science

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

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.”

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

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