Science & Technology

All Tech Considered
4:04 am
Sat October 26, 2013

No Seat Belts Required: Drone Hobbyists Talk Safety

Christopher Vo pilots his aircraft as local drone enthusiasts gather for a Maryland fly-in at an airport in Laytonsville, Md.
Bill O'Leary The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 8:38 pm

Last month, I got hit by a drone. No, it was not a giant surveillance robot, or a sinister armed device. It was a cute little quadcopter about the size of a coconut, operated by a professor who built it for fun.

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Shots - Health News
6:04 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

For Obamacare To Work, It's Not Just About The Numbers

Ashley Hentze (left) gets help signing up for the Affordable Care Act from a volunteer in Florida. The government says that 40 percent of the expected enrollees for 2014 must be young and healthy for health insurance premiums to remain affordable.
Chris O'Meara AP

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 2:38 pm

Relatively few people have enrolled in new health insurance plans since the Affordable Care Act exchanges launched this month. But some health care experts say it's early days yet — and that getting the right proportion of healthy, young new enrollees is just as important as how quickly people sign up.

The Congressional Budget Office projects that 7 million people will buy health insurance for 2014 through the new exchanges, integral to the implementation of the government's new health care law.

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Digital Life
4:30 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Gremlins And Glitches: Lexical Queries After HealthCare.gov

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 6:55 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

When it comes to describing problems with the Affordable Care Act website, one word has been used a lot.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Now like every new law, every new product rollout, there are going to be some glitches in the signup process along the way that we will fix.

CORNISH: That's President Obama on the site's first day. But does the word glitches really capture Americans' frustrations with the site?

BEN ZIMMER: Glitch most likely comes from a Yiddish word, and the Yiddish word means a slip or a lapse.

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All Tech Considered
4:05 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

A School's iPad Initiative Brings Optimism And Skepticism

Students at Coachella Valley Unified School District use iPads during a lesson. The district's superintendent is promoting the tablet initiative as a way to individualize learning.
Coachella Valley Unified School District

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 6:55 pm

A growing number of school districts across America are trying to weave tablet computers, like the iPad, into the classroom fabric, especially as a tool to help implement the new Common Core state standards for math and reading.

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Shots - Health News
1:18 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Why Engineers Want To Put B Vitamins In 3-D Printers

This riboflavin-rich material can be used to print intricate, microscopic structures in three dimensions.
Courtesy of North Carolina State University

Almost every day it seems there's a new use for 3-D printing.

In medicine, the printers are already making prosthetic hands, hearing aid cases and parts of human ears.

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The Two-Way
12:46 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Administration: A Month Needed To Fix Obamacare Enrollment Site

The HealthCare.gov insurance exchange site shown on Oct. 1, when it opened. Since then, it's been plagued with problems.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 2:37 pm

A subcontractor that built a portion of the HealthCare.gov website that's now working relatively well is being promoted to oversee a thorough revamping of the entire glitch-prone portal, and work will be done by the end of next month, the White House says.

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Movies
11:47 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Science Goes to the Movies: 'Gravity'

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: The most spectacular science shocker ever filmed. Too real to be science fiction, now science fact.

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

That theme signals a new series we're calling Science Goes to the Movies. If you ever watch sci-fi flick and think, now, com on. Did that really happen? Well, to us, that's what this series is all about. We're going to ask scientists to put on their film critic hats and help us separate the fact from Hollywood fiction.

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Author Interviews
11:47 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Craig Venter: Life at the Speed of Light

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Craig Venter was the first person to ever create a living thing from scratch, a cell, a bacterium, into which was inserted manmade genetic material - DNA. And for all intents and purposes, it was alive, moving, reproducing. It opened up a whole new world of what he and we now call synthetic biology, creating stuff from genetic code as we need it.

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Animals
11:47 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Discover the Inner Beauty of the Naked Mole Rat

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Up next, it's time for our video pick of the week. And making his debut on SCIENCE FRIDAY is our new video producer, Luke Groskin. Hey, Luke.

LUKE GROSKIN, BYLINE: Hi, Ira.

FLATOW: You like this seat? Get used to it.

GROSKIN: It's nice and comfy.

FLATOW: All right. What have you got for us this week?

GROSKIN: Well, today we're going to regale ourselves in the inner beauty of the naked mole rat.

(LAUGHTER)

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Environment
11:47 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Climate Change Aids Toxic Slime's Advance

Sewage and fertilizer runoff into China's Lake Taihu have fed a nasty bloom: an annual explosion of frothy cyanobacteria, which release neurotoxins into the lake. Hans Paerl, a marine and environmental scientist who studies Lake Taihu, says the warmer temperatures brought by climate change only contribute to the slime's advance.

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