science

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

Rick Horwitz, executive director of the Allen Institute for Cell Science, at a press conference on December 8, 2014, in Philadelphia.
Courtesy Allen Institute for Cell Science Facebook Page

Software billionaire Paul Allen announced plans to invest $100 million in a new cell biology institute in Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood. 

KUOW's Jamala Henderson spoke with biotech journalist Luke Timmerman about how this cell observatory will exist in the public domain and offers potential for predictive modeling.

King County has been working on different recycling products for Loop, aka waste treatment biosolids. One Seattle startup thinks biofuel is the answer.
Screen shot from YouTube/Loop biosolids

A Seattle startup hopes that in the near future, every time you flush your toilet you help power your car.

Vitruvian Energy has developed technology that turns biosolids – the dirt-like material left over once sewage has been treated at a plant and the inert water returned to the watershed – into biofuel. Right now the company is crowdfunding to launch their fuel locally.

It takes about 53 pounds of biosolids to make a gallon of EEB, Vitruvian’s biofuel. The biosolids are run through a series of biological and chemical steps to go from a dirt-like material to a clear liquid that has a sweet smell.

File photo.
Flickr Photo/Lis Ferla (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks to Joel Beckerman about his new book, "The Sonic Boom: How Sound Transforms The Way We Think, Feel And Buy," and about his work as a composer and sound designer.

Any parent of a rambunctious youngster can tell you trouble might be afoot when things go quiet in the playroom. Two independent research initiatives indicate there is a comparable situation with the Cascadia earthquake fault zone.

Isoseismal map of the event.
Wikimedia Commons

In 1872, a mass earthquake rocked the Northwest. It’s on record as one of the most widely felt temblors in the Pacific Northwest.

But the location of the fault line that caused the quake has been a mystery for more than a century. They didn’t even know which side of the Cascades the fault fell.

Scientists Solve Mystery Of West Coast Starfish Die-Off

Nov 18, 2014

SEATTLE -- After months of research, scientists have identified the pathogen at the heart of the starfish wasting disease that’s been killing starfish by the millions along the Pacific shores of North America, according to research published Monday.

They said it’s a virus that’s different from all other known viruses infecting marine organisms. They’ve dubbed it “sea star associated densovirus.”

Courtesy Jason Yeatman

Two years ago Jason Yeatman, a researcher at the University of Washington, stumbled into a secret corridor of the mind.

Male seeks female — and makes a direct advance towards mating. That's one version of the drive to reproduce in the animal kingdom.

As you may be aware, there's a hot new space movie now in theaters — Interstellar. Here's the premise: It's just a little bit in the future, conditions have become pretty horrible on Earth and some astronauts head out in search of a new planet for humans to inhabit.

Woodland Park Zoo/Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren

The veterinarians at the Woodland Park Zoo had grown increasingly alarmed.

Vip – known also as The Big Guy or Vippers – was an alpha male gorilla with a sinus infection. The vets had given him antibiotics for months, but he remained congested.

Hundreds of millions of miles from Earth, a man-made object was flung at a comet Wednesday — and now it's sticking to the rock as it hurtles through space.

"We are on the comet," Stephan Ulamec, Philae Lander Manager, announced Wednesday, marking a historic achievement.

Until about 600 million years ago, seeing colors didn't matter so much to Earth's inhabitants — nobody had eyes.

"Before the eye evolved, you just wouldn't have seen what was there," says Andrew Parker, a biologist at London's Natural History Museum who studies the evolution of color.

Humans have never landed anything on a comet's surface. That may change tomorrow.

The European Space Agency's Rosetta mission is poised to send out a small probe to land on a comet known as 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Rosetta spent 10 years chasing the comet before arriving in August.

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