Science & Health

The Salt
3:17 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Venison As Benison: Food Banks Score From Deer Overpopulation

Ralph Roloff trims meat from a deer donated to the Help Us Stop Hunger program in State Center, Iowa in 2007.
Scott Olson Getty Images

White tailed deer are so common in Washington, D.C., that my kids barely take note, even if I have to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting them.

But the National Park Service says there's a problem beyond the risk of driver-deer collisions, which lead to an estimated $4 billion in damages each year. The overabundance of deer are a threat to native vegetation.

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Shots - Health News
4:11 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Mistaken Identities Plague Lab Work With Human Cells

Georgetown's Robert Clark says it's very difficult to say precisely how many experiments have been spoiled by contaminated cell lines.
Phil Humnicky Courtesy of Georgetown University

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 6:55 pm

There's a major flaw in many medical research studies that seems so basic that you'd think scientists would be smart enough to avoid it.

It turns out that cells studied in the laboratory often get mixed up. A researcher who thinks she is studying breast cancer cells might in fact be using melanoma cells.

It's a surprisingly common problem — even in some of the top scientific labs.

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Shots - Health News
2:35 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Nursing Homes Rarely Penalized For Oversedating Patients

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 5:26 pm

Antipsychotic drugs have helped many people with serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. But for older people with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia, they can be deadly. The Food and Drug Administration has given these drugs a black box warning, saying they can increase the risk of heart failure, infections and death. Yet almost 300,000 nursing home residents still get them.

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The Two-Way
8:09 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

NASA Photos Show New Signs Of A Lake On Mars

NASA says "cross-bedding" in the layers of this Martian rock is proof that water moved on Mars, leaving waves or ripples of loose sediment. The image is from a site at Mount Sharp that NASA calls "Whale Rock."
NASA

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 11:41 am

Signs of water currents and sediments are seen in the latest photos NASA's Curiosity rover sent home from Mars, the space agency said Monday. The images suggest "ancient Mars maintained a climate that could have produced long-lasting lakes," NASA says.

In the huge Gale Crater where Curiosity has been exploring, the water and sediment flow might have been massive enough to build a mountain — the 3-mile-high Mount Sharp — NASA researchers say. But they acknowledge that they're still working to solve the mystery of how the mountain formed in a crater.

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Shots - Health News
3:57 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Old And Overmedicated: The Real Drug Problem In Nursing Homes

Antipsychotic drugs aren't necessary in the vast majority of dementia cases, gerontologists say. The pills can be stupefying and greatly raise the risk of falls — and hip fracture.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 5:32 pm

It's one of the worst fears we have for our parents or for ourselves: that we, or they, will end up in a nursing home, drugged into a stupor. And that fear is not entirely unreasonable. Almost 300,000 nursing home residents are currently receiving antipsychotic drugs, usually to suppress the anxiety or aggression that can go with Alzheimer's disease and other dementia.

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The Two-Way
3:57 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Oh, Snap! NASA Promises Best Photo Yet Of Faraway Pluto

NASA/ESA/M. Buie (Southwest Research Institute)

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 9:22 am

Humanity has snapped detailed portraits of planets and moons throughout our solar system. But there's one missing from the album: Pluto.

Although Pluto was discovered in 1930, it has remained stubbornly hard to photograph. The Hubble Space Telescope has taken the best pictures, and frankly, they stink.

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Science
6:38 am
Sun December 7, 2014

Stephen Hawking Gets A Voice Upgrade

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 5:15 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The sound of Stephen Hawking's voice is iconic.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

STEPHEN HAWKING: Where did we come from? How did the universe come into being?

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Space
4:18 pm
Sat December 6, 2014

NASA's Orion Completes First Test Flight

Originally published on Sat December 6, 2014 4:36 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
4:38 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Coming Soon To A Filling Station Near You: $1.99 Gasoline

Gas prices in Oklahoma City have dipped under $2.
Joe Wertz StateImpact Oklahoma

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 4:50 pm

The photo above isn't from the archives. It was taken this week in Oklahoma City, where the price of regular gas has fallen under $2 a gallon. The last time that happened anywhere in the U.S. was in July 2010.

The OnCue filling station is the first in the country to drop its price below the $2/gallon threshold.

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Space
3:47 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Lots Of Work Remains After Successful Orion Launch

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 5:30 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Early this morning in Florida, NASA launched Orion, its latest spacecraft.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: And liftoff at dawn. The dawn of Orion and a new era of American Space exploration

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The Salt
2:50 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Why Did Vitamins Disappear From Non-GMO Breakfast Cereal?

The Original Grape-Nuts, which now bear a non-GMO label, no longer contain vitamins A, D, B-12 and B-2.
Claire Eggers NPR

Originally published on Sat December 6, 2014 5:18 am

Remember when Cheerios and Grape-Nuts went GMO-free? That was about a year ago, when their corporate creators announced that these products would no longer contain ingredients made from genetically modified organisms like common types of corn, soybeans or sugar beets.

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The Salt
11:31 am
Fri December 5, 2014

It's Brown, It's Barrel-Aged, It's ... Gin?

Anthony Keels, bar manager at Verbena in San Francisco, serves up a cocktail made with barrel-aged, dark gin. Keels calls this gin a game-changer.
Stacy Adimando for NPR

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 2:01 pm

While many know gin for its light, bright and dry characteristics — citrusy, herbal flavors that go so well with tonic water — another gin sits at the opposite end of the spectrum. Malty, lightly tannic, and with the subtle sweetness and spice of a young whiskey, dark, barrel-aged gin is pushing the frontiers of this spirit forward.

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Goats and Soda
11:19 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Baby's Necklace Could End Up Being A Life Saver

Vikram is the first child to wear a Khushi Baby necklace, which will keep track of his immunizations. He's at a vaccine clinic in Rajasthan, India.
Ruchit Nagar Courtesy of Khushi Baby

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 3:27 pm

Meet Vikram. He's that cute baby in the picture above. Now, take a closer look at his neckwear.

It's traditional for newborns in northern India to wear a black thread necklace as a symbol of good health and good fortune, but Vikram's got a high-tech version. The round pendant on the string is a wearable device called Khushi Baby that carries his vaccination history inside a computerized chip about the size of a dime.

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The Two-Way
6:54 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

DNA Pioneer Watson's Nobel Prize Sells For $4.75 Million

The 1962 Nobel Prize Medal in Medicine or Physiology that James Watson won has been sold at auction.
Christie's

The Nobel Prize medal that James Watson won for helping explain how DNA is structured has a new owner, as the 1962 gold medal was bought for more than $4.75 million at auction Thursday. Watson has said he'll donate much of the money to educational institutions.

The identity of the winning bidder, who participated by phone, has not been revealed.

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Newscast
5:55 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Orion Delayed, Veterans and the Holidays and Federal Spending

Tuscaloosa Veterans' Affairs Medical Center
Credit tuscaloosa.va.gov

NASA scrubbed today’s planned launch of its Orion space capsule. Despite the delay, the City Decatur will be closely watching the test launch at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. APR student reporter Josh Hoppenstein has more on north Alabama’s role in the blastoff…

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