News: Science

Don’t Swat This Bug. It Might Be A Robot On A Rescue Mission
SCIENCE
Avery Keatley, Noel King, Steve Inskeep | March 4, 2021
Kevin Chen, an assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, envisions a time when his insect-sized drone could be used as a search and rescue robot — to find survivors in disaster debris that bigger drones couldn't reach.Kevin Yufeng Chen The reason it's so hard to kill a mosquito ...
Utah Considers State Park Named For Utahraptor Dinosaur
SCIENCE
Jan Johnson | March 2, 2021
Utahraptor skull reconstruction by Rob Gaston of Gaston Design incorporating some material from the Utahraptor megablock.Utah Geological Survey Utah lawmakers are considering creating a new state park in celebration of a spectacular find of dinosaur bones. The proposal for Utahraptor State Park, approved by the state House last week and ...
Black History Walks Through Longwood Gardens, Other Areas
SCIENCE
Eva Tesfaye | March 2, 2021
The landscape at Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Pa., is still beautiful in the winter.Harold Davis | Longwood Gardens An upshot of the pandemic is that it's forcing people outdoors, a reality that Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pa., is taking full advantage of as it focuses on exploring Black history ...
Reading A Letter That’s Been Sealed For More Than 300 Years — Without Opening It
SCIENCE
Nell Greenfieldboyce | March 2, 2021
A computer-generated unfolding sequence of sealed letter DB-1538. New research describes how "virtual unfolding" was used to read the contents of sealed letter packets from 17th century Europe without physically opening them.Unlocking History Research Group An unopened letter that was mailed back in 1697 but never delivered has been read ...
How Fast Are Oceans Rising? The Answer May Be In Century-Old Shipping Logs
SCIENCE
Lauren Sommer | March 1, 2021
Shipping workers recorded the tide levels beginning in 1854 at St. George's Dock in Liverpool, England, creating valuable records for future scientists.Heritage Images | Getty Images Off the coast of England, there's a tiny, wind-swept island with the remains of a lifeboat rescue station from the mid-1800s. The workers who ...
Scientists Talked To People In Their Dreams. They Answered
SCIENCE
James Doubek | February 27, 2021
Virginia State Parks | Flickr Researchers say two-way communication is possible with people who are asleep and dreaming. Specifically, with people who are lucid dreaming — that is, dreaming while being aware you're dreaming. In separate experiments, scientists in the U.S., France, Germany and the Netherlands asked people simple questions ...
Joy Buolamwini: How Do Biased Algorithms Damage Marginalized Communities?
SCIENCE
NPR/TED Staff | February 26, 2021
Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Black History ... And The Future Data, numbers, algorithms are supposed to be neutral... right? Computer scientist Joy Buolamwini discusses the way biased algorithms can lead to real-world inequality. A version of this segment was originally heard in the episode Warped Reality. ...
Colette Pichon Battle: How Can We Prepare For The Next Hurricane Katrina?
SCIENCE
NPR/TED Staff | February 26, 2021
Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Black History ... And The Future Sea level rise will displace millions by 2100 — and the Louisiana bayous, where Colette Pichon Battle lives, may disappear entirely. She describes how we can avert the worst when disaster strikes. A version of this ...
North Dakota Officials Block Wind Power In Effort To Save Coal
SCIENCE
Dan Charles | February 25, 2021
A windfarm near Velva, North Dakota. Two counties in the state have enacted drastic restrictions on new wind projects in an attempt to save coal mining jobs, despite protests from landowners who'd like to rent their land to wind energy companies.Karen Bleier | AFP via Getty Images North Dakota has ...
Baffled Canadians Spread Reports Of ‘Hard’ Butter
SCIENCE
Emma Bowman | February 24, 2021
Good butter should spread easily at room temperature, right? Well, Canadians have been complaining about strangely "hard" butter for weeks.Matthew Mead | AP There's something off about the butter in Canada that's left many flustered residents looking for answers. For weeks, Canadians have increasingly churned up debate on social media ...