Science & Environment

Animals
6:16 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Nevada Wildfire Could Snuff Out A Rare Butterfly

The Mount Charleston blue butterfly is a rare species found only in a few small areas high up in Nevada's Spring Mountains.
Corey Kallstrom USFWS

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 7:10 pm

A big wildfire in a mountain range just west of Las Vegas has put at risk the Mount Charleston blue butterfly, a rare species found in the U.S.

The fire is dying down, but it may be weeks before experts can get to the remarkable area where this butterfly lives to see if it made it through.

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Space
4:13 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

NASA Uses Photo Of Earth From Saturn To Boost Space Interest

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 11:29 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This week, NASA is trying to do its part to raise science literacy. To give people a better understanding of Earth's position in the solar system, the agency's posted a picture of our planet taken from a billion miles away, give or take 100 million miles or so. And joining me now to talk about the picture, and why NASA took it, is NPR's Joe Palca. Joe, good to see you.

JOE PALCA, BYLINE: Good to see you.

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The Two-Way
3:32 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

The Big Stink: D.C.'s Corpse Flower Put On A Show

The color of the corpse flower is meant to mimic the color of rotting flesh and raw meat.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 8:50 pm

The line to see the thing that was supposed to smell like rotting flesh wrapped around the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C., on Monday night. Most folks who braved the heat and hourlong wait weren't greeted with the overwhelming stench of death, but rather the smell of sweat and intense, intense humidity.

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Shots - Health News
10:35 am
Tue July 23, 2013

Unusual Tick-Borne Virus Lurks In Missouri's Woods

A harmful trio (from left): a deer tick, lone star tick and dog tick.
Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 10:11 am

Last year, scientists got the chance to solve a medical mystery — well, at least half of it. This week the final puzzle pieces fell into place, as investigators tracked the newly identified virus to an eight-legged bug.

The mystery actually began with two Missouri farmers who came down with a strange illness in 2009. They had high fevers, diarrhea and nausea. Their platelet counts dropped dramatically, though they didn't experience any abnormal bleeding.

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Shots - Health News
6:28 am
Tue July 23, 2013

A Scientist Debunks The 'Magic' Of Vitamins And Supplements

Ads often tout dietary supplements and vitamins as "natural" remedies. But studies show megadoses of some vitamins can actually boost the risk of heart disease and cancer, warns Dr. Paul Offit.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 4:21 pm

A pediatrician who spent years defending childhood vaccines against the likes of actress/activist Jenny McCarthy has launched an assault on megavitamins and dietary supplements.

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Environment
5:23 am
Tue July 23, 2013

Solar-Powered Cars Hit The Racetrack

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 7:37 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK. A race track usually sounds like this...

(SOUNDBITE OF CAR ENGINES REVVING)

GREENE: That is sound from the starting line of the new Formula One race in Austin last fall. This summer, that same track was home to another race - which sounded like this...

(LAUGHTER)

GREENE: Those barely audible vrooms came from solar-powered race cars.

Terrence Henry of member station KUT went to find how far we have come in the race to create solar powered transportation.

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Animals
5:38 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

We Call Him Flipper. But What Do The Dolphins Call Him?

Bottle-nosed dolphins leap out of the water near Dana Point, Calif.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 9:02 pm

Dolphins are like humans in many ways: They're part of complex social networks and, just as in people, a dolphin's brain is big, relative to the size of its body. But there's something else, too — a study published Monday shows these acrobats of the sea use name-like whistles to identify and communicate with each other.

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Strange News
4:09 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

Lure Of Flower's Putrid Essence Draws Crowd

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 9:02 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

A crowd formed today at the U.S. Botanic Garden here in Washington, D.C. It's a place to see beautiful flowers and usually ones that smell fantastic. But today, one exotic specimen on display was the opposite of that. It's the titan arum and NPR's Allison Keyes tells us people flocked to the greenhouse in hopes of getting a rare whiff of the flower's putrid essence.

ALLISON KEYES, BYLINE: From the line and the excited faces of titan arum fans hurrying down the path to the door, you'd think The Beatles were here.

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NPR Story
4:48 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Energy Standards For Ceiling Fans Spin Up D.C. Debate

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 11:48 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In these dog days of summer, a ceiling fan still offers an inexpensive way to cool down - except maybe in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C., where a partisan battle is heating up over efficiency standards proposed by the Obama administration. The Energy Department is in the early stages of crafting new rules to encourage the spread of ceiling fans that use less electricity, but House Republicans want to put that idea on ice. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

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Shots - Health News
3:31 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Staying Healthy May Mean Learning To Love Our Microbiomes

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 5:07 pm

Not so long ago, most people thought that the only good microbe was a dead microbe.

But then scientists started to realize that even though some bugs can make us sick and even kill us, most don't.

In fact, in the past decade attitudes about the bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microbes living all over our bodies has almost completely turned around. Now scientists say that not only are those microbes often not harmful, we can't live without them.

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