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The American pika is a little mammal that lives at high elevations in mountains in the West. It could one day have a huge influence on America's battles over climate change. A new program is enlisting students to help scientists learn more about the cute critters. We tagged along with middle school students from Oakland, on their first adventure in the High Sierra.
The field of psychiatry is going through major changes this year. For the first time in almost two decades, the so-called "Bible" of psychiatry -- the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" -- is getting an overhaul. Among the changes: a new category called the Obsessive Compulsive Spectrum. That includes not just OCD, but other behaviors that are far more common.
If Proposition 37 passes, California would be the first state to require manufacturers to label foods made with genetically modified ingredients. Critics of the measure say that such a label would be a veritable scarlet letter for products, while supporters site a lack of research on the effects of Genetically Modified Organisms.
It's every commuter's dream. You're stuck in an epic traffic jam and with the press of a button, your car does the driving for you. Now, thanks to companies like Google, robotic car technology is not so far off. This week, the state Legislature is considering a bill that would set up rules for putting self-driving cars on the road. But there are concerns that the technology is moving faster than the regulations.
Americans spend much of their time sitting in two places: behind the wheel of their cars and in front of their computer screens. So it makes sense that Detroit auto companies and Silicon Valley technology companies would eventually try to figure out how to combine these two parts of American society. Putting Internet access in cars may be the ultimate in mobile technology -- but it comes with a host of opportunities as well as dangers.
More than 34 million people live with HIV/AIDS worldwide. Only one person has, apparently, been cured of the virus. As the International AIDS Conference returns to the U.S. for the first time in more than 20 years, we speak with two individuals: the man known in some research circles as "the Berlin Patient," and one of the California researchers trying to replicate his HIV cure using gene therapy.
Imagine you're a scientist, trying to cure brain cancer. One thing you'd probably want to be sure of is that the samples you're working with actually came from a brain tumor, and not some other kind of cancer. This sounds like a simple problem to solve, but it's been nagging scientists for years, causing the waste of precious research dollars.
Blind people are consistently underrepresented in the workforce, but especially in the sciences. Experts say that's partly due to the fact that so much of early science education -- from labs and dissections to the periodic table of the elements -- is learned through visual-spatial lessons. The Lighthouse for the Blind held a first-ever chemistry camp for blind kids. The goal was to engage blind kids in the sciences by teaching chemistry through other senses, like touch and smell.
Earlier this month, NASA launched a new telescope into space to search for black holes. Scientists on the ground at UC Berkeley are communicating with it, and as Lauren Sommer reports, they're hoping to solve some of the mysteries around these strange space oddities.
Later this year an iconic instrument of science returns to the sea. Alvin, the submersible that found the Titanic and discovered countless new species at the bottom of the ocean will soon be exploring deeper depths. Ocean technology has come a long way since Alvin made its first dive in 1964. Increasingly, scientists are relying on robots, rather than manned submarines to explore the ocean. But when humans no longer put themselves at risk in the ocean depths, do we lose the thrill of exploration?