Science & Health

Environment
6:35 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Can The World Engineer A Cooler Climate?

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 10:39 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Draft report from the intergovernmental panel on climate change was leaked to the media this week. The scientists will report to the U.N. that it is nearly certain that human activity has caused most of the earth's climate change over the last 50 years. Now, this leak is certain to rekindle debates about how best to contend with events like increasing temperatures and rising sea levels, and it might make some people take a new look at what's called geoengineering.

Read more
Environment
6:35 am
Sat August 24, 2013

On A Rocky Maine Island, Puffins Making A Tenuous Comeback

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 10:39 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. East Coast seabirds have had a tough year. They've been battered by storms and disruptions in the food chain. Among them, the sturdy little Atlantic puffin. Now, here in the United States, their numbers dwindle to just a single nesting pair by 1901. Since then, thanks to the Audubon Society's Project Puffin, they've made a comeback. But as WBUR's Fred Bever reports, the puffins are now facing some new threats.

Read more
Environment
4:49 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

The 'Consensus' View: Kevin Trenberth's Take On Climate Change

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 8:12 pm

Next month, a scientific committee sponsored by the United Nations will put out its latest assessment of climate change. The report is expected to underscore yet again that climate change is a serious problem and human beings are largely responsible.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) represents a consensus view of hundreds of scientists from around the world. The effort shared the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore.

Read more
Shots - Health News
1:35 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

To Reduce Prejudice, Try Sharing Passions And Cultures

Sharing passions can help erase ethnic prejudice. No word if that includes a passion for NCAA basketball.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 9:17 am

People can become less prejudiced, but it's not entirely clear how we make the journey from hatred to acceptance.

Something as simple as a shared passion for The Catcher in the Rye can help, researchers say. So does getting an inside look at the other person's culture, even if only for a few minutes.

Read more
Science
12:41 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Rebooting Science Museums for the 21st Century

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 8:16 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

When you last visited your local science museum, what did you see? Those cavernous dark halls, the dinosaurs, a bone frozen into place. The dioramas of stuffed big-horn sheep in a painted habitat. We all know of those. At least that might be how you remember it. But museum directors today are reimagining that Victorian-era museum, reimagining it for the 21st century. They envision using everything from smartphone apps to walk-through labs and meet and greet with actual scientists.

Read more
Technology
12:40 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

A Robot Lab to Survey the Sea Floor

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 3:26 pm

Imagine a robotic lab that can sample ocean organisms on its own and perform DNA analysis of what it finds. William Ussler, of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, describes how a prototypical robotic explorer is helping study the life around undersea thermal vents.

Space
12:40 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

A Telescope Fails, but the Hunt for Exoplanets Continues

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 3:26 pm

The ailing Kepler planet-hunting telescope cannot be fixed, the victim of failed reaction wheels required to aim the instrument. However, researchers still have reams of data to sift through. William Borucki of NASA and Joshua Winn of MIT discuss the search for distant planets.

Your Health
12:40 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Study Correlates Copper Intake and Alzheimer's in Mice

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 3:26 pm

Reporting in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers write of a possible link between copper in drinking water and Alzheimer's disease in mice. Lead author Rashid Deane discusses the potential mechanism.

Music
12:40 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Judging Music With Visual Cues

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 3:26 pm

Musical performances may not be a completely auditory experience, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Study author Chia-Jung Tsay discusses how visual cues can influence our judgments about music and other social settings.

Krulwich Wonders...
11:40 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Can Worms Create Their Own Imaginary Oceans? Can Oysters?

D.P. Wilson/FLPA Science Source

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 2:35 pm

When you see them on the beach, spinach-like plops of green sprawled on the sand, you'd never guess their teeny nervous systems are imprinted with beach-ness. They are the ultimate Beach Boys. For them it's always summer.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:38 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Hurricane Season A Bust? Don't Be So Sure

A satellite image provided by NASA shows Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 30. Forecasters underestimated the intensity of the Atlantic hurricane season last year.
NASA Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 12:55 pm

Back in May, several independent forecast groups predicted an especially active Atlantic hurricane season this year. But with August drawing to a close, we've yet to see a single one.

Read more
Shots - Health News
10:18 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Another Study Of Preemies Blasted Over Ethical Concerns

What should parents be told before their premature infants participate in a clinical study?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 11:09 am

For the second time in four months, the consumer group Public Citizen is alleging that a large, federally funded study of premature infants is ethically flawed.

Both complaints raise a big issue that's certain to get more attention beyond these particular studies: What's the ethically right way to do research on the validity of the usual care that doctors provide every day.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will host an unusual forum on that question next Wednesday — stimulated by the sharp questions raised by Public Citizen.

Read more
The Salt
7:48 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Julia Child Was Wrong: Don't Wash Your Raw Chicken, Folks

The French Chef in which she teaches us how to roast a bird." href="/post/julia-child-was-wrong-dont-wash-your-raw-chicken-folks" class="noexit lightbox">
Julia Child poses with "the chicken sisters" before an episode of The French Chef in which she teaches us how to roast a bird.
Courtesy of Paul Child/PBS

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 8:52 am

It seems almost sacrilegious to question the wisdom of Julia Child.

Read more
Research News
3:21 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Can Your Car Make You An Unethical Driver?

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 6:25 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

When there's room to spread out, we often take advantage of it. Think about a big car or an SUV. You're behind the wheel, you roll the window down. You might prop up your left elbow. The other arm is outstretched on the wheel. It all sounds nice and relaxing, but it could have some major consequences. There's new research suggesting that you are more likely to blow a stop sign or a red light and not even know it. NPR's social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam is here to explain this.

Read more
Asia
3:21 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Regulators Monitor 'Serious Leaks' At Japanese Nuclear Plant

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 6:25 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant is back in the news more than two years after an earthquake and tsunami triggered a series of meltdowns. New leaks found this week prompted regulators to consider raising the alert level there in Japan. NPR's science correspondent Geoff Brumfiel joined us to explain. Geoff, good morning.

GEOFF BRUMFIEL, BYLINE: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: Why raise the alert level?

Read more

Pages