Science & Technology

Science & Technology
6:29 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

UCSB study shows levels of 'love hormone' increase when reunited with family

A Tsimane family
Credit Adrian Jaeggi, PhD

Anthropologists at UC Santa Barbara say they've found evidence that the old expression, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder," is actually true.

The scientists studied the hormonal reactions hunters in the Bolivian Amazon encountered when leaving home for a day of hunting, during conditions while hunting, and then returning to their families.

The research showed elevated levels of oxytocin—known as the "love hormone"—when the Tsimane men were reunited with their loved ones.

The oxytocin levels also increased the longer the men were away.

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Science & Technology
5:55 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Dawn spacecraft mission to Ceres could help explain origins of our solar system

The dwarf planet Ceres as seen by NASA's Dawn spacecraft.
Credit NASA

A former Cal Poly professor is among the lead team members as NASA prepares to enter a historic orbit Friday morning of a dwarf planet. 

The Dawn spacecraft launched in 2007 is studying the largest object in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Scientists believe Ceres was on its way to becoming a full-sized planet... but had its development interrupted by Jupiter's gravity.

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Science & Technology
6:00 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Cal Poly grad among shrinking list of candidates for mission to colonize Mars

The Mars One teams hopes to send up the first pod of colonizers by 2024.
Credit The Mars 100 YouTube video

A Cal Poly graduate is among the 100 finalists of more than 200,000 applicants that were in the running to be one of the first humans to colonize the planet Mars.

They're part of the Mars One mission that's being organized by a private, non-profit out of the Netherlands.

Kay Radzik Warren, 54, graduated from Cal Poly's Architecture Department back in the mid-1990s. She says she hopes the mission succeeds and that she's part of it when it does. 

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Science & Technology
5:53 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

City of Lompoc hopes new plans for California Space Center can move forward

Credit California Space Center Consortium

The City of Lompoc is excited about an updated plan to build a local space center that city leaders hope will draw tourists globally. 

The multi-million dollar California Space Center facility is proposed for 82 acres of city-owned land near the Allan Hancock College Lompoc campus.

Economic development director Teresa Gallavan says this $300 million proposal could provide more than 3000 jobs.

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Science & Technology
3:18 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Cal Poly students and scientists are a big part of Friday's Delta II launch at Vandenberg

NASA's Scott Higginbotham showing off the "loaf of bread-sized" ExoCube satellite designed at Cal Poly.
Credit Jay Thompson, Cal Poly

The launch of a soil moisture monitoring satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base was in a 24-hour delay cycle on Thursday afternoon because of a problem with upper level winds Thursday morning.

The SMAP satellite (Soil Moisture Active Passive) is now scheduled to launch Friday morning at 6:20.

Three other nano-satellites—or CubeSats—are also onboard the Delta II rocket sitting on the Vandenberg launchpad, and they're what scientists and students from Cal Poly will be watching.

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Science & Technology
12:57 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

SMAP satellite will help scientists track drought and improve weather forecasts

Video still of the SMAP satellite
Credit NASA

Scientists are looking forward to using a new satellite that will help them track California's ongoing drought and create more accurate and longer-term forecasts.

It's known as SMAP (Soil Moisture Active Passive) and is scheduled to launch at Vandenberg Air Force Base Thursday morning at 6:20 a.m.

It's main purpose is to observe the entire surface of the Earth with a focus on soil moisture and the world's freeze and thaw zones.

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Science & Technology
6:17 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Earthquake warning system partially funded in new federal budget

A seismogram display from Black Mountain in San Luis Obispo County showing a micro earthquake that occurred at near Parkfield on December 14, 2014.
Credit USGS

An omnibus federal funding bill that is headed to President Obama's desk after passing in both the US Senate and House of Representatives includes $5 million to develop a West Coast earthquake early warning system.

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) says the funding is just a down payment and she wants to see the program fast-tracked before the next major quake strikes.

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Science & Technology
4:42 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Larger Atlas V scheduled for Vandenberg launch this Thursday

The launch of the Atlas V 541that carried the Mars rover Curiosity.
Credit NASA

An Atlas V rocket—unlike any other launched on the West Coast—is scheduled for lift-off this Thursday at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

It's called an Atlas V 541, and it's the same type of rocket used to launch the Mars rover Curiosity back in 2011.

The rocket is larger than the most recent Atlas V to launch at Vandenberg because it has booster rockets.

Thursday's mission, named NROL-35, is in cooperation with the National Reconnaissance Office and is highly secretive.

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Science & Technology
5:51 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

UCSB brain scientists to study public's reaction to the Ebola threat

Credit Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

Scientists at UCSB will soon begin studying how people around the world have responded to the Ebola threat, psychologically. The University's Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences is getting more $128,202 from the National Science Foundation for the project.

Professor David Sherman is working with lead researcher Dr. Heejung Kim on the project and says the goal is to help us understand how and why we respond the way we do.

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Science & Technology
1:24 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

Enchanted Objects

Broadcast date: 11/10/2014

Twelve years ago, David Rose designed a frosted glass sphere programmed to track any kind of data.  He called it the Ambient Orb.  Now he provides insight into the promise of tomorrow’s technology in his book, Enchanted Objects.

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Science & Technology
4:23 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Cal Poly grads win 2014 TechPitch competition with pickup truck device

The LiftGator won the 2014 TechPitch competition Wednesday night at the Alex Madonna Expo Center in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Credit Superior Solutions Manufacturing, Facebook Page

A pair of Cal Poly Mechanical Engineering alums are the winners of this year's Tech Pitch competition held last night at the Alex Madonna Expo Center in San Luis Obispo.

It was 22-year-old Justin Russo who gave the presentation for his company's removable LiftGator device designed for pickup trucks. He runs Superior Solutions Manufacturing with fellow Cal Poly grad Marty Affentranger. Their device is a product out of the HotHouse incubator. The Lift Gator makes it easy to load heavy items into truck beds.

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Science & Technology
1:29 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

WATCH: Reusable 'space plane' successfully lands at Vandenberg Air Force Base

The X-37B following a successful landing on the runway at Vandenberg Air Force Base on Friday, October 17, 2014.
Credit 30th Space Wing at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

UPDATE: Friday, October 17, 2014:

The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle mission 3 (OTV-3), the Air Force's unmanned, reusable space plane, landed Friday morning at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The military said it touched own at 9:24 a.m.

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Science & Technology
5:42 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

UCSB Professor shares Nobel Prize in Physics for work on LED lights

The Bay Lights art project has strings of LEDs on each vertical cable, sequenced to a fanciful display. It is world’s largest LED sculpture.
Credit Flickr member Steve Jurvetson

The Nobel Prize for Physics was announced Tuesday in Stockholm, Sweden, and the among the winners is a professor at UCSB.

"This year's prize is about light," the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said as they revealed the three winners, including Professor Shuji Nakamura of UC Santa Barbara.

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Science & Technology
5:28 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Successful solar spacecraft test at Cal Poly moves project to next phase

The LightSail fully unfurled during testing Tuesday on the Cal Poly campus.
Jay Thompson, Cal Poly

Last month a group of Cal Poly students worked to test elements of a high-tech spacecraft they're working on with Stanford University. But, a communications glitch forced a trip back to the drawing board.

On Tuesday night however, the students enjoyed the thrill of success.

Doug Stetson, the LightSail program manager for the Planetary Society, said the test involved, "simulating all of the activities that the spacecraft will conduct when it's on orbit after launch."

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Science & Technology
5:39 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Scientists uncover why we all make the same 'anger face'

The 'anger face' is universal because we evolved to use it, according to scientists at UCSB and Australia's Griffith University.
Credit The Current, UCSB

The next time you make an angry face, you may be comforted to know that the elements of that face are built into our genetic makeup.

Researchers at UC Santa Barbara in collaboration with Australia's Griffith University have identified the functional advantages behind the face. The findings are in the current edition of the journal Evolution and Human Behavior.

The scientists say every aspect of the angry face—from your mouth up to your eyebrows—is aimed at intimidating your subject. The look has evolved to make you look stronger.

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