Science & Health

Goats and Soda
6:03 am
Sun March 15, 2015

How Far Has The Health Of Moms Come Since 1995?

A mother feeds her new baby at the Yida refugee camp in South Sudan, which has the highest maternal mortality rate in the world. About 1 in 7 women in South Sudan die from causes related to pregnancy.
Paula Bronstein Getty Images

Officials and activists from around the world gathered in New York this week to mark the 20th anniversary of the landmark 1995 World Conference on Women.

Although there were a lot of depressing statistics discussed at the current meeting, there was one piece of good news that many kept citing as reason for hope: Since 1995 the rate of women worldwide who die in childbirth has dropped by more than 40 percent.

Read more
The Salt
4:24 am
Sun March 15, 2015

The Fate Of The World's Chocolate Depends On This Spot In Rural England

Rows of potted cocoa plants from around the world. Before a cocoa variety from one country can be planted in another, it first makes a pit stop here, at a quarantine center in rural England.
Courtesy of Dr. Andrew J. Daymond

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 12:49 pm

Walk into a row of greenhouses in rural Britain, and a late English-winter day transforms to a swampy, humid tropical afternoon. You could be in Latin America or sub-Saharan Africa, which is exactly how cocoa plants like it.

"It's all right this time of year. It gets a bit hot later on in the summer," says greenhouse technician Heather Lake as she fiddles with a tray of seedlings — a platter of delicate, spindly, baby cocoa plants.

Read more
The Salt
8:28 am
Sat March 14, 2015

Pi Day Isn't Just Magical, It's Mathematics. And There's Pie!

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat March 14, 2015 9:04 am

We bring you this story in case you want to get baking.

That's because Saturday is Pi Day — but it's not just any pi day.

It's March 14* of the year '15, or 3-14-15 — the first five digits of the number pi. It's a confluence that won't happen again for a hundred years. Math geeks are excited.

Read more
Strange News
6:48 am
Sat March 14, 2015

The 'Math Guy' Presents 5 Facts About 3.14

Paul Almasy Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 14, 2015 10:35 pm

People across the world are eating pies and celebrating the circle this Saturday — and this year's Pi Day is particularly special. The full date, 3/14/15, is pi to the first four places. At 9:26 a.m. and 53 seconds, you can even celebrate pi to nine places: 3.141592653.

Read more
Music Reviews
6:48 am
Sat March 14, 2015

Ooze, Fog And Climate Change Threaten Mummies

Originally published on Sat March 14, 2015 4:20 pm

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Northern Chile is home to some 7,000-year-old mummies, some of the oldest mummies in the world. But scientists say the mummies are in danger. NPR's Jasmine Garsd has this story about mummies, strange oozing substances and a mysterious fog.

Read more
Environment
6:48 am
Sat March 14, 2015

Guardian Editor Pledges To Bolster Coverage Of Climate Change

Originally published on Sat March 14, 2015 4:20 pm

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Read more
The Salt
10:40 am
Fri March 13, 2015

Making Pies For Pi Day: Think Inside The Circle

Claire O'Neill/NPR

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 5:03 pm

Editor's note: A version of this story was published in March 2011.

Get ready to roll out some dough, because it's almost Pi Day.

Read more
The Salt
6:03 am
Fri March 13, 2015

Behold! The Cosmos Created From The Contents Of A Kitchen

Planet: bottom of a glass containing half and half, water, food coloring. Moons: bottom of a glass containing coconut milk, water, food coloring. Stars: salt, cinnamon, baking powder, Tums.
Navid Baraty

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 11:13 am

Surely, you've heard of making food in space. Astronauts have to eat, right?

But perhaps you hadn't considered making space out of food. Navid Baraty, a freelance photographer in Brooklyn and Los Angeles, arranges common pantry items to create strikingly accurate-looking photos of an imaginary cosmos.

"I'm a really big space geek," Baraty tells The Salt. "I'll look at NASA images or Hubble images to see how things were placed in the sky, and I try to make things as realistic as possible."

Read more
The Two-Way
2:46 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

Moon River? No, It's An Ocean On One Of Jupiter's Moons!

The moon Ganymede (right) orbits the giant planet Jupiter in this artist's rendering. Scientists say a saline ocean lurks under the moon's icy crust.
NASA/ESA

Originally published on Thu March 12, 2015 3:41 pm

NASA says the biggest moon in our solar system has a salty ocean below its surface.

Researchers had suspected since the 1970s that a moon of Jupiter called Ganymede had an ocean. Now they've confirmed it, scientists announced in a teleconference held by the space agency.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:04 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

After Rescue, Massive Sea Turtle Released Into Atlantic

The staff of the Sea Turtle Hospital at the South Carolina Aquarium named a stranded leatherback turtle Yawkey, after the area it was found stranded Saturday.
South Carolina Aquarium

Originally published on Thu March 12, 2015 7:01 pm

Updated at 6:56 p.m. ET

A 475-pound leatherback sea turtle that was rescued from a remote beach in South Carolina was returned to the ocean Thursday, after being found stranded ashore and nursed back to health. It took five people to carry the creature, officials say.

The turtle "immediately responded to treatments" of fluids, vitamins and antibiotics after it was rescued Saturday, says spokeswoman Kate Dittloff of the South Carolina Aquarium.

Read more
Shots - Health News
11:05 am
Thu March 12, 2015

Before The Gas Is Passed, Researchers Aim To Measure It In The Gut

Feces contain digested food residue and a wide variety of microorganisms, mostly bacteria, that are adapted to life in the intestines. The gases the microbes produce could help doctors and scientists track and understand changes related to health.
Scimat Scimat Photo Researchers/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 7:40 am

Electrical engineer Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh calls the stinking mixture puddled in jars inside his laboratory "fecal inocula."

The jars of fresh poop are instrumental to his research at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia to develop ways to scientifically analyze people's farts, something that the researchers believe could help them more easily track the activity of the human gut microbiome.

Read more
Shots - Health News
3:27 am
Thu March 12, 2015

When Life Overwhelms, This Group Lends A Healthy Hand

Ella Barnes-Williams visits the thrift shop associated with Martha's Table, a nonprofit social services organization in Washington, D.C.
Anders Kelto/NPR

Originally published on Thu March 12, 2015 1:03 pm

Ella Barnes-Williams is dealing with a lot right now.

For starters, her government-subsidized house in Northeast Washington, D.C., leaks when it rains. She points at a big brown splotch on the ceiling.

"It's like mold, mold, mold all over," she says. "I've got to clean that now 'cause that just came back."

Barnes-Williams is 54 and lives with her 30-year-old daughter and three young grandchildren. All three grandkids have severe asthma, which makes the mold a serious problem. And she and her daughter are diabetic.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:24 am
Thu March 12, 2015

Researchers Think There's A Warm Ocean On Enceladus

A new analysis suggests that Enceladus' ocean is being heated from the bottom up. That could explain plumes of ice seen at its south pole.
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 7:07 pm

Saturn's moon Enceladus is a mystery. From Earth it looks tiny and cold, and yet it's not a dead hunk of rock. Passing spacecraft see trenches and ridges, similar to Earth's, and in 2005 NASA's Cassini mission spotted ice geysers streaming from its south pole.

Read more
Shots - Health News
5:03 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

Results Of Many Clinical Trials Not Being Reported

Glenn Lightner in 2012 at age 13. His father searched clinicaltrials.gov for years, to no avail, hoping to find a promising experimental cancer treatment that might save his son's life.
Courtesy of Lawrence Lightner

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 3:07 pm

Many scientists are failing to live up to a 2007 law that requires them to report the results of their clinical trials to a public website, according to a study in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine.

Read more
Science
2:02 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

Think Man-Sized Swimming Centipede — And Be Glad It's A Fossil

Reconstruction of the giant filter feeder, scooping up a plankton cloud. Aegirocassis benmoulae was one of the biggest arthropods that ever lived. Family members include today's insects, spiders and lobsters.
Marianne Collins/ArtofFact

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 7:31 pm

If living long and prospering is a measure of success, then the arthropods are life's winners. These are the most common form of life: insects, spiders, crustaceans and centipedes, to name but a few.

And now scientists have their hands on the remains of one of the first ever. It lived 480 million years ago, and it was big and strange.

Read more

Pages