Science & Health

The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

NASA: Warming Climate Likely Means More Floods, Droughts

Flash floods followed heavy rains in northern India in September.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 11:53 am

The Earth's wettest regions are likely to get wetter while the most arid will get drier due to warming of the atmosphere caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide, according to a new NASA analysis of more than a dozen climate models.

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NPR Story
9:49 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Ancient Earth May Have Smelled Like Rotten Eggs

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 12:03 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Imagine stepping onto the Earth two billion years ago, taking a stroll along the shores of an ancient beach near the northern edge of what today is Lake Superior. You wouldn't see any trees. They didn't hit the scene until, oh, another billion-and-a-half years. What you might see, though, if you had a microscope, were tiny bacteria-like organisms on the shore having a ball eating each other.

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NPR Story
9:49 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Living Inside the Box

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Here with us now is Flora Lichtman, our correspondent and managing editor for video. Flora, welcome.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hi.

FLATOW: What wonderful stuff do you have for us this week?

LICHTMAN: Well, from the less practical or the no practical application to the very practical in this week's Video Pick.

FLATOW: Ooh.

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NPR Story
9:49 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Scientists Seek To Take The Measure of Antimatter

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY.

Up next, another installment in the continuing quest to understand antimatter, that stuff that's supposed to be the opposite of matter. It's supposed to have been created during the Big Bang in equal amounts as normal matter, but for some reason, it's all disappeared. No one knows why - yeah, that stuff or actually that anti-stuff.

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NPR Story
9:49 am
Fri May 3, 2013

To Combat Rising Seas, Why Not Raise Up The Town?

When the Great Storm of 1900 battered Galveston, Texas, the town simply lifted itself up--in some places as much as 17 feet. Could a similar approach save cities today? Randy Behm of the US Army Corps of Engineers and Dwayne Jones of the Galveston Historical Foundation talk about the costs and feasibility of raising a town, albeit with better technology than Galveston's hand-cranked jacks and mules.

NPR Story
9:49 am
Fri May 3, 2013

17-Year Cicadas Primed To Emerge

This spring the massive "Brood II" batch of 17-year cicadas is expected to emerge from the ground in backyards and parks all along the Eastern U.S. The insects will mate, lay eggs, and start the cycle all over again. Cicada expert John Cooley explains the unusual biology and evolution of periodical cicadas.

NPR Story
9:49 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Michael Pollan: You Are What You Cook

Food writer Michael Pollan once advised "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." Now, he tells us how to cook it. In his new book Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, he takes a tour of the most time-tested cooking techniques, from southern whole-hog barbecue and slow-cooked ragus to sourdough baking and pickle making.

NPR Story
9:00 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Unstoppable Learning

Babies and young children are "already about as smart as they could possibly be."
TED

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 4:00 pm

Why do we put so much effort in making kids think and act like us? In this hour, TED speakers explore the different ways babies and children learn — from the womb, to the playground, to the web.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

TED Radio Hour
9:00 am
Fri May 3, 2013

What Do Babies Think?

James Duncan Davidson James Duncan Davidson / TED

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 8:27 am

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Unstoppable Learning.

About Alison Gopnik's TEDTalk

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TED Radio Hour
9:00 am
Fri May 3, 2013

When Does Learning Begin?

James Duncan Davidson James Duncan Davidson / TED

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 8:27 am

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Unstoppable Learning.

About Annie Murphy Paul's TED Talk

Science writer Annie Murphy Paul talks about how fetuses in the womb begin taking cues from the outside world, from the lilt of our native language to our favorite foods.

About Annie Murphy Paul

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Research News
3:31 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Of Flybots And Bug Eyes: Insects Inspire Inventors

These robotic flies, which were built in a Harvard lab, can flap their wings independently of each other and fly around while tethered to a power and control wire.
Kevin Ma, Pakpong Chirarattananon AAAS/Science

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 4:49 pm

A smartphone can tell you where to get a cup of coffee, but it can't go get the coffee for you. Engineers would like to build little machines that can do stuff. They would be useful for a lot more than coffee, if we could figure out how to make them work.

But the rules of mechanics change at small scales. Friction becomes dominant; turbulence can upend a small airplane.

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The Salt
2:42 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Can Salmon Farming Be Sustainable? Maybe, If You Head Inland

These sockeye salmon were raised at a land-based fish farm in Langley, British Columbia.
Courtesy Willowfield Enterprises

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 5:43 pm

Is salmon farming ever sustainable?

For years, many marine biologists have argued that the floating, open-ocean net pens that produce billions of pounds of salmon per year also generate pollution, disease and parasites.

In some places in western Canada, the open-ocean salmon farming industry has been blamed for the collapse of wild salmon populations in the early 2000s — though other research has challenged that claim.

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Shots - Health News
2:00 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Imagine A Flying Pig: How Words Take Shape In The Brain

Although a flying pig doesn't exist in the real world, our brains use what we know about pigs and birds — and superheroes — to create one in our mind's eye when we hear or read those words.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 5:20 pm

This is a story about a duck. More precisely, it's a story about what your brain just did when you read the word "duck."

Chances are, your brain created an image of a web-footed waterfowl. It also may have recalled the sound of quacking or the feel of feathers. And new research suggests that these mental simulations are essential to understanding language.

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The Salt
5:29 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Who Paid For Last Summer's Drought? You Did

Corn plants dry in a drought-stricken farm field near Fritchton, Ind., last summer.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 6:10 pm

Say the words "crop insurance" and most people start to yawn. For years, few nonfarmers knew much about these government-subsidized insurance policies, and even fewer found any fault with them. After all, who could criticize a safety net for farmers that saves them from getting wiped out by floods or drought?

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The Salt
5:23 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Bones Tell Tale Of Desperation Among The Starving At Jamestown

The four cuts at the top of this skull "are clear chops to the forehead," says Smithsonian forensic anthropologist Douglas Owsley. Based on forensic evidence, researchers think the blows were made after the person died.
Donald E. Hurlbert Smithsonian

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 6:48 pm

"First they ate their horses, and then fed upon their dogs and cats, as well as rats, mice and snakes."

So says James Horn of the historical group Colonial Williamsburg, paraphrasing an account by colony leader George Percy of what conditions were like for the hundreds of men and women stranded in Jamestown, Va., with little food in the dead of winter in 1609.

They even ate their shoes. And, apparently, at least one person.

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