Science & Health

Science
5:32 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Illegal, Remote Pot Farms In California Poisoning Rare Wildlife

Fishers are among the small carnivores threatened by rat poisons used to guard plants at illegal marijuana farms.
John Jacobson U.S Fish & Wildlife Service

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 6:58 pm

People who grow marijuana illegally in the backwoods of Northern California use large amounts of rat bait to protect their plants — and these chemicals are killing several species of wild animals, including rare ones, biologists say.

Here's what happens: The growers plant their marijuana in remote locations, hoping to elude detection. They irrigate their plants — with water from streams — which lures animals looking for water. Rodents chew the flourishing plants to get moisture, which kills the plants. Researchers believe that's the prime reason growers use the poisons.

Read more
Joe's Big Idea
5:32 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

NASA's On Alert For Big Scary Asteroids. What About Smaller Ones?

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 6:58 pm

Read more
Shots - Health News
12:26 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Here's One More Reason To Play Video Games: Beating Dyslexia

Video games with lots of action might be useful for helping people with dyslexia train the brain's attention system.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 1:38 pm

Most parents prefer that their children pick up a book rather than a game controller. But for kids with dyslexia, action video games may be just what the doctor ordered.

Dyslexia is one of the most common learning disabilities, affecting an estimated 5 to 10 percent of the world's population. Many approaches to help struggling readers focus on words and phonetics, but researchers at Oxford University say dyslexia is more of an attention issue.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:11 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Make It A Grande: Mammoth Tusk Find Likely Seattle's Largest

Plumber apprentice Joe Wells touching what Burke Museum officials believe is the largest, most intact mammoth tusk, ever found in the region.
Uncredited AP

The tusk from a mammoth that lived 16,000 years ago in the Seattle area unearthed earlier this week appears to be the largest, most intact ever found in the region.

It's thought to be from a Columbian mammoth, a subgroup of woolly mammoths, and is considered to be a pretty rare find. Construction workers stumbled on it as they were digging the foundation for an apartment complex in the city's South Lake Union neighborhood.

Read more
The Salt
10:29 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Sexually Transmitted Food Poisoning? A Fish Toxin Could Be To Blame

Beware of the big guys: Red snappers from tropical waters sometimes accumulate high levels of the toxin that causes ciguatera. Go for the smaller fish to avoid it.
Kamel Adjenef iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 3:33 pm

Twenty-five years ago, two pals went out for a seafood dinner while vacationing in the Bahamas. What could be better than some fresh grouper steaks and a night on the town without the wives?

Um, plenty.

A few hours after dinner, the men started having stomach pains and diarrhea. Their legs began to tingle and burn. And their sense of temperature went haywire: Ice felt hot while fire felt cool.

All the while, their wives were completely fine — until they had sex with their hubbies.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:56 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Shiny And New: World's Largest Solar Plant Opens In California

NRG celebrates the future of solar energy at the grand opening of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System on Thursday in Nipton, Calif.
Jeff Bottari Invision for NRG

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 1:41 pm

The world's largest solar power plant, made up of thousands of mirrors focusing the sun's energy, has officially started operations in the Mojave Desert, just inside southeastern California near the border with Nevada.

The $2.2 billion, 400-megawatt Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, which covers 5 square miles and has three 40-story towers where the light is focused, is a joint project by NRG Energy, Google and BrightSource Energy. The project received a $1.6 billion federal loan guarantee.

Read more
TED Radio Hour
9:32 am
Fri February 14, 2014

How Does Misfortune Affect Long-Term Happiness?

Psychologist Dan Gilbert speaking at TED.
Asa Mathat TED

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 4:17 pm

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode Simply Happy.

About Dan Gilbert's TEDTalk

We're doomed to be miserable if we don't get what we want — right? Not quite, says psychologist Dan Gilbert. He says our "psychological immune system" lets us feel truly happy even when things don't go as planned.

About Dan Gilbert

Read more
TED Radio Hour
9:32 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Are We Happier When We Stay In The Moment?

Matt Killingsworth speaking at TEDxCambridge in 2011.
Justin Ide TEDxCambridge

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 4:16 pm

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Simply Happy.

About Matt Killingsworth's TEDTalk

When are humans most happy? To answer this question, researcher Matt Killingsworth built an app, Track Your Happiness, that let people report their feelings in real time. Among the results: We're often happiest when we're lost in the moment.

About Matt Killingsworth

Read more
The Two-Way
8:01 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Massive Volcanic Eruption In Indonesia Blankets Region In Ash

A residential area is covered with ash from the Mount Kelud volcano, in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, on Friday.
Bimo Satrio EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 1:06 pm

The second major volcanic eruption in as many weeks in Indonesia has killed at least three people and forced the evacuation of tens of thousands on the island of Java, as Mount Kelud spewed ash and debris 12 miles into the sky.

Thursday night's eruption of the volcano, located 50 miles southwest of the country's second-largest city of Surabaya, could be heard up to 125 miles away, Indonesia's disaster agency says, according to The Associated Press.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:49 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Fossil Shows Triassic-Era Sea Creature Gave Birth On Land

Fossil of Chaohusaurus reveals a baby inside its mother (orange) and another stuck in her pelvis (yellow).
Ryosuke Motani UC-Davis

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 5:05 pm

An extraordinary find of a fossil of 250-million-year-old air-breathing sea creature shows that it must have given birth on land, not in the sea as long assumed.

The fossil is of a mother chaohusaurus, which is believed to be a genus of ichthyosaur, who died giving birth. It shows the baby birthing headfirst.

Read more
Health Overhaul-Alabama
4:08 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Nearly 44,000 Alabamians Sign Up For Health Plans

More than 18,000 Alabamians signed up for insurance through Alabama's federally operated insurance exchange in January.
Credit U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Nearly 44,000 Alabamians have used the federal health care law to sign up for insurance through Alabama's federally operated insurance exchange.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that 18,024 Alabamians signed up in January. The sign-ups began in October with 624, grew to 2,824 by the end of November and increased to 25,839 in December. They grew to 43,863 by the end of January.

Read more
Science
1:37 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Robot Construction Workers Take Their Cues From Termites

Climbing robots, modeled after termites, can be programmed to work together to build tailor-made structures.
[Image courtesy of Eliza Grinnell, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 6:58 pm

Termites can build huge, elaborate mounds that rise up from the ground like insect skyscrapers; scientists have now created little robots that act like termites to build a made-to-order structure.

"Termites are the real masters of construction in the insect world," says Justin Werfel of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. "The largest termite mound on record was 42 feet tall."

Read more
Krulwich Wonders...
12:03 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

'I Will Fight Gravity For You,' Said Superman To Lois Lane

Keone and Mari YouTube

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 1:41 pm

Read more
The Two-Way
11:09 am
Thu February 13, 2014

China's Moon Rover Wakes Up, But Isn't Out Of The Woods Yet

China's first lunar rover separates from the Chang'e-3 moon lander on Dec. 15. This picture was taken from the screen of the Beijing Aerospace Control Center.
Li Xin Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 2:56 pm

China's troubled Jade Rabbit rover has woken from its hibernation on the moon, sending a message back to its handlers. But its problems aren't over yet.

"Hi, anyone there?" was the post on Jade Rabbit's unofficial Weibo account on Thursday, which got thousands of responses from enthusiastic followers.

Read more
Science
2:03 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Ancient DNA Ties Native Americans From Two Continents To Clovis

Until recently, finding characteristic stone and bone tools was the only way to trace the fate of the Clovis people, whose culture appeared in North America about 13,000 years ago.
Sarah L. Anzick Nature

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 7:01 pm

The mysterious Clovis culture, which appeared in North America about 13,000 years ago, appears to be the forerunner of Native Americans throughout the Americas, according to a study in Nature. Scientists have read the genetic sequence of a baby from a Clovis burial site in Montana to help fill out the story of the earliest Americans.

Read more

Pages