Science & Environment

The Salt
11:57 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Urban Food Forests Make Fruit Free For The Picking

A morning's berry harvest from West Philadelphia's Ogden Orchard includes raspberries, gooseberries, currants, goumis and mulberries.
Courtesy of Philadelphia Orchard Project

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 1:06 pm

To discover the new frontier of urban farming, you'll have to look up — and look sharp — for hanging fruit.

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The Two-Way
7:37 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Pipeline Operator In Calif. Spill Reportedly Had History Of Infractions

A helicopter coordinates ships below pulling booms to collect oil from a spill near Refugio State Beach, north of Goleta, Calif., on Wednesday.
Michael A. Mariant AP

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 4:29 pm

Updated at 11 a.m. ET

The Texas-based company responsible for the undersea pipeline that has leaked tens of thousands of gallons of oil into the sea near the coast at Goleta, Calif., has a history of federal safety violations, The Los Angeles Times reports.

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Around the Nation
5:02 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Calif. Gov. Brown Declares State Of Emergency To Aid In Oil Spill Clean Up

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 7:44 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

The Salt
3:40 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Avian Flu Outbreak Takes Poultry Producers Into Uncharted Territory

"No trespassing" signs are posted on the edge of a field at a farm operated by Daybreak Foods near Eagle Grove, Iowa, which has been designated "bio security area," on May 17.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 4:25 pm

An avian flu outbreak is sweeping across the Midwest at a frightening pace, ravaging chicken and turkey farms and leaving officials stumped about the virus's seemingly unstoppable spread.

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3:38 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Spending To Fight Wildfires At The Expense Of Preventing Them

Rancher Ross Frank worries that funding to fight fires in Western communities like Chumstick, Wash., has crowded out important land management work.
Rowan Moore Gerety Northwest Public Radio

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 6:23 am

The weed-whacker is a frequent companion to the sounds of chirping birds and rustling pines at Ross Frank's ranch in Chumstick, Wash. With forested land on all sides, he's clearing dense brush beneath a stand of by his house.

"So we're turning that around manually and mimicking what fire would have done naturally," he says.

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7:49 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Chipping Away At The Mystery Of The Oldest Tools Ever Found

An ancient stone tool unearthed at the excavation site near Kenya's Lake Turkana. It's not just the shape and sharp edges that suggest it was deliberately crafted, the researchers say, but also the dozens of stone flakes next to it that were part of the same kit.

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 7:07 pm

A scientific discovery in Kenya, first reported in April, challenges conventional wisdom about human history, say the scientists who made the discovery and are now releasing the details. The scientists say the collection of stone tools they turned up near Lake Turkana were made long before the first humans are thought to have evolved.

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The Salt
5:58 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

FDA Wants To Pull Back The Curtain, Slightly, On Farm Antibiotics

Cattle that are grass-fed and free of antibiotics and growth hormones are seen at Kookoolan Farm in Yamhill, Ore.
Don Ryan AP

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 9:16 pm

Farmers and public health advocates have been arguing for many years now about the use of antibiotics on farm animals, yet that argument takes place in a fog of uncertainty, because a lot of information simply isn't available.

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5:34 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Energy Companies Step In To Fund STEM Education

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 8:15 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



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Shots - Health News
4:58 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Maine Bill Aims To Make Abuse-Deterrent Painkillers More Affordable

Sales of prescription opioid painkillers have quadrupled since 1999, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 7:17 pm

The problem of opiate addiction in Maine is one that state Rep. Barry Hobbins knows something about. "One of my family members has been struggling with this dreaded addiction of opiates for six years," he says.

So when pharmaceutical company Pfizer — which makes opioids that have abuse-deterrent properties — asked Hobbins to sponsor a bill that would require insurance companies to cover these more expensive drugs at the same level as other opioids, he agreed.

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The Two-Way
9:15 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Oil Spill Near Santa Barbara Fouls California Coastline

In this photo provided by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, people walk on a beach with an oil slick from a broken pipeline off the central California coast near Santa Barbara on Tuesday.
Mike Eliason AP

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 6:51 pm

Updated at 6:49 p.m. ET

A nine-mile slick of spilled crude has fouled parts of the California coastline near Santa Barbara, officials say.

Mark Crossland, a captain with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, said some wildlife will likely be affected because of the spill.

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