Science & Health

The Two-Way
6:33 am
Sun March 3, 2013

After Delay, SpaceX Dragon Reaches Space Station

The SpaceX Dragon cargo vehicle is grappled by the International Space Station's robotic arm Sunday morning.
NASA TV

Originally published on Sun March 3, 2013 6:45 am

The Dragon has been captured. The SpaceX unmanned craft connected with the International Space Station at 5:31 a.m. ET, NASA tweeted. The spacecraft arrived a day late due to mechanical problems after Friday's launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla.

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The Two-Way
7:56 am
Sat March 2, 2013

Caught For Fins, Sharks Die At Unsustainable Rate, Study Finds

Fresh shark fins dry on the deck of an apprehended fishing boat in a declared shark and manta ray sanctuary located in the eastern region of Indonesia.
Conservation International /Getty Images

An estimated 100 million sharks are killed every year, "largely due to their inherent vulnerability, and an increasing demand, particularly for their fins, in the Asian market," a new report finds.

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Energy
4:00 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Natural Gas Dethrones King Coal As Power Companies Look To Future

American Electric Power's natural gas-burning plant in Dresden, Ohio, is one of the energy company's new investments in alternatives to coal-burning plants.
Michael Williamson The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 7:01 pm

The way Americans get their electricity is changing. Coal is in decline. Natural gas is bursting out of the ground in record amounts. And the use of wind and solar energy is growing fast. All this is happening as power companies are trying to choose which kind of energy to bet on for the next several decades.

Until recently, half of these plants burned coal to make electricity. Now, that's down to about one-third. Since 2010, about 150 coal plants either have been retired or it's been announced they will be retired soon.

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Remembrances
3:55 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

'Breathable' Nail Polish Creator Searched For A Healthier Cosmetic

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 5:03 pm

Audie Cornish talks with AP correspondent Vanessa Gera about Polish inventor Wojciech Inglot, who died last weekend. Inglot invented a "breathable" nail polish, which became a surprise hit among Muslim women. The special polish allows them to fulfill the religious obligation of hand-washing before prayers, and still keep their manicures.

Energy
3:55 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

State Department Finds No Major Objections To Keystone XL Pipeline Proposal

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 7:01 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. We've reported a lot on the fight over the Keystone XL pipeline. It would carry oil from the tar sands of Canada all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico. And today, there's a development in this story. The State Department has released a new analysis of environmental impacts of the pipeline.

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Science
3:55 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Earth Provides Little Warning Before 'Catastrophic' Sinkholes

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 7:01 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. Late last night in Sefner, Florida, near Tampa, a giant sinkhole opened up suddenly under the home of Jeffrey Bush. The hole measures some 30 feet across. It's at least 20 feet deep. Five people escaped the home, but Mr. Bush was plunged into the sinkhole and is feared dead.

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Research News
3:55 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Study: Depression, Autism And Schizophrenia Share Genetic Links

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 7:01 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Scientists have known for some time that genes play a role in disorders like major depression, bipolar disorder, autism, schizophrenia and ADHD. But a major new study published in the journal Lancet suggests that those five disorders may actually share some of the same genetic links. The study analyzed the DNA of more than 60,000 people around the world. Jordan Smoller is a professor of psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. And he helped lead the study. I asked him what the study set out to find.

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The Two-Way
2:31 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Researchers Connect Rats' Minds Via Internet

Rats share information via brain implants, say researchers.
NPR

An experiment that used rats to create a "brain-to-brain interface" shows that instructions can be transferred between animals via electronic signals and the Internet, according to scientists who studied how rats can use brain implants to share problem-solving information.

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NPR Story
10:39 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Seeking A Grain Of Truth In "Whole Grain" Labels

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 12:03 pm

Whole wheat, stone-ground, multi-grain. Have food labels got you confused? Joanne Slavin, a nutrition professor at the University of Minnesota, and David Ludwig, a pediatrician and obesity doctor at Boston Children's Hospital, discuss the meaning of "whole grain," and whether intact grains like wheat berries pack more nutritional punch than their ground-up counterparts, such as whole wheat flour.

NPR Story
10:39 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Rap Nerdy To Me

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 8:48 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: And I'm Flora Lichtman.

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NPR Story
10:39 am
Fri March 1, 2013

A Natural Particle Accelerator, Far Above The Planet

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 12:03 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Far above the Earth's surface, two doughnuts of radiation surround the planet, charged particles zipping around in stable belts - that's the shape of them - and they were discovered in 1958 by James Van Allen and now bear his name. They are the Van Allen Belts.

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NPR Story
10:39 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Robert Langer, Father Of Invention

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 12:03 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Robert Langer is sort of a modern-day Thomas Edison. He holds over 800 patents. He's launched two dozen startups making an eclectic variety of stuff from tumor-zapping nanoparticles to biosensors and blood tests, synthetic spinal cords, even anti-frizz hair products, all of this originating from the same lab. And recently, President Obama awarded him the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. He's already won the National Medal of Science, after all.

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NPR Story
10:39 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Mapping The Effects Of The Sequester On Science

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 12:03 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

As I just mentioned, the automatic spending cuts go into effect today, covering much of the federal budget, and we were trying to talk with Lamar Smith about where those cuts might come, obviously across the board. Well, someone who might be more forthcoming or know more about it is here with us, Michael Lubell. He is professor of physics at City College at the City University of New York, director of public affairs at the American Physical Society. He's here in our New York Studio. Good to see you again.

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The Two-Way
10:16 am
Fri March 1, 2013

SpaceX Reports Problem With Dragon Capsule

The Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket lifts off from at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Friday.
John Raoux Associated Press

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 7:24 pm

Update at 8:10 p.m. ET: Problem Fixed, Arrival Delayed

SpaceX says the problem with its unmanned craft carrying supplies for the International Space Station has been fixed.

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TED Radio Hour
9:06 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Are We All A Little Psychopathic?

"Being not normal is the new normal." — Jon Ronson
James Duncan Davidson/TED

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 10:50 am

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Unquiet Mind.

About Jon Ronson's Talk

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