Tech & Science

The Washington state Capitol campus could soon be a no-fly-zone for drones. The agency that oversees the 486-acre campus is considering a strict ban.

It started with a boom and ended with a touchdown: Blue Origin, the space company founded by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos, has sent a craft past the edge of space and then landed its rocket safely – and vertically — in Texas.

The Consumer Technology Association forecasts that 400,000 drones will be sold in the United States this holiday season. That's not to mention the commercial drones being developed by Google (now known as Alphabet), Amazon, Wal-Mart and others.

If you've ever been vaccinated, you may have seen the nurse head out of the room to go to the refrigerator to retrieve your injection. That's because most vaccines must be refrigerated during travel and storage or they lose their effectiveness.

Vaccines typically need what's known as a "cold chain." From the point of manufacture to the place where they're used, they need to be kept within a narrow temperature range, typically between 35 and 46 degrees Fahrenheit.

Jeff Bezos speaks at the Apollo rocket engine unveiling at The Museum of Flight, showing the injector plate from an F-1 rocket used on Apollo 12.
Ted Huetter/The Museum of Flight

Jeff Bezos geeks out over rockets. That’s whether they’re pieces of space travel history found deep in the Atlantic Ocean or the reusable rocket his space launch company Blue Origins is cooking up.

Street sign on Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington.
Flickr Photo/Todd A Bishop (CC BY 2.0)/

Bill Radke talks with University of Washington history professor Margaret O'Mara about the impact of Microsoft on the economy and culture of the Pacific Northwest.

David Hyde interviews Seattle-based biologist Anne Bikle ad University of Washington Professor David Montgomery about their new book on the beneficial role microbes play in agriculture and human health called "The Hidden Half Of Nature."

Chipotle Mexican Grill was the sight of a recent E. coli outbreak in Washington.
Flickr Photo/Frank Farm (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/

Bill Radke talks with state epidemiologist Dr. Scott Lindquist about his work to track down the source of food-borne illnesses. 

Two major terrorist attacks happened last week. One killed at least 129 people in Paris, France. Another killed at least 43 people in Beirut, Lebanon.

ISIS claimed responsibility for both attacks, but the global support and attention given to each incident varied widely.

To quantify the difference in online attention since the attack in Beirut happened, PRI has done some simple estimations using several free online tools. The evidence unfortunately has confirmed the observation above.

Tim Porter and Matt McIlwain of Madrona Venture Group, a heavy funder of Seattle's cloud startups
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

Seattle has become the center of a giant, invisible, global business, with Amazon and Microsoft as its core.

That business is the cloud, now estimated to be worth more than $15 billion to those two companies, which have become world leaders.

Our Ideas series is exploring how innovation happens in education.

Almost all college students have a cellphone. They use them an average of eight to 10 hours a day and check them an average of every 15 to 20 minutes while they're awake.

Heavier smartphone use has been linked to lower-quality sleep and lower GPAs — oh, are you getting a text right now?

I'll wait.

Anyway, as I was saying, one professor at the University of Colorado Boulder has come up with a solution to smartphone distraction in one of his astronomy classes.

There's been lots of talk over the past few years about the glaring lack of diversity in Silicon Valley's tech industry. Software engineer Leslie Miley made national news this week when he publicly explained his recent decision to leave his job at Twitter — a job he loved — citing frustration over the company's overwhelmingly white workforce and internal resistance to changing it.

An intense debate has flared over whether the federal government should fund research that creates partly human creatures using human stem cells.

Sesame seared Ahi tuna at Elliot's in Seattle. This was taken in 2011, how has the city's food evolved?
Flickr Photo/Mubnii M. (CC BY ND 2.0)/

Jeannie Yandel speaks with Seattle restaurateur Rachel Yang about how the tech industry and increased diversity are changing the cuisine of the city.  

Pacific Ocean from across the straights.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Ross Reynolds talks to writer Simon Winchester about his book "Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators and Fading Empires and the Coming Collision of the World's Superpowers."