Science & Health

The Salt
12:11 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Sweet. Tart. Crunchy: How To Engineer A Better Apple

The just-released Riverbelle is one of well over 100 new apple varieties to hit markets around the world in the past six years.
Courtesy of Honeybear Brands

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 3:04 pm

Browsing farmers markets this fall, you may find some new apple varieties mixed in with the Granny Smiths, McIntoshes and Fujis. Susan Brown, head of the apple breeding program at Cornell University, estimates that there have been 130 new apples released around the world in the past six years.

This summer, she contributed two more to that tally: the SnapDragon and the Ruby Frost.

Read more
The Salt
11:25 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Meet Dave, A 19-Year-Old Craft Beer With A $2,000 Price Tag

Hair of the Dog releases a few bottles of Dave a year. In September, the 12 bottles of Dave on sale for $2,000 apiece sold out within a few hours.
Courtesy of Alan Sprints

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 5:00 pm

Hair of the Dog Brewery in Portland, Ore., makes a beer so rare, and so sought after, that it can fetch $2,000 a bottle.

It's called Dave. And no, it's not something out of a Portlandia sketch.

Dave is a barleywine — a strong, dark beer with 29 percent alcohol content. It's been aged for 19 years, first in oak barrels and then glass bottles.

Read more
Shots - Health News
8:32 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Nobel Goes To Scientists Who Took Chemistry Into Cyberspace

Classical mechanics, represented by Isaac Newton, typically doesn't play nicely with quantum mechanics, represented by Schrodinger's cat. But the 2013 Nobel laureates for chemistry figured out a way to get the two to work together.
Courtesy of the Nobel Prize

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 10:08 am

This year's Nobel Prize for chemistry is shared by three international scientists, who moved chemistry out of the lab and into the world of computing.

Together they developed tools for studying complex molecules — such as enzymes in the human body and plants' photosynthesis machinery — inside cyberspace.

These computerized tools allow scientists to design drugs more quickly and cheaply by doing their experiments with computer programs instead of inside rats and monkeys.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:22 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Top Stories: Nobel In Chemistry; Yellen Gets Nod As Fed Chair

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 9:37 am

Read more
The Two-Way
5:52 am
Wed October 9, 2013

3 Scientists Win Chemistry Nobel For Complex Computer Modeling

A screenshot of the Nobel Prizes webpage showing the 2013 chemistry laureates Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel.
Claudio Bresciani AP

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 11:34 am

Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel have won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for their development of powerful computer models used to simulate how chemical reactions work, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced Wednesday.

The technology they pioneered is now used to develop drugs and to perform other vital tasks in the laboratory.

Read more
Research News
3:44 am
Wed October 9, 2013

3 Scientists Share 2013 Nobel Prize For Chemistry

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 5:08 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. This year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry will be shared by three scientists who took chemistry inside the world of computing. This powerful technology is now used to develop drugs and perform all sorts of vital tasks in chemistry. The three winners were all born overseas but collaborated in the United States and elsewhere in the 1970s, where they started their work.

Read more
Alabama Fatal Overdoses
4:12 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Report Says Overdoses In Ala. Tripled Since 1999

Alabama public health officials say they're aware of statistics in a report saying Alabama's prescription drug overdose rate has nearly tripled since 1999 and they are working with other agencies to confront the problem.
Credit The Javorac / Flickr

Alabama public health officials say they're aware of statistics in a report saying Alabama's prescription drug overdose rate has nearly tripled since 1999 and they are working with other agencies to confront the problem.

The Montgomery Advertiser reported Tuesday that a national report by Trust for America's Health says Alabama's fatal prescription drug overdose rate has jumped from 3.9 per 100,000 people in 1999 to 11.8 per 100,000 people.

Pharmacy Director for the Alabama Department of Public Health, Charles Thomas, says state officials are working to address the issue.

Read more
Environment
3:36 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Flood Forensics: Why Colorado's Floods Were So Destructive

Flooding brought down a house in Jamestown, Colo., on Sept. 18.
Matthew Staver Landov

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 9:25 am

Parts of Colorado are still drying out after floods hit the state last month. Eight people died, and damage from the worst flooding in decades is in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Scientists are now venturing into the hardest-hit areas to do a sort of "flood forensics" to understand why the floods were so bad.

Geologist Jonathan Godt takes Peak Highway in northern Colorado up into the Rockies. The road there winds past ravines and streams where water is still rushing.

Read more
Science
3:36 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Researches Who Theorized 'God Particle' Get Physics Nobel

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 6:24 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. The Nobel Prize in physics was awarded this morning to two scientists from Europe. Both men independently proposed the existence of the so-called "god particle" as part of a mechanism to explain how the universe works. As NPR's Geoff Brumfiel reports, the award was expected but one winner is nowhere to be found.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:27 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Shutdown Forces Antarctic Research Into 'Caretaker Status'

The Chalet (right) is the U.S. Antarctic Program's administrations and operations center at McMurdo Station.
Reed Scherer National Science Foundation

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 3:44 am

Earlier this week we told you that scientists who do research in Antarctica have been on pins and needles, worried that the government shutdown would effectively cancel all of their planned field work this year.

Well, those scientists just got the news they didn't want to hear.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:42 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

An Aerogramme From Professor Higgs, Nobel Winner

Letter from Peter Higgs
David Kestenbaum NPR

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 5:02 pm

Well, it's happened. British scientist Peter Higgs has won a Nobel Prize for proposing the Higgs boson particle as part of a mechanism that explains how things in the universe came to have mass.

Higgs seems to be lying low today so far — a colleague told The New York Times that Higgs had "gone off by himself for a few days without saying where" and that a reporter seeking an interview recently had been "sent away with a flea in his ear."

Read more
The Two-Way
6:23 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Higgs Boson Researchers Awarded The Nobel Prize In Physics

British theoretical physicist Peter Higgs (left) and Belgian theoretical physicist Francois Englert were awarded the Nobel Prize in physics on Tuesday.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 10:09 am

Peter Higgs and Francois Englert have been jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for their theory of how particles acquire mass, the Swedish committee announced Tuesday.

The prize was given "for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider."

Read more
The Government Shutdown
4:51 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Even Antarctica Feels Effects Of The Government Shutdown

A helicopter is unloaded from an LC-130 in Antarctica last December. Researchers on this mission were studying the Pine Island Glacier, one of the fastest-receding glaciers on the continent.
August Allen National Science Foundation

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 5:50 pm

It looks like even Antarctica isn't far away enough to avoid getting caught up in the government shutdown.

That's because it's currently springtime there, and scientists who study this remote, rugged continent are poised to take advantage of the few months when there's enough daylight and it's warm enough to work. Advance teams have already started working to get things set up and ready for the researchers, who usually begin heading south right about now.

Read more
Science
3:20 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Scientists Win Nobel For Work On How Cells Communicate

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 5:50 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Three scientists will win this year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their role in figuring out how cells talk to one another. They do that by releasing and soaking up molecules. This basic knowledge also helps explain diseases, from mental illness to immune disorders.

NPR's Richard Harris has our story.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:18 am
Mon October 7, 2013

MIT Scientists Develop New Breed Of Self-Assembling Robots

M-Block cube robots rest on a work table in the Distributed Robotics Lab in CSAIL at MIT in Cambridge, Mass. The robots are 50mm cubes that can reconfigure themselves into various arrangements using self-propulsion and magnets.
M. Scott Brauer MIT

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 8:49 am

They're called M-Blocks and the tiny, cubical robots that can spin, flip and jump their way into new configurations are the brainchild of scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

According to MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), M-Blocks:

Read more

Pages