Science & Environment

Shots - Health News
3:31 am
Thu April 25, 2013

A Tale Of Mice And Medical Research, Wiped Out By A Superstorm

In this Jan. 18 photo provided by the NYU Langone Medical Center, a technician examines mice to determine their health at the hospital's complex in New York.
New York University AP

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 2:46 am

When Superstorm Sandy inundated lower Manhattan last year, thousands of lab animals drowned and many scientists lost months or even years of work. One of those scientists is Gordon Fishell, a brain researcher at New York University.

Just hours before Sandy reached New York, Fishell says, he began to worry that animals housed in a basement below his lab were in danger. "I realized Hurricane Sandy and high tide were going to coincide at Battery Park, which is right where my lab is," he says.

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Energy
5:35 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Tar Sands Pipelines Should Get Special Treatment, EPA Says

An oil sheen appears along the shore of the Kalamazoo River in August 2012. In July 2010, more than 800,000 gallons of tar sands oil entered Talmadge Creek and flowed into the Kalamazoo River, a Lake Michigan tributary. Heavy rains caused the river to overtop existing dams and carried oil 30 miles downstream.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 4:57 pm

Up until now, pipelines that carry tar sands oil have been treated just like pipelines that carry any other oil. But the Environmental Protection Agency now says that should change. That's because when tar sands oil spills, it can be next to impossible to clean up.

The agency made this argument in its evaluation of the State Department's environmental review of the Keystone XL pipeline project, which, if approved, would carry heavy crude from Alberta, Canada, to refineries in the United States.

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The Two-Way
3:11 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

1960s Satellite Images Add To Evidence Of Shrinking Sea Ice

An artist's rendering of the Nimbus 1.
NASA

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 7:30 am

Scientists have digitized and analyzed imagery taken by one of the first U.S. weather satellites to create a montage showing the extent of polar sea ice in 1964 so they can compare it to more recent satellite photos.

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The Salt
3:25 am
Wed April 24, 2013

For Corn, Fickle Weather Makes For Uncertain Yields

By this time last year, 26 percent of the country's corn crop was already planted. A wet, cold spring means that only 4 percent is in the ground right now.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 9:06 am

Last year's drought wreaked havoc on farmers' fields in much of the Midwest, cutting crop yields and forcing livestock producers to cull their herds. This spring, the rain that farmers needed so badly in 2012 has finally returned. But maybe too much, and at the wrong time.

It's almost the end of April, which is prime time to plant corn. But farmers need a break in the rain so they can get this year's crops in the ground and try to lock in good yields at harvest.

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The Salt
3:20 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Coffee For A Cause: What Do Those Feel-Good Labels Deliver?

Luis Fernando Vasquez has been a coffee farmer in the central valley of Costa Rica his entire life.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 3:50 pm

What does it take to find guilt-free coffee?

Much of our coffee comes from places where the environment is endangered and workers earn very little — sometimes, just a few dollars for a whole day's work. Coffee farmers have helped cut down tropical forests, and most of them use pesticides.

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Energy
5:28 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Could An 'Artificial Leaf' Fuel Your Car?

Miguel Modestino, a Ph.D. student at the University of California, Berkeley, is part of the team working to create a solar fuels generator at the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis.
Roy Kaltschmidt Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 8:04 pm

It's easy to feel dispirited about climate change because the challenge of dealing with it seems so overwhelming. But Miguel Modestino is actually excited about the challenge. He's part of a large team hoping to make an artificial leaf — a device that would make motor fuel from sunlight and carbon dioxide rather than from fossil fuels.

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The Salt
2:27 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Want To Forage In Your City? There's A Map For That

Falling Fruit tells you where you can pick peaches and other foods free for the taking around the world.
istockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 11:25 am

If you really love your peaches and want to shake a tree, there's a map to help you find one. That goes for veggies, nuts, berries and hundreds of other edible plant species, too.

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Krulwich Wonders...
1:23 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Oh The Horror! Famished Silly Putty Devours Innocent Magnets

Vimeo

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 6:11 pm

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Code Switch
5:25 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

What Does Modern Prejudice Look Like?

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 10:08 am

Harvard psychologist Mahzarin Banaji was once approached by a reporter for an interview. When Banaji heard the name of the magazine the reporter was writing for, she declined the interview: She didn't think much of the magazine and believed it portrayed research in psychology inaccurately.

But then the reporter said something that made her reconsider, Banaji recalled: "She said, 'You know, I used to be a student at Yale when you were there, and even though I didn't take a course with you, I do remember hearing about your work.' "

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The Two-Way
5:11 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

This One-Way Trip To Mars Is Brought To You By ...

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope took this close-up of the red planet Mars when it was just 55 million miles away in 2007.
NASA UPI/Landov

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 5:59 am

In New York on Monday, a group of scientists and entrepreneurs launched a quixotic program that could allow you (yes you!) to make a trip to Mars. But you can't come back.

The Mars One nonprofit organization announced that it is now open to applicants interested in making a commercially sponsored one-way mission to Mars.

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