Science & Health

The Salt
4:06 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

A Tax Day Story For Hard-Cider Lovers

Is small-batch hard apple cider the next microbrew? It seems everybody and their brother is experimenting with ways to make the potent stuff profitable. Sales of domestically produced hard cider have more than tripled since 2007, according to beverage industry analysts — and that's not counting Europe, where it has held a steady popularity for centuries.

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Shots - Health News
2:04 am
Mon April 15, 2013

How Exercise And Other Activities Beat Back Dementia

An older man performs exercises in Mumbai, India. Research suggests that moderate physical exercise may be the best way to keep our brains healthy as we age.
Rajesh Kumar Singh AP

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 7:45 am

The numbers are pretty grim: More than half of all 85-year-olds suffer some form of dementia.

But here's the good news: Brain researchers say there are ways to boost brain power and stave off problems in memory and thinking.

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Shots - Health News
2:01 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Supreme Court Asks: Can Human Genes Be Patented?

Artist's representation of DNA.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 7:45 am

Same-sex marriage got huge headlines at the Supreme Court last month, but in the world of science and medicine, the case being argued on Monday is far more important. The lawsuit deals with a truly 21st century issue — whether human genes may be patented.

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The Two-Way
4:21 pm
Sun April 14, 2013

Mars Rovers Go Quiet, As Sun Blocks Transmissions

The rover Curiosity and other NASA spacecraft at Mars are now in a radio blackout, as the sun is interfering with transmissions. Curiosity took this self-portrait by combining 66 exposures in February.
NASA

Originally published on Sun April 14, 2013 4:31 pm

Communications between the Earth and Mars are on hiatus for several weeks, thanks to interference from the sun. That means NASA's orbiters and rovers that study Mars will be left to their own devices until radio signals can once again travel between the two planets.

Known as "solar conjunction," the problem arises when the orbit of planets places the sun directly between them.

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Science & Health
3:40 pm
Sun April 14, 2013

As Arctic Ice Melts, It's A Free-For-All For Oil ... And Tusks

After being frozen for thousands of years in a Siberian riverbed, this pristine mammoth tusk is a financial boon to the hunter who found it.
Evgenia Arbugaeva National Geographic Magazine

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 10:47 am

It's widely known that the world's icecaps are melting. While most people are focused on what we're losing, some have considered what might be gained by the disappearance of all that ice.

In 2008, the U.S. Geological Survey released a report estimating that 13 percent of the world's remaining undiscovered oil and 30 percent of the remaining undiscovered natural gas could be in the Arctic.

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Science & Health
9:32 am
Sun April 14, 2013

China Reports 13 Bird Flu Deaths; Cases Climb To 60

People sit near pigeons at a park in Shanghai Sunday. A new strain of bird flu has spread from eastern China to other provinces, with 13 deaths reported.
AP

Originally published on Sun April 14, 2013 10:30 am

Health officials in China say they've confirmed 11 new bird flu diagnoses, bringing the number of H7N9 infections to 60, with cases spread across several provinces, the official Xinhua news agency reports. The virus, which first infected people in Shanghai and eastern China, has now sickened at least one person in Beijing, along with two others in the central province of Henan.

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Science
6:34 am
Sun April 14, 2013

A Poker Players Tells Are In The Hands As Much As The Face

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 9:11 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Let's talk poker. Dealer, let me see those cards.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "COOL HAND LUKE")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (as character) King-three, you got a four. Queen-deuce gets a five. And a pair of sevens gets a john. And the big ace gets a slap in the face. OK, you still do the talking.

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Science & Health
3:57 am
Sun April 14, 2013

Scientists Race To Stay Ahead Of New Bird Flu Virus

Workers prepare an H7N9 virus detection kit at the Center for Disease Control in Beijing on April 3.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 8:01 am

A precious package arrived at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last Thursday afternoon.

Inside, packed in dry ice to keep it frozen, was a vial containing millions of viruses derived from a 35-year-old Chinese housewife who died last Tuesday of respiratory and kidney failure.

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Environment
4:33 am
Sat April 13, 2013

Now Endangered, Florida's Silver Springs Once Lured Tourists

A glass-bottomed boat glides along water in Silver Springs, Fla. The springs, once a major tourist destination, have declined both in volume and in water quality.
Greg Allen NPR

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 4:24 pm

Before Disney World, Silver Springs in Central Florida was for decades one of the state's most popular tourist destinations.

Even if you've never visited Silver Springs, you might have seen it. The 1960s television show Sea Hunt was filmed here, as were countless movies, including Tarzan and Creature From the Black Lagoon.

The crystal clear water of Silver Springs made it invaluable to Hollywood. Guy Marwick, the founder of the Silver River Museum, says it drew more than 1 million visitors a year.

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The Two-Way
11:52 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Russia's Putin Announces $50 Billion In New Space Spending

A Soyuz capsule touches down in Kazakhstan in September, but by 2020, Russian cosmonauts might be splashing down instead.
Pool AFP/Getty Images

Moscow will spend $52 billion on its space program through 2020, including money for completion of a new launch facility on Russian soil.

The announcement came from President Vladimir Putin as he spoke to orbiting astronauts aboard the International Space Station on Cosmonaut's Day, the 52nd anniversary of the first manned space flight by Russian spacefarer Yuri Gagarin.

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NPR Story
10:04 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Red Meat's Heart Risk Goes Beyond The Fat

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 12:03 pm

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Flora Lichtman, filling in for Ira today. You know the phrase you are what you eat? Well, new research suggests a slight modification: Your gut bacteria are what you eat. And if you eat more red meat, for example, you'll nurture populations of microbes that like to eat red meat, too, which might not seem like a bad thing except that researchers have pinpointed a compound in red meat called L-carnitine that when broken down by gut bacteria might contribute to heart disease.

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NPR Story
10:04 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Looking To Nature For Antibiotic Inspirations

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 12:03 pm

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Flora Lichtman. Later in the hour, a teenage science activist and the plight of the monarch butterfly. But first, researchers have developed a new way to fight antibiotic-resistant microbes by borrowing a trick from a longtime foe of the bacteria, the bacteria phage.

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NPR Story
10:04 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Pouring Over The Science Of Coffee

Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 5:55 am

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Up next, another mover and shaker in the alimentary canal - coffee. Whether you're a home brewer or a latte devotee, whether you take it light and sweet or on ice, your coffee is guaranteed to be chock full of chemistry. It starts in the bean, which is actually not a bean at all.

It's a seed, according Harold McGee, author of "On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen" along with other books on science and food. And we caught up with Harold, to hear more about how coffee gets its signature taste.

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NPR Story
10:04 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Monitoring the Monarchs

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 12:03 pm

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

Next up, a case of life imitating art. A few months ago, we talked to writer Barbara Kingsolver about her latest book, "Flight Behavior." The book is a fictional account of an ecological disaster in the making, and the fate of millions of monarch butterflies is at the center of the plot. Would the species survive? That's the art part.

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NPR Story
10:04 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Down The Gullet: A Guided Tour Of Your Guts

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 12:03 pm

In Gulp. Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, science writer Mary Roach takes a journey through the gut, from the secret healing powers of saliva to the taxonomy of poop. Along the trip, she serves up odd medical anecdotes, such as the story of William Beaumont, an eccentric surgeon who once ate chicken from another man's stomach.

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