Science & Health

Performing Arts
10:56 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Experimenting on Consciousness, Through Art

Performance artist Marina Abramovic's piece Measuring the Magic of Mutual Gaze is both art installation and science experiment, in which volunteers sit facing one another while having their brain waves measured. Abramovic discusses these arts and science experiments with neuroscientist Christof Koch, an expert in consciousness.

Environment
10:56 am
Fri August 16, 2013

For a Greener Yard, Lose the Lawn

Across the Southwest, cities are banning water-thirsty front lawns. Cado Daily of the University of Arizona's Water Wise Program views that as an opportunity to plant a "rainscape" — a yard with drought-friendly native plants that she says can look as lush as a lawn, and lure wildlife back, too.

Energy
10:56 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Strengthening the Grid, Ten Years Later

Ten years ago this week, a massive electrical blackout struck the northeastern US and parts of Canada, affecting some 55 million people. IEEE Spectrum journalist Bill Sweet describes the causes of the outage and how the electrical grid has changed since the 2003 failure.

Education
10:56 am
Fri August 16, 2013

The STEM Gender Gap

The number of girls and women studying the sciences has steadily increased each year, but there is still a gender gap in higher education and the work force. Researchers Andresse St. Rose and Catherine Riegle-Crumb and Linda Kekelis, executive director of Techbridge, discuss the social and environmental factors that contribute to this disparity.

Technology
10:56 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Hyperloop: Hype or Future Transportation?

Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, unveiled his designs for Hyperloop. The high-speed transit system could make the 400-mile trip from San Francisco and Los Angeles in 30 minutes. Tim De Chant, senior digital editor at NOVA, discusses the plans and whether the system could answer our transit problems.

The Salt
10:45 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Eating On Mars? Be Sure To Pack The Tortillas

Mission to Mars: Six explorers lived in this simulated Mars habitat in Hawaii for four months, part of a NASA study to test the role of cooking and food on an extended space mission.
Sian Proctor NASA HI-SEAS

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 3:27 pm

After several months of freeze-dried food, even the most committed carnivores would probably reach for the fresh produce.

So it's no surprise that the six explorers who were cooped up studying space-friendly foods on a simulated mission to Mars for the past four months went right for the mangoes and pineapple during their first meal outside their habitat Aug. 13.

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Politics
10:24 am
Fri August 16, 2013

What's Making Headlines Outside Of Washington?

Congress has gone home for its annual August recess, so Tell Me More takes a look at headlines in places across the country. Guest host Celeste Headlee talks with Mike Leary from the San Antonio Express-News and Dana Coffield of The Denver Post.

The Two-Way
9:24 am
Fri August 16, 2013

China Says It Will Stop Taking Organs From Executed Inmates

A paramilitary guard stands before the bars of a main gate to a detention center during a government guided tour in Beijing last year.
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 10:52 am

China says it plans to phase out the harvesting of organs from executed prisoners, ending a controversial practice that reportedly supplies most of the country's transplant patients.

Huang Jiefu, a surgeon and former deputy health minister who is in charge of organ transplants, says that beginning in November, China will scale back and eliminate the harvesting of inmate organs. Huang says that will be replaced by a nationwide voluntary donor system.

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Space
4:45 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Kepler Space Telescope Is Beyond Repair, NASA Says

An artist's illustration of Kepler-22b, a planet that circles its star in the "goldilocks" zone.
Ames/JPL-Caltech/NASA Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 9:31 am

There's some sad news from NASA: The space agency says its Kepler space telescope is beyond repair.

The $600 million planet-hunting probe whose mission was to search other solar systems for Earth-like planets has lost its ability to keep its gaze on target.

Two of the four gyroscope-like reaction wheels that keep Kepler pointed in the right direction have broken down and can't be fixed, but NASA is still hoping it can find some less-stressful work for the orbiting observatory.

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All Tech Considered
1:54 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Tornado Tech: How Drones Can Help With Twister Science

Drones can provide information about temperature, humidity and pressure that current radar systems can't provide. Above, the Talos drone, which has a 15.5-foot wingspan.
Jamey Jacob Oklahoma State University

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 10:15 am

Oklahoma was hit particularly hard by two massive outbreaks this year in what's been another deadly season of tornadoes in the U.S. Despite technology and forecasting improvements, scientists still have plenty to learn about how and why tornadoes form.

Currently, one of the best ways for researchers to understand how tornadoes form is to chase them. So off they go with mobile science laboratories, rushing toward storms armed with research equipment and weather-sensing probes.

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Health Overhaul-Alabama Navigators
4:48 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Alabama Getting $1.4 Million For Health Navigators

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced anticipated grant amounts for five Alabama health navigators.
Credit humanevents.com

President Barack Obama's administration has announced more than $1.4 million in grants for Alabama organization helping people shop for and enroll in the federally operated health insurance exchange in Alabama.

Consumers are supposed to be able to start shopping Oct. 1 for policies that will begin Jan. 1.

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Poison Control Center
4:30 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Poison Control Center In Tuscaloosa To Close

The Alabama Poison Center at Shelton State Community College is set to close at the end of September after the legislature cut funding to the center.
Credit National Pesticide Information Center

Authorities say the Alabama Poison Center at Shelton State Community College is set to close at the end of September.


The closure comes after a decision by state lawmakers to cut the center's funding.


The control center, which has a staff of 14, is scheduled to close Sept. 30. The center provides the public and health care professionals statewide with emergency information, via a 24-hour call center, in the case of poisonings.

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The Two-Way
2:54 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Meet The Olinguito, The Newest Member Of The Raccoon Family

The olinguito is the first carnivore species to be discovered in the Western Hemisphere in 35 years.
Courtesy of Mark Gurney

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 4:44 pm

Scientists have just solved a case of mistaken identity. It involves a creature that looks like a cross between a house cat and a teddy bear, and it lives high up in the cloud forests of the Andes.

For over 100 years, scientists thought this animal was a well-known member of the raccoon family. Specifically, they thought it was a critter called the "olingo." But one scientist recently took another look and realized he had an entirely new species on his hands.

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Shots - Health News
1:16 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Chronic Insomnia? Hitting The Treadmill Could Help ... Eventually

Can't sleep? Run down? Keep exercising.
CSA_Images iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 9:32 am

Studies on exercise and sleep come up with the same conclusion time after time: If you want to hit the hay earlier and sleep better, get a good cardio workout.

But if you're already sleep-deprived, don't expect a 30-minute run or stint on the elliptical to knock you out quicker tonight.

The sleep-boosting effects of exercise can take a few months to kick in for people who suffer insomnia, scientists report Thursday in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

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Author Interviews
12:41 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Of Neurons And Memories: Inside The 'Secret World Of Sleep'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 1:13 pm

What happens in our brains while we're asleep? That's one question neuroscientist Penelope Lewis is trying to answer. She directs the Sleep and Memory Lab at the University of Manchester in England. Her new book is The Secret World of Sleep: The Surprising Science of the Mind at Rest.

Lewis joins Fresh Air's Terry Gross to talk about how sleep affects memory, and how REM sleep can affect depression.


Interview Highlights

On how sleep makes memory stronger

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