Science & Health

The Salt
4:30 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

The Weird, Underappreciated World Of Plastic Packaging

Food companies spend a lot of time and resources coming up with the perfect plastic packaging to keep their products fresh.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 5:39 pm

Like it or not, plastic packaging has become an ingrained part of the food system.

While it's clearly wasteful to buy salad, sandwiches and chips encased in plastic and then promptly throw that plastic away, we take for granted how it keeps so much of what we eat fresh and portable.

And behind many of those packages that allow us to eat on the go or savor perishable cookies or fish imported from the other side of the globe is a whole lot of science and innovation.

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The Two-Way
12:01 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Zoo In Argentina Says 'Sad Bear' Too Old To Go To Canada

Arturo, the only polar bear in Argentina, lives in captivity at a zoo in Mendoza. The plight of the "sad bear" has spawned more than 400,000 signatures on a petition to get him moved to a "better life" in Canada.
AFP Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 12:55 pm

Despite a public outcry that resulted in more than a half-million petition signatures and a personal appeal by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Arturo, Argentina's "sad bear," has been deemed too old to migrate to Canada.

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Goats and Soda
10:51 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Globe-Trotting Virus Hides Inside People's Gut Bacteria

We are all Russian nesting dolls: Our intestines house many bacteria, which house many viruses. These so-called bacteriophages are likely as important for our health as the bacteria they live in.
Lisa Brown for NPR

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 12:34 pm

New viruses are a dime a dozen.

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NPR Story
6:39 am
Thu July 24, 2014

As Millions Of People Fast For Ramadan, Does The Economy Suffer?

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Energy
3:08 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Nuclear Plant May Be In Hot Water Over Its Cooling System

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 9:36 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
1:32 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Does Your Dog Feel Jealous, Or Is That A Purely Human Flaw?

Oh, I don't wanna share you with nothing else, I gotta have you to myself.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 5:01 pm

When you kiss your husband, does your dog try to get your attention? And does that mean that your dog feels jealous? Threatened? Or are we just imagining that?

Many if not all dog owners are sure that their pets have feelings. And we've known for a while that animals exhibit behaviors that look like jealousy, guilt and shame. But it's hard to find out what animals are really feeling. And researchers say that understanding that could give us valuable insights into human emotions, too.

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Goats and Soda
1:30 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

This Aspiring Astronaut Might Be The World's Most Amazing Teen

It took 101 takes to get the right shot for Gideon Gidori's Kickstarter video. He hopes supporters will fund his flight school tuition in exchange for a secret potato salad recipe.
via Kickstarter

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 3:15 pm

At age 7, Gideon Gidori knew exactly what he wanted to be: a rocket ship pilot.

The only thing was, he was living in a tiny Tanzanian village where schools only went through grade six and books about space (or, for that matter, any books) were scarce.

But that didn't stop him. Now 15, Gidori is determined to become Tanzania's very first astronaut.

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Krulwich Wonders...
11:03 am
Wed July 23, 2014

An Animal Makes A $10,000 Deposit, But Not At The Bank

Courtesy of I.M. Chait

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 1:05 pm

It's a highly specialized category to be sure: "Longest." But that's what the auctioneer is selling. According to the catalog of I.M. Chait Gallery, in Beverly Hills, "This truly spectacular specimen is possibly the longest example of coprolite ever to be offered at auction."

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Science & Health
6:35 am
Wed July 23, 2014

NRC Names New Resident Inspector at Farley Nuclear

Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant, Unit 1
Credit nrc.gov

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has named a new resident inspector at the Farley Nuclear Plant in southeast Alabama.

Kenneth Miller is taking over the job at the Southern Nuclear Operating plant near Columbia. Miller previously worked as an inspector at TVA's Watts Bar plant in Tennessee.

Each U.S. nuclear plant has at least two resident inspectors, and Miller joins another senior resident inspector at Farley.

Resident inspectors are based in plants to conduct inspections, monitor large projects and provide general government oversight.

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Science & Health
6:31 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Contractor Chosen for Alabama Watershed Management

(FILE PHOTO of Fowl River: Courtesy of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources)
Credit governor.alabama.gov

The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program has picked a company to develop a management plan for the Fowl River Watershed.

Officials said in a statement Tuesday that Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood Inc. has been chosen to develop the Fowl River watershed management plan. The company specializes in architecture, engineering, environmental planning, landscaping and surveying. Officials say the company employs more than 300 people and has offices in Mobile and throughout the Southeast.

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Shots - Health News
6:29 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Many Kids Who Are Obese Or Overweight Don't Know It

Fun hikes offer health benefits for kids of every shape and size.
Annette Birkenfeld annedde/iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 10:07 am

Kids can be cruel, especially about weight. So you might think overweight or obese children know all too well that they're heavy — thanks to playground politics. But that's not necessarily so, according to government data covering about 6,100 kids and teens ages 8-15.

About 30 percent "misperceived" their weight status (underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese), according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. (The CDC bases those categories on body mass index, adjusted for gender and age.)

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Risk And Reason
4:08 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Pop Quiz: 20 Percent Chance Of Rain. Do You Need An Umbrella?

Will it rain or not? How you interpret the forecast could mean the difference between getting soaked or staying safe.
Maria Pavlova iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 4:04 pm

This week, All Things Considered is exploring how people interpret probability. What does it mean to us, for example, when a doctor says an operation has a 70 percent chance of success?

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Animals
3:14 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Thousands Of Migrating Birds Take Their Layover In A Texas Parking Lot

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 7:17 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Every summer migrating birds fly across the country - across the world without much fanfare. You might spot a flock of geese overhead but for the most part birds stay out of sight. For one species the exact opposite is true, their summer ritual happens in a very public place. From Austin, Texas, Luke Quinton reports from a place that isn't typical for bird watching. It is the parking lot of an abandoned shopping mall.

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Goats and Soda
2:31 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Don't Pop That Bubble Wrap! Scientists Turn Trash Into Test Tubes

Clear and clean, bubble wrap is well-suited to serve as an array of tiny test tubes. Here a dye solution is injected into the bubbles to measure the hemoglobin concentration in blood.
American Chemical Society

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 4:47 pm

Hate to burst your bubble, glass lab gear. But plastic bubble wrap also works pretty well at running science experiments.

Scientists at Harvard University have figured out a way to use these petite pouches as an inexpensive alternate to glass test tubes and culture dishes. They even ran glucose tests on artificial urine and anemia tests on blood, all with the samples sitting inside bubble wrap.

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Krulwich Wonders...
12:55 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

What's Better Than A Total Eclipse Of The Sun? Check This

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 1:54 pm

Any eclipse is worth seeing. A total eclipse — where the moon completely blots out the sun, where day turns to night, where solar flares ring the moon's shadow like a crown of flame — that's the eclipse everybody wants to see, the alpha eclipse that eclipses all the other eclipses. Everybody knows this (me included), until I saw this ...

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