Science & Health

The Salt
11:09 am
Sun June 8, 2014

James Cameron-Backed School To Terminate Meat And Dairy

Suzy Amis Cameron, wife of director James Cameron, and gardener and educator Paul Hudak inspect seedlings in the MUSE School CA greenhouse in Calabasas, Calif. Amis Cameron, who founded the school with her sister, wants the school menu to be entirely plant-based by fall 2015.
Eliza Barclay NPR

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 11:55 am

As we've been reporting, the quest to get more fruits, vegetables and whole grains into public schools has once again gotten political.

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Krulwich Wonders...
4:20 am
Sun June 8, 2014

Big Moments Get Less Weighty: Whatever Happened To Stiff Paper?

Robert Krulwich NPR

It's no big deal. It shouldn't matter. I just realized that something that's been around forever, that I grew up with, took for granted and used all the time, is slowly vanishing. Now that it's going, I suddenly care and want it back again, back in my hands so I can feel its touch.

I'm talking about, of all things, "card stock," a phrase I didn't know until today. It's a kind of paper that used to be everywhere ...

It was my bus ticket, somewhat rigid, that the bus driver would punch and then hand back, so I could use it again for the return trip.

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The Two-Way
7:15 am
Sat June 7, 2014

Photos: After A Storm, A Red Sky, Double Rainbow Over Atlanta

The sky turns pink as a rainbow appears at dusk over the suburbs during a thunderstorm on Thursday.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Sat June 7, 2014 10:48 am

We're a bit late to this. But it's so stunning, we'll share it anyway: Thursday night, the remnants of a strong storm and a sunset came together at just the right time to form a beautiful celestial treat: a red sky, double rainbow spanning the city of Atlanta.

Associated Press photographer David Goldman captured the rainbow from the suburbs, where the sky looked pink:

But a couple of others took shots of the rainbow over downtown ATL, where reds mixed with purples. Here are the shots:

Update at 10:10 a.m. ET. Science:

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The Salt
4:41 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Doughnut Day Downer: Palm Oil In Pastries Drives Deforestation

Doughnuts at a Krispy Kreme store in Washington, D.C. An environmental coalition says leading doughnut companies like Krispy Kreme source palm oil from suppliers who are clear-cutting rain forests and destroying wildlife habitat.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 6:29 pm

On National Doughnut Day, it's hard to imagine how our love of doughnuts might be contributing to deforestation halfway around the globe.

But here's the connection: You know that oily smudge left on your fingers after you polish off a doughnut? That's not just sugar. It's also palm oil.

The major doughnut retailers — from Dunkin' Donuts to Tim Hortons and Krispy Kreme — fry their sweet treats in palm oil, or in blends of oil that include palm oil.

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The Two-Way
4:37 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

New Look At Apollo Rocks Finds Evidence Of Moon's Birth

An Apollo 12 astronaut makes footprints on the surface of the moon, Nov. 19, 1969. Rocks collected on the mission were among those recently re-examined by a team of German astronauts.
AP

A new analysis of rocks collected by Apollo astronauts on the moon more than 40 years ago bolsters the leading theory of our natural satellite's origin — that it formed from a collision between a nascent Earth and another object some 4.5 billion years ago.

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The Salt
11:27 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Can Farmed Fish Feed The World Without Destroying The Environment?

Carp are collected at a breeding farm near the Belarus village of Ozerny in November 2013. Researchers say there's a lot the aquaculture industry can do to be more efficient.
Viktor Drachev AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:19 am

We Americans love our fried shrimp, our sushi and our fish sticks. And a lot of other people around the world count on fish as a critical part of their diet, too. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, fish now accounts for almost 17 percent of the world's intake of protein — in some coastal and island countries it's as high as 70 percent.

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TED Radio Hour
8:34 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Is Space Tourism Finally About To Take Off?

"When the rocket stops, you will be in space, there will be complete silence, you will unbuckle, you will float around" — Richard Branson
Robert Leslie TED

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode Getting There.

About Richard Branson's TEDTalk

Entrepreneur Richard Branson shares his vision for private, commercial space travel.

About Richard Branson

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TED Radio Hour
8:34 am
Fri June 6, 2014

How Do You Make New York's Mean Streets A Little Nicer?

"When you build it they will come — we've seen quadrupling of bike commuting in New York City since 2000" — Janette Sadik-Khan
Ryan Lash TED

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Getting There.

About Janette Sadik-Khan's TEDTalk

Former New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan says cities can tackle the challenges of tomorrow by completely re-imagining our streets today.

About Janette Sadik-Khan

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TED Radio Hour
8:34 am
Fri June 6, 2014

If We Want to Live In Cities, Will We Have To Share Cars?

"If you live in a city and don't need a car to get to work, you're crazy to be owning one" — Robin Chase
Robert Leslie TED

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Getting There.

About Robin Chase's TEDTalk

Zipcar co-founder Robin Chase makes the case for car-sharing as the solution to global gridlock.

About Robin Chase

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TED Radio Hour
8:34 am
Fri June 6, 2014

How Does Henry Ford's Great-Grandson Envision The Future?

"This is the kind of technology that will merge millions of individual vehicles into a single system" — Bill Ford
James Duncan Davidson TED

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Getting There.

About Bill Ford's TEDTalk

Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford describes how we can create a green future of smart roads and smart cars.

About Bill Ford

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TED Radio Hour
8:34 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Can The Sun Fuel A Flight Around The World?

"People will tell you it's impossible, and that's exactly why we try to do it" — Bertrand Piccard
James Duncan Davidson TED

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Getting There.

About Bertrand Piccard's TEDTalk

Explorer Bertrand Piccard explains why he's aiming to carry out an unprecedented mission: to circle the planet in a solar-powered airplane.

About Bertrand Piccard

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Science & Health
6:28 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Alabama AG May Sue Over EPA Carbon Rules

Credit lutherstrange.com

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange says he may take legal action to challenge the Obama administration's latest ruling on power plant emissions.

Strange says restrictions on emissions will cost Alabama jobs and increase heating and cooling costs. Al.com reports that Strange says 16,000 coal-related jobs in Alabama could be affected.

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The Two-Way
5:13 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Tracking Roadkill? There's An App For That, Too

Adult bison and calves cross a dirt road on Antelope Island, northwest of Salt Lake City. A team of scientists from Utah State University has developed a smartphone app to track animal-vehicle collisions.
Douglas C. Pizac AP

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 11:54 am

Want to know where most motorists hit deer? To answer such a question, at least in Utah, used to involve the laborious task of sifting through mountains of paperwork. And the results weren't even all that accurate.

But a team of scientists at Utah State University has developed a smartphone application to make the task easier, and is hoping that "citizen scientists" will help compile a roadkill database.

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Shots - Health News
4:17 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Quick DNA Tests Crack Medical Mysteries Otherwise Missed

Doctors used a rapid DNA test to identify a Wisconsin teen's unusual infection with Leptospira bacteria (yellow), which are common in the tropics.
CDC/Rob Weyant

Originally published on Sat June 7, 2014 8:07 am

Researchers are developing a radical way to diagnose infectious diseases. Instead of guessing what a patient might have, and ordering one test after another, this new technology starts with no assumptions.

The technology starts with a sample of blood or spinal fluid from an infected person and searches through all the DNA in it, looking for sequences that came from a virus, a bacterium, a fungus or even a parasite.

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The Two-Way
2:34 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Wall Of Ice Surrounding Fukushima Will Contain Radioactive Water

Members of a local government council check an outlet of a so-called groundwater bypass system as they inspect the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station earlier this week.
Kyodo/Landov

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 3:56 pm

Earlier this week, workers in Japan began constructing an underground "ice wall" around the melted-down nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. The wall is designed to stop hundreds of tons of radioactive groundwater from leaking into the nearby Pacific Ocean.

Building a subterranean wall of ice sounds a little crazy. NPR's Geoff Brumfiel, who's been covering the story, says it is a little crazy — but not as far-fetched as it sounds.

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