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Solar eclipse seen from in Yokohama in 2012.
Flickr Photo/J Lippold (CC BY NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/c2xvgh

Bill Radke talks with Geekwire's Alan Boyle about  North American eclipse of the sun expected August 2017. It's first of its kind in almost a hundred years. But the best places to see it in the Northwest are already getting pretty crowded. 

They aren't saying it's alien, but they are saying it's "interesting."

The SETI Institute — the private organization that looks for signals of extraterrestrial life — has announced that it is investigating reports of an unusual radio signal picked up by Russian astronomers.

The signal was detected on a much wider bandwidth than the SETI Institute uses in its searches, and the strength of the received signal was "weak," SETI Institute astronomer Seth Shostak wrote in a blog post.

Dougsley, the corpse flower at Volunteer Park Conservatory
Courtesy of Terry Huang

Volunteer Park has a fragrant new tenant. 

The University of Washington Biology Department has loaned the Volunteer Park Conservatory a so-called corpse flower that emits an odor reminiscent of a decaying body. 

Tribute: The Man Who Led The War To Kill Smallpox

Aug 25, 2016

"Anxious, pleading, pock-deformed faces; the ugly, penetrating odor of decaying flesh; the hands, covered with pustules, reaching out, as people begged for help .... And there was no drug, no treatment that we could give them."

An artist's rendering shows what Proxima b and its star, Proxima Centauri, might look like.
European Southern Observatory

The discovery of a planet that could hold life just a few light-years away is enough to make Alan Boyle teary.

"When we look back millennia from now, we're not going to be so focused on who won such and such an election or who made the most money," the GeekWire aerospace editor told KUOW's Kim Malcolm. "People are going to remember big steps that were taken on the frontier, and this could be one of them."


A major study about the best way to treat early-stage breast cancer reveals that "precision medicine" doesn't provide unambiguous answers about how to choose the best therapy.

"Precision doesn't mean certainty," says David Hunter, a professor of cancer prevention at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

That point is illustrated in a large study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, involving decisions about chemotherapy.

To a mathematician, it's a violent explosion that shoots out missiles of hot, wet air, slamming a turbulent cloud of moisture into anybody or anything that crosses its path.

To the rest of us, it's a sneeze.

Michael W. Davidson at Florida State University | Molecular Expressios.com
The Tyrannosaurus Rex skull arrives at the Burke Museum in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Paige Browning

There's a Tyrannosaurus rex in Seattle.

A team from the Burke Museum and University of Washington dug up the skull and other bones in Montana last month. It arrived at the museum Thursday.


When it comes to waves, it doesn't get much bigger than the gravitational variety. Einstein predicted that huge events — like black holes merging — create gravitational waves. Unlike most waves we experience, these are distortions in space and time. They roll across the entire universe virtually unimpeded.

Einstein first predicted the existence of gravitational waves in 1916, but none were spotted until recently. Given their incredible power, why did it take a century to locate them?

Sharks can live to be at least 272 years old in the Arctic seas, and scientists say one recently caught shark may have lived as long as 512 years.

Night owls and stargazers, get ready for something spectacular on Thursday.

The annual Perseid meteor shower, already one of the most reliably impressive celestial events, promises to be especially good this year.

The Perseid shower happens every year in August "when Earth ventures through trails of debris left behind by an ancient comet," according to NASA.

A Portland testing lab and a research team led by the University of Victoria have reset assumptions about the durability of biological evidence.

How durable? Wrap your head around 250,000 years.

WATCH: Lessons In Wound Healing From Our Favorite Fly

Aug 9, 2016
Scan from professor Adam Summers' project.
Courtesy of Adam Summers

Bill Radke speaks with University of Washington professor Adam Summers about his project that aims to scan all the species of fish in the world. Summers is a biomechanist and provided technical advice for the movies "Finding Nemo" and "Finding Dory." 

A humpback whale died at the Fauntleroy Ferry Dock in West Seattle Sunday, but officials aren't sure why.

The 39-foot juvenile female was stranded when the tide went out. Marine mammal experts said she was clearly in distress.

Scientists have answered a burning question central to the charm of sunflowers: Why do young flowers move their blooms to always face the sun over the course of a day?

And then: Once sunflowers reach maturity, why do they stop tracking the sun and only face east?

The federal government announced plans Thursday to lift a moratorium on funding of certain controversial experiments that use human stem cells to create animal embryos that are partly human.

The National Institutes of Health is proposing a new policy to permit scientists to get federal money to make embryos, known as chimeras, under certain carefully monitored conditions.

It's a warm, sunny morning at the Homestead National Monument of America in southeastern Nebraska. A burn crew dressed in yellow and green flame-resistant clothing is about to set a patch of tall-grass prairie on fire — on purpose.

Maybe it was a meteor? Or space junk? People on the West Coast weren't sure what the bright object was that streaked across the sky Wednesday night, but they knew it was spectacular. Now comes word that the object — which separated into bright fragments — was a stage of China's large new rocket.

For decades, Japanese fishermen have told stories about the existence of a dark, rare beaked whale that they called karasu — the "raven."

But now, scientists say they have genetic proof to back up these tales. Long mistaken for its relative, the Baird's beaked whale, scientists say it represents an entirely new species.

football
Flickr Photo/Alexander Schimmeck (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/ah3uJL

Kim Malcolm talks with ESPN's Steve Fainaru about allegations made against Dr. Richard Ellenbogen, chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Washington. In May, a Congressional report alleged that Ellenbogen attempted to influence a federal study on football and brain disease. 

The trip had mechanical setbacks, and the plane's average speed would be legal on many American streets. But when the Solar Impulse aircraft touched down in Abu Dhabi in the early morning darkness Tuesday, it successfully completed a round-the-world voyage using only solar power.

Swiss pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg took turns flying the single-seat aircraft that began its trip on March 9 of 2015, flying more than 26,700 miles in a total of 17 stages (23 days) as they soared under the sun's power and then glided through the night.

More than 2 tons of supplies and gear are speeding toward the International Space Station, after a SpaceX Falcon rocket launched early Monday from Cape Canaveral, Fla. The cargo includes a new port that will standardize how spacecraft connect to the station.

COASST / Cliff Brown

Seabirds have been washing up dead on beaches in Washington and British Columbia this summer, and scientists can't say why.

Adult stem cells may skirt the pesky theological issues raised by embryonic stem cell research, but their unregulated marketplace is raising ethical issues of its own.

A study released at the end of last month found hundreds of clinics across the country that are marketing “unapproved” stem-cell therapies directly to patients.


Neanderthal Dinner: Reindeer With A Side Of Cannibalism

Jul 14, 2016

They were Neanderthals living roughly 40,000 years ago in a cave in Goyet, Belgium — and they were eaten by their own kind. That's the finding of a recent study published in Scientific Reports. The authors report that Neanderthal bones found in this cave show signs of being butchered, cracked to extract marrow, then used to shape tools.

These are undeniable signs of cannibalism, says anthropologist and study author Hélène Rougier of California State University, Northridge.

Letting mice watch Orson Welles movies may help scientists explain human consciousness.

At least that's one premise of the Allen Brain Observatory, which launched Wednesday and lets anyone with an Internet connection study a mouse brain as it responds to visual information.

Bill Radke speaks with Luke Timmerman about what went wrong during Seattle-based Juno Therapeutics' clinical trial of an immunotherapy treatment for leukemia and what it might mean for the company.

Will DNA molecules replace DVDs and flash drives?
Flickr Photo/Tom Woodward (CC BY-NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/7hTafL

In a  lab test tube at the University of Washington, scientists stored an HD video of the song “This Too Shall Pass” by OK Go on DNA molecules. They also stored the text of 100 books and the Declaration of Human Rights in multiple languages.

Now, they've broken their own record for the amount of media rich data they've encoded onto DNA.


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