science

David Yee

Final oral arguments in the contested case hearing for the Thirty-Meter Telescope land use permit will be heard today in Hilo. Parties to the contested case will make their case before the state Board of Land and Natural Resources. HPR’s Ku’uwehi Hiraishi tells us what we can expect.

Pexels / Sebastian Voortman
Pexels / Sebastian Voortman

Today on Bytemarks Café, we’ll find out what is like to be an artist in residence at a science organization. We’ll talk to two artists and find out what they learned while resident at the Schmidt Ocean Institute and the Bishop Museum.

Jeff Kubina / Flickr
Jeff Kubina / Flickr

Today on Bytemarks Café, we’ll find out about the March for Science taking place on Earth Day 2017. The March for Science pulls together groups from across the State to celebrate Earth and the importance of science to frame our understanding of our environment.

Town Square: Science in a Post-Truth World

Jan 4, 2017
Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

  If news is now more infotainment than fact, where does that leave science? Tomorrow, a talk with scientists who are concerned about their place in a post-truth world. Guests; Dr. Mark Hixon is the Sidney and Erica Hsiao Endowed Professor of Marine Biology at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa and Professor Joe Mobley of the UH Manoa School of Nursing.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Astronomers with the University of Hawai‘i are a step closer to understanding the surface of the dwarf planet Ceres.

The planet is the largest body in our asteroid belt, and was originally thought to be covered in reflective salt.  Using a gamma ray and neutron detector, scientists found the surface is a porous mixture of rocky materials with ice in the cracks.

International Pacific Research Center
International Pacific Research Center

Our ancient ancestors may have migrated from Africa a lot earlier than previously thought.

Scientist with the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa are using computer simulations to show how climate change influenced migration for Homo sapiens over the past 125,000 years. The model simulates ice-ages, abrupt climate change and captures the arrival times of Homo sapiens in the Eastern Mediterranean, Arabian Peninsula, Southern China, and Australia in close agreement with paleoclimate reconstructions and fossil and archaeological evidence.

Margo Vitarelli
Margo Vitarelli

What we know and learn depends a lot on how we receive the information.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports a yearlong collaboration between local artists and scientists has yielded a cunning series of prints that intrigue, delight, and enlighten. 

Chester Harman / NASA
Chester Harman / NASA

A team of astronomers known as the Kepler Habitable Zone Working Group has identified a handful of planets that are most likely to be similar to our home.  

Outer Solar System Origins Survey (OSSOS)
Outer Solar System Origins Survey (OSSOS)

  An international team of astronomers has discovered a new dwarf planet orbiting in a disk of small icy worlds beyond Neptune.  The new object is a little more than 400 miles wide and has one of the largest orbits recorded for a dwarf planet.  The small icy planet was spotted with the large camera at the Canada-France-Hawai‘i Telescope on Mauna Kea  as part of the ongoing Outer Solar System Origins Survey (OSSOS).

NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA.

Astronomers with the University of Hawai‘i are examining possible ice pockets on the dwarf planet Ceres which orbits Pluto.

UH Pacific Biosciences Research Center
UH Pacific Biosciences Research Center

An international team of scientists led by the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa may have discovered an effective way to control insect pests which threaten agriculture and humans.  They identified a gene in vinegar flies which is responsible for the insect’s waterproof coating.

XL Catlin Global Reef Record
XL Catlin Global Reef Record

A week-long symposium on coral reefs wrapped up with a call to action. A letter sent to the Australian Prime Minister on Saturday urged the government to take steps toward curbing fossil fuel consumption. It was signed by the 2,500 attendees of the International Coral Reef Symposium…held in Honolulu. HPR’s Molly Solomon has more.

Coral Surveys 2.0: New Technology Maps Reefs

Jun 23, 2016
XL Catlin Seaview Survey
XL Catlin Seaview Survey

The bigger picture surrounding the state of our reefs just became a bit clearer. New technology and imaging data are helping scientists quickly survey coral reefs from around the world. HPR’s Molly Solomon has more.

Equipped with a 360-degree underwater camera and three powerful processing units, a collaborative research project has become a coral data goldmine.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Researchers with the UH Mānoa’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology are exploring a new way of viewing and interpreting California’s largest earthquake fault.  Scientists use Global Positioning System stations placed up and down the San Andreas Fault to track the movement of tectonic plates.

Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope
Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope

A team of Hawai‘i based astronomers have discovered a newborn planet larger than Jupiter that has an orbit very different from our own.  The planet is in the Taurus stellar nursery, more than 400 light years away and it’s orbiting a 2-million year old sun that’s considered the stellar equivalent of a week old human baby.

DLNR
DLNR

Scientists are getting a better idea of how sharks behave and why so many attacks have occurred off Maui. The study, commissioned by the state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources monitored more than 40 tagged sharks in waters off Maui and Oahu. HPR’s Molly Solomon shares their findings.

Carl Meyer is used to getting up close and personal with one of Hawai‘i’s apex predators. He’s spent the past two years tagging tiger sharks in Hawai‘i to study their behavior. He cues up a video from a camera he attached to a shark off Maui in January, peak mating season for tiger sharks.

Stop and Smell the Corpse Flower — If You Dare!

May 13, 2016
Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

This corpse flower is no shrinking violet. And anyone who caught a whiff of it in bloom this week at Foster Botanical Garden certainly knows the pungent blossom lives up to its name.

Scot Mitamura, a horticulturist at the gardens, said the corpse flower, or Amorphophallus titanium, started to open Thursday afternoon. The plant, originally from Sumatra, Indonesia, takes 10 years to blossom from seed. It then unleashes its signature smell when it reopens every two to five years.

Leading Coral Experts Prepare For Symposium in Hawaii

May 11, 2016
Flickr / NOAA's National Ocean Service
Flickr / NOAA's National Ocean Service

Hundreds of the world’s top ocean scientists will gather in Honolulu next month for the 13th International Coral Reef Symposium. It’s the first time the conference will be held in Hawai‘i. 

Leading coral experts say it’s a critical time for our reefs. Warming sea temperatures and increased ocean acidification are continuing to stress these ecosystems. Human activity has also taken a toll: overfishing, runoff of sewage and sediments from the shore.

NOAA's National Ocean Service / Flickr
NOAA's National Ocean Service / Flickr

  

  

Marine scientists are using some biology basics to protect Hawai‘i’s coral. 

Corals release their offspring as swimming larvae that eventually attach themselves to reefs and begin to transform into the skeleton of a coral head.  Researchers with the Hawai‘i Institute for Marine Biology have identified the molecular toolkit used by coral to build their skeletons.

NOAA's National Ocean Service / Flickr
NOAA's National Ocean Service / Flickr

Understanding the DNA of life in Hawai‘i’s coral reefs may hold the key to protecting diversity through changing conditions.

Arne Hendriks / Flickr
Arne Hendriks / Flickr

A UH Manoa Engineering team says microorganisms in wastewater grease traps may be contributing to a clogged sewer system.  Restaurant grease traps are designed to trap fat, oil, and grease (FOG) from getting into the sewer.

The Conversation: Monday, April 18th, 2016

Apr 18, 2016
Wikipedia

Talking About Science; A New Novel from Jill Marie Landis; Energy in the Legislature; Martial Law in Hawaii

Energy and Public Policy: Dr. David Berube

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

One of Hawai‘i’s oldest and most culturally important native trees is under siege from a mysterious disease. So far more than 34,000 acres of ‘ōhi‘a trees have died, and it's left scientists scrambling for a solution. HPR’s Molly Solomon visited the Big Island forest where it all began.

About 40 minutes south of Hilo, in the Leilani Estates subdivision in lower Puna, is what scientists are calling ground zero for Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death.

oceanexplorer.noaa.gov
oceanexplorer.noaa.gov

A new species of octopus has been discovered in deep waters further up the Hawaiian chain.

Researchers aboard the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration ship Okeanos discovered the creature at a depth of 4,000 meters.  Scientists were studying a connection between Necker Island and its ridge when they came upon the animal sitting on a flat rock.

Whale Of A Headstand: Rare Humpback Sighting At Sea

Mar 9, 2016
NOAA
NOAA

Scientists are reporting peculiar behavior among this season’s humpback whales. A recent video by NOAA's Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary shows a female humpback standing upside down with her tail sticking out of the water, performing a sort of underwater headstand.

Sanctuary response coordinator Ed Lyman says the rare behavior has a name: tail-sailing. It’s fairly common among right whales in the southern hemisphere, but is rarely observed in humpbacks. So far they’ve seen this in four different whales off Maui and O‘ahu.

Hawaiian Monk Seal Vaccinations Begin On Oahu

Feb 22, 2016
Flickr / Robin Wendler
Flickr / Robin Wendler

Researchers say the endangered Hawaiian monk seal population is on the rise. But so is the threat of a fatal virus that could wipe out the native species if it reaches Hawai‘i. HPR’s Molly Solomon reports on new efforts to prevent a future outbreak.

In case you’ve ever wondered how to vaccinate a wild Hawaiian monk seal, the first thing you’ll need is one of these. “This is a pole-syringe,” said Michelle Barbieri, holding up a 4-foot long spring loaded pole. She’s a veterinarian for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Hawaiian monk seal program.

University of Hawaii
University of Hawaii

Scientists say a disease killing hundreds of thousands of ‘ōhi‘a trees on Hawaii's Big Island is spreading. Recent aerial surveys show the acreage of infected trees has more than doubled in the past two years. State, county and federal agencies collaborated to conduct the surveys by helicopter last month. The fungal disease, called Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death, was found in 34,000 acres of ‘ōhi‘a forest. Rob Hauff is the Forest Health Coordinator with the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Duncan Hull / Flickr
Duncan Hull / Flickr

Here's a story to take you back to high school biology class.

You may recall that the "Y" chromosome is present in all males.  While a lot remains unknown about that gene, a recent study shows that it can be mimicked or replaced. The application of that knowledge could lead to advances in fertility treatments.

A team from the Institute for Biogenesis Research at the John A. Burns School of Medicine spent the last 2 years researching replacements for the Y chromosome.

Hooked On The High Seas

Jan 27, 2016
SOI / Michelle Schwengel-Regala
SOI / Michelle Schwengel-Regala

A research ship in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is not the kind of place where you would expect to find artists. But a new partnership is bringing together art and science through a residency program on board The Falkor, part of the Schmidt Ocean Institute. HPR’s Molly Solomon caught up with a local fiber artist who was able to hop aboard.

Pacific Fire Exchange
Pacific Fire Exchange

Scientists with the University of Hawai‘i are mapping the human impact of wildfires in the islands.

Over the past decade, the state has experienced on average, more than 1,000 fires burning over 20,000 acres each year.  Relative to total land area, the percentage of Hawai‘i’s land that burned from 2005 to 2011 was roughly equivalent to a fire consuming the western United States.

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