Heron Island is located on the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef, about 25 miles off the northeast coast of Australia.
Credit Ted Mead / Getty Images
Sophie Dove (right) and Annamieke Van Den Heuvel of the Coral Reef Ecosystems Laboratory at the University of Queensland, St. Lucia, check on part of an experiment on the effects of water temperature and carbon dioxide levels on coral reefs.
Credit Richard Harris / NPR
This composite image of pots used in the experiment shows how healthy coral (left) is dramatically affected by higher carbon dioxide levels and sea temperatures (right).
Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 10:02 am
NPR Science Correspondent Richard Harris traveled to Australia's Great Barrier Reef to find out how the coral reefs are coping with increased water temperature and increasing ocean acidity, brought about by our burning of fossil fuels. Day 1: Richard gets a hefty dose of bad news.
Social worker Nuria Casulleres shows a portrait of Audrey Hepburn to elderly men during a memory activity at the Cuidem La Memoria elderly home in Barcelona, Spain, last August. The home specializes in Alzheimer's patients.
Alzheimer's disease doesn't just steal memories. It takes lives.
The disease is now the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., and figures released Tuesday by the Alzheimer's Association show that deaths from the disease increased by 68 percent between 2000 and 2010.
The winners of the inaugural Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering were announced Monday in London. Five Internet pioneers — Marc Andreessen, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Vinton Cerf, Robert Kahn, and Louis Pouzin — will share the honor and the one million pound prize. The new U.K.-based award aims to be a "Nobel Prize" for engineering. Robert Siegel talks to Lord Browne of Madingley about the winners.
Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 1:26 pm
A zoo in Indonesia is now home to seven bouncing baby Komodo dragons. Before you recoil in disgust, have a look at this video from the BBC — "cute" may not be the operative word, but the hatchlings do exude a certain endearing quality.
It looks kinda like a squirrel, except its ears are too small, its tail is ratty, then bushy, and its mouth? Definitely un-squirrel. More like a shrew, a fox, or a dog. And the teeth? Strange. What is it?
Officials at Children's of Alabama have announced the hospital has begun performing organ transplants.
Hospital spokeswoman Kathy Bowers says the hospital performed its first heart transplant earlier this week.
Before getting approval from the United Network for Organ Sharing, patients who needed heart, liver or kidney transplants were transferred from Children's to UAB Hospital, then back to Children's of Alabama for post-operative treatment.
Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 2:06 pm
Scientists peering into the atmosphere of a giant planet 130 light years away believe their findings bolster one theory of how solar systems form.
The planet, orbiting the star HR 8799, is part of a solar system containing at least three other "super-Jupiters" weighing in at between five and 10 times the mass of our own Jupiter. The nearby system features a brash, young 30-million-year-old star (by contrast, our Sun is in midlife at about 4.5 billion years old).
Microbes may once have happily existed on the surface of Mars, according to chemical analysis of a sedimentary rock in the Red Planet's Gale crater. NASA geologist and exobiologist David Blake discusses evidence for an ancient freshwater lake in the crater, and describes the mineral-chomping microbes that may have thrived there.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY; I'm Ira Flatow. We've all been there, sitting at the computer late at night, clicking on those websites that offer medical opinions, trying to convince ourselves that our headache must be caused by a brain tumor, right? Yeah, that dry skin you've had for the last couple of months, of course it's due to a thyroid disorder because that's what you're finding out on the Web. Recognize yourself?
Kathy Reichs, the writer and scientist behind the TV show Bones, is back with a new novel for young adults. Code: A Virals Novel stars Tory Brennan, great-niece of Reich's famed crime-solving heroine Tempe Brennan. Reichs discusses the book, co-written with Brendan Reichs.
Harvesting stem cells from human fat may be an effective way to treat brain cancer, researchers report in the journal PLoS One. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, explains how fat cells can be used as Trojan horses to fight cancer.
Reporting in the journal Nature Physics, William Irvine and Dustin Kleckner, physicists at the University of Chicago, have created a knotted fluid vortex in the lab — a scientific first, they say. The knots resemble smoke rings — except these are made of water, and they're shaped like pretzels, not donuts. Understanding knottiness has extra-large applications, like understanding dynamics of the sun.
Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 12:03 pm
More than 450 photographers submitted a shot to SciFri's Winter Nature Photo Contest, and thousands of fans helped choose a winner. Contest judge Clay Bolt discusses the winning entry, and what makes for a prize-winning shot. Plus, tips for budding nature photographers.