Science & Health

The Salt
11:18 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Mapping The Microbes That Flourish On Fruits And Veggies

You call it salad. The bacteria call it home.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 12:06 pm

Deadly microbes like salmonella and E. coli can lurk on the surface of spinach, lettuce and other fresh foods. But many more benign microbes also flourish there, living lives of quiet obscurity, much like the tiny Whos in Dr. Seuss' Whoville. Until now.

Scientists at the University of Colorado have taken what may be the first broad inventory of the microbes that live on strawberries, lettuce, tomatoes and eight other popular fresh foods.

It turns out the invisible communities living on our food vary greatly, depending on the type and whether it's conventional or organic.

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Krulwich Wonders...
11:00 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Six-Legged Critters In Dicey Places: What Science Reporters Do To Get Your Attention

YouTube

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 6:19 pm

We're not as daring as Magellan (who died) or Columbus (who went crazy) or Henry Hudson (who froze), but in our dainty little way, we take astonishing risks. Well, maybe not astonishing. Maybe just embarrassing.

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Science
4:51 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Why A Hoosier State Scientist Is Stuck On Oysters

Jonathan Wilker holds up a group of oysters from a tank in his lab at Purdue University.
Rebecca Davis NPR

Originally published on Sat March 30, 2013 11:53 am

How do oysters attach themselves to rocks? They need a glue, but a glue that can set in a watery environment. In this installment of "Joe's Big Idea," NPR's Joe Palca reports that glue could lead to medical advances.

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

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
5:16 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

'Sponge' Drug Shows Promise For Treating Hepatitis C

Particles of the hepatitis C virus are imaged with an electron microscope.
James Cavallini Science Source

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 12:31 pm

With an estimated 2 million baby boomers infected with hepatitis C, the disease has reached epidemic levels among Americans age 48 to 68.

Doctors can now cure about 70 percent of hepatitis C cases, but the drugs' side effects can be severe. And many Americans are still left with a disease that can cause liver failure and cancer.

So doctors have been desperate for better treatment options.

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Energy
3:30 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Is The Sky The Limit For Wind Power?

Wind turbines at the San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm in Whitewater, Calif., in 2012.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 8:55 pm

Wind power is growing faster than ever — almost half of the new sources of electricity added to the U.S. power grid last year were wind farms.

But is the sky the limit? Several scientists now say it's actually possible to have so many turbines that they start to lose power. They steal each other's wind.

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The Two-Way
2:55 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Astronomers Say They've Discovered New Type Of Supernova

Artist's conception showing the suspected progenitor of a new kind of supernova called Type Iax.
Christine Pulliam Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 6:30 pm

A group of astronomers believe they have found a new kind of "mini" supernovae that appear to share traits with other previously known types.

Until now, only core-collapse supernovae, the grand finale of stars approximately 10 to 100 times more massive than our sun, and Type Ia, which occur when certain conditions exist in binary (two-star) systems, were known to exist.

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:14 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Socrates (In The Form Of A 9-Year-Old) Shows Up In A Suburban Backyard In Washington

YouTube

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 11:16 am

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Education
2:31 am
Wed March 27, 2013

A Hot Topic: Climate Change Coming To Classrooms

For the first time, new nationwide science standards recommend teaching K-12 students about climate change.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 12:29 pm

By the time today's K-12 students grow up, the challenges posed by climate change are expected to be severe and sweeping. Now, for the first time, new nationwide science standards due out soon will recommend that U.S. public school students learn about the climatic shift taking place.

Mark McCaffrey of the National Center for Science Education says the lessons will fill a big gap.

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Opinion
1:12 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Op-Ed: It's Time To Beef Up The U.S. Coast Guard

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

As global warming accelerates, the Arctic Ocean melts and the U.S. Navy estimates that by 2035 it may be ice-free for a month each year - that will mean more activity through the Northwest Passage, the Arctic shipping route which is already busier than ever. In an op-ed in Foreign Policy, James Holmes argues if and when that icy expanse opens regularly to shipping, the Arctic will need policing like any other marine thoroughfare, and he nominates the United States Coast Guard.

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The Two-Way
12:41 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

SpaceX Dragon Splashes Down In Pacific After Leaving Space Station

Splashdown of SpaceX Dragon on Tuesday.
SpaceX

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 1:11 pm

The Dragon has landed.

The unmanned cargo capsule built by the private firm SpaceX splashed down in the Pacific Ocean after delivering the goods to the International Space Station.

"SPLASHDOWN! At 9:34am PT [12:34 p.m. ET], Dragon splashed down safely in the Pacific. Welcome home!" SpaceX tweeted.

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The Salt
5:08 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Are Agriculture's Most Popular Insecticides Killing Our Bees?

Workers clear honey from dead beehives at a bee farm east of Merced, Calif.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 9:42 am

Environmentalists and beekeepers are calling on the government to ban some of the country's most widely used insect-killing chemicals.

The pesticides, called neonicotinoids, became popular among farmers during the 1990s. They're used to coat the seeds of many agricultural crops, including the biggest crop of all: corn. Neonics, as they're called, protect those crops from insect pests.

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The Two-Way
11:40 am
Mon March 25, 2013

President's Pen Establishes New National Monuments

Kayak at Sunset San Juan Islands.
Mark B. Gardner San Juan Islands Visitor Bureau

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 12:53 pm

President Obama on Monday designated five new national monuments, including one in Maryland dedicated to anti-slavery activist Harriet Tubman and another setting aside Washington state's San Juan Islands.

"These sites honor the pioneering heroes, spectacular landscapes and rich history that have shaped our extraordinary country," President Obama said in a statement. "By designating these national monuments today, we will ensure they will continue to inspire and be enjoyed by generations of Americans to come."

Here's a list of the new dedications:

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Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court
2:14 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Shift In Gay Marriage Support Mirrors A Changing America

Same-sex marriage advocates protest outside the county clerk's office in San Francisco on Feb. 14.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 7:42 am

When Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman recently reversed his stance on gay marriage after his son came out as gay, he joined a tidal wave of Americans who have altered their views on the subject.

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Shots - Health News
2:13 am
Mon March 25, 2013

How An Unlikely Drug Helps Some Children Consumed By Fear

George McCann has been diagnosed with a subtype of bipolar disorder called the "fear of harm" profile, and finds that a prescribed dose of ketamine every few days alleviates his symptoms.
Michael Rubenstein for NPR

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 11:01 am

As far back as he can remember, George McCann lived in fear. When he was asleep he would have horrific nightmares filled with violent images. When he was awake, he often felt threatened by people, including members of his own family. And when he felt threatened, he would become aggressive, even violent.

George spent his childhood certain that something very bad was going to happen. And when he was 12, it did. His unrelenting fears led to a violent outburst at school. And George landed in a psychiatric hospital.

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Technology
3:48 pm
Sat March 23, 2013

Four Robots That Are Learning To Serve You

Future Robot's FURo robot acts as a host.
Innorobo.com

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 5:34 pm

From Star Wars' R2-D2 to The Terminator to WALL-E, robots have pervaded popular culture and ignited our imaginations. But today, machines that can do our bidding have moved from science fiction to real life.

Think hands-free vacuum cleaners or iPhone's Siri or robotic arms performing surgery. At the Innorobo conference in Lyon, France, the latest in service robot technology was on display.

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