Science & Health

Shots - Health News
11:45 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Could A 'Brain Pacemaker' Someday Treat Severe Anorexia?

Kim Rollins of Ontario, Canada, struggled with anorexia for more than 20 years. After starting deep brain stimulation 14 months ago, the 36-year-old says she's in recovery.
Courtesy of Krembil Neuroscience Centre

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 9:23 am

Many people who get anorexia recover after therapy and counseling. But in about 20 to 30 percent of cases, the disease becomes a chronic condition that gets tougher and tougher to treat.

Right now, doctors have few options for helping these patients, mostly women, whose disease can be crippling or fatal.

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NPR Story
11:26 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Can the Anti-Aging Secret Be Found in...Red Wine?

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 2:04 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. Here's some news to raise a glass to: the idea that red wine may help us live longer and healthier lives. Well, it got a new boost this week. According to a team of researchers, a compound found in the skin of grapes could be an antidote to aging by slowing down the process and even fending off disease and inflammation associated with getting old. It's the topic of a new study published this week in the journal Science.

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NPR Story
11:26 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Getting the Springtime Buzz on Bees

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 12:03 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

You're listening to SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. You may not tell by looking outside your window if you're in the Midwest, or snow has been dumped on you in the last week or so, but spring is really just around the corner, and with that comes blooming plants and buzzing bees. And what can we expect this spring from nature's great pollinators?

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The Salt
11:05 am
Fri March 8, 2013

We Like 'Em Big And Juicy: How Our Table Grapes Got So Fat

Left to their own devices, many seedless grapes would be puny and soft. But these Thompson seedless got pleasingly plump after a little girdling and hormone treatment.
Daniel M.N. Turner NPR

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 4:37 pm

It's no secret that many Americans have a fetish for big food. Whether it's a triple-decker cheeseburger or a 128-ounce Big Gulp, some portions in the U.S. have gotten freakishly large.

But not all of our supersizing is unhealthy.

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:16 am
Fri March 8, 2013

What Happened When Humans Met An Alien Intelligence? Sex Happened

Courtesy of the Neanderthal Museum

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 1:50 pm

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The Two-Way
9:06 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Coroner: Zoo Intern May Have Been Killed After Lion Lifted Cage Handle

An undated photo of Dianna Hanson provided by her brother, Paul Hanson.
Paul Hanson Associated Press

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 11:19 am

A woman killed by a 550-pound male lion at a conservancy near Fresno, Calif., earlier this week may have been caught by surprise after the animal escaped its cage, investigators say.

According to a preliminary autopsy, Dianna Hanson, a 24-year-old intern for Cat Haven, was killed Wednesday when the lion snapped her neck.

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TED Radio Hour
9:00 am
Fri March 8, 2013

How Did A Mistake Unlock One Of Space's Mysteries?

Nobel Prize winner Saul Perlmutter explains part of his research in astrophysics.
Kimberly White/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 9:50 am

Part 1 of TED Radio Hour episode Peering Into Space.

Physicist Brian Greene explains how the prevailing theories about the fabric of space changed dramatically in the last century — twice. The most recent shift in thinking came about from a strange mistake, and revealed hidden truths about the nature of our universe. Later in this episode, Greene talks more about why this discovery hints at the existence of other universes.

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TED Radio Hour
9:00 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Is Our Universe The Only Universe?

"All these possibilities are out there. And we live in the one that is hospital to our form of life." — Brian Greene
James Duncan Davidson/TED

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 9:50 am

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Peering Into Space.

About Brian Greene's TED Talk

Is there more than one universe? Physicist Brian Greene shows how the unanswered questions of physics (starting with a big one: What caused the Big Bang?) have led to the theory that our own universe is just one of many in the "multiverse."

About Brian Greene

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TED Radio Hour
9:00 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Are We Alone In The Universe?

"We should search because it tells us how to collaborate our place in the cosmos." — Jill Tarter
TED / James Duncan Davidson

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 9:24 am

About Jill Tarter's TED Talk

The SETI Institute's Jill Tarter wants to accelerate our search for cosmic company. Using a growing array of radio telescopes, she and her team listen for patterns that may be a sign of intelligence elsewhere in the universe.

About Jill Tarter

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TED Radio Hour
9:00 am
Fri March 8, 2013

How Can We Defend Earth From Asteroids?

Phil Plait knows the secrets to avoiding a big asteroid catastrophe.
Courtesy of TED

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 9:24 am

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Peering Into Space.

About Phil Plait's TED Talk

What's six miles wide and can end civilization in an instant? An asteroid — and there are lots of them out there. With humor and great visuals, Phil Plait enthralls the TEDxBoulder audience with all the ways asteroids can kill, and what we must do to avoid them.

About Phil Plait

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Environment
1:22 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Past Century's Global Temperature Change Is Fastest On Record

Scientists say they have put together a record of global temperatures dating back to the end of the last ice age, about 11,000 years ago. This historical artwork of the last ice age was made by Swiss geologist and naturalist Oswald Heer.
Oswald Heer Science Source

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 9:40 pm

There's plenty of evidence that the climate has warmed up over the past century, and climate scientists know this has happened throughout the history of the planet. But they want to know more about how this warming is different.

Now a research team says it has some new answers. It has put together a record of global temperatures going back to the end of the last ice age — about 11,000 years ago — when mammoths and saber-tooth cats roamed the planet. The study confirms that what we're seeing now is unprecedented.

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The Salt
4:29 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

If Caffeine Can Boost The Memory Of Bees, Can It Help Us, Too?

Adam Cole/NPR iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 5:13 pm

Who knew that the flower nectar of citrus plants — including some varieties of grapefruit, lemon and oranges — contains caffeine? As does the nectar of coffee plant flowers.

And when honeybees feed on caffeine-containing nectar, it turns out, the caffeine buzz seems to improve their memories — or their motivations for going back for more.

"It is surprising," says Geraldine Wright at Newcastle University in the the U.K., the lead researcher of a new honeybee study published in the journal Science.

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Shots - Health News
1:47 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

To Make Mice Smarter, Add A Few Human Brain Cells

These drawings by Santiago Ramon y Cajal, published in 1899, show cortex neurons.
Santiago Ramon y Cajal Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 5:13 pm

For more than a century, neurons have been the superstars of the brain. Their less glamorous partners, glial cells, can't send electric signals, and so they've been mostly ignored.

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Energy
2:07 am
Thu March 7, 2013

BP Bows Out Of Solar, But Industry Outlook Still Sunny

As BP leaves the solar industry, Asian countries such as China are taking a lead role in production.
Xinhua News Agency AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 11:50 am

The solar energy business is growing quickly, but future growth will not include oil giant BP.

At the IHS CERAWeek energy conference in Houston, BP's CEO made it clear the company is done with solar.

"We have thrown in the towel on solar," Bob Dudley said after delivering a wide-ranging speech Wednesday.

"Not that solar energy isn't a viable energy source, but we worked at it for 35 years, and we really never made money," he added.

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The Salt
1:59 am
Thu March 7, 2013

In A Grain Of Golden Rice, A World Of Controversy Over GMO Foods

Genetically modified to be enriched with beta-carotene, golden rice grains (left) are a deep yellow. At right, white rice grains.
Isagani Serrano International Rice Research Institute

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 9:44 am

There's a kind of rice growing in some test plots in the Philippines that's unlike any rice ever seen before. It's yellow. Its backers call it "golden rice." It's been genetically modified so that it contains beta-carotene, the source of vitamin A.

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