Science & Health

The Picture Show
11:55 am
Tue May 21, 2013

'Nanogardens' Sprout Up On The Surface Of A Penny

Nanoflowers, each smaller than the thickness of a dollar bill, sprout up spontaneously on a surface dipped in salts and silicon.
Courtesy of Wim Noorduin/Harvard University

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 4:36 pm

April showers bring May flowers. But in this case, the blossoms are too small for even a bumblebee to see.

Engineers at Harvard University have figured out a way to make microscopic sculptures of roses, tulips and violets, each smaller than a strand of hair.

To get a sense of just how small these flower sculptures are, grab a penny and flip it on its back. Right in the middle of the Lincoln Memorial, you'll see a faint impression of Abraham Lincoln. These roses would make a perfect corsage for the president's jacket lapel.

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The Two-Way
6:01 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Measuring The Power Of Deadly Tornadoes

John Warner surveys the damage near a friend's mobile home in the Steelman Estates Mobile Home Park, destroyed in Sunday's tornado, near Shawnee, Okla., on Monday.
Sue Ogrocki AP

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 3:59 am

Damaging tornadoes ripped through Oklahoma on Sunday and Monday, causing widespread damage that is still being assessed, and additional severe weather is expected.

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Krulwich Wonders...
1:04 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

The Little Metronome That Wouldn't

The Salt
10:01 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Can A Piece of Hair Reveal How Much Coke Or Pepsi You Drink?

Carbon isotope analysis: a scientific way to know just how much soda kids are drinking behind parents' backs?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 11:00 am

One way to know how much soda people drink is to ask them.

The problem? We tend to underestimate, lie or forget what we've consumed.

And this is a challenge for researchers who study the links between sugar-sweetened beverages and obesity.

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Shots - Health News
2:04 am
Mon May 20, 2013

If Your Shrink Is A Bot, How Do You Respond?

Ellie is a computer simulation designed to engage real people in meaningful conversation and take their measure. The computer system looks for subtle patterns in body language and vocal inflections that might be clues to underlying depression or other emotional distress.
YouTube

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 4:19 pm

Her hair is brown and tied back into a professional-looking ponytail. She wears a blue shirt, tan sweater and delicate gold chain. It's the first time she has met the man sitting across from her, and she looks out at him, her eyes curious.

"So how are you doing today?" she asks cautiously, trying to build rapport.

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Health
2:03 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Bans Of Same-Sex Marriage Can Take A Psychological Toll

Opponents of same-sex marriage participate in the March for Marriage in Washington, D.C., on March 26, as the Supreme Court hears arguments on California's Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 8:25 am

As the country awaits two important Supreme Court decisions involving state laws on same-sex marriage, a small but consistent body of research suggests that laws that ban gay marriage — or approve it — can affect the mental health of gay, lesbian and bisexual Americans.

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Science
3:58 pm
Sun May 19, 2013

The Unsuccessful Quest For A Universal Language

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 5:18 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

Communications barriers have long vexed us, as showcased in the movie "Rush Hour."

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "RUSH HOUR")

CHRIS TUCKER: (As Carter) Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth?

LYDEN: Scientists in the 17th century were working hard to understand; mainly, the secrets of the universe but also, each other. With Latin on the decline, they were seeking a whole new way of communicating that would defy barriers and borders - a universal language.

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Alabama Wind Farm
8:44 am
Sun May 19, 2013

Residents Opposing Lookout Mountain Wind Farm

Some residents near a proposed wind farm on Lookout Mountain say they oppose the project.
www.independentaustralia.net

Some residents near a proposed wind farm on Lookout Mountain are getting organized to oppose the project.

The Gadsden Times (http://bit.ly/189DqYI ) reports that about 35 residents met Saturday to share their opinions about the project planned by Pioneer Green Energy of Austin, Texas.

Resident Brandon Balenger said the project shouldn't be so close to people who live at the base of the mountain. Chris Lipscomb said his house is about 1,900 feet from the project, and he expects it to cut his home value in half.

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Krulwich Wonders...
4:48 am
Sat May 18, 2013

David Foster Wallace Tells Us About Freedom

YouTube

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 10:24 am

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Environment
4:18 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Not Your Grandpa's RV: This Roving Lab Tracks Air Pollution

Ira Leifer, next to an RV he has outfitted with methane sensors and other equipment to sniff the air.
Richard Harris NPR

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 12:45 pm

If you're driving down the road someday and you come across a camper with a 50-foot periscope sticking up into the sky, you just might have crossed paths with Ira Leifer. His quirky vehicle is on a serious mission. It's sniffing the air for methane, a gas that contributes to global warming.

Leifer is an atmospheric scientist at the University of California, Santa Barbara. But you'll more often find him off campus, in a garage, next to a string of auto body shops near the airport.

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Environment
3:20 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Scientists Agree On Climate Change, Why Doesn't The Public?

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 5:52 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. Yesterday, President Obama sent out a tweet drawing attention to a study about climate change. The study found that scientists who say climate change is largely caused by human activities vastly outnumber the skeptics. NPR's Richard Harris has more on the study that caught the White House's attention.

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NPR Story
10:23 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Resetting the Theory of Time

Generations of physicists have claimed that time is an illusion. But not all agree. In his book Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe, theoretical physicist Lee Smolin argues that time exists--and he says time is key to understanding the evolution of the universe.

NPR Story
10:23 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Researchers Report Cloning Advance For Producing Stem Cells

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. This week, scientists at the Oregon Health and Science University, OHSU, announced a breakthrough in cloning of a human embryo. They took adult cells, put the cells into specially prepared human eggs and created genetically identical embryos. It's something lots of stem cell researchers have been trying to do for years without success.

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NPR Story
10:23 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Insects May Be The Taste Of The Next Generation, Report Says

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

What's on your plate? What do you like to eat? What are you eating for lunch, dinner at this point? As with many things, the answer to that might have a lot to do with what you're accustomed to do and, you know, what part of the world you live in. In some parts of the world, insects can be a delicious part of the diet. Well here not so much.

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NPR Story
10:23 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Desktop Diaries: Daniel Kahneman

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Flora Lichtman is here with our video pick. Flora, you have the next installment in our Desktop Diaries series in which you get to know scientists by asking them about their desk trinkets.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: That's right.

FLATOW: And who do we have today?

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