Although scientists have known that a funguslike organism caused the potato blight that triggered the Great Famine in Ireland in the 1840s, they didn't know which strain was the culprit. But they do now, thanks to the genes in some 19th century potato samples.
When disaster strikes, our natural instinct is to take cover and seek shelter. But in severe weather, especially the type that breeds tornadoes like we saw in Oklahoma and parts of the Midwest this week, there are those who ride toward the storm.
NASA and Google have come together to buy a new kind of computer that the manufacturer says runs on the strange laws of quantum mechanics. But some physicists counter that the machine, known as the D-Wave Two, has never demonstrated a phenomenon known as "quantum entanglement."
Architects have come up with spectacular concepts for vertical farms that would grow crops in city skyscrapers. But many horticulturists think the future of vertical farming isn't in skyscrapers but rather, in large, indoor warehouses lit up magenta by super-efficient LEDs.
People are notorious for under-reporting what they consume — they lie, forget or just guess wrong. For researchers who want to know how much soda we're drinking, a high-tech analysis technique could help.
A computer-simulated woman named Ellie is designed to talk to people who are struggling emotionally and take their measure — 30 times per second. Researchers hope their technology, which reads a person's body language and inflections, will yield diagnostic clues for clinical therapists.
When you give to WAMU, your tax-deductible membership gift helps make possible award-winning programs such as Morning Edition, All Things Considered, The Diane Rehm Show, The Kojo Nnamdi Show, and other favorites.