Science & Health

Books
10:39 am
Mon February 25, 2013

The Science Of Being 'Top Dog'

ManoAfrica iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 12:16 pm

"To compete well means to take risks that are normally constrained by fear," Po Bronson tells NPR's Michel Martin.

Following their best-selling book, NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children, Bronson and Ashley Merryman teamed up again for Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing.

Bronson says "risk-taking is a crucial quality of competitiveness." Science shows that "if you focus on the odds, you tend not to take the risk," he says.

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Law
4:55 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Trial Against BP To Begin Over 2010 Rig Explosion

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 8:11 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

The worst environmental disaster in American history is the subject of a trial that is beginning today. It's a big and complicated civil lawsuit stemming from the 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico - and, of course, the spill that followed that.

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Shots - Health News
2:26 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Pediatricians Urged To Treat Ear Infections More Cautiously

Giancario Gemignani-Hernandez, 2, of Pittsburgh has his ear examined by Dr. Alejandro Hoberman.
Gene J. Puskar AP

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 5:40 pm

Hoping to reduce unnecessary antibiotics use, the American Academy of Pediatrics on Monday issued new guidelines for how doctors should diagnose and treat ear infections.

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Shots - Health News
4:05 am
Sun February 24, 2013

Ancient Chompers Were Healthier Than Ours

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 6:55 am

Prehistoric humans didn't have toothbrushes. They didn't have floss or toothpaste, and they certainly didn't have Listerine. Yet somehow, their mouths were a lot healthier than ours are today.

"Hunter-gatherers had really good teeth," says Alan Cooper, director of the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA. "[But] as soon as you get to farming populations, you see this massive change. Huge amounts of gum disease. And cavities start cropping up."

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The Two-Way
4:41 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Attack By Chondrite: Scientists ID Russian Meteor

Researchers who studied pieces of the meteor collected near Lake Cherbarkul say it was a common chondrite meteor. The largest of the 53 fragments was one centimeter in diameter. Photo provided by the Urals Federal University Press Service.
Alexander Khlopotov AP

The meteor that caused at least 1,000 injuries in Russia after a startling and powerful daytime explosion one week ago has been identified as a chondrite. Russian scientists who analyzed fragments of the meteor, whose large size and well-documented impact made it a rarity, say that its composition makes it the most common type of meteor we encounter here on Earth.

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The Two-Way
1:40 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Aquarium Dumping Linked To Giant Tahoe Goldfish

You're going to need a bigger fishbowl.

Scientists searching for invasive species in Lake Tahoe scooped up a bright orange goldfish measuring nearly a foot and a half long and weighing more than 4 pounds, according to the website Live Science. (You can see it here.)

Environmental scientist Sudeep Chandra says a survey has uncovered a "nice corner" of the lake where about 15 other giant goldfish were living, apparently after being dumped there by aquarium owners.

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The Salt
12:42 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Despite Lingering Drought, USDA Predicts A Flood Of Grain

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 1:51 pm

Economists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, gazing into their crystal ball, see American farmers planting and harvesting huge amounts of corn, soybeans, and wheat this year. They're predicting a record harvest of corn: 14 billion bushels, up nearly 40 percent over last year's drought-crippled level.

With supply up, prices will fall. The USDA thinks that the price of the average bushel of corn could fall by a third. And soybean production and price are expected to follow a similar track.

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NPR Story
10:22 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Russia Meteor Renews Focus on Asteroid Threats

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 12:03 pm

A week after a meteor exploded over Russia on the same day that an asteroid swung closely past Earth, experts discuss how the potential threats posed by near-Earth objects should be addressed. Astronomers Donald Yeomans and John Tonry weigh in on how to keep the planet safe.

NPR Story
10:22 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Ask A Dentist: Facts To Sink Your Teeth Into

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 12:03 pm

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. And, it turns out, the dentist--because that fibery skin is good for your teeth. Dentists Mark Ryder of the University of California San Francisco and Mark Wolff of New York University answer your toothy questions in this episode of our "Ask an expert" series.

NPR Story
10:22 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Is China's Military Behind Cyberattacks on U.S.?

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 12:03 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. The Internet is the new battleground.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets. Now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions, our air traffic control systems. We cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy.

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NPR Story
10:22 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Surprise: Cockroaches are Fastidious Groomers!

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 12:03 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Time now for our Video Pick of the Week. Flora Lichtman is here. Welcome to the program. Flora's our correspondent and managing editor for video.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Ira.

(LAUGHTER)

FLATOW: This one, this week...

LICHTMAN: I don't even know what to say.

(LAUGHTER)

FLATOW: Have you - make sure you've eaten your lunch or your breakfast.

LICHTMAN: It might be - it's going to be grossest video you've probably seen all week. But you should still watch it because it's fascinating.

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NPR Story
10:22 am
Fri February 22, 2013

How Wood Smoke is Dirtying Alaska's Air

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 12:03 pm

In Fairbanks, Alaska, residents are using wood stoves to heat their homes during the frigid winter months. But, smoke created by these wood burners is contributing to some of the worst air pollution in the country. Cathy Cahill discusses air quality in the Last Frontier.

NPR Story
10:22 am
Fri February 22, 2013

The SciFri Book Club Visits "Gorillas in the Mist"

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 12:03 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Up next - let me get a cup of coffee, put my feet down, get cozy, because it's our monthly meeting of the SCIENCE FRIDAY Book Club. We have the book club regulars here with us. Flora's still with us. And joining us now is Annette Heist, senior producer for SCIENCE FRIDAY. Welcome to the program, Anette?

ANNETTE HEIST, BYLINE: Hi, Ira. Hi, Flora.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hello.

FLATOW: And we had another classic book this month which is...

HEIST: "Gorillas in the Mist" by Dian Fossey.

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The Salt
9:22 am
Fri February 22, 2013

For Fruit Flies, Alcohol Really Is Mommy's Little Helper

Alcohol: a key babyproofing product for this little mother.
Illustration by Daniel M.N. Turner Photos via istockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 11:26 am

Many a mom has reached for a glass of wine after a long day of tending children. But only fruit fly moms use their version of Chardonnay to guard their babies from harm.

When fly moms see marauding wasps, they seek out the alcohol in fermenting fruit, and lay their eggs there, according to new research. The alcohol is toxic to the wasps, but not to the fruit flies. They've evolved a tolerance for hooch.

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Marshall Space Flight Center
6:31 am
Fri February 22, 2013

NASA Administrator Bolden Visits North Ala Center

NASA administrator Charles Bolden will visit Huntsville's Marshall Space Flight Center on Friday, February 22, 2013.
NASA/Bill Ingalls

NASA administrator Charles Bolden is scheduled for a stop in north Alabama.

The space agency says Bolden will visit the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville on Friday afternoon.


Marshall is NASA's main center dedicated to developing space propulsion systems. Engineers there are now working on the Space Launch System, which are heavy-lift rockets being designed to take U.S. astronauts back into space.

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