Science & Health

The Two-Way
4:45 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Millions Of Miles From Shutdown, Mars Rovers Keep Working

A photo composed of nearly 900 images taken by the rover Curiosity shows a section of Gale Crater near the equator of Mars. The rovers are continuing to work through the U.S. government shutdown.
NASA AP

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 12:55 pm

The budget negotiations in Washington are not front-page news on Mars. There, millions of miles away, NASA's rovers continue to operate, taking photographs and collecting data as they prepare for the coming Martian winter.

NPR's Joe Palca has this report for our Newscast unit:

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Science
4:02 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Why Is Cheating In Science Research On The Rise?

Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 5:19 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

Cheating in science is not new, but the way it happens and the way it's detected are changing. There's a lot at stake in science research, everything from public health to valuable federal dollars.

And as Gigi Douban reports from Birmingham, Alabama, there are more people watching to keep researchers honest.

GIGI DOUBAN, BYLINE: About 60 science graduate students at the University of Alabama at Birmingham are working in small groups on a quiz.

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Science
1:41 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Are Iran's Centrifuges Just Few Turns From A Nuclear Bomb?

Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inspects the Natanz nuclear plant in central Iran on March 8, 2007. The tall cylinders are centrifuges for enriching uranium.
EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 5:19 pm

Tuesday in Geneva, negotiators from six nations will sit down to talks with Iran over that country's nuclear program. At the heart of the negotiations are Iran's centrifuges: machines that can be used to enrich uranium for use in nuclear power plants, or for use in a bomb. This double role of centrifuges has negotiators in a bind.

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Research News
1:16 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Trapped In A Fossil: Remnants Of A 46-Million-Year-Old Meal

A very old squished mosquito found in fossilized rock from Montana. Analysis of the insect's gut revealed telltale chemicals found in blood.
PNAS

Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 5:19 pm

Scientists who study why species vanish are increasingly looking for ancient DNA. They find it easily enough in the movies; remember the mosquito blood in Jurassic Park that contained dinosaur DNA from the bug's last bite? But in real life, scientists haven't turned up multi-million-year-old DNA in any useable form.

Fortunately, a team at the Smithsonian Institution has now found something unique in a 46-million-year-old, fossilized mosquito — not DNA, but the chemical remains of the insect's last bloody meal.

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Krulwich Wonders...
6:43 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Watch Daniela. She's Up To Something Big

YouTube

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 10:03 am

Somebody should be watching Daniela Rus and her pals at MIT, because what they are doing is so crazy, so potentially important, people need to know about them. Not because they're dangerous, but because what they're doing might be changing the world and nobody should change the world without the world noticing.

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Animals
5:12 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

Birds Of A Feather Spy Together

AFP/ Getty Images

The scene: Two men in a chilly Soviet apartment converse in whispers, careful to protect their plans from enemy ears. Little do they know, the benign-looking raven outside their window is not merely a city scavenger hunting for food, but a spy for the U.S. government.

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Science
6:49 am
Sun October 13, 2013

Bill Nye Returns To Science Entertainment

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 7:47 am

Bill Nye, who gained a cult following as the Science Guy, has a new web series, a collaboration with NASA Why with Nye. He joins host Rachel Martin to talk about the new series.

Pop Culture
4:07 pm
Sat October 12, 2013

The New And The Next: Six-Second Comedy And A Spin On News

Courtesy of Elise Andrew

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 1:27 pm

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Politics
6:36 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Shutdown's Reach Extends To South Pole

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 7:05 am

Research season was just getting started when the government shutdown put McMurdo Station into "caretaker" mode, halting data collection. Host Scott Simon speaks to Gretchen Hofmann, a professor at University of California, Santa Barbara, about the government shutdown's impact on research in Antarctica.

The Salt
6:27 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Shutdown Leaves Some Seniors Worried About Their Next Meal

Seniors around the country depend on weekly deliveries of nutritionally balanced food from the USDA's supplemental nutrition program.
tmarvin iStockPhoto.com

You've no doubt heard of Senior Meals on Wheels preparing hot meals delivered to the elderly. But there's a different meal program that's been put on hold because of the partial government shutdown. It's the USDA's Commodity Supplemental Food Program.

In Michigan's western Kent County alone, more than 1,300 low-income seniors depend on the program. For them, it's a nutrition lifeline: They can't just go to a food pantry for similar assistance.

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Shots - Health News
3:50 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Why A Peanut Butter Test For Alzheimer's Might Be Too Simple

University of Florida researcher Jennifer Stamps administers the peanut butter sniff test to a volunteer.
Jesse S. Jones University of Florida

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 11:47 am

Alzheimer's disease can be tough to diagnose, especially early on. Doctors can order brain scans and assay spinal fluids. But existing tests are imperfect and some can be invasive.

So you might understand the appeal of an alternative that researchers at the University of Florida in Gainesville tried. They had asked patients to sniff a dab of peanut butter during a routine test of cranial nerve function. Later, the team wondered if it could help them figure of it someone might be in the early stages of Alzheimer's.

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Health
1:38 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

A Trade-off Between Skin Protection and Testicular Cancer Risk

A genetic variation that protects skin against sun damage may also increase the risk of testicular cancer, at least in mice. Researcher Gareth Bond discusses why this relationship may have evolved and how the findings could help to create personalized cancer treatments for humans.

Books
1:36 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

'Brave Genius': A Tale of Two Nobelists

In Brave Genius: A Scientist, a Philosopher, and Their Daring Adventures from the French Resistance to the Nobel Prize, Sean B. Carroll tells the story of biologist Jacques Monod and philosopher Albert Camus--two men who made significant contributions to their respective fields, and who shared an enduring friendship.

Science
1:35 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Nobel Prize Roundup: 'God Particle' Strikes Gold

This week a handful of scientists got the wakeup call of a lifetime: news they had won the Nobel Prize. This year's recipients predicted the existence of the Higgs boson, figured out how cells transport materials, and used computer programming to map chemical reactions. Winners and experts discuss the research behind this year's awards, and what comes next.

Sports
1:35 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Baseball Postseason Predictions

Many baseball fans have a love affair with two things: their favorite team and statistics. Bruce Bukiet, an associate professor of mathematical sciences, shares his predictions and mathematical models for this year's Major League Baseball playoff standings.

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