Science & Environment

Animals
4:42 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Dolphins Recognize The Calls Of Long-Lost Friends

Kai, seen here at age 16 at the Texas State Aquarium, recognized the whistle of another dolphin, Hastings, who he'd shared a tank with for years before the experiment. Kai is now 20.
Courtesy of Jason Bruck

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 5:48 pm

Scientists have known for years that dolphins recognize each other by the sound of each animal's signature whistle. But it wasn't known for just how long dolphins could remember these whistle calls.

The individually specific whistle that each dolphin generates before its first birthday "for them functions like a name," says Jason Bruck, who studies animal behavior at the Institute for Mind and Biology at the University of Chicago.

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Space
4:31 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Black Holes One Of Space's Great Paradoxes

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 5:48 pm

Late summer tends to be a slow month for news. But at All Things Considered, we put on a two hour program, no matter what. So — without a trace of irony — one of our science correspondents offered to help fill some holes in the show with a series of stories about holes. In this edition: Black holes.

Animals
4:31 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Climate Change Could Spell Final 'Chuckle' For Alpine Frog

The Cascades frog is found only in the alpine wetlands of the Pacific Northwest, though its range used to extend down to Northern California and up to British Columbia. Scientists are concerned its range will continue to shrink with climate change.
Ashley Ahearn KUOW

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 7:33 pm

Across the Western U.S., yearly areas of snowpack are decreasing, and researchers are trying to figure out what that means for everything that relies on the snowmelt — from farms to power plants to a little creature known as the Cascades frog.

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Parallels
1:59 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

'It's Too Hot': Shanghai Wilts In Record-Setting Heat Wave

People cool off Wednesday in a pool in Shanghai, where temperatures reached an all-time record: 105.4 degrees.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 6:41 pm

Temperatures Wednesday in Shanghai hit an all-time high: 105.4 degrees, according to officials here. It was the hottest day in 140 years, since the government began keeping records.

The Chinese megacity is in the midst of its hottest summer ever.

Usually bustling streets are near empty at noon and thousands have gone to hospitals for relief. To get a feel for how people are handling the heat wave, I waded into a public pool in the city's Hankou district. By early afternoon, the temperature was 98 degrees in the shade, according to the thermometer I brought along.

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Shots - Health News
1:57 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Decades After Henrietta Lacks' Death, Family Gets A Say On Her Cells

Henrietta Lacks and her husband, David, in 1945.
Courtesy of the Lacks family

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 11:03 am

The family of the late Henrietta Lacks finally got the chance to weigh in on how scientists use cells taken from her — without consent — more than 60 years ago.

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All Tech Considered
12:47 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

A Patch Designed To Make You Invisible To Mosquitoes

Researchers have come up with an innovative patch to help you win the war against mosquitoes.
AP

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Shots - Health News
6:33 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Genetic Code Shows Bird Flu In China Spread Between People

A man who just recovered from the H7N9 bird flu leaves a hospital in Bozhou, China, in April. Since early May, the number of new H7N9 cases has dramatically declined.
AFP Getty Images

When a new strain of bird flu cropped up in China last winter, the billion-dollar question was whether the deadly virus could transmit between people.

Now, Chinese scientists offer the first clear evidence that the bird flu is indeed contagious, although only slightly.

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Environment
5:12 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Wells Are Running Dry In Parts Of Kansas

Nate Pike fears that wells, like this one that supplies his ranch with water, will dry up completely after years of water pumping and irrigation in Kansas.
Frank Morris KCUR

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 7:27 pm

Imagine enough water to fill a couple of Great Lakes, but spread under some of the driest parts of eight Western states. That was the High Plains Aquifer 60 years ago.

But now, Nate Pike, whose been riding the dry rolling ranch lands south of Dodge City, Kan., for most of his 80 years, can't even go fishing at his favorite spring called St. Jacob's Well.

"And that thing had a lot of water in it. It never went down, never changed," he says. "But as you can see now, I can't believe I can't see the water from up here."

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Environment
5:12 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Earth Scientists Pin Climate Change Squarely On 'Humanity'

Pedersen Glacier, 1917
Louis H. Pedersen climate.gov/National Snow and Ice Data Center

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 8:12 pm

The weather is one of those topics that is fairly easy for people to agree on. Climate, however, is something else.

Most of the scientists who study the Earth say our climate is changing and humans are part of what's making that happen. But to a lot of nonscientists it's still murky. This week, two of the nation's most venerable scientific institutions tried to explain it better.

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The Salt
4:54 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Heck No Or Let's Go? Your Thoughts On Lab-Grown Meat

The scientists who developed the in vitro beef say it could help solve the coming food crisis and combat climate change.
David Parry / PA Wire

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 5:52 pm

Would you taste or buy a lab-grown hamburger if you could? That's the question we posed Monday at the end of our report on the world's first in vitro burger, launched this week at a tasting event in London that was streamed via the Internet.

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