Science & Health

Science
3:43 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Internet Pioneers Win First-Ever Queen Elizabeth Prize For Engineering

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 4:54 pm

The winners of the inaugural Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering were announced Monday in London. Five Internet pioneers — Marc Andreessen, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Vinton Cerf, Robert Kahn, and Louis Pouzin — will share the honor and the one million pound prize. The new U.K.-based award aims to be a "Nobel Prize" for engineering. Robert Siegel talks to Lord Browne of Madingley about the winners.

The Two-Way
1:08 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Indonesian Zoo Breeds Rare Komodo Dragons

Four of seven baby Komodos born at the Surabaya Zoo in Indonesia last week.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 1:26 pm

A zoo in Indonesia is now home to seven bouncing baby Komodo dragons. Before you recoil in disgust, have a look at this video from the BBC — "cute" may not be the operative word, but the hatchlings do exude a certain endearing quality.

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The Salt
12:42 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Synesthetes Really Can Taste The Rainbow

A select group of synesthetes can truly "taste the rainbow."
Photo illustration by Daniel M.N. Turner NPR

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 10:23 am

Plenty of us got our fill of green-colored food on St. Patrick's Day. (Green beer, anyone?) But for some people, associating taste with color is more than just a once-a-year experience.

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Research News
3:06 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Scientists Catalog Individual Dust Particles

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 11:38 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now, even if you do not suffer from asthma, it may still be a good idea to reduce your exposure to dust. Invisible tiny particles are constantly swirling around in the air we breathe.

And as reporter Gretchen Cuda Kroen reports, depending on what's in those particles, they may be affecting our health.

GRETCHEN CUDA KROEN, BYLINE: Take a deep breath.

(SOUNDBITE OF INHALATION)

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Krulwich Wonders...
5:05 am
Sat March 16, 2013

The Naming Of The Shrew

Carl Buell

It looks kinda like a squirrel, except its ears are too small, its tail is ratty, then bushy, and its mouth? Definitely un-squirrel. More like a shrew, a fox, or a dog. And the teeth? Strange. What is it?

It's an act of edited, elegant imagination.

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Organ Transplants
4:38 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Ala. Children's Hospital Begins Organ Transplants

Children's of Alabama says the hospital has begun to perform organ transplants this week.
Credit Google

Officials at Children's of Alabama have announced the hospital has begun performing organ transplants.


Hospital spokeswoman Kathy Bowers says the hospital performed its first heart transplant earlier this week.


Before getting approval from the United Network for Organ Sharing, patients who needed heart, liver or kidney transplants were transferred from Children's to UAB Hospital, then back to Children's of Alabama for post-operative treatment.

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The Two-Way
12:18 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

A Peek Into Exoplanet's Atmosphere Offers Clues To How It Was Formed

The 10-meter Keck II (right), a twin of the world's largest optical telescope, was used to study the atmosphere of HR 8799c.
Richard Wainscoat AP

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 2:06 pm

Scientists peering into the atmosphere of a giant planet 130 light years away believe their findings bolster one theory of how solar systems form.

The planet, orbiting the star HR 8799, is part of a solar system containing at least three other "super-Jupiters" weighing in at between five and 10 times the mass of our own Jupiter. The nearby system features a brash, young 30-million-year-old star (by contrast, our Sun is in midlife at about 4.5 billion years old).

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Space
12:03 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Curiosity Hits Paydirt: New Clues To Life On Mars

Microbes may once have happily existed on the surface of Mars, according to chemical analysis of a sedimentary rock in the Red Planet's Gale crater. NASA geologist and exobiologist David Blake discusses evidence for an ancient freshwater lake in the crater, and describes the mineral-chomping microbes that may have thrived there.

Health Care
12:03 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Improving Healthcare, One Search At A Time

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY; I'm Ira Flatow. We've all been there, sitting at the computer late at night, clicking on those websites that offer medical opinions, trying to convince ourselves that our headache must be caused by a brain tumor, right? Yeah, that dry skin you've had for the last couple of months, of course it's due to a thyroid disorder because that's what you're finding out on the Web. Recognize yourself?

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Author Interviews
12:03 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

'Bones' Inspires A New Generation Of Crime Fighters

Kathy Reichs, the writer and scientist behind the TV show Bones, is back with a new novel for young adults. Code: A Virals Novel stars Tory Brennan, great-niece of Reich's famed crime-solving heroine Tempe Brennan. Reichs discusses the book, co-written with Brendan Reichs.

Medical Treatments
12:03 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Arming Fat Cells to Fight Brain Cancer

Harvesting stem cells from human fat may be an effective way to treat brain cancer, researchers report in the journal PLoS One. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, explains how fat cells can be used as Trojan horses to fight cancer.

Science
12:03 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Physicists Tie Water Into Knots

Reporting in the journal Nature Physics, William Irvine and Dustin Kleckner, physicists at the University of Chicago, have created a knotted fluid vortex in the lab — a scientific first, they say. The knots resemble smoke rings — except these are made of water, and they're shaped like pretzels, not donuts. Understanding knottiness has extra-large applications, like understanding dynamics of the sun.

NPR Story
10:41 am
Fri March 15, 2013

And The Award For Best Picture Goes To....

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 12:03 pm

More than 450 photographers submitted a shot to SciFri's Winter Nature Photo Contest, and thousands of fans helped choose a winner. Contest judge Clay Bolt discusses the winning entry, and what makes for a prize-winning shot. Plus, tips for budding nature photographers.

NPR Story
10:41 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Can Just One Concussion Change the Brain?

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 12:03 pm

Suffering a single concussion may cause lasting brain damage, researchers report in the journal Radiology. Steven Flanagan, co-director of the Concussion Center at NYU Langone Medical Center, discusses the findings, and why diagnosing a concussion is so difficult.

TED Radio Hour
9:28 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Are We Plugged-In, Connected, But Alone?

Sherry Turkle is concerned about how our devices are changing us, as human beings.
James Duncan Davidson TED

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 7:36 am

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Do We Need Humans?

About Sherry Turkle's TEDTalk

As we expect more from technology, do we expect less from each other? Sherry Turkle looks at how devices and online personas are redefining human connection. She says we need to really think about the kinds of connections we want to have.

About Sherry Turkle

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