Science & Health

Shots - Health News
10:52 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Human Scent Is Even Sweeter For Malaria Mosquitoes

An Anopheles gambiae mosquito feasts on a human.
Jim Gathany CDC

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 12:13 pm

People smell yummy to mosquitoes.

So yummy, in fact, that our scent is a big way the pesky insects track us down.

But just how much mosquitoes like Eau de Human may not be entirely up to the bugs.

Mosquitoes are more attracted to human odors when they're infected with the malaria parasite, scientists reported Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE.

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Health
3:38 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Stem Cell Milestone Revives Intense Ethical Debate

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 4:56 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

We're going to look closely this morning at a dramatic advance in science.

GREENE: And also its far-reaching implications. The advance involves embryonic stem cell research.

INSKEEP: Which scientists see as a route to dramatic advances in medical treatment. Researchers have now figured out how to make embryonic stem cells that carry a specific individual's DNA.

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Shots - Health News
2:04 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Cloning, Stem Cells Long Mired In Legislative Gridlock

After President Obama overturned Bush-era policy restricting federal funding of embryonic stem cell research in 2009, Nebraska Right to Life led a protest of the research outside the University of Nebraska regents' meeting.
Nati Harnik AP

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 10:53 am

The news that U.S. scientists have successfully cloned a human embryo seems almost certain to rekindle a political fight that has raged, on and off, since the announcement of the creation of Dolly the sheep in 1997.

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Research News
2:03 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Water Trapped For 1.5 Billion Years Could Hold Ancient Life

This map, from the United States Geological Survey, shows the age of bedrock in different regions of North America. Scientists found ancient water in bedrock north of Lake Superior. This region, colored red, was formed more than 2.5 billion years ago.
United States Geological Survey

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 8:25 am

Scientists have discovered water that has been trapped in rock for more than a billion years. The water might contain microbes that evolved independently from the surface world, and it's a finding that gives new hope to the search for life on other planets.

The water samples came from holes drilled by gold miners near the small town of Timmins, Ontario, about 350 miles north of Toronto. Deep in the Canadian bedrock, miners drill holes and collect samples. Sometimes they hit pay dirt; sometimes they hit water, which seeps out from tiny crevices in the rock.

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The Two-Way
5:16 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

NASA Says Kepler's Planet-Searching Days May Be Numbered

Kepler-22b, the discovery of which was announced in December 2011, is one of many planets that bear the space telescope's name.
Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 9:09 am

The planet-hunting career of NASA's Kepler spacecraft might be near its end.

Astronomers said Wednesday that a reaction wheel that keeps the orbiting telescope pointed at tiny, distant patches of sky to look for Earth-like planets has failed. If they can't fix it, Kepler will be relegated to a less prestigious mission, directing its gaze much closer to home in a search for so-called "near-Earth objects," i.e., meteors and asteroids.

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Environment
3:06 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Dam Removal Ushers In New Life In Washington State

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 5:59 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Two dams that block the migration of salmon are coming down in the largest dam removal in U.S. history. The dam sits on the Elwha River in the northwest corner of Washington state. They were built in the early 1900s to power nearby timber mills, but their power is no longer needed. From member station KUOW in Seattle, Ashley Ahearn reports that the removal is releasing a lot of debris but also creating new life.

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Shots - Health News
2:16 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

How Researchers Cloned Human Embryos

Human embryos grow in a petri dish two days after scientists in Oregon cloned them from a donor's skin cell.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ohsunews/8726915230/in/photostream/ Courtesy of OHSU Photos

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 3:49 pm

Scientists in Oregon have achieved something that many thought might be impossible.

They said Wednesday that they have cloned human embryos and then harvested the embryo's stem cells.

The discovery, if it holds up, means scientists would be able to make personalized stem cells, with their genetic code almost perfectly matched to that of a patient.

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Health
1:10 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Analyzing The Language Of Suicide Notes To Help Save Lives

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 12:20 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Every 14 minutes, someone in this country commits suicide, and research on ways to reduce that grim statistic appears to be on a plateau. In other words, psychologists don't have much in the way of new ideas - at least, right now - except maybe for what's described as groundbreaking work on the notes that those who kill themselves sometimes leave behind. A team of researchers at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital use computers to break down the language in these messages of despair, in the hope that they can better identify those at risk.

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The Salt
12:06 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Go Fish (Somewhere Else): Warming Oceans Are Altering Catches

Crew members unload a catch of sockeye salmon at Craig, Alaska, in 2005. Researchers say fish are being found in new areas because of changing ocean temperatures.
Melissa Farlow National Geographic/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 6:39 pm

Climate change is gradually altering the fish that end up on ice in seafood counters around the world, according to a new study.

"The composition of the [global] fish catch includes more and more fish from the warmer areas, and cold-water fish are getting more rare, because the temperatures are increasing," says Daniel Pauly at the University of British Columbia, a co-author of the study.

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Shots - Health News
11:13 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Scientists Clone Human Embryos To Make Stem Cells

A scientist removes the nucleus from a human egg using a pipette. This is the first step to making personalized embryonic stem cells.
Courtesy of OHSU Photos

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 10:57 am

Scientists say they have, for the first time, cloned human embryos capable of producing embryonic stem cells.

The accomplishment is a long-sought step toward harnessing the potential power of embryonic stem cells to treat many human diseases. But the work also raises a host of ethical concerns.

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The Two-Way
5:17 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Road Crew In Belize Destroys Ancient Pyramid

What's left of the Nohmul pyramid after a construction crew virtually destroyed the 2,300-year-old Mayan structure.
Jaime Awe Associated Press

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 5:53 pm

A construction crew in search of gravel to use as road filler used its backhoes to level one of Belize's largest Mayan pyramids.

"It's a feeling of incredible disbelief because of the ignorance and the insensitivity ... they were using this for road fill," Jaime Awe, the head of the Belize Institute of Archaeology, said of the destruction at the 2,300-year-old Nohmul pyramid, located in the Orange Walk/Corozal area.

"It's like being punched in the stomach. It's just so horrendous," Awe said Monday of the destruction thought to have occurred last week.

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Energy
3:56 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

India, China Could Soon Demand More Oil Than U.S. And Europe

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 6:15 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

For years, we've understood the global oil landscape in fairly simple terms: Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries were the big producers of oil, the United States and its allies were the big oil buyers. But a report today from the International Energy Agency shows a different picture. Turns out the U.S. has become a star oil producer, as NPR's Tom Gjelten reports.

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Environment
3:56 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

'Ice Shove' Damages Some Manitoba Homes Beyond Repair

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 6:15 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In northern lakefront vacation spots such as Ochre Beach, Manitoba and Lake Mille Lacs, Minnesota, ice happens even in May. But what happened this past weekend was like something out of a science fiction movie.

(SOUNDBITE OF WIND)

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is the sound from a video recorded as constant strong winds pushed huge sheets of ice off a lake and onto the shore. Fingers of ice creeped farther inland and farther. It's as if the ice is alive.

(SOUNDBITE OF ICE SHOVE)

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The Two-Way
3:47 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Huge Boost In U.S. Oil Output Set To Transform Global Market

IEA chief Maria van der Hoeven, seen in a 2011 photo, said that North American production has set off a "supply shock that is sending ripples throughout the world."
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 4:48 pm

U.S. oil production is rising sharply and increased output from shale will be a "game changer" in global energy markets in the coming years, according to a new report out Tuesday by the International Energy Agency.

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Environment
2:17 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

With Rising Seas, America's Birthplace Could Disappear

Colonists built the original glass-blowing kiln in Jamestown, Va., at this beach for easy access to the sand. Now the site is just inches above the water level.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 6:15 pm

By the end of the century, the birthplace of America may be underwater.

The first successful English colony in America was at Jamestown, Va., a swampy island in the Chesapeake Bay. The colony endured for almost a century, and remnants of the place still exist. You can go there and see the ruins. You can walk where Capt. John Smith and Pocahontas walked. But Jamestown is now threatened by rising sea levels that scientists say could submerge the island by century's end.

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