Science & Health

Space
4:06 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

'That's What Hubble Can See': A Tribute To The Space Telescope

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 6:29 pm

NPR has this tribute to the Hubble Space Telescope — a parody of Iggy Azalea's "Trouble."

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

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Commentary
4:06 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

Hubble Telescope Celebrates 25 Years In Space

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 6:03 pm

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

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It was 25 years ago tomorrow that NASA launched the Hubble Telescope. It gave us a new view of the universe, and NPR's Cosmos and Culture blogger Adam Frank tells us its remarkable work will endure for centuries.

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Shots - Health News
1:56 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

Couples Counseling Catches On With Tech Co-Founders

Work partners Jon Chintanaroad (left) and Mike Prestano are all smiles now, but founding a tech startup together threatened their friendship — and their business.
April Dembosky KQED

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 6:03 pm

Startups fail for a lot of reasons: bad product, wrong timing. But sometimes, it's just you.

Relationship problems between co-founders are among the biggest reasons companies don't make it. Increasingly in Silicon Valley, business partners are looking for help before things go downhill — they're signing up for couples counseling.

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Shots - Health News
11:13 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Thoughts Can Fuel Some Deadly Brain Cancers

A color-enhanced cerebral MRI showing a glioma tumor.
Scott Camazine Science Source

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 6:03 pm

The simple act of thinking can accelerate the growth of many brain tumors.

That's the conclusion of a paper in Cell published Thursday that showed how activity in the cerebral cortex affected high-grade gliomas, which represent about 80 percent of all malignant brain tumors in people.

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Research News
4:29 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Critics Lash Out At Chinese Scientists Who Edited DNA In Human Embryos

iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 11:34 am

For the first time, scientists have edited DNA in human embryos, a highly controversial step long considered off limits.

Junjiu Huang and his colleagues at the Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China, performed a series of experiments involving 86 human embryos to see if they could make changes in a gene known as HBB, which causes the sometimes fatal blood disorder beta-thalassemia.

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The Salt
3:22 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Fruit Growers Try Tricking Mother Nature To Prevent Crop Damage

A cherry tree and its blossoms are covered with snow in an orchard near Traverse City, Mich. Three years ago, almost every fruit crop in Michigan was frozen out when cold temperatures followed some 80 degree days in March.
John L. Russell AP

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 6:41 am

Fruit growers in northern Michigan grow apples, peaches and wine grapes. But the big crop here is tart cherries.

More than half of Ken Engle's 140-acre farm is planted with what he calls sour cherries.

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It's All Politics
6:06 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

Visiting The Everglades, Obama Takes Swipe At Climate Change Deniers

"Part of the reason we're here is because climate change is threatening this treasure and the communities that depend on it," Obama said Wednesday of his visit to Everglades National Park in Florida. "If we don't act, there may not be an Everglades as we know it."
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

President Obama used the backdrop of the Florida Everglades this Earth Day to highlight the dangers posed by a changing climate. He also took a swipe at Florida's Republican governor, who's been accused of discouraging state workers from discussing global warming.

"Climate change can no longer be denied," Obama said. "It can't be edited out. It can't be omitted from the conversation. And action can no longer be delayed."

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The Salt
5:47 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

Buzz Over Bee Health: New Pesticide Studies Rev Up Controversy

A honeybee forages for nectar and pollen from an oilseed rape flower.
Albin Andersson/Nature

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 10:58 am

It has been about a decade since beekeepers and scientists began documenting a decline in honeybee populations and other important pollinators.

Even if you're not a lover of bees or honey, you should know that bees are critically important to our food supply. They help pollinate billions of dollars of crops each year, from apples and carrots to blueberries and almonds.

So if bees are threatened, ultimately, the production of these crops will be threatened, too.

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Environment
4:59 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

White House Climate Change Policy Faces Legal Hurdle

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 6:59 pm

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

Shots - Health News
3:08 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

Why Do Mosquitoes Like To Bite You Best? It's In Your Genes

Mmm. Smells just like your identical twin.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 11:19 am

A study that asked a few dozen pairs of twins to brave a swarm of hungry mosquitoes has revealed another clue to the cluster of reasons the insects are more attracted to some people than others: Genes matter.

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The Salt
12:31 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

On Your Mark, Get Set, Grow: A Guide To Speedy Vegetables

Sprouting broccoli will serve up florets in about 50 days. Not bad for this member of the brassica family.
Laura Whitehead Flickr

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 5:00 pm

Editor's note: A version of this story ran in April 2014.

Yes, it is true that gardening requires patience.

But face it, we live in an impatient world. And gardeners everywhere were depressed by the brutal and endless winter.

So we are understandably eager to get sowing. And to see results by ... well, if not next Thursday, then maybe mid-May?

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Shots - Health News
12:11 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

Why Many Doctors Don't Follow 'Best Practices'

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 8:59 am

For all their talk about evidence-based medicine, a lot of doctors don't follow the clinical guidelines set by leading medical groups.

Consider, for example, the case of cataract surgery. It's a fairly straightforward medical procedure: Doctors replace an eye's cloudy lens with a clear, prosthetic one. More than a million people each year in the U.S. have the surgery — most of them older than 65.

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The Salt
4:47 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Millions Of Chickens To Be Killed As Bird Flu Outbreak Puzzles Industry

Chickens stand in their cages at a farm near Stuart, Iowa, in 2009. This week, bird flu hit a large poultry facility in Iowa. It's not clear how the virus is evading the industry's biosecurity efforts.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 12:08 pm

Bird flu has been striking chicken and turkey farms in parts of the West and Midwest. This past week, it hit a flock of millions egg-laying chickens in northeastern Iowa. Update 4/22/2015: The USDA now says that around 3 million birds were affected in the Iowa facility — down from a previous estimate of 5 million.

Our original post continues below.

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Environment
3:58 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

5 Years After BP Oil Spill, Experts Debate Damage To Ecosystem

Fresh oil puddles on the white sand in Orange Beach, Ala., during the BP oil spill in 2010.
Debbie Elliott NPR

Originally published on Sun April 26, 2015 11:23 pm

At the Gulf State Park Pier in Orange Beach, Ala., Wetzel Wood casts his fishing line into the rough surf of the Gulf of Mexico. He pulls his bait, a cigar minnow, through the water just beyond where the waves break for the shore.

"On a good day you'd catch king mackerel, Spanish mackerel," he says. Wood first learned to fish at the pier with his grandfather in 1969. "I've seen a lot of different things out here. It's been wonderful."

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Energy
3:58 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Researchers Fly Over Shale Fields To Study Air Pollution

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 5:25 pm

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

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