The Math Guy writes:
"The one other thing you need to make a science news story work is to be able to answer the question "What is this good for?" Why this is an important question, has always baffled me. After all, the news media are full of reports about sports, music, movies, entertainment, and the arts, none of which are "good for anything" in the sense that science stories are supposed to live up to. "People enjoy it" or "Entertainment is a good thing in itself" or even "People are just naturally curious and want to know stuff" [...] are generally regarded as sufficient justification for most things the news media report on. Still, my colleagues in the media tell me that a science story won't work unless it gives an indication of a possible "application". And I know from many years of experience that, as in any other profession, the professionals in this case do know what they are talking about."