Science & Environment

The Two-Way
6:07 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Study: The Chicken Didn't Cross The Pacific To South America

A Filipino chicken vendor in Quezon City, east of Manila, Philippines. Researchers say Pacific island chicken are genetically similar to the variety found in the Philippines, but different from South American chicken.
Rolex Dela Pena EPA/Landov

An analysis of DNA from chicken bones collected in the South Pacific appears to dispel a long-held theory that the ubiquitous bird first arrived in South America aboard an ancient Polynesian seafarer's ocean-going outrigger.

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Krulwich Wonders...
4:43 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

An Imaginary Town Becomes Real, Then Not. True Story

Booklist American Library Association

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 5:38 pm

This is the story of a totally made-up place that suddenly became real — and then, strangely, undid itself and became a fantasy again. Imagine Pinocchio becoming a real boy and then going back to being a puppet. That's what happened here — but this is a true story.

It's about a place in upstate New York called Agloe. You can see it here, circled in blue ...

... just up the road from Roscoe and Rockland.

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Animals
4:03 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Giant Lizards Rise In Fla. — And They've Got Quite An Appetite

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 4:50 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's fight against invasive species every day in Florida. Burmese pythons and Cuban tree frogs are some of the animals that moved in uninvited. There's also this giant lizard, the Argentine black and white tegu. Tegus are coming out of hibernation right now and they're hungry. They eat eggs of native animals that conservationists want to protect.

Here's Robin Sussingham of member station WUSF.

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Humans
4:03 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

The Science And Poetry Behind A Semi-Famous Sleep Talker

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 4:50 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Listen to this.

DION MCGREGOR: The horse she grabbed came out and peeked. Only peeked and then winked.

SIEGEL: Would you say that this speaker is A, reading a poem, B, out of his mind or C, asleep.

MCGREGOR: How are those waves? Yes, those waves, dark waves, lowering clouds, horseshoe crabs. It was all very, very timorous.

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The Salt
2:33 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Thank Your Gut Bacteria For Making Chocolate Healthful

Bacteria in your gut can break down the antioxidants in chocolate into smaller, anti-inflammatory compounds.
Meg Vogel NPR

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 2:50 pm

Boy, it's a good time to be a dark-chocolate lover.

We've noted before the growing evidence that a daily dose of the bitter bean may help reduce blood pressure. There also seems to be a link between a regular chocolate habit and lower body weight.

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The Two-Way
11:30 am
Tue March 18, 2014

WATCH: Physicist Gets 'Smoking Gun' Proof Of His Theory

Andrei Linde receives the "smoking gun" proof of his inflation theory from fellow physicist Chao-Lin Kuo.
Stanford University

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 5:58 pm

When the news of a lifetime finally arrived at their door, Stanford physicist Andrei Linde and his wife wondered aloud if one of them was expecting a delivery.

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Space
4:44 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Ripples In Space Could Point To The Universe's Beginnings

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 5:24 am

Physicists say they've discovered a faint signal from just moments after the universe began. If confirmed, it could revolutionize our understanding of the cosmos. But not everyone is convinced.

Space
4:44 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Space Thief Or Hero? One Man's Quest To Reawaken An Old Friend

Early days: NASA's International Sun-Earth Explorer C (also known as ISEE-3 and ICE) was undergoing testing and evaluation inside the Goddard Space Flight Center's dynamic test chamber when this photo was snapped in 1976.
NASA

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 7:56 pm

More than 30 years ago, Robert Farquhar stole a spacecraft.

Now he's trying to give it back.

The green satellite, covered with solar panels, is hurtling back toward the general vicinity of Earth, after nearly three decades of traveling in a large, looping orbit around the sun.

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All Tech Considered
4:20 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Computers That Know What You Need, Before You Ask

Expect Labs' MindMeld app uses predictive computing to push information to us, instead of us having to ask.
Courtesy of Expect Labs

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 12:14 pm

We're already giving voice instructions to virtual personal assistants, like Apple's Siri. But artificial intelligence is getting even smarter. The next wave of behavior-changing computing is a technology called anticipatory computing — systems that learn to predict what you need, even before you ask.

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Shots - Health News
3:37 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Scientists Search For Toxins In Cigarette Smoke Residue

Long after the smoke is gone, carcinogenic chemicals remain.
Victoria Alexandrova iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 3:34 pm

Everybody knows smoking is hazardous. Being around someone who smokes isn't such a good idea either. "There's no safe amount of secondhand smoke," the surgeon general has said.

Now thirdhand smoke is getting scrutiny. What's thirdhand smoke? It's the residue from smoke that settles onto clothes, hair, furniture or anything else in a smoker's vicinity.

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