Science & Environment

Shots - Health News
3:28 am
Mon June 29, 2015

Vaccine Against Meningitis B Gets A Boost From CDC

Stuart Kinlough Getty Images/Ikon Images

Originally published on Mon June 29, 2015 12:22 pm

Parents, take note! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's vaccine committee has expanded its recommendation for immunization against meningitis B, a rare but potentially deadly strain of meningitis.

The committee's revised guidance, issued late last week, broadens the group of young people that the CDC thinks should consider getting the shot, and increases the likelihood that health insurance policies will pay for the injection.

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The Two-Way
3:40 pm
Sun June 28, 2015

Multiple Shark Attacks On Carolina Beaches

For the second time in as many days, a swimmer off North Carolina's Outer Banks has been attacked by a shark.

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All Tech Considered
2:36 pm
Sun June 28, 2015

When It Comes To Learning For The Deaf, 'It's A 3-D Language'

Melissa Malzkuhn, director of the Motion Light Lab at Gallaudet University, suits up in motion capture to record a nursery rhyme for deaf children.
Emma Bowman NPR

In a small, sparse makeshift lab, Melissa Malzkuhn practices her range of motion in a black, full-body unitard dotted with light-reflecting nodes. She's strapped on a motion capture, or mocap, suit. Infrared cameras that line the room will capture her movement and translate it into a 3-D character, or avatar, on a computer.

But she's not making a Disney animated film.

Three-dimensional motion capture has developed quickly in the last few years, most notably as a Hollywood production tool for computer animation in films like Planet of the Apes and Avatar.

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The Two-Way
9:57 am
Sun June 28, 2015

SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Breaks Up On Liftoff

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft breaks apart shortly after liftoff Sunday at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
John Raoux AP

Originally published on Sun June 28, 2015 4:58 pm

Updated at 4:55 p.m. ET

An unmanned SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket experienced what the private space launch company calls "some type of anomaly in first-stage flight" about two and a half minutes into its flight.

NASA commentator George Diller confirmed that "the vehicle has broken up."

Pieces could be seen raining down on the Atlantic Ocean over the rocket's intended trajectory. More than 5,200 pounds of cargo, including the first docking port designed for NASA's next-generation crew capsule, were aboard.

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5:12 am
Sun June 28, 2015

Wildlife Forensics Lab Uses Tech To Sniff, Identify Illegal Wood

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Forensics Lab Director Ken Goddard holds a wood sample used in the lab's forensic work in Ashland, Ore.
Jes Burns OPB/EarthFix

Originally published on Sat July 4, 2015 11:04 am

Before you prosecute thieves, you have to know what they stole. It's the same for crimes against nature.

The world's only lab dedicated solely to wildlife forensics is in southern Oregon. The lab usually specializes in endangered animal cases, but armed with a high-tech device, it's now helping track shipments of contraband wood.

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8:11 am
Sat June 27, 2015

Puerto Rico's Monkey Island Lures Scientists For Generations

Family means a lot on Cayo Santiago, an island and monkey research colony off the coast of Puerto Rico. The colony of rhesus macaques living on the island since the 1930s has allowed scientists to trace kinship ties and effects across an extended community.
Anders Kelto/NPR

Originally published on Thu July 16, 2015 8:37 am

Imagine you're on a tropical island in the Caribbean. There are coconut trees, rocky cliffs, blue-green waters. But now, imagine there are hundreds of monkeys on this island. And, these monkeys have a disease that could kill you, if you're not careful. What you're picturing is a real-life island off the coast of Puerto Rico.

The island of Cayo Santiago hosts the oldest research center in the world for wild primates. Scientists from all over the world come to the island to study questions of primate behavior, cognition and ecology.

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4:38 pm
Fri June 26, 2015

New Research Finds Lonely People Have Superior Social Skills

Originally published on Sat June 27, 2015 3:53 pm

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Goats and Soda
11:36 am
Fri June 26, 2015

Save Wildlife, Save Yourself?

Originally published on Fri June 26, 2015 6:57 pm

Everyone knows that keeping our forests and grasslands full of wolves, bald eagles and honeybees is good for the environment.

But could protecting animals and preserving ecosystems also help people not catch Lyme disease or West Nile virus?

Earlier this month, scientists at the University of South Florida reported evidence that higher biodiversity in environments, such as forests in the northeastern U.S. and the Amazon basin in South America, may lower people's chances of getting animal-borne diseases.

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Shots - Health News
9:34 am
Fri June 26, 2015

To Master Stage Fright, Practice Makes Imperfect OK

Sara Solovitch plays the piano in the Terminal B baggage claim area at San Jose International Airport.
Chloe Veltman/KQED

Originally published on Mon June 29, 2015 9:47 am

In the past, if Sara Solovitch tripped up while playing the piano she would get flustered and stop. Especially in front of an audience.

"I felt like I had to correct everything and each note had to be perfect," the Santa Cruz, Calif.-based author and pianist. But now, she can breeze through a few bum notes while playing Claude Debussy's lyrical piano piece Reflections on the Water as if no one were listening.

"One of the things I've really worked on has been continuing to play," Solovitch says.

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The Two-Way
3:55 pm
Thu June 25, 2015

Study Reveals What Happens During A 'Glacial Earthquake'

One of the 20 GPS sensors deployed on Greenland's Helheim Glacier to track its movement.
Alistair Everett/Swansea University

Originally published on Fri June 26, 2015 7:35 am

When giant icebergs break off of huge, fast-moving glaciers, they essentially push back on those rivers of ice and temporarily reverse the flow.

That's according to a new study of "glacial earthquakes," an unusual kind of temblor discovered just over a decade ago.

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