Science & Technology

Science news

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Pope Francis has some surprising things to say about the state of the world.

On Monday, Pope Francis delivered his annual address to his diplomatic corps, ambassadors from 183 nations to the Holy See. The speech outlined a bold vision for a peaceful, free and just world. The pontiff touched on themes that have been in the headlines, like the Syrian war and the Rohingya refugee crisis.

With guest host John Donvan.

Here are some facts about octopuses:

• They’re venemous

• They taste with their skin

They use tools

They can solve puzzles

• They can change color and texture

Jimena Canales is a faculty member of the Graduate College at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and a research affiliate at MIT. She focuses on 19th and 20th century history of the physical sciences and science in the modern world.

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The #MeToo campaign forced many industries into a moral reckoning over sexual harassment and abuse.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

I don't date Asians — sorry, not sorry.

You're cute ... for an Asian.

I usually like "bears," but no "panda bears."

These were the types of messages Jason, a 29-year-old Los Angeles resident, remembers receiving on different dating apps and websites when he logged on in his search for love seven years ago. He has since deleted the messages and apps.

"It was really disheartening," he says. "It really hurt my self-esteem."

A top-secret multi-billion dollar U.S. spy satellite launched from Cape Canaveral on Sunday reportedly failed to separate from the upper stage of its SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and never reached orbit.

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The annual Consumer Electronics Show aims to forecast which tech items will become parts of our daily lives. Wall Street Journal personal technology columnist Joanna Stern examines the show's track record and previews some of the most-hyped items this year.

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Citing the popularity of Apple's phones and tablets among children and teenagers, two large investors say the company should do more to help parents protect their kids from the risks of digital addiction and the side effects of social media.

Together, California's teacher pension fund, or CalSTRS, and the Jana Partners investment group own more than $2 billion in Apple stock. In a letter to the tech giant's board, they're calling on Apple to give parents options beyond a "binary" system in which tools and functions are either freely available or closed off.

Bitcoin turned eight years old this month, but many people are only just now learning about the cryptocurrency.

A few years ago, Kansas City restaurateur Anton Kotar surveyed the local and national restaurant scenes and concluded his town's reputation as a steakhouse paradise had slipped.

The problem, he says, is the way conventional beef is raised – bulked up with grain on feedlots, making it cheap and plentiful and changing what Americans expect to taste.

"I think some of our best steakhouses chased the quality of the beef to the bottom," Kotar says.

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SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket successfully launched a top secret U.S. government payload into orbit, while returning its first-stage booster to the ground for reuse.

The Falcon lifted off at 8 p.m. ET Sunday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. As the first-stage of the Falcon returned to Earth for an upright landing, the upper stage lofted the mysterious Zuma, presumed to be a spy satellite or military communications satellite, into an undisclosed orbit.

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Time now for The Call-In.

(SOUNDBITE OF CORDUROI'S "MY DEAR")

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We live in a unique moment of human history where the tools our parents used are not the ones we take in hand.

The pace of technological (and hence societal) change is so fast now, compared with a few centuries ago, that we've developed an entire branch of storytelling dedicated to imagining where those changes are headed. It's called science fiction and — whether you like its forms or not — it has already changed your life.

John Young, who was one of NASA's most experienced astronauts and the first to fly in space six times, including a moon landing, died on Friday after complications from pneumonia. He was 87.

In NASA's history, few astronauts were more accomplished than John Young. His career was filled with firsts: he was the first to fly in space six times. He was on the first Gemini mission and he commanded the first shuttle flight. (He was also one of 12 people to walk on the moon.)

Russia And Venezuela Plan Cryptocurrencies

Jan 6, 2018

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It's just a cold. But even though I know I'm not horribly ill, I feel this overwhelming need to skip work, ignore my family and retreat to the far corner of the sofa.

I'm not being a wimp, it turns out. Those feelings are a real thing called "sickness behavior," which is sparked by the body's response to infection. The same chemicals that tell the immune system to rush in and fend off invading viruses also tell us to slow down; skip the eating, drinking and sex; shun social interactions; and rest.

Green waste – like tree limbs and grass – can produce an enormous amount of methane if left in a landfill. The methane emits greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. But, there’s a company based in the South Coast that’s working to reduce the effects of climate change by taking green waste and putting it back in the ground.

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If you are a scientist, entrepreneur or a Nobel laureate, you might have a future as an expatriate in China.

The guidelines were released jointly by the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Public Security.

The special visas — the first of which has already been approved — can be obtained in as few as five days, the government says.

Applications for the visa can be completed online and are free, the ministries say.

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If you thought your MacBook or iPhone would be immune to the Meltdown and Spectre microprocessor flaws acknowledged earlier this week by Intel, you would be wrong.

The problems found in the chips could allow hackers to get access to passwords and other sensitive data stored on personal computers.

In Florida, it's raining iguanas. And in Cape Cod, Mass., sharksicles are washing ashore.

The unusual cold that has slammed the U.S. East Coast is wreaking havoc with wildlife, particularly the cold-blooded variety. As one no doubt remembers from grade-school science class, reptiles and fish take heat from their environment — when it is warm enough, all is well, but if it gets too cold, you can expect scenes like this.

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