Science & Health

The Salt
3:05 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Fertilizer Shows Its Deadly Side

Workers at a cooperative farm near Shanghai scatter fertilizer across fields of winter wheat. Image from the May issue of National Geographic magazine.
© Peter Essick National Geographic

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 4:06 pm

My first reaction when I heard details of this week's deadly fertilizer explosion in Texas was horror.

My second thought was, "Maybe I shouldn't have pushed to change that headline."

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The Two-Way
1:57 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

CDC: U.S. Hospitals Should Be Vigilant For Bird Flu

An H7N9 bird flu patient is escorted after his recovery and approval for discharge at a central China hospital on Friday.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

U.S. hospitals have been urged to be on the lookout for symptoms of bird flu among patients who have recently traveled to China, where a new strain of the virus has killed 17 people and infected more than 70.

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Mental Health
12:55 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Oliver Sacks: Hallucinations

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 2:11 pm

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

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Environment
12:55 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Climate Change Takes Flight in New Novel

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 2:11 pm

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

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Science
12:55 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Robert Ballard: 50 Years Exploring Deep Waters

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 2:10 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

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Technology
12:55 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Breaking Into The 'Department Of Mad Scientists'

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 2:09 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
11:18 am
Fri April 19, 2013

What David Lynch And Tylenol Can Tell You About The Brain

Researchers used a clip from the David Lynch film Rabbits to make volunteers uneasy. Afterward some people got Tylenol, which appeared to help them cope.
YouTube

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 12:41 pm

Even for a hardcore David Lynch fan, the idea that a film of his would be used to weird people out in a psychology experiment is a tad weird.

But it gets much stranger than that — fast.

Imagine the experiment involved testing whether Tylenol could help people overcome the angst triggered by a four-minute dose of Lynch. A related experiment tested Tylenol's effect on people asked to write about what happens to their bodies after they die.

At the University of British Columbia, psychologists went both places.

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NPR Story
8:59 am
Fri April 19, 2013

What Is Beauty?

Do we need beauty to enjoy ourselves, or do we need it to survive?
TED

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 2:14 pm

Beauty surrounds us, draws us in, gives joy and creates conflict. In this hour, TED speakers conjure up beauty both ancient and modern, and suggest reasons why humans are hardwired to crave and respond to beauty.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Krulwich Wonders...
8:25 am
Fri April 19, 2013

Trees On Top Of Skyscrapers? Yes! Yes, Say I. No! No, Says Tim

Boeri Studio

Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 8:35 am

This isn't finished. But it will be. Two residential towers, dense with trees, will have their official opening later this year in downtown Milan, Italy, near the Porta Garibaldi railroad station. (The image is not a photograph, but an architect's rendering. The towers are built and the trees are going in right now.) I love this. I think these towers are gorgeous. Milan is a very polluted town; these trees will cleanse the air, pumping out oxygen and greening the cityscape.

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Space
4:51 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Tracking 'Killer Electrons' Help Predict Risks To Satellites

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 9:26 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

We're accustomed to hearing about local weather conditions like high pressure zones or the jet stream. But just outside of the atmosphere, the conditions are a little stranger.

(SOUNDBITE OF ELECTROMAGNETIC WAVES)

BLOCK: That's a recording made by two new NASA satellites launched to study space weather.

As Lauren Sommer reports from member station KQED, the satellites could be in for some extreme conditions this year.

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The Two-Way
3:24 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

NASA Discovers New Earth-Like Planets Around Distant Stars

The Kepler-69 system as it compares to our own.
NASA

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 10:59 am

NASA's Kepler spacecraft has discovered three new "habitable zone" planets that are close to Earth's size, even if they're not all that close to Earth.

NPR's Joe Palca reports, the trio of worlds is about 1,200 light years away and are thought to lie in the so-called "Goldilocks zone" — where it's not too hot and not too cold for liquid water.

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Science & Health
2:14 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Walking While Old: Seniors Face Greatest Death Risk

City centers can be risky for pedestrians, but age, race and gender matter, too.
iStockphoto.com

Parents worry a lot about the safety of children crossing the street. It looks like they should be worried about Grandpa, too.

Older people are at higher risk of being killed by a car while walking, according to new data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Going up against a 2,000-pound moving metal object is never a good idea. Pedestrians account for 13 percent of all motor-vehicle traffic deaths, even though walking accounts for 10.5 percent of trips.

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Space
2:14 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Kepler Telescope Spots 3 New Planets In The 'Goldilocks Zone'

The small squares superimposed on this image of the Milky Way galaxy show where in the sky the Kepler telescope is hunting for Earth-like planets. Kepler, which launched in 2009, has identified more than 100 planets.
NASA

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 9:26 pm

Astronomers have found three planets orbiting far-off stars that are close to Earth-sized and in the "habitable zone": a distance from their suns that makes the planets' surfaces neither too hot nor too cold, but just right.

One of the three planets orbits a star with the prosaic name Kepler-69.

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Science & Health
1:21 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Study Finds No Harm In Occasional Drink During Pregnancy

iStockphoto.com

Is the occasional glass of wine or beer OK for moms-to-be?

According to a new study published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, there doesn't seem to be any measurable risk.

The study found that drinking up to two alcoholic beverages per week during pregnancy is not linked to developmental problems in children. But even the study's authors caution that abstaining from alcohol is still best for mothers-to-be.

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Shots - Health News
1:18 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Bacteria On Dog Lovers' Skin Reveal Their Affection

Should we say Germ-an shepherd? Mango Doucleff, of Washington, shows off the bacteria living on her tongue, which also flourish on her owner's skin.
Michaeleen Doucleff NPR

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 12:43 pm

Well, it looks like there really is such as thing as a dog person.

Humans who share their homes with canines also share the similar bacterial houseguests on their skin, ecologists reported Tuesday in the journal eLIFE.

In fact, two dog owners who don't even know each other have about as many of the skin bacteria in common as a married couple living together.

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