Science & Environment

The Two-Way
11:38 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Hurricane Season A Bust? Don't Be So Sure

A satellite image provided by NASA shows Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 30. Forecasters underestimated the intensity of the Atlantic hurricane season last year.
NASA Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 1:55 pm

Back in May, several independent forecast groups predicted an especially active Atlantic hurricane season this year. But with August drawing to a close, we've yet to see a single one.

Read more
Shots - Health News
11:18 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Another Study Of Preemies Blasted Over Ethical Concerns

What should parents be told before their premature infants participate in a clinical study?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 12:09 pm

For the second time in four months, the consumer group Public Citizen is alleging that a large, federally funded study of premature infants is ethically flawed.

Both complaints raise a big issue that's certain to get more attention beyond these particular studies: What's the ethically right way to do research on the validity of the usual care that doctors provide every day.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will host an unusual forum on that question next Wednesday — stimulated by the sharp questions raised by Public Citizen.

Read more
The Salt
8:48 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Julia Child Was Wrong: Don't Wash Your Raw Chicken, Folks

The French Chef in which she teaches us how to roast a bird." href="/post/julia-child-was-wrong-dont-wash-your-raw-chicken-folks" class="noexit lightbox">
Julia Child poses with "the chicken sisters" before an episode of The French Chef in which she teaches us how to roast a bird.
Courtesy of Paul Child/PBS

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 9:52 am

It seems almost sacrilegious to question the wisdom of Julia Child.

Read more
Asia
4:21 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Regulators Monitor 'Serious Leaks' At Japanese Nuclear Plant

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:25 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant is back in the news more than two years after an earthquake and tsunami triggered a series of meltdowns. New leaks found this week prompted regulators to consider raising the alert level there in Japan. NPR's science correspondent Geoff Brumfiel joined us to explain. Geoff, good morning.

GEOFF BRUMFIEL, BYLINE: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: Why raise the alert level?

Read more
NPR Story
4:16 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Can Your Car Make You An Unethical Driver?

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:25 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

When there's room to spread out, we often take advantage of it. Think about a big car or an SUV. You're behind the wheel, you roll the window down. You might prop up your left elbow. The other arm is outstretched on the wheel. It all sounds nice and relaxing, but it could have some major consequences. There's new research suggesting that you are more likely to blow a stop sign or a red light and not even know it. NPR's social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam is here to explain this.

Read more
Science
3:22 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Can A Big Earthquake Trigger Another One?

Kesennuma, in the Tohoku region of Japan, was devastated in a March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami. A researcher studying recent mega-quakes says this one, centered some 300 miles from Tokyo, could actually mean an increased risk of a quake hitting Japan's capital, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world.
Suzanne Mooney Barcroft Media/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 3:58 pm

There's a joke among scientists: Prediction is difficult, especially about the future. For Ross Stein, it wasn't a joke after the Indian Ocean quake and tsunami in 2004. It killed some 275,000 people. "I just felt almost a sense of shame," Stein says, "that this tragedy could have been so immense in a world where we have so much intense research effort."

Read more
Research News
5:15 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

The World's Most Precise Clock Could Prove Einstein Wrong

This may look like a mad scientist's garage sale, but it's actually the most precise clock ever built.
Jim Burrus NIST

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 7:00 pm

What a makes a good clock? Andrew Ludlow, a physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, says one of the most important criteria is stability.

"If you could imagine a grandfather clock and see the pendulum swinging back and forth, ideally that pendulum would swing back and forth very uniformly," Ludlow says. "Each swing would take exactly the same amount of time."

That's stability. But what if something perturbs the system, like a mischievous toddler?

Read more
Environment
5:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

'Uncertain' Science: Judith Curry's Take On Climate Change

Judith Curry with her dogs, Rosie (left) and Bruno, in the mountains near Lake Tahoe. The climatologist focuses on the uncertainties of climate change far more than on the consensus of climate scientists.
Richard Harris NPR

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 5:10 pm

While the Obama administration presses forward with plans to deal with climate change, Congress remains steadfast against taking action. It's not easy to find a scientist who will agree with that point of view. But Republicans have found an ally in a climate scientist by the name of Judith Curry.

Read more
The Salt
12:10 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Stone Age Chefs Spiced Up Food Even 6,000 Years Ago

Prehistoric Deer Stew? A fragment of pottery found in Neustadt, Germany, is coated in the microscopic remains of crushed mustard seeds and roasted fish and ruminant meat, possibly deer. This shard dates back to about 5,900 years ago.
Courtesy of University of York, BioArch

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 8:36 am

The French may have coined the term "gourmand" a few hundred years ago, but it looks like humans were flexing their foodie muscles thousands of years before that.

Scientists have found the first direct evidence that European hunter-gatherers flavored their roasted fish and meat — probably deer — with at least one spice: garlic mustard seeds.

Read more
Krulwich Wonders...
10:36 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Human Made From Paper Eats Pepperoni Pizza — And Lives!

Courtesy of Kelli Anderson

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 2:03 pm

Remember those frog transparencies from biology class? The ones in the textbook where you could lay the circulatory system on top of the digestive system on top of the skeleton system? Here's that same idea, updated and gently presented for kids, from a company called Tinybop. This time, the layers are cut from colored paper, exquisitely designed by Kelli Anderson. And this time (unlike that sadly frozen frog) it moves! Watch it eat a pizza slice ...

Read more

Pages