Science & Health

All sciences, health & medical news

Why Is It Important To Be Touched?

Jan 19, 2017

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Five Senses

About David Linden's TED Talk

Neuroscientist David Linden thinks that of the five senses, touch is the most overlooked, and perhaps the most important for promoting psychological health.

About David Linden

How Do Pheromones Really Work?

Jan 19, 2017

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Five Senses

About Tristram Wyatt's TED Talk

Pheromones are mysterious compounds that can make a mammal smell more sexy--but that's not true for humans. Zoologist Tristram Wyatt says human pheremones are hard to find.

About Tristram Wyatt

Are There More Than Five Basic Tastes?

Jan 19, 2017

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Five Senses

About Nicole Garneau's TED Talk

Scientists have long believed we have just five tastes - salty, sweet, bitter, sour and umami (or savory). Geneticist Nicole Garneau argues we might be able to taste a sixth — fat.

About Nicole Garneau

Later today, six people will enter a dome on a volcano in Hawaii that will be their home for the next eight months, as they simulate a future mission to Mars.

It is the fifth such experiment run by the University of Hawaii and funded by NASA. The latest mission on Mauna Loa, which ended in August 2016, lasted a full year. It is known as the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation, or HI-SEAS.

On a chilly winter morning, dozens of truck driver trainees file into a classroom at the headquarters of Prime Inc., a trucking company based in Springfield, Mo.

At the front is Siphiwe Baleka, an energetic former swimming champion in his mid-40s. He delivers grim news about trucker health to the new recruits.

"If you haven't started to think about this, you need to start right now," Baleka says. "You are about to enter the most unhealthy occupation in America."

The Obama administration has dropped a controversial proposal that would have required all federally funded scientists to get permission from patients before using their cells, blood, tissue or DNA for research.

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The first results from a major project to measure the reliability of cancer research have highlighted a big problem: Labs trying to repeat published experiments often can't.

That's not to say that the original studies are wrong. But the results of a review published Thursday, in the open-access journal eLife, are a sobering reminder that science often fails at one of its most basic requirements — an experiment in one lab ought to be reproducible in another one.

Last year, global warming reached record high temperatures — and if that news feels like déjà vu, you're not going crazy.

The planet has now had three consecutive years of record-breaking heat.

If you've ever visited the palm-lined neighborhoods of Beverly Hills, you've probably noticed that the rich and famous aren't the only ones drawn there.

Stargazers also flock to this exclusive enclave, seeking a chance to peer into — and fantasize about — the lives of movie stars and film directors.

Call it adulation, adoration, idolization: we humans are fascinated by glamour and power.

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The last person to leave footprints on the moon has died. NASA reported that Gene Cernan died Monday at the age of 82, surrounded by his family.

Gene Cernan flew in space three times, including twice to the moon. Cernan was big, brash and gregarious. And if he hadn't been lucky, he could have missed his chance to walk on the moon.

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When Samantha Deffler was young, her mother would often call her by her siblings' names — even the dog's name. "Rebecca, Jesse, Molly, Tucker, Samantha," she says.

A group of scientists is gathering this week in the U.K. to discuss a slab of ice that's cracking in Antarctica. The crack could soon split off a frozen chunk the size of Delaware.

One glacier scientist, Heidi Sevestre, spent six weeks last year living on that giant slab of ice off the Antarctic Peninsula.

As seaweed continues to gain popularity for its nutritional benefits and culinary versatility, more people are skipping the dried stuff in the grocery store and going straight to the source: the ocean itself.

At low tide on West Coast beaches, foragers hop between rocks looking for bladderwrack, sea lettuce and Irish moss to take home with them. Sea vegetable foraging has become so common, in fact, that you can take a class to learn what to harvest and what to avoid.

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Nuclear power plants are typically hulking structures made using billions of dollars of concrete and steel. But one company thinks that by going smaller, they could actually make nuclear power more affordable.

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Networks

About Avi Rubin's TED Talk

Computer scientist Avi Rubin says all our smart devices — cars, phones, even fitness trackers — can be hacked. He warns that our network of connected technology puts us at increased risk for cyberattacks.

About Avi Rubin

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Networks

About Wanis Kabbaj's TED Talk

Wanis Kabbaj wants traffic to flow smoothly and efficiently, like the blood in our veins. He says driverless cars may be the solution to today's highway gridlock.

About Wanis Kabbaj

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Networks

About Robin Dunbar's TED Talk

Anthropologist Robin Dunbar believes the evolutionary structure of social networks limits us to 150 meaningful relationships at a time — even with the rise of social media

About Robin Dunbar

How Do Trees Collaborate?

Jan 13, 2017

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Networks

About Suzanne Simard's TED Talk

Ecologist Suzanne Simard shares how she discovered that trees use underground fungi networks to communicate and share resources, uprooting the idea that nature constantly competes for survival.

About Suzanne Simard

So far, more than half of all U.S. states have legalized marijuana for medical use, and eight (plus the District of Columbia) have legalized the drug for recreational use. Varieties of cannabis available today are more potent than ever and come in many forms, including oils and leaves that can be vaped, and lots of edibles, from brownies and cookies to candies — even cannabis gummy bears.

Six years ago, Don Cameron, the general manager of Terranova Ranch, southwest of Fresno, Calif., did something that seemed kind of crazy.

He went out to a nearby river, which was running high because of recent rains, and he opened an irrigation gate. Water rushed down a canal and flooded hundreds of acres of vineyards — even though it was wintertime. The vineyards were quiet. Nothing was growing.

"We started in February, and we flooded grapes continuously, for the most part, until May," Cameron says.

Tying a knot can be tricky. Just ask any kid struggling with shoelaces. And scientists have it even harder when they try to make knots using tiny molecules.

Now, in the journal Science, a team of chemists says it has made a huge advance — manipulating molecules to create the tightest knot ever.

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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Mice that kill at the flip of a switch may reveal how hunting behavior evolved hundreds of millions of years ago.

The mice became aggressive predators when two sets of neurons in the amygdala were activated with laser light, a team reported Thursday in the journal Cell.

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