Science & Health

TED Radio Hour
8:34 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Are We Wired To Be Compassionate?

"We're designed to convince ourselves that our very selective deployment of compassion is thoroughly justified" — Robert Wright
courtesy of TED

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 12:02 pm

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Just A Little Nicer.

About Robert Wright's TED Talk

Author Robert Wright says humans are not simply wired to be compassionate — we have evolved to feel compassion out of self-interest.

About Robert Wright

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Science
3:02 am
Fri December 19, 2014

7 Miles Beneath The Sea's Surface: Who Goes There?

The research vessel Falkor in August 2013.
Courtesy of Mark Schrope

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 9:11 am

A ship full of marine scientists is floating over the deepest part of the world: the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench. They're sending down probes to study life in one of the most hostile environments on the planet.

This week the researchers are targeting the two deepest spots in the trench — the Sirena Deep and the Challenger Deep — which each extend down about 7 miles beneath the ocean's surface.

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The Two-Way
7:05 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Once Written Off, Kepler Telescope Finds New Planet

An artist's rendering shows the Kepler spacecraft in its new mission profile, called K2. The space telescope has found a new planet outside our solar system.
NASA

More than a year after NASA said its Kepler space telescope was beyond repair, the planet-hunting probe has delivered an unlikely find: a planet that's outside our solar system. The find comes after a team worked to find a way to make Kepler productive again, says NASA, calling the find "a comeback."

The space agency says the newly discovered exoplanet is 2.5 times the diameter of the Earth – and that the lead researcher on the project is a graduate student at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

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Newscast
6:08 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Bentley Exploring Medicaid Expansion, Oil Transportation, VA Meeting

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley
Credit wikipedia.org

    

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The Salt
4:36 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

What The Change In U.S.-Cuba Relations Might Mean For Food

Sugar, coffee, fruit juice for babies, oil and salt inside a market subsidized by the government in Havana on July 11, 2013.
Enrique De La Osa Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 7:14 am

It took a few hours for some Cubans to realize the magnitude of President Obama's announcement on Wednesday about changes in the relationship between the U.S. and Cuba, according to Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez.

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Shots - Health News
1:25 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

NIH Allows Restart Of MERS Research That Had Been Questioned

A transmission electron micrograph shows Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus particles (colorized yellow).
NIAID

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 2:26 pm

Some researchers who study the virus that causes Middle East respiratory syndrome got an early Christmas present: permission to resume experiments that the federal government abruptly halted in October.

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Shots - Health News
8:47 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Worries About Unusual Botulinum Toxin Prove Unfounded

A culture of Clostridium botulinum, stained with gentian violet.
CDC

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 3:12 pm

Remember that worrisome new form of botulinum toxin we told you about in late 2013, the one that supposedly had to be kept secret out of fear it could be used as a bioweapon that would evade all of our medical defenses?

Well, as it turns out, it's not that scary after all. The antitoxin stored in the government's emergency stockpile works and would neutralize the toxin just fine.

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Research News
4:20 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Research Examines Character Concerns Versus Performance In The NFL

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 11:31 am

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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NPR Story
4:11 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Citing Health, Environment Concerns, New York Moves To Ban Fracking

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 11:31 am

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The state of New York has banned fracking. After six years of study, the state says there are too many health and environmental questions involved in the controversial drilling method. NPR's Jeff Brady reports.

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Science
2:36 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Arctic Is Warming Twice As Fast As World Average

A lone polar bear poses on a block of arctic sea ice in Russia's Franz Josef Land.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 11:36 am

The latest word from scientists studying the Arctic is that the polar region is warming twice as fast as the average rise on the rest of the planet. And researchers say the trend isn't letting up. That's the latest from the 2014 Arctic Report Card — a compilation of recent research from more than 60 scientists in 13 countries. The report was released Wednesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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Newscast
5:53 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Bonner Steps Down, Lethal Injection Lawsuit, Toy Drive

Credit The Montgomery Advertiser

    

The first female president of the University of Alabama is stepping down.

The university released a statement from President Judy Bonner on Wednesday saying she will leave office no later than September 30, 2015.

Bonner says she wants to return to the classroom. She plans to take a yearlong sabbatical and resume teaching in fall 2016.

Bonner says she's announcing her departure early to allow time for trustees to begin a search for her replacement next month.

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Shots - Health News
11:06 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Behind The Scenes At The Lab That Fingerprints Microbiomes

Rob Knight, co-founder of the American Gut Project at the University of Colorado in Boulder, works in the lab where the samples are processed.
The American Gut Project

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 4:32 pm

The gut microbiome may soon reveal important answers to questions about our health. But those answers aren't yet easy to spot or quick to obtain.

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Health
4:02 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Abuse Of Synthetic Drugs Declines Across U.S.

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 1:46 pm

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

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Space
4:02 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Methane Bursts On Mars Could Hint At Previous Life

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 12:07 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Something intriguing is happening on Mars. Instruments onboard the rover known as Curiosity are seeing bursts of methane entering the Martian atmosphere and then disappearing. NPR's Joe Palca reports.

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Shots - Health News
12:21 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Scientists Debate If It's OK To Make Viruses More Dangerous In The Lab

The coronavirus responsible for Middle East respiratory syndrome (green particles) seen on camel cells in a scanning electron micrograph.
NIAID/Colorado State University

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 3:26 pm

Imagine that scientists wanted to take Ebola virus and see if it could ever become airborne by deliberately causing mutations in the lab and then searching through those new viruses to see if any spread easily through the air.

Would that be OK?

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