Science & Health

The Two-Way
7:01 am
Fri April 17, 2015

Espresso In Orbit: SpaceX Craft Brings Coffee Machine To Space Station

The SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule nears the International Space Station on Friday, as astronauts prepare to snag it with a robotic arm.
NASA TV

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 1:07 pm

The coffee on the International Space Station is about to get much better. The SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule linked up with the station on Friday, bringing groceries, supplies — and a long-awaited espresso machine called the ISSpresso.

In a rendezvous that was streamed live online, astronauts inside the ISS extended a robotic arm and captured the SpaceX Dragon early Friday. NASA says the pair made contact 257 miles over the Pacific Ocean.

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Shots - Health News
5:19 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Use Of E-Cigarettes Triples Among U.S. Teens

Nicotine exposure at a young age "may cause lasting harm to brain development," warns Dr. Tom Frieden, chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 7:13 pm

A national survey confirms earlier indications that e-cigarettes are now more popular among teenage students than traditional cigarettes and other forms of tobacco, federal health officials reported Thursday.

The findings prompted strong warnings from Dr. Tom Frieden, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about the effects of any form of nicotine on young people.

"We want parents to know that nicotine is dangerous for kids at any age," Frieden said.

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Goats and Soda
5:19 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

'Mad Cow' Disease In Texas Man Has Mysterious Origin

Colored brain scan of a 17-year-old boy with mad cow disease. The bright yellow spots are a sign that the thalamus is damaged by diseased proteins.
Simon Fraser Science Source

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 10:49 am

It began with anxiety and depression. A few months later, hallucinations appeared.

Then the Texas man, in his 40s, couldn't feel the left side of his face.

He thought the symptoms were because of a recent car accident. But the psychiatric problems got worse. And some doctors thought the man might have bipolar disorder.

Eventually, he couldn't walk or speak. He was hospitalized. And about 18 months after symptoms began, the man died.

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Shots - Health News
1:56 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Scientists Probe Puppy Love

A direct, friendly gaze seems to help cement the bond of affection between people and their pooches.
Dan Perez/Flickr

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 4:28 pm

It's a question that bedevils dog owners the world over: "Is she staring at me because she loves me? Or because she wants another biscuit?"

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Shots - Health News
12:05 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Men Strive To Give More To Charity When The Fundraiser Is Cute

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 4:28 pm

We donate to charities for lots of reasons: because we're generally magnanimous people, because we care deeply about certain issues or because it's the only way to get Meg to stop talking about the plight of the endangered proboscis monkey.

And for men, there may be another force at play: a subconscious desire to impress the ladies.

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NPR Story
4:06 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Students' Work Ethic Affected By Peer Groups, Desire To Be Popular

Originally published on Sat April 18, 2015 11:17 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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The Salt
2:51 am
Thu April 16, 2015

How Almonds Became A Scapegoat For California's Drought

Originally published on Sat April 18, 2015 11:17 am

You may have heard by now that it takes one gallon of water to produce just one almond. And those are considered fighting words in drought-stricken California, which produces 80 percent of the world's supply of the tasty and nutritious nut.

So when almond grower Daniel Bays hears that, he just shakes his head.

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Shots - Health News
2:49 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Tylenol Might Dull Emotional Pain, Too

Paul Taylor Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 26, 2015 11:17 pm

A common pain medication might make you go from "so cute!" to "so what?" when you look at a photo of a kitten. And it might make you less sensitive to horrifying things, too. It's acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol. Researchers say the drug might be taking the edge off emotions — not just pain.

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The Salt
6:14 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Nut So Fast, Kind Bars: FDA Smacks Snacks On Health Claims

According to the Food and Drug Administration, there were four flavors of Kind bar that were misbranded when the agency reviewed them in August 2014.
Ryan Kellman NPR

Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 3:30 pm

If you're deciding between a candy bar and a fruit-and-nut bar, and health is top of mind, the best choice seems obvious.

But when it comes to companies actually labeling their products "healthy," the Food and Drug Administration is showing it won't pull any punches. In a letter dated March 17 that was released this week, the agency called out the snack food company Kind for violating labeling rules by putting the word "healthy" on the packaging for some of its bars.

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The Two-Way
4:08 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

New Discovery Of World's Oldest Stone Tools

This undated image provided by the journal, Nature, shows an archaeological site, near Lake Turkana in Kenya.
Rhonda L. Quinn/Nature AP

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 9:35 am

Scientists working in East Africa say they've unearthed the oldest stone tools ever found. They were apparently made 500,000 years before the human lineage evolved.

A team led by Sonia Harmand from Stony Brook University in New York found the tools in Kenya, near Lake Turkana. It's an area that's yielded numerous fossils and tools from early humans.

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Shots - Health News
4:04 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Why Knuckles Crack

NPR intern Poncie Rutsch takes a crack at making a big sound.
Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 8:39 pm

Scientists think they may have solved an old question about the cracking of knuckles: Why does it make that sound?

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Shots - Health News
2:21 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Personalizing Cancer Treatment With Genetic Tests Can Be Tricky

Sequencing the genes of a cancer cell turns up lots of genetic mutations — but some of them are harmless. The goal is to figure out which mutations are the troublemakers.
Kevin Curtis Science Source

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 5:52 pm

It's becoming routine for cancer doctors to order a detailed genetic test of a patient's tumor to help guide treatment, but often those results are ambiguous. Researchers writing in Science Translational Medicine Wednesday say there's a way to make these expensive tests more useful.

Here's the issue: These genomic tests scan hundreds or even thousands of genes looking for mutations that cause or promote cancer growth. In the process, they uncover many mutations that scientists simply don't know how to interpret — some may be harmless.

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The Two-Way
12:28 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

U.S. Predicted To Be Net Energy Exporter In Next Decade; First Time Since 1950s

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 5:13 pm

The U.S. will reach a new balance in energy trade "sometime between 2020 and 2030," says the Energy Information Administration, which predicts the U.S. could become a net energy exporter in the near future.

The federal agency's prediction cites a rise in domestic natural gas production and changes in energy demands. If it happens, the shift would end a streak of more than 50 years in which the U.S. has been a net importer of energy.

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Shots - Health News
11:21 am
Wed April 15, 2015

Some Doctors Still Dismiss Parents' Concerns About Autism

Some doctors aren't up to date on how to assess autism symptoms in very young children.
iStockphoto

Most children with autism get diagnosed around age 5, when they start school. But signs of the developmental disorder may be seen as early as 1 year old.

Yet even if a parent notices problems making eye contact or other early signs of autism, some doctors still dismiss those concerns, a study finds, saying the child will "grow out of it." That can delay diagnosis and a child's access to therapy.

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Science
4:20 am
Wed April 15, 2015

Fun With Physics: Finding The Speed Of Light With Peeps

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 11:31 am

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

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