Science & Environment

Shots - Health News
4:14 am
Tue June 18, 2013

3-D Printer Brings Dexterity To Children With No Fingers

The newest version of the Robohand is made of snap-together parts, reducing the amount of hardware needed.
Courtesy of Jen Owen of Jen Martin Studios

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 3:24 pm

Richard Van As was working in his home near Johannesburg, South Africa, in May of 2011, when he lost control of his table saw.

"It's a possibility that it was a lack of concentration," he says. "It's just that the inevitable happened."

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Shots - Health News
5:32 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

The Human Voice May Not Spark Pleasure In Children With Autism

Instructional assistant Jessica Reeder touches her nose to get Jacob Day, 3, who has autism, to focus his attention on her during a therapy session in April 2007.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 11:31 am

The human voice appears to trigger pleasure circuits in the brains of typical kids, but not children with autism, a Stanford University team reports. The finding could explain why many children with autism seem indifferent to spoken words.

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:39 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Why Men Die Younger Than Women: The 'Guys Are Fragile' Thesis

YouTube

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 9:53 am

The 19th century just lost its last living man.

Jiroemon Kimura, of Kyotango, Japan, was born in April 1897, lived right through the 20th century and died last Wednesday. He was 116. According to Guinness World Records (which searches for these things), he was the last surviving male born in the 1800s. All the other boys from that century, as best we know, are dead.

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Around the Nation
6:19 pm
Sat June 15, 2013

Water Wars: Who Controls The Flow?

Cattle stand in a heavily irrigated pasture in Oregon's Upper Klamath Basin. The state has ordered ranchers in the region to shut down irrigation. The move is aimed at protecting the rights of Indian tribes who live downstream.
Amelia Templeton for NPR

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 7:39 pm

So often, we take water for granted. We turn on the faucet and there it is. We assume it's our right in America to have water. And yet, water is a resource. It's not always where we need it, or there when we need it.

Rivers don't follow political boundaries — they flow through states and over international borders. And there are endless demands for water: for agriculture, drinking, plumbing, manufacturing, to name just a few. And then there's the ecosystem that depends on water getting downstream.

So what are our legal rights when it comes to water? And who decides?

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Law
8:01 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Will The Court's Gene Ruling Stifle Bio Innovation?

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 4:40 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Thursday that patenting natural human genetic material must stop. But the court also ruled that synthetically produced DNA is fair. The decision was prompted by patents on a gene test for breast cancer which was issued to Myriad Genetics of Salt Lake City. We're joined now in our studio by Arthur Caplan, who's head of the Division of Medical Ethics at NYU's Langone Medical Center. Thanks very much for being with us.

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Shots - Health News
6:12 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Rule Would List All Chimps As Endangered, Even Lab Animals

Chimpanzee Toni celebrated his 50th birthday at the Hellabrunn Zoo in Munich on Nov. 22, 2011.
Sven Hoppe DPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 9:45 am

This week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed a new rule that would extend "endangered species" protections to chimpanzees held in captivity. Nearly half of all the chimps in the U.S. live in research facilities, and the regulation changes would make it more difficult to use these animals in medical experiments.

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The Two-Way
5:56 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Archaeologists Discover Lost City In Cambodian Jungle

Australian archaeologists using remote-sensing technology have uncovered an ancient city in Cambodia that has remained hidden for more than a millennium under dense jungle undergrowth.

The discovery of Mahendraparvata, a 1,200-year-old lost city that predates Cambodia's famous Angkor Wat temple complex by 350 years, was part of the Hindu-Buddhist Khmer Empire that ruled much of Southeast Asia from about 800 to 1400 A.D., during a time that coincided with Europe's Middle Ages.

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The Salt
12:18 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Sorry, Dr. Oz, Green Coffee Can't Even Slim Down Chubby Mice

Raw, green coffee beans. To roast or not?
Aidan via Flickr

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 1:54 pm

The diet world has a new golden child: green coffee extract.

A "miracle fat burner!" "One of the most important discoveries made" in weight loss science, the heart surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz said about the little pills — which are produced by grinding up raw, unroasted coffee, and then soaking the result in alcohol to pull out the antioxidants.

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NPR Story
11:27 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn Talks Climate and Carbon

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 4:13 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. He's been called Mayor McSchwinn for riding his bicycle to work. He's pledged to turn his town of Seattle into a model for what one city can do to lower its carbon footprint, and for good reason. As the climate changes, coastal cities like Seattle are challenged by rising sea levels.

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NPR Story
11:27 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Decoding 'the Most Complex Object in the Universe'

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 4:13 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Your brain has nearly 100 billion neurons, and one of my next guests compares that complexity to the Amazon rainforest. In fact, he says there about as many trees in the Amazon as there are neurons in your brain. Think about what the Amazon looks like for a second.

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