PBS Newshour - Science-logo

PBS Newshour - Science


The latest news, analysis and reporting about Science & Technology from the PBS NewsHour and its website, the feed is updated periodically with interviews, background reports and updates to put the news in a larger context.

The latest news, analysis and reporting about Science & Technology from the PBS NewsHour and its website, the feed is updated periodically with interviews, background reports and updates to put the news in a larger context.
More Information


Washington, DC




The latest news, analysis and reporting about Science & Technology from the PBS NewsHour and its website, the feed is updated periodically with interviews, background reports and updates to put the news in a larger context.






MacNeil/Lehrer Productions 2700 South Quincy Street Arlington, VA 22206 703-998-2138


Will the Paris accord change our climate outlook?

Watch Video | Listen to the AudioJUDY WOODRUFF: So, how meaningful are this weekend’s pledges? And does it signal a fundamental change in how we will get our energy? Fred Krupp is the president of the Environmental Defense Fund. He’s back from Paris. And Robert Bryce is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and the author of several books about this. His latest is titled “Smaller, Faster, Lighter, Denser, Cheaper.” And we welcome you both to the program. Fred Krupp, to you first. How...


Medical testing on chimpanzees no longer allowed, the National Institutes of Health says

Watch Video | Listen to the AudioSTEPHEN FEE: At this 200-acre expanse near Shreveport, in Western Louisiana, chimpanzees have the run of the place. It’s called “Chimp Haven,” a sort of retirement community for chimpanzees, our closest genetic relative in the Animal Kingdom. The National Institutes of Health decided last month to end its support for biomedical experiments on chimpanzees, and it will send them here to live out their days. NIH Director Francis Collins says such medical...


Why 2 degrees Celsius is climate change’s magic number

Watch Video | Listen to the AudioGWEN IFILL: The international climate talks continue in Paris, where over 150 countries are trying to reach an agreement to limit the carbon emissions that the vast majority of scientists say drive global climate change. William Brangham helps us understand why, almost more than anything, one little number matters. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: For several years now, the stated goal of international climate talks has been to stop the planet from warming an additional...


How Einstein’s theory of relativity changed the world

Watch Video | Listen to the AudioJUDY WOODRUFF: But, first, this week marks the 100th anniversary of the publication of Albert Einstein’s greatest work, a series of papers laying out the general theory of relativity. Gwen has a look at how it changed our understanding of the cosmos and the man behind the ideas. She recorded this conversation earlier this week. GWEN IFILL: His work transformed our way of living at the cosmos. When Einstein put forward his general theory of relativity, that...


How to grow an Ebola vaccine with a tobacco plant

Watch Video | Listen to the AudioGWEN IFILL: we turn to the search for a treatment for Ebola. West Africa is still dealing with the aftermath of the worst outbreak of the disease in recorded history. Last week, Liberia reported a handful of new cases, just months after the World Health Organization said the country was free of the disease. And this weekend, not one, but two panels said the WHO needs to substantially reform and change the way it deals with international health crises....


3-D printers put limb prosthetics for kids in reach

Watch Video | Listen to the AudioGWEN IFILL: A professor from Upstate New York is using technology to transform the world, especially for young people in need of limbs. He shares his experience in his own words as part of this trip down innovation trail, a series of reports on the economy and technology in Upstate New York. This report was produced by WXXI in Rochester. JON SCHULL, Rochester Institute of Technology: I’m Jon Schull. I’m a research scientist here at the Rochester Institute...


Scientist who discovered HIV says achieving remission in patients may be ‘feasible’

Watch Video | Listen to the AudioMEGAN THOMPSON: In the early 1980s, French scientistFrançoise Barré-Sinoussi, one of only a few women at the prestigious Pasteur Institute in Paris, began seeing patients infected with a mysterious virus. FRANÇOISE BARRÉ-SINOUSSI:The feeling that we had is really to rush. It was a lot of pressure you know because of course we had already some evidence that this virus was transmitted by blood, by sexual roots and from mother to child. MEGAN THOMPSON:In 1983,...


Where there’s water on Earth, there’s life. Is the same true on Mars?

Watch Video | Listen to the AudioJUDY WOODRUFF: Finally tonight: big news from outer space. NASA today announced that it has found evidence of liquid water on Mars, at least during certain seasons of the Martian year. The discovery was made through satellite images, which revealed darkly shaded streaks on slopes of craters and hillsides. They darken and lighten over time as water seeps across the surface, and then evaporates. For more on what it all might mean, I’m joined by science...


What you need to know about the ‘supermoon’ lunar eclipse

Watch Video | Listen to the AudioHARI SREENIVASAN: Look up in the sky tonight, and you may see a rare supermoon total lunar eclipse. The sun, Earth, and a full moon will be in a straight line, making the moon, in its closing point of orbit, appear much brighter than usual, even red-orange in some places. This phenomenon hasn’t happened in 33 years and won’t happen again for another 18. For some insight, yesterday I spoke with “NewsHour” science correspondent Miles O’Brien. Well, why is...


How data is helping asthmatics breathe easier

Watch Video | Listen to the AudioCHRISTOPHER BOOKER: Every night, usually somewhere between dinner time and putting her children to bed, Louisville nurse Dawn Sirek reaches for her inhaler. DAWN SIREK: It’s really simple … and that’s it. CHRISTOPHER BOOKER: On good days, this is only her second dose of a daily asthma maintenance routine. But on bad days, of which there are many, Dawn says she loses count of just how many times she has trouble breathing and needs the inhaler. DAWN SIREK: I...


What made the West explode in flames

Watch Video | Listen to the AudioGWEN IFILL: Crews battling wildfires in California seem to have turned the corner against two of the most difficult and destructive blazes. Progress was reported in containing the Valley Fire, which erupted this weekend north of Napa Valley, which torched nearly 600 homes and left many homeless. That and a second fire have scorched more than 140,000 acres in just a matter of days, much of it exacerbated by California’s continuing drought. Hari Sreenivasan,...


Climate change is hurting the sex lives of sea turtles

Watch Video | Listen to the AudioGWEN IFILL: Now we turn to another angle of our continuing of climate change and its impact. Tonight, our science team looks at the toll it is taking on sea turtles and some of their tiniest offspring. We went to the coast of Southern Florida and came back with a major report that we are launching on our Web site tonight. Here’s a part of it. JEANETTE WYNEKEN, Florida Atlantic University: Turtles go back around 230 million years. Sea turtles go back around...


Teaching girls to write the rules at video game coding camp

Watch Video | Listen to the AudioGWEN IFILL: Now: giving girls access to a more level playing field in an area formerly dominated by boys, making video games. Special correspondent Sandra Hughes has the story. SANDRA HUGHES: It’s no secret that video gaming is aimed at a male audience. From creation to design to playing the games, the mostly violent first-person shooter games target boys, not girls. No wonder. In 2013, women accounted for just 11 percent of computer game designers and only...


What NASA’s twin tests will teach us about life in space

Watch Video | Listen to the AudioIn our NewsHour Shares series, we show you things that caught our eye recently on the web. What about you? Leave your suggestions in the comments below, or tweet to @NewsHour using #NewsHourShares. We might share it on air. GWEN IFILL: Today marks the halfway point in a year-long mission on the International Space Station. The goal? To figure out the long-term effects on the human body from being out of this world. They are comparing NASA astronaut Scott...


Why researchers are racing to test an Ebola vaccine for apes

Watch Video | Listen to the AudioGWEN IFILL: When the Ebola epidemic spread through West Africa last year, the focus was on the human toll of the virus. Science correspondent Miles O’Brien looks at the controversial race to develop a vaccine, this time with animals in mind. With Ebola thinning their ranks in Africa, 10 captive chimpanzees in Louisiana are enduring one last medical experiment focused not on human health, but, rather, the survival of their species. They are receiving an...


Trove of fossils from a long-lost human ancestor is greatest find in decades

Watch Video | Listen to the AudioGWEN IFILL: Researchers announced a fossil discovery today that some consider one of the greatest in the last 50 years, and one that could provide an important link in the family tree for all humans. Jeffrey Brown has the story. JEFFREY BROWN: The bones were found in a deep cave 30 miles northwest of Johannesburg. And the way they were found and then gathered is another incredible part of the story. In all, 1,500 fossil remains were brought up and contained...


Can Denmark make energy demand follow renewable supply?

Watch Video | Listen to the AudioJUDY WOODRUFF: The nation of Denmark has been a pioneer in wind energy production. Last year, nearly 40 percent of its electricity came from wind power, and, by 2050, it’s set an ambitious goal of having renewable energy provide 100 percent of the country’s energy. In the U.S., the Obama administration recently released the Clean Power Plan, which it hopes will lead to more renewable energy production. Stephanie Joyce traveled to Denmark to see how that...


Why humanity is essential to the future of artificial intelligence

Watch Video | Listen to the AudioJUDY WOODRUFF: Now another new addition to the NewsHour Bookshelf. Tonight’s focus is the brave new world of artificial intelligence. Jeffrey Brown has that. JEFFREY BROWN: Is it man against or with machine? Do machines, robots help us, replace us, hurt us? Robots are being built and seeping into more and more of our lives, but how much are their value and impact understood and accounted for? Such questions are part of a new book that looks at the last...


The invisible ocean threat that ripples through the food chain

Watch Video | Listen to the AudioGWEN IFILL: While global leaders meet to discuss action on climate change, one new threat has emerged in the world’s oceans. As Scott Shafer from our San Francisco station KQED reports, the threat may not be visible to the naked eye, but it changes the very chemistry of essential parts of the marine ecosystem. SCOTT SHAFER, KQED: Coral reefs like these, vibrant and teeming with life, may hold clues to the future of the world’s oceans. STEPHEN PALUMBI, Hopkins...


Study finds trauma effects may linger in body chemistry of next generation

Watch Video | Listen to the AudioSTEPHEN FEE: Fifty-nine-year-old Karen Sonneberg grew up on the North Shore of Long Island, just an hour’s drive from New York City. Her parents survived the Holocaust but rarely mentioned it. KAREN SONNEBERG: “All I knew was that we were different, that I was different. I didn’t exactly know why.” STEPHEN FEE: Her parents were Jewish, born in Germany – but after Hitler came to power, their families fled. Sonneberg’s parents were just children but carried the...