Science & Health

The Salt
3:32 pm
Mon July 20, 2015

The Ancient City Where People Decided To Eat Chickens

Lee Perry-Gal measures chicken long bones at the zooarchaeology lab, Zinman Institute of Archaeology, University of Haifa.
Courtesy of Guy Bar-Oz

Originally published on Thu July 23, 2015 12:51 pm

An ancient, abandoned city in Israel has revealed part of the story of how the chicken turned into one of the pillars of the modern Western diet.

The city, now an archaeological site, is called Maresha. It flourished in the Hellenistic period from 400 to 200 BCE.

"The site is located on a trade route between Jerusalem and Egypt," says Lee Perry-Gal, a doctoral student in the department of archaeology at the University of Haifa. As a result, it was a meeting place of cultures, "like New York City," she says.

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The Salt
1:32 pm
Mon July 20, 2015

Why The Pig Is The Most Loved And Most Loathed Animal On The Plate

As useful and tasty as they are, swine have not been universally adored.

Originally published on Wed July 22, 2015 1:10 pm

In 1849 an American farmer watched a sow give birth and was moved to record a diary entry: "Pigs! Pigs! Pork! Pork! Pork!"

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The Two-Way
12:22 pm
Mon July 20, 2015

Intelligent Life In Our Galaxy? Stephen Hawking Says 'We Must Know'

Stephen Hawking at The Royal Society on Monday.
Matt Dunham AP

Originally published on Tue July 21, 2015 5:59 am

Stephen Hawking has started the biggest project to date to search for intelligent life outside of planet Earth. The initiative was announced Monday at The Royal Society in London.

The 10-year search is called "Breakthrough Listen" and will scan 1 million stars closest to Earth, the center of our galaxy, and "the entire galactic plane" for broadcast signals, according to a press release. The technology astronomers will use can also detect a laser that only requires the energy use of a 100-watt light bulb.

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NPR Story
4:18 am
Mon July 20, 2015

Scientists Say They Can Read Your Mind, And Prove It With Pictures

Originally published on Mon July 20, 2015 6:07 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



David. Hey, David.



MONTAGNE: What am I - what am I thinking?

GREENE: (Laughter) I have no idea. I'm not a mind reader.

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4:12 pm
Sun July 19, 2015

Marking 40 Years Since Apollo-Soyuz Mission And The First Handshake In Space

Originally published on Sun July 19, 2015 4:19 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



I'm Arun Rath.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Moscow is go for docking. Houston is go for docking. It's up to you guys. Have fun.

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The Two-Way
10:34 am
Sun July 19, 2015

WATCH: Surfer In South Africa Narrowly Escapes Shark

Australian surfer Mick Fanning narrowly escapes a shark attack.
World Surfing League

Originally published on Sun July 19, 2015 2:47 pm

South Africa's coast is well known as the haunt of sharks, particularly the fearsome great white.

Even so, an encounter today between a large shark and Australian surfer Mick Fanning, who was competing in the Jeffreys Bay World Surf League competition (the J-Bay Open), broadcast live on television, has caused a few hearts to skip a beat.

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Shots - Health News
8:38 am
Sun July 19, 2015

Alzheimer's Drugs In The Works Might Treat Other Diseases, Too

In this colorized image of a brain cell from a person with Alzheimer's, the red tangle in the yellow cell body is a toxic tangle of misfolded "tau" proteins, adjacent to the cell's green nucleus.
Thomas Deerinck/NCMIR Science Source

Originally published on Tue July 21, 2015 4:31 pm

Efforts to find a treatment for Alzheimer's disease have been disappointing so far. But there's a new generation of drugs in the works that researchers think might help not only Alzheimer's patients, but also people with Parkinson's disease and other brain disorders.

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4:48 pm
Sat July 18, 2015

Birds, Bees And The Power Of Sex Appeal: The Ribald Lives Of Flowers

Stephen Buchmann Scribner

Originally published on Sat July 18, 2015 5:33 pm

Flowers, bugs and bees: Stephen Buchmann wanted to study them all when he was a kid.

"I never grew out of my bug-and-dinosaur phase," he tells NPR's Arun Rath. "You know, since about the third grade, I decided I wanted to chase insects, especially bees."

These days, he's living that dream. As a pollination ecologist, he's now taking a particular interest in how flowers attract insects. In his new book, The Reason for Flowers, he looks at more than just the biology of flowers — he dives into the ways they've laid down roots in human history and culture, too.

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Shots - Health News
4:10 pm
Sat July 18, 2015

When Losing Memory Means Losing Home

Greg O'Brien and his wife are finding it more difficult to drive to and from their family's secluded house on Cape Cod. As they move out and move on, O'Brien has discovered a bittersweet trove of memories.
Sam Broun Courtesy of Greg O'Brien

Originally published on Sat July 18, 2015 5:33 pm

In this installment of NPR's series Inside Alzheimer's, we hear from Greg O'Brien about his decision to sell the home where he and his wife raised their three children. O'Brien, a longtime journalist in Cape Cod, Mass., was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease in 2009.

Greg and Mary Catherine O'Brien have lived in their house on Cape Cod for more than 30 years. It's their dream house. They used to imagine growing old there.

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The Two-Way
10:57 am
Sat July 18, 2015

Iran's Khamenei Signals Approval Of Nuclear Deal With 'Arrogant' U.S.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers a sermon during morning prayers for the Eid al-Fitr holiday, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan. He signaled his approval of the nuclear agreement with Western powers but reiterated that Tehran's policy toward the "arrogant" United States would not change.

Originally published on Sat July 18, 2015 11:39 am

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, signaled his all-important approval of a historic nuclear deal forged with the West, but he portrayed the agreement as having been on Tehran's terms.

"Our policy toward the arrogant U.S. government won't change at all," Khamenei said in televised a speech in Tehran marking Eid, the end of Ramadan.

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Simon Says
5:10 am
Sat July 18, 2015

Photos Of Pluto Reveal A 'Toy Store' Of Surprises

A close-up of a region near Pluto's equator taken by the New Horizons spacecraft.

Originally published on Sat July 18, 2015 9:33 am

Pluto turns out to be pretty lively.

Not Las Vegas, perhaps, but more vivacious with geologic activity than we've ever known about, and for good reason: Pluto is currently almost 3 billion miles away from Earth, a dwarf planet spinning in the lonely last ring of our solar system.

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Goats and Soda
4:00 pm
Fri July 17, 2015

What Do A Chlorinator And A Condom Tied To A Catheter Have In Common?

Slum dwellers near Calcutta get their water from a municipal pipe. Water coming out of the tap on the left is for bathing and so is untreated. The blue Zimba chlorinator is hooked up to the tap on the right, which is used for drinking water.
Courtesy of Suprio Das/Zimba

This isn't your average top 30 list. No Taylor Swift song is on it, it doesn't involve sports and it's not a listicle of the Internet's best cat videos. But it does have a device that adds chlorine to water so it's safe to drink — and a condom tied to a catheter that can stop bleeding when a woman is having a baby.

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The Two-Way
3:20 pm
Fri July 17, 2015

WATCH: Magnus Effect Whisks Basketball Into The Spin Zone

Putting some spin on the ball.

Originally published on Fri July 17, 2015 3:59 pm

What happens when you drop a regulation Spalding basketball from a 415-foot-high dam? It depends.

For a group from the trick basketball team How Ridiculous who sank a basket from atop the Gordon Dam in Tasmania, it meant landing a spot in the Guinness World Records book.

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The Two-Way
2:10 pm
Fri July 17, 2015

NASA's New Pluto Images Point To Geologically Active World

In the center left of Pluto's vast heart-shaped feature – informally named "Tombaugh Regio" — lies a vast, craterless plain that appears to be no more than 100 million years old, and is possibly still being shaped by geologic processes.

Originally published on Fri July 17, 2015 2:26 pm

Pluto looks to be a far cry from the dead body that many scientists had long presumed. As the New Horizons probe continues to report back from the fringes of the solar system, a word that Mr. Spock might have used sums up the reaction: fascinating.

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TED Radio Hour
8:30 am
Fri July 17, 2015

Will Our Demand For Food Threaten Our Supply of Water?

"We've under-priced water, we've over-exploited it, we don't regulate how people pump groundwater out of the ground.... we just use too much."--Jonathan Foley
Courtesy of TEDxTC

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Finite.

About Jon Foley's TED Talk

Ecologist Jon Foley says agriculture is the "most powerful force unleashed on this planet since the end of the ice age." He says we're using too much of it to irrigate, and we have to rethink how we farm.

About Jon Foley

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