Science & Health

The Salt
3:36 am
Wed April 8, 2015

Aspiring Craft Brewers Hit The Books To Pick Up Science Chops

Originally published on Wed April 8, 2015 11:20 am

Here's how popular craft brewed beer is these days: On average, a new brewery opens its doors every single day in the the U.S.

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Shots - Health News
2:45 am
Wed April 8, 2015

Doctors Test Tumor Paint In People

Blaze Bioscience is commercially developing the "paint," which glows when exposed to near-infrared light.
Courtesy of Blaze Bioscience

Originally published on Wed April 8, 2015 4:52 pm

A promising technique for making brain tumors glow so they'll be easier for surgeons to remove is now being tested in cancer patients.

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Shots - Health News
4:47 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

Many Obamacare Policyholders Face Tax Surprises This Year

Depending on the amount taken in subsidies, or changes in reported income and family status, some Obamacare policyholders this year will get a bigger refund than expected and others will owe more in taxes.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue April 7, 2015 6:54 pm

The old saying goes, "Nothing is certain except death and taxes." But the Affordable Care Act has added a new wrinkle.

For many policyholders, the ACA has introduced a good deal of uncertainty about their tax bills. That has led to surprise refunds for some and higher-than-expected tax payments for others.

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The Salt
4:47 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

California Farmers Gulp Most Of State's Water, But Say They've Cut Back

Fields of carrots are watered March 29, 2015, in Kern County, Calif. Subsidized water flowing in federal and state canals down from the wet north to the arid south helped turn the dry, flat plain of the San Joaquin Valley into one of the world's most important food-growing regions.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 7, 2015 6:54 pm

When Gov. Jerry Brown announced the largest mandatory water restrictions in California history April 1 while standing in a snowless field in the Sierra Nevada, he gave hardly a mention to farms.

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The Two-Way
3:57 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

Is It Time To Resurrect The Brontosaurus?

A life-size replica of a Brontosaurus towers above park goers on Christmas day in 2006 in Manila, Philippines.
Pat Roque AP

Originally published on Sun April 12, 2015 3:46 pm

The Brontosaurus may be back.

Not that it ever really went away, at least not in the minds of generations of people who grew up watching Fred Flintstone devour one of his beloved Brontosaurus burgers.

But if you're a scientist, you have to stick to the rules, and in 1903, the name Brontosaurus was struck from the record. That was when paleontologist Elmer Riggs deemed that the Brontosaurus was really just a different dinosaur, Apatosaurus.

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Shots - Health News
4:03 am
Tue April 7, 2015

Breast Milk Sold Online Contaminated With Cow's Milk

The number of women buying, selling and sharing breast milk is growing rapidly. But it can be a risky purchase, scientists say, because a mom can't tell by looking at the milk whether it's safe and nutritious for her baby.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue April 7, 2015 6:54 pm

Selling breast milk is big business.

Each year tens of thousands of women post ads on websites, offering their extra milk for $1 to $3 an ounce: "My rich milk makes giants!" promises one seller. "Organic and Gluten Free Breastmilk," claims another. Then there's this one: "470 oz. of breastmilk must go!!!"

But some women online aren't delivering what they're advertising.

Scientists at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, analyzed 102 samples ordered from popular websites and found about 10 percent of them were "topped off" with cow's milk.

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Environment
4:14 pm
Mon April 6, 2015

NASA Battles Rising Sea Levels To Protect Kennedy Space Center

Originally published on Mon April 6, 2015 6:48 pm

Sea level rise is beginning to affect the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. A protective dune not too far from the launchpads has collapsed and waves have washed over railroad tracks built in the 1960s. Now NASA is taking steps to protect its launch infrastructure.

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

Transcript

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Goats and Soda
3:08 pm
Mon April 6, 2015

Go Ahead, Little Goat, Eat Some Poison Ivy. It Won't Hurt A Bit

OK, so technically this goat is eating just plain ivy. But poison ivy is definitely on the menu.
SAUL LOEB AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 7, 2015 1:56 pm

Oh, those goats? I got them from Amazon!

The online giant is testing out a "Home Services" line. You can get a TV mounted on your wall. You can find a plumber. And you can rent a herd of goats to chomp on unwanted vegetation in your yard.

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Shots - Health News
3:06 pm
Mon April 6, 2015

Will A Transplanted Hand Feel Like His Own? Surgery Raises Questions

Kevin Lopez at home in Greenbelt, Md.
Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Originally published on Mon April 6, 2015 6:48 pm

When Kevin Lopez opens the door to his Greenbelt, Md., apartment to greet a visitor he's never before met, he initially conceals his right hand.

"I'm self-conscious, definitely, about my right hand," he says. But eventually Lopez relaxes.

"I was born like this," he says. "As you can see, I don't have any fingers." It bothers the 20-year-old enough that he has volunteered to do something drastic: to have his right hand removed and replaced with another person's hand via surgery.

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Shots - Health News
1:05 pm
Mon April 6, 2015

Tracking Your Own Health Data Too Closely Can Make You Sick

Studies show that having too many tests done too frequently is a recipe for getting sick, not staying healthy.
Medicimage Science Source

Originally published on Tue April 7, 2015 7:32 am

Last week, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban caused quite a stir on Twitter by suggesting that people, if they could afford it, get quarterly bloodwork to establish a baseline of their own health. A big failing of medicine, he wrote, is that "we wait till we are sick to have our blood tested and compare the results to 'comparable demographics.' "

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Science
3:22 am
Mon April 6, 2015

When Did Humans Start Shaping Earth's Fate? An Epoch Debate

Originally published on Mon April 6, 2015 10:35 am

Humans have had such a huge impact on the Earth that some geologists think the human era should be enshrined in the official timeline of our planet.

They want to give the age of humans a formal name, just as scientists use terms like the Jurassic or the Cretaceous to talk about the age of dinosaurs.

But some researchers think that formally establishing an "Anthropocene" — as many call it — as part of the geologic time scale would be a big mistake.

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Environment
5:28 pm
Sun April 5, 2015

Will Turning Seawater Into Drinking Water Help Drought-Hit California?

Joshua Haggmark, Santa Barbara's water resources manager, is in charge of getting the city's desalination plant back online.
Becky Sullivan

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 4:42 am

Last week, Governor Jerry Brown made water conservation mandatory in the drought-stricken state of California. "As Californians, we have to pull together and save water in every way we can," he said.

But if the four-year drought continues, conservation alone — at least what's required by the governor's plan — won't fix the problem.

Across California, communities are examining all options to avoid running out of water. Some, like the coastal city of Santa Barbara, are looking to the past for inspiration.

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The Two-Way
9:26 am
Sun April 5, 2015

Large Hadron Collider Goes Back Online After 2-Year Hiatus

The Control Centre of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Prevessin near Geneva. The LHC has been turned on for the first time after two years of upgrades.
Denis Balibouse Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon April 6, 2015 6:15 am

The Large Hadron Collider — the giant particle accelerator in Switzerland that confirmed the Higgs boson — is back online after two years and ready to ramp up to twice its previous proton-smashing energy.

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The Two-Way
7:25 am
Sat April 4, 2015

Brief Eclipse Dazzles Skywatchers

The Blood Moon, created by the full moon passing into the shadow of the earth during a total lunar eclipse, as seen from Monterey Park, Calif.
Nick Ut AP

Early risers (very early on the U.S. West Coast) who had clear skies might have caught a view of today's lunar eclipse — the third in a cycle of four that had its premiere nearly a year ago.

Those of us on the East Coast (this writer included) got to see a partial eclipse before the moon set in the west.

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Shots - Health News
4:09 pm
Fri April 3, 2015

California Faith Groups Divided Over Right-To-Die Bill

The Rev. Vernon Holmes leads a Lutheran congregation near Sacramento, Calif., that supports the state's right-to-die bill. He describes his faith as promoting quality of life.
Andrew Nixon Capital Public Radio

Originally published on Fri April 3, 2015 5:54 pm

Clergy, more than a lot of people, come face to face with death regularly.

The Rev. Vernon Holmes, for example, leads a Lutheran congregation near Sacramento; the average age of members is 79.

His faith promotes quality of life, Holmes says. And that same faith leads him to challenge the status quo and injustice. His congregation belongs to an advocacy group called California Church Impact, which supports California's bill that would allow the terminally ill to end their own lives with medical assistance.

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