Science and Technology

Science news

Markus Spring / Flickr

Preventing security leaks in information systems can be a frustrating endeavor that often leads back to a simple question: why do people violate the rules when they know of the dangerous consequences?

In order to answer that question, Dr. Qing Hu, a Union Pacific Professor in Information Systems at Iowa State University, decided to go straight to the source: the brain.

Linda Nebbe

Birth order has long been considered an indicator of personality, but the relationships we have with our siblings may have an even larger impact.

"Not only are siblings with us for the entire ride, [...] they're with us in our formative years. They're with us when our social software, our emotional software is still being booted up. And since they're there in those primal stages, they're also the people who help write those lines of code."

Michael Sauers / Flickr

Iowa's driver's licensing laws set it apart from most of the country. Teenagers can get learner's permits at fourteen, permits to drive to school after six months of instruction, and fairly unrestricted licenses at sixteen. But that may be putting young Iowans at risk.

Anne McCarte is Senior Vice President for Research at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. She says teens' inexperience, coupled with their propensity to take risks, causes a disproportionately high rate of crashes.

Jad Abumrad on Unanswered Questions and Making Concepts Dance

Apr 2, 2015
PopTech / flickr

What does a shrimp sees when it looks at a rainbow? How well can we really know the minds of animals? Why do we blink?

These are some of the questions that Radiolab creator and co-host, Jad Abumrad, tackles with each episode of his show.

Bret Hartman / TED Conference / flickr

David Gallo is a pioneer in mapping ocean terrain.

Budi Nusyirwan / Flickr

This month the Federal Aviation Administration released proposed guidelines for commercial unmanned aerial systems—commonly known as ‘drones.’

Paul Plummer

Drastic climate change and disease is threatening the lives of camels in East Africa and the herders who rely on them.  

European Southern Observatory / Flickr

The Kepler mission has found thousands of potentially habitable planets. But how can we truly know if they sustain life?

Pam Keller / Courtesy of Clare Roth

Cell phones have undeniably changed the way we communicate with one another.

Darwin Day

Jan 29, 2015
CGP Grey / flickr / http://www.cgpgrey.com/

Charles Darwin has a birthday next month, and science lovers all over the world will take time to celebrate the man who unraveled so many of the mysteries surrounding our origins, and those of our fellow animals.

NASA / NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center

The Kepler mission may have lost two of its wheels, but data being mined from the mission has unearthed eight potentially habitable planets.

Ellzabeth Bule / Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/legalcode

Home improvement expert Bill McAnally has some suggestions to help you be a better homeowner in 2015.

courtesy of Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites

With cellulosic ethanol now being produced in Iowa, researchers at Iowa State University hope to convert some of the by-products into useful renewable materials. 

John Pemble

When Facebook users "like" a photo or update their relationship status, some of that information will be stored in Iowa.

Paolo C. / flickr

A bone found on the banks of a Siberian river has yielded the oldest modern human genome yet recovered.

Photo by Dean Borg

Rockwell Collins is building advanced weather radar technology that analyzes storm clouds to provide aircraft pilots with predictions for hail, wind shear, and lightning threats in the plane’s flight path.  The new radar, called “Threat Track Weather Radar” is built in the company’s Cedar Rapids and Decorah plants. Dean Borg travels hundreds of miles with engineers to see a demonstrate of this new technology in an experimental aircraft flying over the Rocky Mountains.

John Pemble / IPR

  National leaders, governors, mayors and tribal leaders met in Des Moines this week for a task force meeting that will make recommendations to the White House this fall. IPR's Clay Masters talked with Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie about what those recommendations might look like.   

AP

Iowans can join others across North America to view an astronomical phenomenon very early Tuesday morning.  Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Iowa Steven Spangler says a total lunar eclipse will begin at one am and last for about an hour and half…

Durrie Bouscaren / Iowa Public Radio News

NASA has announced the Voyager I spacecraft, launched in 1977, has gone where no human-made vessel has gone before—interstellar space. And that discovery was made at the University of Iowa.

Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren caught up with the UI scientist who first realized Voyager had made it.

The frequencies showing that Voyager had left the outer reaches of the solar system were detected by a plasma wave instrument on board Voyager I, built at the University of Iowa in the 1970s. Research scientists including UI’s Bill Kurth regularly monitor the data.

John Pemble / IPR

A replica of a rare, 67,000,000-year-old dinosaur fossil is in Iowa for a little while. “Sue" the T-Rex was discovered in South Dakota in 1990.

The Science Center of Iowa is hosting a traveling exhibit about the dinosaur Feb. 2 to May 12. Workers have been busy this week setting up the replica of the towering fossil.

That’s where IPR's Sarah McCammon caught up with the Science Center’s exhibit director, Allison Shwanebeck, and Michael Paha of the Field Museum in Chicago.

Great Ape Trust

vA bonobo considered one of the best at communicating with humans has died at an ape sanctuary in Des Moines.  As Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters reports, the death comes at a time when the Great Ape Sanctuary is struggling to sustain funding.

Mohammed Alhadab/The Daily Iowan

NASA's launch of the Radiation Belt Storm Probes developed, in part, by University of Iowa Professor of Physics and Astronomy Craig Kletzing has been delayed.  The Atlas rocket is now scheduled to lift off on Thursday.  River to River's Ben Kieffer speaks with Kletzing about the delay, and the project's eventual goals.

A prehistoric mammoth bone was discovered sticking up out of the ground on an Oskaloosa farm last weekend days after a heavy rain. Archeologist Marlin Ingalls of the Office of the State Archeologist says the femur or thighbone, which measures four feet, may be just the tip of a rare find.  The location of the farm is being kept confidential to protect the site. 

IPR's Sarah McCammon talks with Grinnell College student Cary Speck, who recently completed research in the Czech Republic about shifting views of masculinity.

Radio telemetry is used to track down an endangered bat and experts discuss their research. Part one is posted below.

While most Iowans would scream when face-to-face with a bat, it was the bats doing most of the screaming in this radio expedition. We join researchers in the field as they conclude a remarkable 4-year study of the endangered Indiana bat.