies of and writings about ants and their social organizations earned him the moniker "the father of sociobiology," as well as a a bevy of honors and awards, including two Pulitzer Prizes and a U.S. National Medal of Science.

Now, at the age of 85, Wilson has widened his intellectual curiosity beyond biology. Wilson's latest book has the audacious title "The Meaning of Human Existence." It's the second volume in a planned trilogy. Wilson says these days he's interested in what he calls the big questions.

"What are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going?"

On the original "Star Trek" series, landing parties from the starship Enterprise used a versatile device they called the Tricorder to instantly read out what was in their surroundings.

A ship full of marine scientists is floating over the deepest part of the world: the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench. They're sending down probes to study life in one of the most hostile environments on the planet.

This week the researchers are targeting the two deepest spots in the trench — the Sirena Deep and the Challenger Deep — which each extend down about 7 miles beneath the ocean's surface.

Marcie Sillman talks to Dr. Leroy Hood, president of the Institute for Systems Biology, about the the 100k Wellness Project. The project, which started a year ago, hopes to track what happens at the cellular level when a person goes from well to diseased. 

This segment originally aired August 12, 2014

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