Science & Health

Shots - Health News
4:55 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Aging Poorly: Another Act Of Baby Boomer Rebellion

Health researchers say the proportion of people in their late 40s to 60s with diabetes, hypertension or obesity has increased over the past two decades.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 9:40 am

Baby boomers have a reputation for being addicted to exercise and obsessed with eating well.

But that story didn't jibe with what physician Dana E. King and his colleagues see walking through the door of their family practice every day in Morgantown, W.Va.

Read more
Shots - Health News
1:21 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Scientists Find A Way To Scare Patients Who Can't Feel Fear

Movies like The Shining frighten most of us, but some brain-damaged people feel no fear when they watch a scary film. However, an unseen threat — air with a high level of carbon dioxide — produces a surprising result.
Warner Bros. Photofest

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 9:39 am

In shorthand often used to describe the brain, fear is controlled by a small, almond-shaped structure called the amygdala.

But it's not quite that simple, as a study published Sunday in Nature Neuroscience demonstrates.

Read more
Education
10:51 am
Mon February 4, 2013

African Americans Fly High With Math And Science

Barrington Irving , a 23-year-old Jamaican-born pilot, at a news conference at Opa-locka Airport Wednesday, June 27, 2007, ending a three-month journey he said would make him the youngest person to fly around the world alone.
Alan Diaz AP

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 11:48 am

This Black History Month, Tell Me More is taking a look at African Americans in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math) who are inspiring future generations.

Today, Barrington Irving shares how his sky high dreams became a reality. A chance encounter in his parents' bookstore put him on a path that would make him the youngest person and first African American to fly solo around the world.

Read more
Krulwich Wonders...
10:22 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Irresistible Meets Unstoppable. Who Wins?

YouTube

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 10:37 am

It's such a tantalizing question: What if an irresistible object crashes into an immovable object, what happens? Would the unmovable move? Would the irresistible be resisted? Which one would prevail? Somebody must have thought about this, must have an answer.

Read more
Energy
4:38 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Environmentalists Oppose Shipping Fracking Waste By Barge

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 11:09 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

States like Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio have seen an increase in oil and gas drilling recently. And this process, hydraulic fracturing or fracking, has created a lot of something else: liquid waste. Now, one disposal company has come up with a controversial plan for transporting that waste, taking it off trucks and putting it, instead, on barges.

That proposal is triggering what has become yet another safety debate between the drilling industry and some environmentalists.

From Athens Ohio, Fred Kight has the story.

Read more
World
2:34 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Tsunami Debris On Alaska's Shores Like 'Standing In Landfill'

Trash, much of it believed to be debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami, litters the beach on Montague Island, Alaska, on Jan. 26.
Annie Feidt for NPR

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 9:51 am

Refrigerators, foam buoys and even ketchup bottles are piling up on Alaska's beaches. Almost two years after the devastating Japanese tsunami, its debris and rubbish are fouling the coastlines of many states — especially in Alaska.

At the state's Montague Island beach, the nearly 80 miles of rugged wilderness looks pristine from a helicopter a few thousand feet up. But when you descend, globs of foam come into view.

Read more
Energy
2:33 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Are Mini-Reactors The Future Of Nuclear Power?

The reactor room at Babcock & Wilcox's prototype reactor outside Lynchburg, Va. The reactor vessel is behind the orange curtain.
Ben Bradford WFAE

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 11:15 am

The U.S. government is investing millions of dollars in what it considers a promising new industry for American manufacturing: nuclear reactors. The plan is to build hundreds of mini-reactors, dot them around the U.S. and export them overseas.

Read more
Science & Health
5:16 pm
Sun February 3, 2013

Health Care Aides Await Labor Decision On Minimum Wage

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 3:11 pm

Home health care aides are waiting to find out if they will be entitled to receive minimum wage. A decades-old amendment in labor law means that the workers, approximately 2.5 million people, do not always receive minimum wage or overtime.

The Obama administration has yet to formally approve revisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act that would change that classification.

Read more
Medical Treatments
3:37 pm
Sun February 3, 2013

Research Shows Placebos May Have Place In Everyday Treatments

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 5:16 pm

The placebo effect, in which patients perceive an effect from a fake drug, is even stronger than once believed. Host Laura Sullivan talks to Ted Kaptchuk, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, about his research on how sham treatments affect the way we feel.

Animals
2:13 pm
Sun February 3, 2013

Wood Stork's Endangered Status Is Up In The Air

A wood stork soars over its nest in Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary near Fort Myers, Fla., in 2008, as baby wood storks wait in their nest for an adult to bring food.
Peter Andrew Bosch MCT /Landov

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 5:16 pm

The last few years have been especially tough in South Florida for wading birds such as egrets, herons, ibises and wood storks that feed and nest in the region's wetlands.

The problem is there are fewer wetlands, and the last few years have been dry, reducing water levels in critical areas.

Read more
Traffic Deaths
9:04 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Ala. Agency Says Trauma Care Has Cut Crash Deaths

Officials say an expanded trauma network has reduced the rate of traffic deaths drastically since 2007
Credit Wikimedia Commons

A new report by Alabama health officials says the rate of traffic deaths has fallen drastically since the state established a trauma network in 2007.

The numbers released by the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Alabama Hospital Association show deaths from vehicle crashes dropped from 27.64 per 100,000 people in 2006 to a rate of 18.05 per 100,000 people in 2011.

Dr. John Campbell, the retired state emergency services medical director, says the results show spending on trauma care has paid off for Alabama.

Read more
Science & Health
4:42 am
Sun February 3, 2013

In China, A Breath Of Fresh Air (In A Can)

Chinese businessman Chen Guangbiao (center) gives cans of fresh air produced by his factory to passersby for free in a financial district in Beijing.
Mark Wong EPA /LANDOV

In response to the growing concern over China's air pollution, a theatrical Chinese entrepreneur is selling cans of fresh air.

Read more
Science & Health
3:49 pm
Sat February 2, 2013

FDA Challenges Stem Cell Companies As Patients Run Out Of Time

Scientists have seen promise in the potential of stem cells, but not everyone agrees stem cell replacement therapy is ready for prime time.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 9:30 am

Americans seeking stem cell replacement therapy hope the process can heal them of myriad diseases, and a 2011 report by the Baker Institute estimated the industry could bring in $16 billion in revenue by 2020.

Read more
Animals
5:54 am
Sat February 2, 2013

Did You Hear That? I Think It Was A Walrus

claumoho flickr

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 9:15 pm

Stand aside Beyonce, there's a new sound in town. More than 9,000 sounds, to be more precise. The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has just finished digitizing its huge archive of wildlife sounds and made it available online.

"It represents the voice of the world — all the voices of the world," Greg Budney, audio curator for the archive, tells NPR's Scott Simon. Among the vast collection are birds, mammals, insects and amphibians, Budney says, all made available "to anyone who has an interest in nature, in conservation and in the world around them."

Read more
Animals
4:17 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Birds May Use 'Sound Maps' To Navigate Huge Distances

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 6:17 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Now the curious case of the homing pigeon and the mystery of just how they do what they do: navigate over huge distances to find their way home. We know they use the sun and the Earth's magnetic field. Well, Jonathan Hagstrum of the U.S. Geological Survey believes the birds also use sound maps. His study was recently published in the Journal of Experimental biology. And he joins us now to explain how he thinks this works. Welcome to the program.

DR. JONATHAN HAGSTRUM: Thank you.

Read more

Pages