Science & Environment

Krulwich Wonders...
10:08 am
Tue February 19, 2013

The Filibuster Solution, Or 'What If Honeybees Ran The U.S. Senate?'

Adam Cole NPR

Bees are democrats. They vote. When a community of bees has to make a choice, like where to build a new hive, they meet, debate and decide. But here's what they don't do: they don't filibuster. No single bee (or small band of bees) will stand against the majority, insisting and insisting for hours. They can't.

Bee biology prevents it.

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Research News
5:51 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Does Having Children Make You Happier?

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 2:55 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

There's been a debate raging in academic circles for years. Does having children really make one happier? Most parents say their kids absolutely make them happy, but some researchers have come to question that.

NPR science correspondent Shankar Vedantam sat down with MORNING EDITION's Steve Inskeep to take on this question.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Hi, Shankar.

SHANKAR VEDANTAM, BYLINE: Good to be here, Steve.

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Environment
3:14 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Forecasting Climate With A Chance Of Backlash

Jim Gandy, chief meteorologist for WLTX, in Columbia, S.C.
Brian Dressler Courtesy of WLTX

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 5:31 pm

When it comes to climate change, Americans place great trust in their local TV weathercaster, which has led climate experts to see huge potential for public education.

The only problem? Polls show most weather presenters don't know much about climate science, and many who do are fearful of talking about something so polarizing.

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Science
4:39 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

New Project Would Map The Human Brain

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 5:59 pm

Melissa Block speaks with Dr. Story Landis, director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, about the Brain Activity Map project written about in today's New York Times. If it goes forward, the project would seek to find treatments for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, autism, psychiatric disorders and more.

Environment
5:19 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Protesters Call On Obama To Reject Keystone XL Pipeline

Dr. J. William Hirzy, a chemistry professor at American Universiy, rests outside the rally route with a graph he uses to teach his students about the relationship between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperature.
Daniel M.N. Turner NPR

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 4:33 pm

Tens of thousands of protesters turned out on the National Mall Sunday to encourage President Obama to make good on his commitment to act on climate change.

In his Inaugural address from outside the U.S. Capitol, the president said: "We will respond to the threat of climate change knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations."

Just a few weeks later, next to the Washington Monument, Paul Birkeland was one of a couple dozen people holding a long white tube above their heads.

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The Salt
3:28 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Growing Resistance, Oregon Hazelnuts Battle Blight

Oregon State University has been growing a variety of hazelnut trees over the years to develop blight-resistant breeds.
Rebecca McCluskey

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 6:42 am

Although Oregon is known for many exports — from timber to hipster irony — few people are aware that it's actually the country's leading source of hazelnuts.

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The Salt
3:02 pm
Sun February 17, 2013

Should You Be Worried About Your Meat's Phosphorus Footprint?

A tractor spreads fertilizer at a dairy farm in Morrinsville, New Zealand.
Sandra Mu Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 10:36 am

If you've ever played around with one of those carbon or water footprint calculators, you probably know that meat production demands a lot from the environment — a lot of oil, water and land. (Check out the infographic we did on what goes into a hamburger last year for Meat Week.)

But have you thought about your meat's phosphorus footprint? Probably not.

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Author Interviews
4:42 pm
Sat February 16, 2013

'Noble Savages': A Journey To Break The Mold Of Anthropology

Cover of Noble Savages

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 10:44 am

When Napoleon Chagnon first saw the isolated Yanomamo Indian tribes of the Amazon in 1964, it changed his life forever. A young anthropologist from the University of Michigan, he was starting on a journey that would last a lifetime, and take him from one of the most remote places on earth to an international controversy.

That controversy would divide his profession and impugn his reputation. Eventually he would come to redefine the nature of what it is to be human.

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The Two-Way
10:12 am
Sat February 16, 2013

Nuclear Waste Seeping From Container In Hazardous Wash. State Facility

Workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation near Richland, Wash., in 2010.
Shannon Dininny AP

Originally published on Sat February 16, 2013 1:24 pm

They thought they'd managed this problem a few years ago. But Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee got a disturbing call Friday from Energy Secretary Steven Chu: Nuclear waste is leaking out of a tank in one of the most contaminated nuclear waste sites in the U.S.

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Shots - Health News
5:23 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

What Nuclear Bombs Tell Us About Our Tendons

Nuclear bomb tests like this one, conducted at the Nevada Test Site in 1957, are helping scientists understand how the human body works.
Photo courtesy of National Nuclear Security Administration / Nevada Site Office

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 8:57 am

You really don't want to mess with your Achilles tendons. Trust us, injury to these tendons can take months to heal, and even then recovery is often not complete.

A big reason the Achilles is such a foot-dragger at getting better is that the tendon tissue we have as adults is basically the same as we had when we were teenagers.

That finding was published earlier this week in The FASEB Journal.

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