Joe's Big Idea
Jul 26, 2014 — Two large radio telescopes have detected very brief, powerful bursts of radio waves, and so far, scientists have no idea what's causing them.
Jul 22, 2014 — The Rosetta spacecraft hibernated for 31 months while its orbit took it too far away from the sun for its solar arrays to keep it operational. It's ready for a rendezvous with a comet Aug. 6.
Jul 17, 2014 — The traditional Japanese art of folding paper is now adding grace and ease to the deployment of fragile solar panels, seismometers and other vital instruments in outer space.
Jul 1, 2014 — Research indicates that black holes are more common than astronomers previously thought. (This piece initially aired on August 7, 2013, on All Things Considered).
Jun 29, 2014 — Space is a premium in space. So NASA ended up folding two rovers inside a shipping container, and then unfolding them when they landed. This story originally aired on All Things Considered on June 9.
Jun 27, 2014 — As part of the series "Unfolding Science," NPR's Joe Palca presents the science of protein folding. A properly folded protein keeps you alive; a misfolded protein can kill you.
Jun 26, 2014 — This technique for manipulating genes borrows a strategy from the way bacteria fight viruses. It's still experimental, but the possibilities excite medical researchers hoping to tailor treatments.
Jun 23, 2014 — The U.S. doesn't routinely use the metric system. The U.S. government definition of a foot is 0.3048 meters. But if the length of a foot is based on the meter, what's the length of the meter based on?
Jun 9, 2014 — To fit in their shipping container, two Mars rovers had to be folded up into a tiny package and then unfolded — a prime example of what NPR science correspondent Joe Palca calls "unfolding science."
May 31, 2014 — Speech patterns change when people enter the manic phase of bipolar disorder, doctors say. A smartphone app might be able to detect those shifts and improve treatment.