Science & Environment

The Two-Way
11:50 am
Mon April 15, 2013

March Was Cool, But Winter Was Warmer Than Average

In January, coats and gloves were optional as skaters enjoyed temperatures in the 40s and 50s at New York City's Bryant Park.
Mario Tama Getty Images

How wrong was Punxsutawney Phil when the groundhog said on Feb. 2 that we'd have an early spring?

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Shots - Health News
3:04 am
Mon April 15, 2013

How Exercise And Other Activities Beat Back Dementia

An older man performs exercises in Mumbai, India. Research suggests that moderate physical exercise may be the best way to keep our brains healthy as we age.
Rajesh Kumar Singh AP

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 8:45 am

The numbers are pretty grim: More than half of all 85-year-olds suffer some form of dementia.

But here's the good news: Brain researchers say there are ways to boost brain power and stave off problems in memory and thinking.

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Shots - Health News
3:01 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Supreme Court Asks: Can Human Genes Be Patented?

Artist's representation of DNA.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 8:45 am

Same-sex marriage got huge headlines at the Supreme Court last month, but in the world of science and medicine, the case being argued on Monday is far more important. The lawsuit deals with a truly 21st century issue — whether human genes may be patented.

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The Two-Way
5:31 pm
Sun April 14, 2013

Mars Rovers Go Quiet, As Sun Blocks Transmissions

The rover Curiosity and other NASA spacecraft at Mars are now in a radio blackout, as the sun is interfering with transmissions. Curiosity took this self-portrait by combining 66 exposures in February.
NASA

Communications between the Earth and Mars are on hiatus for several weeks, thanks to interference from the sun. That means NASA's orbiters and rovers that study Mars will be left to their own devices until radio signals can once again travel between the two planets.

Known as "solar conjunction," the problem arises when the orbit of planets places the sun directly between them.

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World
4:52 pm
Sun April 14, 2013

As Arctic Ice Melts, It's A Free-For-All For Oil ... And Tusks

After being frozen for thousands of years in a Siberian riverbed, this pristine mammoth tusk is a financial boon to the hunter who found it.
Evgenia Arbugaeva National Geographic Magazine

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 11:47 am

It's widely known that the world's icecaps are melting. While most people are focused on what we're losing, some have considered what might be gained by the disappearance of all that ice.

In 2008, the U.S. Geological Survey released a report estimating that 13 percent of the world's remaining undiscovered oil and 30 percent of the remaining undiscovered natural gas could be in the Arctic.

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Science
6:47 am
Sun April 14, 2013

A Poker Players Tells Are In The Hands As Much As The Face

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 10:11 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Let's talk poker. Dealer, let me see those cards.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "COOL HAND LUKE")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (as character) King-three, you got a four. Queen-deuce gets a five. And a pair of sevens gets a john. And the big ace gets a slap in the face. OK, you still do the talking.

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Environment
5:33 am
Sat April 13, 2013

Now Endangered, Florida's Silver Springs Once Lured Tourists

A glass-bottomed boat glides along water in Silver Springs, Fla. The springs, once a major tourist destination, have declined both in volume and in water quality.
Greg Allen NPR

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 5:24 pm

Before Disney World, Silver Springs in Central Florida was for decades one of the state's most popular tourist destinations.

Even if you've never visited Silver Springs, you might have seen it. The 1960s television show Sea Hunt was filmed here, as were countless movies, including Tarzan and Creature From the Black Lagoon.

The crystal clear water of Silver Springs made it invaluable to Hollywood. Guy Marwick, the founder of the Silver River Museum, says it drew more than 1 million visitors a year.

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The Two-Way
12:23 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Russia's Putin Announces $50 Billion In New Space Spending

A Soyuz capsule touches down in Kazakhstan in September, but by 2020, Russian cosmonauts might be splashing down instead.
Pool AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 12:52 pm

Moscow will spend $52 billion on its space program through 2020, including money for completion of a new launch facility on Russian soil.

The announcement came from President Vladimir Putin as he spoke to orbiting astronauts aboard the International Space Station on Cosmonaut's Day, the 52nd anniversary of the first manned space flight by Russian spacefarer Yuri Gagarin.

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Latin America
11:30 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Venezuela Oil Diplomacy: From Caracas To Cuba

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, we'll speak with the Reverend Jim Wallis. He's a well-known evangelical leader. He's known for stepping into the political fray on issues he cares about. So we'll ask him why he chose to step out of the spotlight during last year's presidential campaign. That's later in the program.

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NPR Story
11:04 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Down The Gullet: A Guided Tour Of Your Guts

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 1:03 pm

In Gulp. Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, science writer Mary Roach takes a journey through the gut, from the secret healing powers of saliva to the taxonomy of poop. Along the trip, she serves up odd medical anecdotes, such as the story of William Beaumont, an eccentric surgeon who once ate chicken from another man's stomach.

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