Science & Health

Science
3:18 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Highly Anticipated Asteroid Upstaged, By A Meteor

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 6:13 pm

The much-anticipated close flyby of a large asteroid was upstaged Friday when a meteor unexpectedly streaked across the sky over Russia. The ensuing explosion sent window shards flying and injured hundreds of people.

The Two-Way
1:42 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Is Russia Marked For Meteors?

A hole in the ice of Chebarkul Lake where a meteor reportedly struck the lake near Chelyabinsk, about 930 miles east of Moscow
AP

Originally published on Sat August 17, 2013 7:53 am

Russians might be forgiven for thinking they have a big, fat celestial bull's-eye painted on their heads.

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Shots - Health News
12:27 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Don't Count On Extra Weight To Help You In Old Age

Extra weight is no defense against aging, says a demographer who argues that the apparent benefits from being overweight are a mirage.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 8:47 am

Wouldn't it be great, considering how many of us are overweight, if carrying a few extra pounds meant we'd live longer?

A recent analysis of nearly 100 published studies involving almost 3 million people found, surprisingly, that being a little overweight was associated with a lower risk of death than having a normal weight or being obese.

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Theater
12:03 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

A New View Of Newton In 'Isaac's Eye'

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 6:14 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Anyone who's taken a high school science class knows the name Isaac Newton. You remember this tale: He's sitting under a tree, an apple falls on his head, he figures out gravity, or so the story goes. Not really true.

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Art & Design
12:03 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Art Meets Geek at Toni Dove's Studio

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 6:14 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Flora Lichtman's here, switched hats again.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Switching gears.

FLATOW: Switching gears, and our gear is our Video Pick of the Week, and it's a real - as always, a real cool one.

LICHTMAN: This one, yeah, very cool. We're to the earthly pleasures now - part - segment of the show. It's about art. We went and visited the studio of artist Toni Dove, and she makes the art - the kind of art that's just my style. It satisfies my craving for fantasy, and also my real nerdy, geeky side.

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NPR Story
10:07 am
Fri February 15, 2013

Tracking A Space Rock's Streak Past Earth

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 6:14 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. Early this morning...

(SOUNDBITE OF EXPLOSION)

FLATOW: You heard it, a meteor exploded over Central Russia. It rattled buildings, shattered glass over a wide area, causing hundreds of injuries estimated at 900 or more at this hour. And at this very moment another asteroid, half the size of a football field, is speeding towards our planet. But there's no need to panic. This one is not raining space rocks, say scientists.

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Author Interviews
10:07 am
Fri February 15, 2013

Author Katherine Bouton Opens Up About Going Deaf

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 6:14 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

As a journalist, I've known Katherine Bouton for over 30 years. I first met her on a trip to Antarctica in 1979. A famous picture of me interviewing penguins was taken by Ms. Bouton. But I was never fully aware of the extent of the private battle she has been fighting, an invisible condition that affects 50 million Americans, I'm talking about hearing loss.

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Krulwich Wonders...
8:53 am
Fri February 15, 2013

A Crazy But Rational Solution To Our Electoral College Problem

Courtesy of Fake Is The New Real

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 1:26 pm

Let's pretend. Let's pretend that politics doesn't matter, politicians don't matter, history doesn't matter, nostalgia doesn't matter, emotion doesn't matter, habit doesn't matter, romance doesn't matter, prejudice doesn't matter — all that matters is good old rational, mathematical, look-at-the-numbers common sense.

And now let's look at the Electoral College.

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Research News
5:12 am
Fri February 15, 2013

Scientists Look To The Internet To Raise Research Funds

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 7:39 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Scientists have made an important discovery, and not really a scientific one. They've learned they can raise money for their research simply by going on the Internet and asking people for support. We heard yesterday how that worked for one researcher. Still, scientists have no idea why this approach is working or how much money they can raise this way. Here's NPR's Joe Palca with the next installment of his project Joe's Big Idea.

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Shots - Health News
4:02 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Darkness Provides A Fix For Kittens With Bad Vision

Scientists found that darkness worked far better than they expected as a treatment for kittens with lazy eye.
Bill Rhodes/Flickr

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 7:57 am

When it comes to treating a lazy eye, there's evidence that turning the lights off may help — if you're a kitten.

A study in the latest issue of Current Biology reports that kittens with a type of visual impairment known as amblyopia, or lazy eye, were able to regain normal eyesight after being plunged into total darkness for 10 days.

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Animals
3:38 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

With Brawls And Calls, Love Is In The Air For Elephant Seals

A male northern elephant seal calling near Santa Cruz, Calif.
A. Friendlaender NMFS Permit No. 14636

On this Valentine's Day, we bring you a story from the California coast, where love is in the air. It sounds something like this:

That's a male northern elephant seal. It's the peak of their mating season right now. Elephant seals spend of the most of the year alone, out in the Pacific Ocean. So you can probably guess what happens when they get together every winter.

Naturalist Lisa Wolfklain is leading a public tour at Ano Nuevo State Reserve, two hours south of San Francisco, where hundreds of elephant seals are packed together on a narrow strip of beach.

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Shots - Health News
2:34 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Traces Of Anxiety Drugs May Make Fish Act Funny

Perch exposed to the anxiety drug oxazepam were more daring and ate more quickly than fish that lived in drug-free water.
Courtesy of Bent Christensen

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 4:40 pm

Many of the drugs we take aren't actually digested — they pass through our bodies, and down through the sewer pipes. Traces of those drugs end up in the bodies of fish and other wildlife. Nobody's sure what effect they have.

Now, a paper being published in Science magazine finds that drugs for anxiety drugs — even at these very low levels — can affect the behavior of fish.

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The Salt
12:39 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

When Resistance Is Futile: Bring In The Robots To Pull Superweeds

An illustration imagines what a weed-seeking robot could look like, armed with different tools to attack different problem plants.
Courtesy Steve Young

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 1:08 pm

A future without weeds would be a kind of farmer utopia, but currently, herbicide-resistant "superweeds" are part of today's reality. Some researchers, though, are looking for a solution that seems ripped from science fiction: weed-seeking robots.

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Shots - Health News
7:40 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Scientists Pass The Hat For Research Funding

Car commercial? Nope. Jessica Richman, Zachary Apte (center) and William Ludington are looking to the crowd for money to fund uBiome, which will sequence the genetic code of microbes that live on and inside humans.
Courtesy of uBiome

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 12:28 pm

When the X-ray was invented, people clamored to get one. Not for any medical reason, but just to see what was typically hidden inside their bodies.

Something like that seems to be happening with DNA sequencing technology. First it was companies offering to sequence people's genomes. Now it's learning all about your microbiome, the collection of microorganisms living on and in your body.

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Krulwich Wonders...
7:09 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Guy Pumps Out A Valentine — Literally

Courtesy of Payam Rajabi

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 12:47 pm

Last year, Payam Rajabi got a new job and had to leave Toronto and his girlfriend, Clare, and move to San Francisco. All that left him feeling a little down — until he came up with his upsy, downsy valentine idea.

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