Science & Health

Environment
5:36 pm
Sun September 29, 2013

Is Living With Extreme Wildfires The New Normal?

A house destroyed by a wildfire in Yarnell, Ariz. Experts say increasing expansion into wildfire-prone areas has created new challenges for firefighters unequipped to protect houses and structures.
Andy Tobin AP

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 4:02 pm

It has been a deadly year for the people who fight wildfires. In total, 32 people have lost their lives fighting fires in 2013; the highest number in nearly 20 years, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

Just one incident accounts for most of those deaths, the Yarnell Hill fire in Arizona. In June, the blaze blasted through a firefighting crew known as the Granite Mountain Hotshots; 19 of the 20 men died.

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Music
7:02 am
Sun September 29, 2013

Babies Smell Delicious, Just Like A Cheeseburger

Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 10:22 am

A baby's scent triggers the reward circuits in women's brains, the same circuits that light up when an addict gets drugs or you eat a juicy cheeseburger, according to a study co-authored by University of Montreal researcher Johannes Frasnelli. He explains to host Rachel Martin why people want to nibble on their infants.

Humans
7:02 am
Sun September 29, 2013

But Can Your Smartphone Pick The Fastest Checkout Line?

Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 10:22 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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The Protojournalist
3:02 pm
Sat September 28, 2013

What Lurks Beneath The Earth's Surface

Shinichi Kuramoto of the Center for Deep Earth Exploration in Japan displays a replica of earthquake fault rock.
TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA AFP/Getty Images

Recently there has been an eruption of revelations from below the surface of the Earth: Major aquifers beneath Kenya and a vast volcano deep in the Pacific Ocean.

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Science
6:59 am
Sat September 28, 2013

The Fragile, Invisible Connections Of The Natural World

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 10:16 am

From the TED Radio Hour, writer and environmentalist George Monbiot tells the story of what happened when wolves were re-introduced to Yellowstone National Park after a 70-year absence.

Environment
3:59 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

UN Climate Change Report: Sea Level, Air Temperature To Rise

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 4:17 pm

The United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change releases its latest assessment today. This is the fifth since 1990. The reports project the rate of global warming, sea level rise and other expected effects that result largely from our use of fossil fuels, which puts billions of additional tons of carbon dioxide into the air every year.

Shots - Health News
3:50 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Why Brain Surgeons Want Help From A Maggot-Like Robot

University of Maryland's Jaydev Desai shows off a prototype of a robot that he and colleagues are developing to minimize harm to patients during brain surgery.
John T. Consoli University of Maryland

Brain surgery is a dicey business. Even the most experienced surgeons can damage healthy tissue while trying to root out tumors deep inside the brain.

Researchers from the University of Maryland are working on a solution, and it sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie. They're developing a tiny, maggot-like robot that can crawl into brains and zap tumors from within.

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The Salt
1:19 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Students Win Seed Money To Make Flour From Insects

MBA students from McGill University in Montreal are building a company to mass produce grasshoppers, seen here at a market in Oaxaca, Mexico.
William Neuheisel Flickr

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 3:55 pm

Mohammed Ashour has a big order to fill: By March 2014, he has to deliver 10 tons of grasshoppers to customers in Mexico.

He and four other MBA students at McGill University in Montreal have a plan to farm insects in poor countries and turn them into flour that can be used in everything from bread to corn tortillas. And on Monday, former President Bill Clinton handed them $1 million to make it happen.

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The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Freighter Makes First-Of-Its-Kind Transit Of Northwest Passage

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 3:17 pm

A Danish shipping company announced Friday the first-ever voyage of a large commercial freighter through the Northwest Passage — a journey made possible by the disappearance of Arctic ice due to global warming.

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Music
11:46 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Les Paul: Inventor and Innovator

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow, broadcasting today from Madison, Wisconsin, with a question for our audience, Wisconsinites, Wisconsinians(ph), whatever you prefer.

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Food
11:23 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Food Fermentation: The Science of Sausage and Cheese

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. We're here at the Wisconsin Science Festival at the Institute for Discovery in Madison and talking about a trip to America's dairy land, of course. Inevitably you're going to talk about food and fermentation. In the form of Wisconsin, it's famous for fermentation, one of the oldest ways of preserving food. It's also a way to get really unique flavors.

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Research News
11:19 am
Fri September 27, 2013

World's Largest Neutrino Telescope Buried in Antarctic Ice

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. We're broadcasting from the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery in Madison, home this week of the Wisconsin Science Festival. Astronomers and astrophysicists have traditionally, for centuries, looked upwards to the sky to learn more about the universe. We've launched telescopes into space. We have sent probes beyond our solar system to study dark matter, colliding galaxies, how the planets formed.

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Environment
11:15 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Saving Wild Places in the 'Anthropocene'

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

We've been talking about the Stone Age but now we're living in what some scientists are calling the anthropocene. Maybe you've never heard of that word. It's a time where everything on the planet is touched by humans in some way, whether it's directly, like clear cutting forests or suppressing fires, or indirectly by the effects of climate change. Is this, as the environmentalist Bill McKibben wrote, oh, 20 years ago, is this the end of nature?

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Humans
11:11 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Modern Humans Still Evolving, and Faster Than Ever

For those who think the forces of natural selection no longer apply to modern humans, paleoanthropologist John Hawks would urge you to reconsider. In recent times — that's 10 to 20 thousand years, for a paleoanthropologist — Hawks says we've picked up genetic variations in skin color, and other traits that allow us to break down starch and digest cheese.

TED Radio Hour
8:48 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Everything Is Connected

Every species has its own important role in maintaining nature's balance.
Thomas Barwick Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 9:32 am

  • Listen to the Episode

"The more humble we are in the face of our experience with the natural world ... the more we're going to find a healthy coexistence with it." — Bernie Krause, bioacoustician

Every species plays a crucial role in our natural world. But when humans tinker with the equation, a chain reaction can cause entire ecosystems to break down. In this hour, TED speakers explain how everything is connected in nature, with some bold ideas about how we can restore the delicate balance and bring disappearing ecosystems back.

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