Science & Health

Shots - Health News
2:47 am
Wed November 12, 2014

How Animals Hacked The Rainbow And Got Stumped On Blue

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 10:56 pm

Until about 600 million years ago, seeing colors didn't matter so much to Earth's inhabitants — nobody had eyes.

"Before the eye evolved, you just wouldn't have seen what was there," says Andrew Parker, a biologist at London's Natural History Museum who studies the evolution of color.

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Sports
6:36 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Tennis Players Are Getting Their First Servings Of Sabermetrics

Britain's Andy Murray plays a return to Canada's Milos Raonic during their singles ATP World Tour tennis finals match Tuesday at the O2 arena in London.
Tim Ireland AP

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 1:27 pm

Move over Billy Beane — baseball isn't the only sport that's buddying up to Big Data.

Tennis pros — often driven by their coaches — increasingly are turning to data recorders from the likes of IBM, SAP and other tech firms that track the distance players run, where they hit important serves and all sorts of other metrics.

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Cancer Disparities Grant
3:46 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

UAB, Alabama State Given Cancer Research Grant

The University of Alabama at Birmingham and Alabama State University have been given a federal grant to research and reduce disparities in cancer rates.
Credit uab.edu/news

The University of Alabama at Birmingham and Alabama State University have been given a federal grant to research and reduce disparities in cancer rates.

UAB officials said in a statement Tuesday that the $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute will allow both schools to execute cancer-related research and training focused on helping underserved communities.

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Animals
3:17 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Regulators Ban Cod Fishing In Gulf Of Maine As Stocks Dwindle

Fishermen Ed Stewart (left) and Tannis Goodsen mend groundfishing nets on Merrill Wharf, in Portland, Maine, last November.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 1:13 pm

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is shutting down cod fishing, from Provincetown, Mass., up to the Canadian border, in an effort to reverse plummeting numbers of the iconic fish in the Gulf of Maine.

Starting Thursday, no fishermen — commercial or recreational — may trawl or use certain large nets that might catch cod for the next six months. Local cod fishermen, who now face an uncertain future, say the government hasn't done enough to maintain cod populations, and they challenge NOAA's cod counts.

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Goats and Soda
10:04 am
Tue November 11, 2014

How 'The Hot Zone' Got It Wrong And Other Tales Of Ebola's History

David Quammen's new book is an extended excerpt of his previous one, Spillover, which explored how dangerous pathogens jump from animals to people.
Courtesy of David Quammen

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 1:13 pm

In his new book about Ebola, science writer David Quammen has some harsh words for the author of another book about the virus — Richard Preston's best-seller The Hot Zone.

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The Two-Way
2:30 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Researchers To Attempt Robotic Landing On Comet's Surface

Europe's Rosetta spacecraft is about to send a lander to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
ESA/Rosetta/NavCam

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 9:12 am

Humans have never landed anything on a comet's surface. That may change tomorrow.

The European Space Agency's Rosetta mission is poised to send out a small probe to land on a comet known as 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Rosetta spent 10 years chasing the comet before arriving in August.

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World
4:09 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Fraught U.S.-Russia Relationship Could Undermine Nuclear Security

Originally published on Mon November 10, 2014 6:08 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
4:09 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

These X's Are The Same Shade, So What Does That Say About Color?

This is a re-creation of a color plate from Interaction of Color, by Josef Albers. The two X's are are exactly the same — it's the different backgrounds that make them look like very different colors.
Source: Josef Albers Interaction of Color

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 4:33 pm

Learning to name the colors is a ritual of childhood. At first kids have no clue; often they'll just say everything is "boo." Pretty soon, though, they can rattle off Roy G. Biv with aplomb. Still, that doesn't mean they understand what color actually is.

Mark Fairchild, who studies color and vision science at the Rochester Institute of Technology, says that even physicists get it wrong when they confidently assert that color is just a wavelength of light.

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The Two-Way
10:03 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Solar Bike Path Opens This Week In The Netherlands

A section of a bike path that uses solar cells to produce electricity is opening for full-time use Wednesday.
SolaRoad

Originally published on Mon November 10, 2014 11:39 am

A Dutch project that integrates solar panels into a bike commuter path will officially open this week, on a special roadway outside Amsterdam. Power generated by the SolaRoad's panels will be funneled into the national energy grid.

The project in the town of Krommenie is being called the world's first public road that includes embedded solar cells. The crystalline silicon solar cells are encased in two layers of tempered safety glass, mounted in a concrete housing.

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The Salt
10:36 am
Sun November 9, 2014

Inhalable Chocolate? Ingestible Ideas From A Lab For The Senses

Le Laboratoire Cambridge features a restaurant, the Cafe ArtScience. The restaurant's bar features a glass-globed drink vaporizer called Le Whaf.
Andrea Shea WBUR

Originally published on Mon November 10, 2014 12:31 pm

David Edwards has been called a real-life Willy Wonka. The biomedical engineer has developed, among other things, inhalable chocolate, ice cream spheres in edible wrappers, and a device called the "oPhone," which can transmit and receive odors.

Edwards is based at Harvard, but much of his work has been done in Paris, at a facility he calls Le Laboratoire. Now he's opened a similar "culture lab" closer to home: Le Laboratoire Cambridge in Cambridge, Mass.

Cultural Research And Development

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Humans
6:49 am
Sun November 9, 2014

How Catchy Songs Lodge Their Hooks In Your Ears

Originally published on Sun November 9, 2014 11:13 am

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

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WANNABE")

SPICE GIRLS: Yo, I'll tell you what I want, what I really, really want. So tell me what you want, what you really, really want.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Health
4:51 pm
Sat November 8, 2014

Obese Women Make Less Money, Work More Physically Demanding Jobs

A recent study found obese women are more likely than other women to work physically demanding jobs, like the kind that call for hard hats. They're less likely to work in jobs that require a lot of interaction with clients and customers — jobs that, on average, make more money.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Sun November 9, 2014 6:34 am

Being overweight hurts your earnings, and being an overweight woman is particularly tough on income. Back in 2004, a landmark study found that a 65-pound increase in a woman's weight is associated with a 9-percent drop in earnings. The authors of the study noted that, in terms of wages, the "obesity penalty" basically amounted to losing three years of experience in the workplace.

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Space
4:09 pm
Sat November 8, 2014

In Space, No One Can Hear You Sample

Originally published on Sat November 8, 2014 5:33 pm

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

Transcript

KAREN GRIGSBY BATES: Hear that? That's what our planet sounds like from space. And that?

(SOUNDBITE OF LIGHTENING ON JUPITER)

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Space
6:38 am
Sat November 8, 2014

Still Unknown In Virgin Space Crash: How Pilot Got Out

Originally published on Sat November 8, 2014 11:33 am

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

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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The Salt
4:52 am
Sat November 8, 2014

The Ancient Art Of Cheese-Making Attracts Scientific Gawkers

Many artisan cheese producers never pasteurize their milk – it's raw. The milk's natural microbial community is still in there. This microbial festival gives cheese variety and intrigues scientists.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat November 8, 2014 11:33 am

From Swiss to cheddar, cheeses depend on the action of microbes for their flavor and aroma. But it's far from clear how these teams of microbes work together to ripen cheese.

To a cheese-maker, that's just the beauty of the art. To a scientist, it sounds like an experiment waiting to happen.

A handful of scientists who study cheese recently gathered to share their latest findings at a farm in the English county of Somerset. They know cheese well here — after all, Somerset invented cheddar.

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