Tech & Science

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.

GeekGirlCon programming director Jennifer K. Stuller kicks-off a viewing of "Supergirl" at a 2013 event at Central Cinema.
Flickr Photo/GeekGirlCon (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with Jennifer K. Stuller, local writer and a co-founder of Seattle's GeekGirlCon, about the Gamergate controversy and diversity in geek culture. 

On the same morning net neutrality demonstrators showed up at FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's house to protest a plan that could let broadband providers charge for "fast lanes" to the Internet, the demonstrators found unexpected support from the White House.

In a darkened lab in the north of England, a research associate is intensely focused on the microscope in front of her. She carefully maneuvers a long glass tube that she uses to manipulate early human embryos.

"It's like microsurgery," says Laura Irving of Newcastle University.

Irving is part of a team of scientists trying to replace defective DNA with healthy DNA. They hope this procedure could one day help women who are carrying genetic disorders have healthy children.

Flickr Photo/Wonderlane (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks to Nick Wingfield, tech reporter for the New York Times, about Microsoft's decision to offer its Office software for free on smartphones and tablets.

Seattle streets, seen from the 40th floor of the Seattle Municipal Tower.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Seattle's new parking meters, scheduled to replace 2,200 outdated meters, are kind of a big deal. Their guts and brains are state of the art, with speedy cellular service, bigger screens and a numeric keypad capable of ingesting complex kinds of information, such as license plate numbers.

What's in your home, always on, ready to listen to you and constantly adapting to the way you talk? Why, it's Amazon's Echo speaker. Think a less portable Siri or Google Now, but hands-free.

Are you ready to bring an eavesdropping device that's connected to the cloud into the privacy of your abode?

Army Eyes 3-D Printed Food For Soldiers

Nov 4, 2014

Army scientists have spent decades concocting meals that last without refrigeration and survive high-altitude airdrops. And now, the Army is eyeing a new form of cooking: 3-D printing! Yes, food that comes fresh out of a printer, for our troops.

Lauren Oleksyk, a food technologist leading the team at the Army's Natick research center, lays out the vision.

Imagine soldiers who are strapped, head to toe, with sensors that measure if they're high or low in potassium or cholesterol.

Flickr Photo/MaxVT (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with GeekWire co-founder Todd Bishop about this week's tech news, including recent praise for Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Apple moving work into the Seattle area.

In what could be a major setback for commercial space tourism, a manned spaceship has crashed in California's Mojave Desert.

The Virgin Galactic Spaceship Two was on a test flight this morning, with two pilots aboard. Minutes after its rocket fired, the company announced on Twitter that spacecraft experienced an "anomaly."

Capt. Tom Ellison of Kern County Fire Department said that Spaceship Two had a malfunction shortly after it separated from White Knight Two, the rocket that gives Spaceship Two a lift up to 45,000 feet.

Tim Cook, the head of the world's most iconic technology company, has come out today in an op-ed on Bloomberg Businessweek, saying he's never denied his sexual orientation but "I haven't publicly acknowledged it either, until now.

"Being gay has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority and provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day," Cook writes.

The hunt to find genes that cause autism has been a long slog, one hampered by a lack of technology and families willing to be tested.

But the effort is starting to pay off. On Tuesday, researchers at more than 50 laboratories said they had identified more than 100 genes that are mutated in children with autism, dozens more than were known before.

Pages