Science & Health

Krulwich Wonders...
10:49 am
Fri June 7, 2013

The Boomerang Graffito (Or Bad, Bad, Luther B!)

Francis Frith Library of Congress

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 1:30 pm

I was standing in New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art the other day, where there's a full-sized Egyptian temple, called Dendur. It's housed under a glass roof ...

Read more
NPR Story
10:44 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Tracing The Origins Of French Winemaking

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 12:33 pm

Many people associate France today with the production of great wines. But winemaking isn't native to the French. Patrick McGovern, an archaeologist of fermented beverages, has dated the beginning of viniculture in France to around 500 B.C. and contact with the Etruscans.

NPR Story
10:44 am
Fri June 7, 2013

How To Survive A Mass Extinction

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 12:33 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Up next, surviving the big one, and I mean a really big one. As any fan of dinosaurs knows, extinction happens. The Earth isn't immune to assaults. You've got your asteroids, your volcanic eruptions, events that cause so much disruption to the environment that eventually life or most of life is wiped out.

Read more
NPR Story
10:44 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Strengthening Buildings In Tornado Alley

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 12:33 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. Powerful storms this spring: tornadoes like the ones in Oklahoma have caused damage estimated in the billions of dollars and dozens of deaths. But does the destruction have to be so devastating? What are the engineering challenges to designing and building stronger, more tornado-resistant structures and providing better protection for the people who live there?

Read more
NPR Story
10:44 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Whole Genome Scans Could Reveal Too Much

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 12:33 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY; I'm Ira Flatow. If you're thinking about getting married or having children or just contemplating your health care options, you or your doctor may decide to have your DNA analyzed, looking for genes that may indicate possible trouble ahead. Maybe there's a telltale mutation hiding there or a recognizable pattern of genes.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:32 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Justin Bieber Destined For Outer Space

Singer Justin Bieber performs during the 2013 Billboard Music Awards on May 19.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

Singer Justin Bieber is the latest celebrity to score a booking on Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo, destined for its first suborbital test flight sometime this year.

The Bieb and manager Scooter Braun join the likes of Ashton Kutcher, Leonardo DiCaprio and Angelina Jolie on the elite passenger list of those willing and able to pay $250,000 for a seat on Richard Branson's commercial space-flight venture.

Sir Richard tweeted the news Thursday:

Read more
The Salt
3:49 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

When You Waste Food, You're Wasting Tons Of Water, Too

A worker dumps a bucket of tomatoes into a trailer in Florida City, Fla. Much of the lost and wasted weight in fruits and vegetables is water, according to a report by the World Resources Institute.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 11:29 am

Tossing out food is clearly a waste of money — and maybe even immoral, according to Pope Francis, who on Wednesday likened food waste to "stealing from the table of those who are poor and hungry." And as we've reported, you also may be creating extra greenhouse gas emissions by sending food to

Read more
Science
3:39 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Girl's Need Breathes Life Into Debate Over Organ Allocation

Sarah Murnaghan, on May 30, as she and her parents marked the 100th day of her stay in Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Murnaghan family AP

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 4:38 pm

The case of a Pennsylvania girl who is dying from cystic fibrosis has sparked an emotional debate over how the nation allocates lungs for transplantation.

Ten-year-old Sarah Murnaghan is in intensive care at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia awaiting a lung transplant. Under the current rules, lungs from adults are offered to other adults and adolescents before being offered to children younger than 12.

Read more
Around the Nation
3:10 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Mysterious Blob Hovers Over Local Ala. Weather Radar

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 4:38 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This past Tuesday, in Huntsville, Alabama, something unusual appeared on the local weather radar.

(SOUNDBITE OF NEWSCAST)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Well, it is the blob that ate Huntsville. On radar, at least.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: A giant angry-looking red spot. It caught the attention of all...

Read more
The Salt
2:28 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

How To Clean Up Fish Farms And Raise More Seafood At The Same Time

Thierry Chopin from the University of New Brunswick examines a raft that holds strings of seaweed. The seaweed grows around pens of farmed salmon and soaks up some of the nutrients that would otherwise pollute the Bay of Fundy.
Richard Harris NPR

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 4:38 pm

Last month, we told you about companies that are growing salmon on dry land. That's an effective — but expensive — way to reduce water pollution caused by fish farms. After all, marine aquaculture provides about half of the seafood we eat.

Read more
Author Interviews
1:02 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

The Patient Who Let Us Peek Inside A Brain In 'Present Tense'

In her latest book about Henry Molaison, Corkin tells the story of the amnesic man she studied for a half-century, whose brain helped teach neuroscientists about the distinctions between memory and intellect.
Basic Books

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 4:03 pm

In 1953, 27-year-old Henry Gustave Molaison underwent an experimental brain surgery in an attempt to alleviate his severe epileptic seizures. The surgery left him with a form of amnesia; he could remember many things from the past, but was unable to form new memories.

"He could tell us about where he was born, [that] his father's family was from Thibodaux, La., his mother came from Ireland," says neuroscientist Suzanne Corkin. "He talked about the towns in Hartford where he lived and about his specific neighbors. He knew the schools he attended, some of his classmates' names."

Read more
Shots - Health News
11:05 am
Thu June 6, 2013

How Nature Builds A Pandemic Flu Virus

A vendor weighs a live chicken at the Kowloon City Market in Hong Kong last April. After closing live poultry shops in many cities around China, the rate of new H7N9 infections sharply declined.
Lam Yik Fei Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 7:26 am

Here's a sobering thought: Wild birds — including city pigeons and ubiquitous Canada geese — carry 170 different types of bird flu. You know, all those viruses with the Hs and Ns in their names, like H1N1 and H5N1.

Only a dozen of these viruses have infected humans so far, but many of those have been deadly, and three of them have caused global flu pandemics.

Does every bird flu that leaps into people have the potential to turn into the next "big one" that spreads rapidly around the world?

Read more
The Salt
10:57 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Feeling A Little Blue May Mask Our Ability To Taste Fat

Feeling down? It could be messing with your ability to taste the fat in that carton of ice cream.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 3:00 pm

So, here's the scenario: You're feeling a little blue, then you watch an emotional movie and dig into a bowl of ice cream.

Are you aware of how fattening your comfort food is? Likely not. Especially in the moment.

A new study finds that temporary, strong emotions, like the sadness we experience from a weepy movie, can significantly decrease our ability to taste — or perceive — the amount of fat we're eating.

Read more
Shots - Health News
7:59 am
Thu June 6, 2013

NIH Chief Rejects Ethics Critique Of Preemie Study

National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins contested criticism that researchers running a study of premature infants didn't adequately advise parents about the risks.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 7:26 am

The chief of the National Institutes of Health is disavowing a ruling from the government office that oversees the ethics of human research.

Read more
Research News
4:19 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Navy Studies Cicadas For Their Amplifying Sound Technique

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 5:40 am

From southern Virginia to New England, lots of people are being treated to a cicada serenade. If these insects sound loud to you, that's because they are. They're so loud that some Navy engineers are trying to borrow their technique.

Pages