Science & Health

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 24, 2014 6:17 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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The Salt
4:02 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Who Made That Flavor? Maybe A Genetically Altered Microbe

Mattheos Koffas (left), a biochemical engineer at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Andrew Jones, a graduate student in his lab, with a flask of microbe-produced antioxidants.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 6:09 pm

For practically our whole history of cooking and eating, we've gotten our spices and most flavors (not to mention all of the other basic nutrients that keep us alive) straight from plants.

But researchers and biotech companies are starting to produce some of these nutrients and flavors — especially the high-priced ones — in their laboratories.

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The Two-Way
3:53 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

2014 To Be Warmest Year On Record, U.N. Weather Agency Says

Marina owner Mitzi Richards carries her granddaughter in September as they walk on their boat dock at the dried up lake bed of Huntington Lake in California, which was at only 30 percent capacity as a severe drought continued. The state was in the grip of its third year of severe drought, the worst in decades.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 10:10 pm

This year is on track to become the warmest on record, with average global temperatures 1.03 degrees Fahrenheit above the 1961-1990 average, according to a new report from the World Meteorological Organization. That would make 2014 the 38th consecutive year with above normal temperatures.

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Science
1:40 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

The Mystery Of The Missing Martins

Adam Cole NPR

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 5:39 pm

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The Salt
1:04 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Is The Food Babe A Fearmonger? Scientists Are Speaking Out

Vani Hari, known as the "Food Babe," speaks at the Green Festival in Los Angeles on Sept. 12. Hari has made a name for herself by investigating ingredients in Big Food products that she deems potentially harmful. But critics accuse her of stoking unfounded fears.
Jonathan Alcorn Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 14, 2014 9:01 pm

In an age when consumers have become increasingly suspicious of processed food, the Internet has become a powerful platform for activists who want to hold Big Food accountable.

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