Science & Health

Shots - Health News
3:31 pm
Fri June 19, 2015

The Neighs Have It: Horse Outruns Man, But Just Barely

Horses, riders and runners crossed three streams in the course of their 22-mile race through the hills of central Wales. The average finish time was the same for both species — four hours.
Ryan Kellman and Adam Cole NPR's Skunk Bear

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 10:40 am

The Man v. Horse Marathon starts out like a typical cross-country race. Hundreds of runners stream past the starting line, through the town of Llanwrtyd Wells and then up into the Welsh hills.

But 15 minutes later, a second set of competitors takes off. Fifty horses and their riders chase the runners up and down ridges, across streams, and past hundreds of bewildered sheep.

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Shots - Health News
11:29 am
Fri June 19, 2015

Hunting Ways To Keep Synthetic Estrogens Out Of Rivers And Seas

Removing micropollutants from wastewater isn't cheap or easy.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri June 19, 2015 12:26 pm

Millions of women around the world take synthetic hormones via birth control pills or hormone replacement therapies. Not all of the estrogen-like compounds from these and other treatments are used by the body — small amounts are excreted and end up in municipal wastewater. And there's been no good way to completely remove these hormones before they head to rivers and seas.

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The Two-Way
11:27 am
Fri June 19, 2015

Administration Proposes New Truck Emissions Rules To Reduce CO2

Ram Trucks parade near AT&T Stadium in April. The EPA and Department of Transportation has proposed stricter emissions guidelines for medium and heavy-duty trucks.
PR NEWSWIRE

The Obama administration announced new rules today that would require tighter emissions guidelines for medium and heavy-duty trucks in an effort to reduce greenhouse gases.

The rules, proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), were expected to cut carbon dioxide emissions from trucks and vans by one-quarter by the year 2027.

The proposed standards affect semi-trucks, large pickup trucks and vans, buses and work trucks and cover model years 2021-2027, officials said.

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The Two-Way
9:24 am
Fri June 19, 2015

'They Will Strafe You,' Bird Expert Says Of Seattle's Dive-Bombing Crows

A crow dives on a researcher during a trial. Crows recognize people who have scared them or wronged them for years afterward.
Courtesy of Keith Brust

Originally published on Fri June 19, 2015 10:02 am

It has become an annual process: Crows swoop down on unsuspecting Seattleites, who then call wildlife professor John Marzluff, who explains that it's simply the season for crows to dive-bomb people — and that they're mostly harmless.

The behavior, Marzluff tells member station KUOW, is tied to something many parents can understand: the empty nest.

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TED Radio Hour
7:36 am
Fri June 19, 2015

Why Does Time Exist?

Theoretical Physicist Sean Carroll asks why does time exist?
Marla Aufmuth Courtesy of TED

Originally published on Mon June 22, 2015 8:41 am

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode Shifting Time

About Sean Carroll's TED Talk

Cosmologist Sean Carroll tackles a deceptively simple question: Why does time exist at all? The potential answers point to a surprising view of the nature of the universe, and our place in it.

About Sean Carroll

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TED Radio Hour
7:36 am
Fri June 19, 2015

Why Should We Look Forward To Getting Older?

Psychologist Laura Carstensen explains why growing older also means growing happier for so many people.
Michael Priest Photography Courtesy of TED

Originally published on Mon June 22, 2015 8:41 am

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Shifting Time

About Laura Carstensen's TED Talk

Psychologist Laura Carstensen says that as people get older, they usually become less stressed and more content.

About Laura Carstensen

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TED Radio Hour
7:36 am
Fri June 19, 2015

When Do We Become The Final Version of Ourselves?

"Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they're finished," says psychologist Dan Gilbert.
Ryan Lash Courtesy of TED

Originally published on Mon June 22, 2015 8:41 am

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Shifting Time

About Dan Gilbert's TED Talk

Psychologist Dan Gilbert shares research on what he calls the "end of history illusion," where we think the person we are right now is the person we'll be for the rest of time. Hint: that's not the case.

About Dan Gilbert

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The Salt
7:28 am
Fri June 19, 2015

Once And Future Nut: How Genetic Engineering May Bring Back Chestnuts

Linda McGuigan, lab manager of the American Chestnut Research & Restoration Project, examines a batch of transgenic American chestnut plantlets in a high-light chamber.
Courtesy Charles Maynard/SUNY/College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 4:58 pm

One of the great autumn pastimes of the 1800s was nutting — where families, friends and farmers went around clubbing stately chestnut trees, or shinnying up 100-foot tall trunks to pound the branches. A fusillade of nuts would fall to the ground and be scooped up instantly, to be transformed into pan-fried bread, porridge, pickles, preserves, cream pie — and countless other nutritious favorites of colonial times.

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Shots - Health News
6:03 am
Fri June 19, 2015

Worried You Have An STD? This App Helps You Quietly Find Out

A screenshot from Planned Parenthood's new app, which tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea by mail.
Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Originally published on Mon June 22, 2015 9:19 am

You can use an app to buy a new dress, rent a room or pay your bills. Now, you can use an app to discreetly find out if you have a sexually transmitted disease.

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Science
4:03 am
Fri June 19, 2015

DNA Tracking Of Ivory Helps Biologists Find Poaching Hotspots

A Maasai boy and his dog, near the skeleton of an elephant killed by poachers outside of Arusha, Tanzania, in 2013.
Jason Straziuso AP

Originally published on Fri June 19, 2015 4:40 pm

The demand for ivory around the world is leading to the slaughter of tens of thousands of elephants every year. To fight the poachers, wildlife biologists are trying to pin down where the worst poaching is, and they've found a new way to do that: with DNA.

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Environment
4:15 pm
Thu June 18, 2015

Pope Francis Uses Encyclical To Deliver Moral Message On Climate Change

Originally published on Thu June 18, 2015 7:58 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Environment
3:26 pm
Thu June 18, 2015

Pope Francis Calls For Urgent Action On Climate Change In Encyclical

Originally published on Thu June 18, 2015 7:58 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Religion
3:26 pm
Thu June 18, 2015

Both Catholics, Non-Catholics Applaud Pope For Bold Remarks On Climate Change

Originally published on Thu June 18, 2015 7:58 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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The Salt
2:23 pm
Thu June 18, 2015

In Search Of Edible Weeds: Adventures In Urban Foraging By App

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) flower found on the sidewalk in Meridian Hill Park, Washington, D.C. It's edible, but isn't on "Wildman" Steve Brill's list of seven.
Ina Yang NPR

Originally published on Fri June 19, 2015 6:11 am

The next time you're out pulling weeds in the garden or stepping over a dandelion sticking out from the cracks of the sidewalk, consider where these wild greens could go: your salad bowl.

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The Two-Way
2:12 pm
Thu June 18, 2015

NASA: Europa Spacecraft Goes Into Development Phase

An image of Europa released by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., in 1996 by the Galileo spacecraft. NASA says a new probe dedicated to studying the Jovian moon, is going into the development phase.
NASA/JPL AP

Originally published on Thu June 18, 2015 7:21 pm

NASA has moved a step closer to sending a probe to one of Jupiter's "Galilean" moons, Europa, which is believed to contain a vast liquid ocean that could harbor life underneath an icy surface crust.

In an announcement on Wednesday, the space agency said its mission concept for a Europa probe had completed its first major review and was now entering the development phase.

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