Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 1:52 pm
There's a global campaign to force meat producers to rein in their use of antibiotics on pigs, chickens and cattle. European countries, especially Denmark and the Netherlands, have taken the lead. The U.S. is moving, haltingly, toward similar restrictions.
Capt. Art Gaeten holds a blue shark that was caught during a research trip in Nova Scotia. Scientists are studying the impact of swordfish fishing methods on the shark population.
Credit Tim Lofthouse / Courtesy of the Marine Stewardship Council
Rupert Howes is CEO of the Marine Stewardship Council. "We want to see the global oceans transformed onto a sustainable basis," he tells NPR.
Credit Margot Williams / NPR
Swordfish from Canada are marked with a label from the Marine Stewardship Council at a Whole Foods in Washington, D.C. The MSC says its label means the fish were caught by a sustainable fishery, but critics says it's not always so clear.
Credit Dean Casavechia for NPR
Capt. Art Gaeten holds a blue shark caught off the coast of Nova Scotia during a research outing. Studies show that 35 percent of sharks caught by swordfish boats die either on the hook or within days of release.
Credit Dean Casavechia for NPR
Steve Campana runs the Canadian Shark Research Laboratory. He works to tag sharks with satellite transmitters to find out how long they survive after being caught and released.
Credit Dean Casavechia for NPR
Shark charter operator Art Gaeten (right) and recreational shark fisherman Shawn Knowles struggle to hold a blue shark in position while shark biologist Anna Dorey attaches a satellite tag to its back. Researchers say about five blue sharks are caught for every one swordfish. Scientists are trying to determine what happens to the sharks after they are released.
Rebecca Weel pushes a baby stroller with her 18-month-old up to the seafood case at Whole Foods, near ground zero in New York. As she peers at shiny fillets of salmon, halibut and Chilean sea bass labeled "certified sustainable," Weel believes that if she purchases this seafood, she will help protect the world's oceans from overfishing.
State environmental officials are investigating the recent release of industrial sludge into two Opelika waterways.
Alabama Department of Environmental Management spokesman Scott Hughes says the agency received a call Friday from the city of Opelika regarding some material that had been found in the Pepperell Branch and Saugahatchee Creek.
Hughes tells the Opelika-Auburn News (http://bit.ly/V9RInR) that the release likely started sometime Thursday afternoon.
Now, tomorrow President Obama delivers his State of the Union address, and may well discuss energy, as he did four years ago. But energy analyst Sarah Ladislaw says a daunting goal is getting trickier.
SARAH LADISLAW: This administration did not come in with small plans for energy markets or for energy policy. Their big plan was to try and de-carbonize the energy sector.
INSKEEP: Reduce carbon emissions by relying less on coal, oil and gas.
LADISLAW: Primarily done for the purpose of battling climate change.
Credit Erwin Huebner, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada / Wikimedia.org
Don't let the name fool you. The kissing bug, or Rhodniusprolixus,transmits the Chagas parasite when it bites someone's face.
Credit Vanderlei Almeida / AFP/Getty Images
An artist on Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana beach puts the final touches on a sand sculpture of the kissing bug, which spreads Chagas' disease. The sculpture was part of an event in 2009 commemorating the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the disease.
Plosky Tolbachnik volcano erupts in Russia's Far Eastern Kamchatka Peninsula on Jan. 6, 2013. It's not a so-called "super volcano," but every million years or so scientists say the Earth burps up volcanoes that can erupt for thousands of years.
Credit Jason Maehl
A hot spring at Yellowstone National Park. The super volcano that lurks below Yellowstone has blown its top three times in the past 2 million years.
Every few million years or so, the Earth burps up a gargantuan volcano.
These aren't like volcanoes in our lifetimes; these "super volcanoes" can erupt continuously for thousands of years. While they might be rare, you'd best look out when one hits.
The ash and volcanic gases from these volcanoes can wipe out most living things over large parts of the planet. Michael Thorne, a seismologist at the University of Utah, has some clues about what causes these big eruptions.
It sounds like a horror story: Every few years, usually in the winter months, residents of the town of Leesburg, Va., come home from work to find their backyards overrun with turkey vultures. Not just a few birds, but hundreds of them. Everywhere.
Lt. Jeff Dube is with the town's police department. For a whole week, he spent every evening driving around town, looking for the latest vulture hotspots.
"They like Leesburg. There's really no rhyme or reason. Every three to five years they come back en mass, like this year, 2- to 300," Dube says.
Drop a cat and it will swing its head to a horizontal, rearrange its rear, arch its back, splay its legs, and — amazingly often — land on its feet.
This is what cats do. They're famous for it. But now they have a rival.
This is an aphid.
Aphids spend their days sucking sap from leaves. Those leaves can be high off the ground. "High" of course, being a relative term, but think of it this way: Five feet high up is 381 aphids tall. Which is why things get so dicey when a ladybug comes by.
Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham say smoking synthetic marijuana — known as Spice or K2 — has been linked to kidney injury.
UAB researchers conducted four case studies involving four young men who smoked synthetic marijuana and suffered kidney injuries afterward. Researchers say the men visited the hospital weeks after using the drug and suffered from abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Joe Palca, sitting in for Ira Flatow. If you add it up, we spend a lot of time sleeping, about a third of our lives, actually, and it turns out our bodies don't just power down as we slumber. Research is showing that sleep plays an important role in how our brains process and store the information that we learn throughout the day.
You know the theory that a big collision, a comet or an asteroid, something like that, helped kill off the dinosaurs? The idea has been around for a while. But this week, new research published in journal Science provides more accurate dates for the giant impact and the dino demise.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY; I'm Joe Palca. Do you ever get the feeling you're being watched? These days if you're not careful, your phone knows where you are, and there's a good chance somebody else does, too. Or you've noticed that the ads on sites you visit are starting to look a little too personalized, like how did they know I was planning a vacation to New Orleans.
Toyota and BMW have formed an alliance to work on fuel cell cars. So have Daimler, Ford, and Nissan, with hopes of having cars on the road by 2017. But why now, and what obstacles still stand in the way? Jennifer Kurtz discusses the current state of hydrogen fuel technology.