Science & Health

Krulwich Wonders...
5:05 am
Sat January 26, 2013

Weekend Special: The Slobbering Cat That Stole My Heart

Courtesy of The Oatmeal

Maybe you already know about this, maybe I'm in love, maybe this is just me and my particular craziness, but I want you to click on the image below. It's Mathew Inman's (who calls himself "The Oatmeal") story, handwritten, hand drawn, about his cat, Domino.

There are, we all know, wonderful sites all over the web, but every so often somebody comes along and rejuggles words, pictures and plays with space, remixing elements to very quietly find new beats, new ways to tell a story. That is what Mathew did here. At least I think so.

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Environment
4:23 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

In Arizona, Some Retirees Caught In Never-Ending Battle With Invasive Species

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

We go now to Arizona, a magnet for retirees, and for some the answer to the question how should I spend my spare time is this: How about swinging a pick axe in the desert? NPR's Ted Robbins sent this postcard from Ironwood Forest National Monument.

TED ROBBINS, BYLINE: This must be Gary Borax's idea of a good time because he keeps coming back.

GARY BORAX: I've probably been out here 30, 40 times over the years and nearly half of those buffel grass-related.

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Books
12:08 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

The Book Club Catches 'The Andromeda Strain'

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

It's that time again, the SCIENCE FRIDAY Book Club. Regulars are gathered here. With me are Flora Lichtman, correspondent and managing editor of video for SCIENCE FRIDAY, Annette Heist, our senior producer. And this month, we had a page-turner, "The Andromeda Strain."

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Yes.

FLATOW: It goes very quickly, that book, doesn't it? Poof.

LICHTMAN: It did. I was thinking of 300 and something-odd pages, but I, you know, in one sitting, was halfway through. I couldn't put it down.

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Research News
12:06 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Turning Girl Scout Cookies Into Graphene

Researchers at Rice University in Houston have discovered a cheap source of the wonder material graphene: baked goods. Marc Abrahams, editor and co-founder of The Annals of Improbable Research, talks about how to transform a box of Girl Scout cookies into $15 billion worth of graphene--in theory, at least.

Animals
12:03 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Canine Mystery: How Dogs Became Man's Best Friend

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. We all know the phrase a dog is a man's best friend. But how did they become such loyal companions? Scientists agree that dogs descended from wolves, eventually evolving into the first domesticated animals, but that's where the consensus ends.

Researchers have been using archaeological records and genetic studies to tease out clues about how dogs and humans came to live together, but they seem to tell different stories of how it happened.

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Environment
12:03 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Cold Snap Shakes Up Winter Weather Outlook

Unusual activity in the atmosphere over the Arctic Circle is triggering snow and frigid temperatures across Canada, the U.S. and parts of Europe. Climatologist Jeff Weber, of the University Corporation of Atmospheric Research, explains why this winter could pack a punch.

Environment
12:03 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Months After Sandy, Mucking And Gutting

On a recent day in the Rockaways, a neighborhood in Queens, N.Y., hazmat-suited volunteers far outnumber anyone else on the streets. They are "mucking and gutting" — stripping homes to the studs to remove mold. Many residents are concerned about the health effects of mold exposure, according to community organizer Peter Corless. Mycologist Joan Bennett has been sampling fungi in homes damaged by Sandy to determine which species are present.

Environment
12:03 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Shoring Up The Nation's Crumbling Coastlines

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 10:20 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Hurricane Sandy battered the coastline here in New York and New Jersey. Take the city of Long Beach on Long Island. In 2006, the city council unanimously rejected a plan to construct 15-foot-high dunes on the beach there, saying that the 15-foot-high dunes would block ocean views, lower property values, affect surfers' waves.

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Krulwich Wonders...
12:02 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Falling Off The Moon

YouTube

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 4:42 pm

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Research News
12:00 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Shakespeare's Sonnets, Encoded In DNA

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

How much information do you think exists in the entire world? Take a guess. Forget megabytes and gigabytes and terabytes and petabytes, even exobytes. We're talking zetabytes here or 10 to the 21st bytes. Take the number 10, put 21 zeroes after it, that's what you've got because one recent estimate says there may be around three zetabytes of digital information out there. That's over one trillion gigabytes. Just imagine all those hard drives piled up, and then imagine them not starting up when you plug them in.

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Science & Health
5:13 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

New Zealand Environmentalist Wants To Eliminate Cats To Save Birds

Here Kitty: New Zealand cricketer Kane Williamson looks on as a cat walks on the outfield during a test match between Sri Lanka and New Zealand.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 8:22 am

Gareth Morgan hasn't said he's a dog person, but he's definitely not a cat person. Morgan, a top New Zealand economist and environmentalist, is campaigning for a cat-free country.

In an interview with The New York Times, Morgan said "cats are a 'friendly neighborhood serial killer' of birds."

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Science & Health
2:32 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Costa Rican Tribe's Traditional Medicines Get A Modern Media Makeover

According to the Terraba tribe, anise leaves are rich in iron and help with circulation.
Courtesy of Terraba.org

Originally published on Sun January 27, 2013 3:09 pm

When the Terraba tribe in Costa Rica rallied to oppose a hydroelectric dam they feared would destroy their land and their centuries-old culture, the indigenous community took a modern approach.

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Science & Health
2:30 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Fighting Misconceptions About Sickle Cell Disease In The ER

Nurse Corean McClinton, left, talks about pain management with Sherry Webb at the Sickle Cell Disease Center in the Truman Medical Center, in Kansas City, Mo., in 2007.
Dick Whipple Associated Press

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 12:47 pm

When sickle cell patients arrive at emergency rooms, they often have difficulty getting proper treatment. Paula Tanabe, an associate professor at the Duke University School of Nursing, is working to change that.

Sickle cell disease, a genetic blood disorder most common among people of African descent, affects 100,000 Americans. It causes normally disk-shaped red blood cells to take the form of pointed crescents or sickles.

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The Salt
11:52 am
Thu January 24, 2013

In Order To Live With People, Canines Evolved To Love Carbs

Got spaghetti? Dogs digest starch more efficiently than their wolf ancestors, which may have been an important step during dog domestication.
Lauren Solomon/iStockphoto.com/Nicholas Moore Courtesy of Nature

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 8:42 am

  • Listen To The Story From 'Morning Edition'

These days, a trip down the dog food aisle of your local pet store or supermarket can be a little overwhelming. There are hundreds of brands out there, catering to – let's be honest – every dog owner's taste: everything from generic kibble to organic nuggets.

There are even dog food cookbooks and specialty gourmet shops for people who want their pets to eat as well – or better – than they do.

How did we get here? The first step happened thousands of years ago, when meat-eating wolves evolved to tolerate people – and their more starchy, plant-based diet.

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Shots - Health News
10:38 am
Thu January 24, 2013

If You Think You're Good At Multitasking, You Probably Aren't

Take it easy, fella.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 3:54 pm

Everybody complains that people shouldn't talk on cellphones while driving. And yet it seems pretty much everybody does it.

That may be because so many of us think we're multitasking ninjas, while the rest of the people nattering away while driving are idiots.

But scientists say that the better people think they are at multitasking, the worse they really are at juggling.

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