Science & Environment

Science
1:48 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Vines Choking Out Trees in the Tropics

Transcript

JOHN DANKOSKY, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm John Dankosky.

If you've ever walked through the jungle, you'll know it can be surprisingly dark down on the forest floor. You see trees soaring up all around. You're creating a dense canopy overhead. And climbing toward that canopy, snaking up the trees are the vines.

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NPR Story
1:48 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Making Sense of Science Infographics

Transcript

JOHN DANKOSKY, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm John Dankosky. Chances are, without even realizing it, you've seen at least one infographic today. Did you catch the weather forecast this morning? Maybe you saw a rain cloud moving across a map of the U.S. Maybe you opened the paper to find pie charts of the latest poll results. Now those are infographics.

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NPR Story
1:48 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

With Shutdown Over, Scientists Assess the Damage

Transcript

JOHN DANKOSKY, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm John Dankosky. Ira Flatow is away. After nearly three weeks, the shutdown is finally over. The Smithsonian is open, national parks have opened up their gates, and federal labs all over the country are turning on their lights. But not everyone is back to business as usual. Many scientists who were about to start their field season in Antarctica had their trips cancelled or postponed.

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NPR Story
1:48 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Promising New Treatment for the Deadly Ebola Virus

Transcript

JOHN DANKOSKY, HOST:

Now, for many of us, we first heard about the Ebola virus from the movie "Outbreak," Dustin Hoffman trying to contain an outbreak of an Ebola-like virus in a small California town. Well, in the 18 years since that movie came out, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has documented 18 known outbreaks of Ebola, with the most recent happening last fall in the Congo.

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NPR Story
1:48 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Logging In to the Brain's Social Network

Does the pain we feel from rejection and loss have the same effect as physical pain? How does our brain respond to social interactions? In his new book Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect , social neuroscientist Matthew Lieberman describes the biology behind how our brains engage with the social world.

NPR Story
1:48 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

New Fossil May Trim Branches of Human Evolution

Writing in Science , researchers say a 1.8 million-year-old skull found in Dmanisi, Georgia indicates that early humans may have evolved from a single lineage rather than from multiple species. Anthropologist Adam Van Arsdale tells us what this could mean for the way we view human evolution.

The Salt
12:18 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Scratch 'N' Sniff Your Way To Wine Expertise ... Or At Least More Fun

Scratch 'n' sniff technology hasn't changed much in the last few decades. So the peach cartoon still smells artificial and not what you'll find in a glass of sauvignon blanc.
Text copyright 2013 by Richard Betts. Illustrations copyright (c) 2013 by Wendy MacNaughton. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 8:58 pm

Knock wine off its pedestal. That's the goal of wine expert Richard Betts. And he has come up with a brilliant way to do it: a scratch n' sniff guide to the aromas and flavors of the wine world.

With beautiful illustrations from Wendy MacNaughton, the 10-page board book looks like it belongs with your kid's toys instead of next to The Joy of Cooking.

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Humans
5:54 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Fossil Find Points To A Streamlined Human Lineage

Researchers excavated the remains of five creatures who lived 1.8 million years ago, including this adult male skull. The excavation site, in Georgia in the former Soviet Union, was home to a remarkable cache of bones.
Courtesy of Georgian National Museum

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 5:35 pm

Fossils of human ancestors are rare. You could pile all the ones that scientists have found in the back of a pickup truck.

But a remarkable site in Georgia, in the former Soviet Union, has produced a rich group of bones dating back almost 2 million years — and the discovery is shaking the family tree of human evolution.

The fossil hunters found the cache of bones more than a decade ago in a place called Dmanisi, but kept most of the find under wraps.

Now, they've lifted the veil, revealing the fossilized remains of five creatures who lived 1.8 million years ago.

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Shots - Health News
4:59 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Brains Sweep Themselves Clean Of Toxins During Sleep

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 5:35 pm

While the brain sleeps, it clears out harmful toxins, a process that may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's, researchers say.

During sleep, the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain increases dramatically, washing away harmful waste proteins that build up between brain cells during waking hours, a study of mice found.

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The Salt
12:21 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Pucker Up, America: Beers Are Going Sour

Hold Your Horses: The main flavor of a sour beer is tartness, like a strawberry or lemon. But many sours also have a "funky" taste that some say smells like a horse blanket or a barnyard.
Morgan Walker NPR

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 10:57 am

Move over, bitter IPAs and chocolaty stouts. There's a new kid on the craft brewing block, and it's going to knock your salivary glands into action.

It's called "sour beer." When you take a sip, it's like biting into a Granny Smith apple that's soaked in a French red wine: crisp, refreshing and a bit odd.

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