Science & Health

Krulwich Wonders...
10:40 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Just Like Van Gogh, Ocean Waves Paint Clouds In The Sky

YouTube

If you can't get to a beach this weekend, you can still see waves. Just look up.

Clouds, after all, are sculpted by waves of air. These clouds, in Birmingham, Ala., were formed when two layers of air — one fast, the other slow — collided at just the right speed to create rises and dips that caused the clouds to curl in on themselves and crash, just like waves on a beach.

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The Two-Way
9:48 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Thirsty? 'Sweat Machine' Turns Perspiration Into Drinking Water

The Sweat Machine was unveiled as part of a UNICEF campaign promoting safe drinking water.
UNICEF

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 10:53 am

Thomas Edison famously said that genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration — words that could well apply to a new machine promoted by UNICEF that turns human sweat into drinking water.

The Sweat Machine extracts moisture from worn clothes by spinning and heating them, then filters the resulting liquid so that only pure water remains. It was built by Swedish engineer and TV personality Andreas Hammar, and uses a technology developed by Sweden's Royal Institute of Technology and the water purification company HVR.

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Science
9:41 am
Fri July 19, 2013

DIY Summer Hacks, From the Pool to the Grill

Ever tried to make your own sunscreen? A water bottle rocket? How about a cardboard canoe? Eric Wilhelm, founder of Instructables, and Mike Szczys, managing editor at Hackaday.com, discuss their favorite do-it-yourself summer projects. And Bon Appetit's Andrew Knowlton suggests some cooking hacks, like "cooler corn" and turning your BBQ into a smoker.

Your Health
9:41 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Fish Oil: Too Much of a Good Thing?

Fish oil may have some benefit for the heart. But a study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute links higher blood levels of the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil to a higher risk of prostate cancer. Study author Alan Kristal says the potential mechanism is unclear, but he warns that supplements can sometimes increase the risk of the very diseases they're meant to prevent.

Space
9:41 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Astronomers Spot Another Moon Around Neptune

Astronomers have detected a previously unseen moon orbiting Neptune, bringing the planet's moon count to 14. Mark Showalter, an astronomer at the SETI Institute, describes how he spotted the 12-mile moon while combing through old images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.

Environment
9:41 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Capturing the Sounds of Biodiversity

Researchers at the University of Puerto Rico have developed a system that can automatically record and analyze sound clips from the field. Mitch Aide, lead researcher on the project, describes how the system can improve biodiversity monitoring.

Science
9:41 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Volcano 'Screams' Before Eruption

In 2009, Alaska's Redoubt volcano erupted and sent plumes of ash miles into the air. But underground, there was even more activity. In a study published in Nature Geoscience, researchers say the volcano experienced a large number of pre-eruption earthquakes that created a "scream."

Code Switch
2:26 am
Fri July 19, 2013

How To Fight Racial Bias When It's Silent And Subtle

Researchers say it may be possible to temporarily reduce racial biases.
Images.com Corbis

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 7:00 pm

In the popular imagination and in conventional discourse — especially in the context of highly charged news events such as the shooting of Trayvon Martin — prejudice is all about hatred and animosity.

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Environment
3:22 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Wildfires Will Worsen, And Further Strain The Forest Service

An aircraft lays down a line of fire retardant between a wildfire and homes in the dry, densely wooded Black Forest area northeast of Colorado Springs, Colo., on June 13.
John Wark AP

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 10:13 pm

The deaths of 19 firefighters near Yarnell, Ariz., this summer have focused a lot of attention on just how bad wildfire has become in the West. And research predicts the situation is going to get worse.

Over the past decade, the region has seen some of the worst fire seasons on record. In addition to lives lost, the fires have cost billions in terms of lost property and in taxpayer money spent fighting the blazes.

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The Two-Way
3:17 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Sequestration Could Curtail 'Hurricane Hunter' Missions

A WC-130J "Hurricane Hunter"
U.S. Air Force

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 5:38 pm

Federal furloughs caused by sequestration could ground "Hurricane Hunter" aircraft, depriving forecasters of real-time measurements of storms during what's expected to be an especially active Atlantic hurricane season.

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Shots - Health News
2:37 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

World's Biggest Virus May Have Ancient Roots

Pandoraviruses were discovered lurking in the mud of Chile and Australia, half a world apart.
courtesy of Chantal Abergel and Jean-Michel Claverie

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 5:14 am

Researchers have discovered the largest virus ever, and they've given it a terrifying name: Pandoravirus.

In mythology, opening Pandora's Box released evil into the world. But there's no need to panic. This new family of virus lives underwater and doesn't pose a major threat to human health.

"This is not going to cause any kind of widespread and acute illness or epidemic or anything," says Eugene Koonin, an evolutionary biologist at the National Institutes of Health who specializes in viruses.

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The Two-Way
1:07 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Scientists: Pitch In July Is Slower Than Molasses In January

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 5:28 pm

Researchers at Trinity College Dublin have some long awaited test results: After 69 years, they have captured on video a drop of pitch, also known as bitumen or asphalt.

With a camera trained on a glass funnel containing a generous dollop of the substance, so thick that it appears as a solid at room temperature, it finally happened.

You can see the dramatic moment in this video above, which proves conclusively that pitch is indeed a liquid, according to Nature.

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The Salt
10:58 am
Thu July 18, 2013

How To Better Protect Farmworkers From Pesticides: Spanish

Farmworkers harvest and package cantaloupes near Firebaugh, Calif.
Gosia Wozniacka AP

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 12:02 pm

Advocates for farmworkers, especially those who grow America's leafy greens and fresh vegetables, are pushing the government to do more to protect those workers from exposure to pesticides.

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:25 am
Thu July 18, 2013

What Is 10 Trillion Times More Powerful Than A Heartbeat?

The Two-Way
5:27 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

EPA Building Named For Bill Clinton; He Says That's Fitting

Former President Bill Clinton hugs House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California as another Democrat, Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, looks on at Wednesday's ceremony naming the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters for him.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 6:11 pm

The environment may not come to mind when most people think about former President Bill Clinton, but on Wednesday he defended his legacy as the Environmental Protection Agency's headquarters in Washington, D.C., was renamed in his honor.

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