Science & Environment

Energy
11:56 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Strengthening the Grid, Ten Years Later

Ten years ago this week, a massive electrical blackout struck the northeastern US and parts of Canada, affecting some 55 million people. IEEE Spectrum journalist Bill Sweet describes the causes of the outage and how the electrical grid has changed since the 2003 failure.

Education
11:56 am
Fri August 16, 2013

The STEM Gender Gap

The number of girls and women studying the sciences has steadily increased each year, but there is still a gender gap in higher education and the work force. Researchers Andresse St. Rose and Catherine Riegle-Crumb and Linda Kekelis, executive director of Techbridge, discuss the social and environmental factors that contribute to this disparity.

Technology
11:56 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Hyperloop: Hype or Future Transportation?

Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, unveiled his designs for Hyperloop. The high-speed transit system could make the 400-mile trip from San Francisco and Los Angeles in 30 minutes. Tim De Chant, senior digital editor at NOVA, discusses the plans and whether the system could answer our transit problems.

The Salt
11:45 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Eating On Mars? Be Sure To Pack The Tortillas

Mission to Mars: Six explorers lived in this simulated Mars habitat in Hawaii for four months, part of a NASA study to test the role of cooking and food on an extended space mission.
Sian Proctor NASA HI-SEAS

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 4:27 pm

After several months of freeze-dried food, even the most committed carnivores would probably reach for the fresh produce.

So it's no surprise that the six explorers who were cooped up studying space-friendly foods on a simulated mission to Mars for the past four months went right for the mangoes and pineapple during their first meal outside their habitat Aug. 13.

Read more
Around the Nation
5:58 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Drought Forces Restrictions On Colorado River Water Releases

Relentless drought will force the government to cut back on water releases between Glen Canyon and Lake Mead. It's the first time that's happened since dams were built on the Colorado River. Reduction starts next year, and the announcement gives the 40 million water users in the Southwest time to plan.

Space
5:45 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Kepler Space Telescope Is Beyond Repair, NASA Says

An artist's illustration of Kepler-22b, a planet that circles its star in the "goldilocks" zone.
Ames/JPL-Caltech/NASA Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 10:31 am

There's some sad news from NASA: The space agency says its Kepler space telescope is beyond repair.

The $600 million planet-hunting probe whose mission was to search other solar systems for Earth-like planets has lost its ability to keep its gaze on target.

Two of the four gyroscope-like reaction wheels that keep Kepler pointed in the right direction have broken down and can't be fixed, but NASA is still hoping it can find some less-stressful work for the orbiting observatory.

Read more
Environment
5:11 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

EPA To Crack Down On Accuracy Of MPG Claims By Car Makers

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 5:43 pm

For auto companies, that Environmental Protection Agency-approved MPG sticker on a new car is a high stakes and expensive process. These days it can be damaging to a company's image if customers can't achieve that great fuel economy in their own commutes.

The Two-Way
3:54 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Meet The Olinguito, The Newest Member Of The Raccoon Family

The olinguito is the first carnivore species to be discovered in the Western Hemisphere in 35 years.
Courtesy of Mark Gurney

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 5:44 pm

Scientists have just solved a case of mistaken identity. It involves a creature that looks like a cross between a house cat and a teddy bear, and it lives high up in the cloud forests of the Andes.

For over 100 years, scientists thought this animal was a well-known member of the raccoon family. Specifically, they thought it was a critter called the "olingo." But one scientist recently took another look and realized he had an entirely new species on his hands.

Read more
Shots - Health News
2:16 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Chronic Insomnia? Hitting The Treadmill Could Help ... Eventually

Can't sleep? Run down? Keep exercising.
CSA_Images iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 10:32 am

Studies on exercise and sleep come up with the same conclusion time after time: If you want to hit the hay earlier and sleep better, get a good cardio workout.

But if you're already sleep-deprived, don't expect a 30-minute run or stint on the elliptical to knock you out quicker tonight.

The sleep-boosting effects of exercise can take a few months to kick in for people who suffer insomnia, scientists report Thursday in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

Read more
Author Interviews
1:41 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Of Neurons And Memories: Inside The 'Secret World Of Sleep'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 2:13 pm

What happens in our brains while we're asleep? That's one question neuroscientist Penelope Lewis is trying to answer. She directs the Sleep and Memory Lab at the University of Manchester in England. Her new book is The Secret World of Sleep: The Surprising Science of the Mind at Rest.

Lewis joins Fresh Air's Terry Gross to talk about how sleep affects memory, and how REM sleep can affect depression.


Interview Highlights

On how sleep makes memory stronger

Read more

Pages