Science & Health

The Two-Way
8:59 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Comet Lander Deploys Drill, But Could Lose Power Tonight

Engineers at the European Space Agency fear that they won't be able to communicate with the Philae lander after Friday. Here, lander manager Stefan Ulamec (left, in foreground) watches as data confirming the comet landing arrived Wednesday.
European Space Agency

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 11:38 am

Philae, the lander currently on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, may not be able to perform its extended mission — scientists at the European Space Agency worry that the probe may have landed in a spot too shadowy for solar panels to recharge its batteries. The ESA says it may not be able to contact the craft after Friday night.

Worries over the robotic lander's power supply prompted engineers to take the risky step of activating its drill, an operation that had been shelved out of fears that it would sap the remaining charge.

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TED Radio Hour
8:45 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Why Do We Create Stereotypes?

"We're built with a strong bias to differentiate the world between us and them" — Paul Bloom
courtesy of TED

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode Playing With Perceptions.

About Paul Bloom's TED Talk

Psychologist Paul Bloom explains why prejudice is natural, rational and even moral — the key is to understand why we depend on it, and recognize when it leads us astray.

About Paul Bloom

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The Salt
4:09 am
Fri November 14, 2014

With Drought The New Normal, Calif. Farmers Find They Have To Change

California sheep rancher Dan Macon had to sell almost half of his herd because the drought left him without enough feed.
Kirk Siegler/NPR

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 10:37 am

Ask Northern California sheep rancher Dan Macon what this drought is doing to his pocketbook and he'll break it down for you real quick.

"It's like if you woke up one morning and lost 40 percent of the equity in your house," he says. "Our primary investment in our ranch is in these sheep and we just sold 40 percent of our stock."

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Space
2:27 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Neil DeGrasse Tyson Separates Fact From Fiction In 'Interstellar'

Matthew McConaughey plays an astronaut explorer in Christopher Nolan's Interstellar.
Paramount Pictures Melinda Sue Gordon

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 8:42 am

As you may be aware, there's a hot new space movie now in theaters — Interstellar. Here's the premise: It's just a little bit in the future, conditions have become pretty horrible on Earth and some astronauts head out in search of a new planet for humans to inhabit.

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The Salt
5:11 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Why The 'Invasivores' Haven't Pounced On Bear Meat

Slow-cooked New York bear meat has been described as like beef stew, but with "a little stronger texture and a little gamier flavor."
David Sommerstein North Country Public Radio

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 11:43 am

The fight against nuisance critters is increasingly being fought at the dinner table. We've reported on so-called invasivores eating everything from Asian carp (battered and fried!) to wild pigs (Russian boar carpaccio, anyone?) as a means of reducing pesky populations.

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Animals
3:16 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Feds List Gunnison Sage Grouse As Threatened Species

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 9:31 am

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Space
3:16 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

After Bouncy Landing, Philae Lander At Rest On Comet

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 9:31 am

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
3:12 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Hurricane Sandy Stranded Dialysis Patients. Lessons Learned?

A nurse adjusts the position of a patient's arm during dialysis treatment. The treatment requires trained staff that weren't readily available in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
Michael Donne Science Source

When Hurricane Sandy hit New York City in October 2012, millions were affected by blackouts, empty gas stations and damaged homes. And, in addition to those losses, patients who require regular medical maintenance, like those who need frequent dialysis, were left in a bind.

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The Salt
5:54 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

40 Percent Of The World's Cropland Is In Or Near Cities

These farmers grow maize, onions and other vegetables in a city in Ghana. They use groundwater to irrigate their crops.
Nana Kofi Acquah IWMI

Urban agriculture is clearly taking off around the world — in backyards, on rooftops and on local farms.

But just how much of the world's cropland can we really call urban? That's been a big mystery.

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Science
3:42 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

What Exactly Are 'Monster Storms' And 'Bomb Cyclones'?

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

Space
3:42 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Successful Comet Landing A Major Step For Space Exploration

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 4:04 pm

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

Science
3:42 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

For U.S.-China Deal On Greenhouse Gases, The Devil Is In The Details

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 4:03 pm

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

The Two-Way
7:27 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Comet Landing A Success: European Craft Makes 'Fairly Gentle Touchdown'

The Philae lander took this photo of its descent onto comet 67P Wednesday, when it was about 3 kilometers from the surface. The landing site is seen with a resolution of about 3 meters per pixel.
ESA/Rosetta/Philae/ROLIS

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 6:07 pm

Hundreds of millions of miles from Earth, a man-made object was flung at a comet Wednesday — and now it's sticking to the rock as it hurtles through space.

"We are on the comet," Stephan Ulamec, Philae Lander Manager, announced Wednesday, marking a historic achievement.

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The Two-Way
6:21 am
Wed November 12, 2014

China And U.S., Titans Of Carbon Pollution, Move To Cut Gases

Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Obama, seen here during a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, announced pledges to reduce greenhouse gases.
HUANG JINGWEN Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 11:30 am

President Obama says the U.S. will sharply cut its emissions of greenhouse gases, announcing a new approach to climate change alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping. The plan also includes China's agreement to cap its emissions.

The two leaders' pledges are being called dramatic and ambitious — for the U.S., because Obama's earlier plans had called for a smaller cut in emissions, and for China, because the country had previously resisted calls for it to consider capping its emissions as it grows and modernizes.

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Science & Health
6:11 am
Wed November 12, 2014

UA Student Chosen to Attend Climate Conference

Catherine King
Credit uanews.ua.edu

University of Alabama officials say a senior chemical engineering and chemistry student has been chosen to participate in a conference on climate change being hosted by the United Nations.

University officials said in a statement that Catherine King of Huntsville is one of eight students the American Chemical Society selected to attend the UN's conference in Lima, Peru. The event is expected to include representatives from more than 190 countries.

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