Science & Health

Science
3:13 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Plants Know The Rhythm Of The Caterpillar's Creep

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 5:15 pm

According to new research, plants can actually hear the sounds of insects chewing. A University of Missouri study is the first work to report that plants can recognize the sound of a predator through the vibrations of their leaves. To learn more, Robert Siegel speaks with Heidi Appel, senior research scientist in the Bond Life Sciences Center at the University of Missouri.

Shots - Health News
2:45 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Will This Tech Tool Help Manage Older People's Health? Ask Dad

Lively is a sensor that can be attached to a pill box, keys or doors. It lets people know whether aging parents are taking their medicines or sticking to their routines.
Courtesy of Lively

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 10:39 am

Aging 2.0 may not sound like the hippest start-up in San Francisco, but it's part of an industry worth $2 billion and growing fast — technology to help older adults.

Katy Fike, 35, is the company's co-founder. She's devoted to making sure that older adults who are supposed to use the products are involved in their development.

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The Salt
1:42 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

What It Takes To Make A Decent Cup Of Coffee In Space

Leave it to the Italians to design a capsule-based espresso system for astronauts who miss their morning cup.
Andrea Guermani Courtesy of Lavazza

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 3:47 pm

When our pals at the Two-Way wrote last month that engineers had finally come up with a way to brew some good Italian espresso on the International Space Station, we were thoroughly intrigued.

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The Salt
9:34 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Globe-Trotting GMO Bananas Arrive For Their First Test In Iowa

Ugandan researcher Stephen Buah and Professor James Dale hold bananas bred to be rich in vitamin A at Queensland University of Technology.
Erika Fish Courtesy of Queensland University of Technology

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 5:53 pm

Somewhere in Iowa, volunteers are earning $900 apiece by providing blood samples after eating bits of a banana kissed with a curious tinge of orange.

It's the first human trial of a banana that's been genetically engineered to contain higher levels of beta carotene, the nutrient that our body converts into vitamin A. Researchers want to confirm that eating the fruit does, in fact, lead to higher vitamin A levels in the volunteers' blood.

The volunteers in Iowa may not realize it, but they're playing a small part in a story that spans the globe.

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Science
6:03 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Can't Stand Meetings? Try Taking Away The Chairs

Standing even for part of a meeting could engage your team in more productive collaboration, researchers say.
pixdeluxe/Getty Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 10:49 am

The secret to more productive meetings? You might simply need to stand up.

This we know, to some degree. Just take as examples the growing popularity of standing desks, which took off after a flurry of reports found that sitting for long periods of time can significantly, negatively, impact employees' health.

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Research News
4:01 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Some Parole Requirements Could Be Increasing The Crime Rate

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 8:51 am

Prisoners who are released invariably make it back to the areas where they came from. Does this have a positive or negative effect on crime? Research triggered by Hurricane Katrina offers insight.

Shots - Health News
3:07 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

The Secret History Behind The Science Of Stress

Camel marketed smoke breaks at work as time spent relaxing instead of stressing. Camel, 1964.
Stanford University

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 2:47 pm

The modern idea of stress began on a rooftop in Canada, with a handful of rats freezing in the winter wind.

This was 1936 and by that point the owner of the rats, an endocrinologist named Hans Selye, had become expert at making rats suffer for science.

"He would subject them to extreme temperatures, make them go hungry for long periods, or make them exercise a lot," the medical historian Mark Jackson says. "Then what he would do is kill the rats and look at their organs."

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The Salt
2:31 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Raw Milk Producers Aim To Regulate Themselves

Charlotte Smith, of Champoeg Creamery in St. Paul, Ore., says raw milk may offer health benefits. But she also acknowledges its very real dangers.
Courtesy of Champoeg Creamery

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 8:45 am

A growing number of Americans are buying raw milk. That's milk that has not been pasteurized to kill bacteria.

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Brain Candy
4:33 pm
Sun July 6, 2014

NPR Listeners Show A Keen Ear For Temperature

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 8:23 am

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Yesterday on the show, we played a couple of sounds for you.

(SOUNDBITE OF WATER POURING)

MCEVERS: One is the sound of hot water being poured into a glass, the other is of cold water being poured into an identical glass. We asked you to go on our website and tell us whether you could tell which was which. And a lot of you took us up on it - like 30,000 of you. And 80 percent of you guessed that this...

(SOUNDBITE OF WATER POURING)

MCEVERS: ...Was cold water. You were right. This...

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Animals
6:55 am
Sun July 6, 2014

Study Shows Penguins Endangered By Waning Antarctic Ice

Originally published on Sun July 6, 2014 11:50 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

You're listening to WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. A study published in the journal "Nature Climate Change" says, the population of Emperor penguins in Antarctica is in danger. Hal Caswell is a scientist emeritus at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He co-authored the report. And he joins us from Amsterdam. Welcome.

HAL CASWELL: Thank you.

WERTHEIMER: You've been studying the Emperor penguin population in Antarctica. What's happening to them?

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Krulwich Wonders...
6:03 am
Sun July 6, 2014

Tell Me, Wave, Where Did You Come From? Who Made You?

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 11:27 am

"I'm sitting next to a swimming pool and somebody dives in," says the great physicist Richard Feynman in a conversation recorded in 1983. Other people jump in as well.

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Brain Candy
2:30 pm
Sat July 5, 2014

What Does Cold Sound Like? See If Your Ear Can Tell Temperature

That water sounds so cold.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 8:22 am

Can you hear the difference between hot and cold?

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Science & Health
8:21 am
Sat July 5, 2014

More jobs at Decatur Chemical Plant

DECATUR, Ala. (AP) — A north Alabama chemical facility is getting an $11.2 million upgrade as part of plans for expanded operations. A top official at the 3M Co.'s facility on State Docks Road in Decatur told the Decatur Daily that the facility is on track to begin producing "fine chemicals" in the second quarter of 2015. Site operations manager Robin Higgs told the newspaper that the chemicals are something that no 3M plant has produced before. The Decatur plant mostly produces adhesives in batches ranging from 3,000 to 6,000 gallons.

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Science
2:37 am
Fri July 4, 2014

Dance Of Human Evolution Was Herky-Jerky, Fossils Suggest

Our popular image of Homo erectus as the proto-guy who whose human-like traits all emerged at once needs overhauling, some anthropologists say.
Sylvain Entressangle Science Source

Originally published on Sat July 5, 2014 12:18 am

A trio of anthropologists has decided it's time to rewrite the story of human evolution.

That narrative has always been a work in progress, because almost every time scientists dig up a new fossil bone or a stone tool, it adds a new twist to the story. Discoveries lead to new arguments over the details of how we became who we are.

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Science & Health
12:17 am
Fri July 4, 2014

Author Interview: Osama Hamdy on Diabetes

Dr. Osama Hamdy
thediabetesbreakthrough.com

Alabama has one of the worst rates of diabetes in the nation.  Harvard doctor Osama Hamdy says the rate of diabetes has increased 82 percent in the nation over the last 15 years.  And Alabama has seen an increase of about 140 percent.  Hamdy says one key to battling the problem is tackling its chief driver: obesity.  The other is increased activity.

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