Science & Health

Research News
4:07 am
Tue June 16, 2015

Disagreeable Teens Fail To Understand Their Blind Spots, Research Reveals

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 6:59 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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U.S.
5:30 pm
Mon June 15, 2015

Endangered Species Protections At Center Of Drought Debate

The sun sets over the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta near Rio Vista, Calif., in 2013. The delta is the largest West Coast estuary and a source of conflict over the state's water.
Robert Galbraith Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu June 18, 2015 1:23 pm

Travel up and down California farm country, the Central Valley, and you hardly hear people lamenting the lack of rain or how dry this past winter was. What you hear, from the agriculture industry and many local and national politicians, are sentiments like those expressed by Rep. Devin Nunes:

"Well, what I always like to say is that this is a man-made drought created by government," the Central Valley Republican says.

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The Salt
4:36 pm
Mon June 15, 2015

Scientists, Fishing Fleet Team Up To Save Cod — By Listening

Chris Tremblay, a member of the Passive Acoustics group at NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center, deploys an underwater recording device along the Eastern Seaboard to listen for the mating sounds of Atlantic cod.
Courtesy of Chris Tremblay

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 6:50 pm

In the ocean off of Massachusetts, an unlikely alliance of scientists and fishermen is on a quest. They're looking for mating codfish. The goal is not only to revive a depleted fish population but to save an endangered fishing community as well.

Cod were once so plentiful in New England waters that people used to say you could almost walk across their backs. Cod fueled a huge fishing industry. But now they're scarce, mostly from overfishing.

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Science
2:03 pm
Mon June 15, 2015

Instead Of Replacing Missing Body Parts, Moon Jellies Recycle

Upon injury, juvenile jellyfish reorganize their bodies to regain symmetry.
Courtesy Michael Abrams, Ty Basinger, and Christopher Frick, California Institute of Technology/PNAS

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 5:39 pm

Moon jellies have an unusual self-repair strategy, scientists have learned. If one of these young jellies loses some limbs, it simply rearranges what's left until its body is once again symmetrical.

"We were not expecting to see that," says Michael Abrams, a graduate student in biology at the California Institute of Technology.

All creatures have tricks to heal themselves. If you get a cut, your skin will form a scar. And some sea creatures, like starfish and sea cucumbers, can regenerate lost body parts.

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Research News
4:00 am
Mon June 15, 2015

Having An Older Sister Can Change Siblings' Lives, Study Finds

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 10:17 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Shots - Health News
2:48 am
Mon June 15, 2015

Take A Swing At This: Golf Is Exercise, Cart Or No Cart

Ryo Ishikawa, one of Japan's biggest golf stars, demonstrates his swing on the pro tour in February.
Donald Miralle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 17, 2015 12:29 pm

When we asked adults who play sports which one they play the most, golf topped the list. That's right: Our poll finds that a day on the links beat out soccer, softball and tennis.

My first reaction was: Whaaat? Golf is played by people riding around in motorized carts; how much exercise could you possibly get?

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Space
4:13 pm
Sun June 14, 2015

'Hello Earth! Can You Hear Me?'

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 4:31 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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ARUN RATH, HOST:

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Science
4:13 pm
Sun June 14, 2015

In Massachusetts Lab, Scientists Grow An Artificial Rat Limb

In the study, muscle cells were injected into the cell-free "scaffolding" of a rat limb, which provided shape and structure onto which regenerated tissue could grow.
Bernhard Jank, MD Ott Laboratory, Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Regenerative Medicine

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 6:00 am

A team of scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston made news earlier this month when they published research in the journal Biomaterials describing how they'd created the world's first bioartificial limb in the laboratory.

Or, in other words: scientists have now grown the entire forelimb of a rat in a lab.

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Goats and Soda
4:13 pm
Sun June 14, 2015

Why MERS Is Likely To Crop Up Outside The Middle East Again

A dangerous nuzzle? A man in western Abu Dhabi hugs a camel brought in from Saudi Arabia for beauty contests. Middle East respiratory syndrome circulates in camels across the Arabian Peninsula.
Dave Yoder National Geographic

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 1:09 pm

Blame it on the camels.

When scientists first detected Middle East respiratory syndrome in 2012, the big question was: Where is this virus coming from?

For several years, scientists hunted the deadly virus across the Arabian Peninsula, and eventually they found at least one source — dromedary camels.

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The Two-Way
10:35 am
Sun June 14, 2015

Comet Lander Wakes Up, Calls Home, After Long Sleep

The Philae lander beamed back images showing one of its three feet on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. This photo is compiled from two images.
ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 4:44 am

Last November, the European Space Agency wasn't sure if it would ever hear from its Philae lander again after the probe's unfortunate landing spot on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko left it in the shadow of a cliff, starving its solar panels of the faint sunlight needed to produce power.

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Goats and Soda
8:03 am
Sun June 14, 2015

Science Fair Winner Designs Device To Cut Virus Spread On Planes

Raymond Wang, 17, of Vancouver, celebrates winning first place at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh, May 15.
Courtesy of Kathy Wolfe/Intel

Originally published on Sun June 14, 2015 8:40 am

When 17-year-old Raymond Wang saw the Ebola outbreak on the news last year, it got him thinking about viruses and how they spread around the world, especially on airplanes.

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Science
6:48 am
Sun June 14, 2015

Female Scientists Unleash Comedic Revenge At #Distractinglysexy

Originally published on Sun June 14, 2015 10:02 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
3:51 am
Sat June 13, 2015

Science Of Sadness And Joy: 'Inside Out' Gets Childhood Emotions Right

Joy (left, voiced by Amy Poehler) and Sadness (voiced by Phyllis Smith) catch a ride on the Train of Thought in Pixar's Inside Out. The movie opens in theaters nationwide June 19.
Disney/Pixar

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 1:26 pm

Hollywood's version of science often asks us to believe that dinosaurs can be cloned from ancient DNA (they can't), or that the next ice age could develop in just a few days (it couldn't).

But Pixar's film Inside Out is an animated fantasy that remains remarkably true to what scientists have learned about the mind, emotion and memory.

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Shots - Health News
4:38 pm
Fri June 12, 2015

What Babies Understand About Adult Sadness

By the time they're 18 months old, kids know when you're sad, even if you're not bawling.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri June 12, 2015 10:54 pm

Babies tend to wear their hearts on their tiny little sleeves. They cry because you took away that thing they picked up off the floor and then put in their mouths. They cry because they're tired. Sometimes, they cry just because.

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The Salt
4:20 pm
Fri June 12, 2015

Mighty Farming Microbes: Companies Harness Bacteria To Give Crops A Boost

Pam Marrone (right), founder and CEO of Marrone Bio Innovations, inspects some colonies of microbes. Marrone has spent most of her professional life prospecting for microbial pesticides and bringing them to market.
Dan Charles/NPR

Originally published on Fri June 12, 2015 7:55 pm

What if farmers, instead of picking up some agricultural chemicals at their local dealer, picked up a load of agricultural microbes instead?

It's something to contemplate, because some big names in the pesticide business — like Bayer and Monsanto — are putting money behind attempts to turn soil microbes into tools that farmers can use to give their crops a boost.

It's a symptom of the soaring interest in the ways microbes affect all of life. In our bodies, they help fight off disease. In the soil, they help deliver nutrients to plants, and perhaps much more.

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