Science & Environment

Krulwich Wonders...
9:27 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Monty Python's John Cleese Almost Explains Our Brains

YouTube

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 10:50 am

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Research News
4:31 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Brain Scans Can Predict Who's Likely To Be A Repeat Offender

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 9:51 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Imagine using mind technology to arrest and convict people before a crime actually happens. Sounds like something out of the movie "Minority Report."

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "MINORITY REPORT")

TOM CRUISE: (as Chief John Anderton) I'm placing you under arrest for the future murder of Sarah Marks and Donald Dubin that was to take place today, April 22nd, at 0800 hours and four minutes.

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Research News
4:31 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Researchers Question Obama's Motives For Brain Initiative

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 2:22 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.

Earlier this week, President Obama announced his new Brain Initiative. He said he wants $100 million to explore America's next great frontier in science: Mapping the human brain, to understand how the brains neurons and circuits communicate. But now that brain specialists have had a little time to reflect, some are wondering whether the president's announcement has more to do with politics and some good PR?

Here's NPR's Daniel Zwerdling.

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Business
4:31 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Colorado Farmers Scramble To Find Irrigation Water

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 7:30 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Let's go now to the Great Plains, where farmers are preparing for what could be a tough growing season. They are scrambling to find irrigation water, which is scarce in the midst of the region's persistent drought. In eastern Colorado, thirsty cities have gobbled up water rights for decades, selling what they don't need back to farmers.

As Luke Runyon from member station KUNC reports, the agreement only works when water is plentiful.

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Research News
6:03 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Some Deep-Sea Microbes Are Hungry For Rocket Fuel

This bacterium-like microbe, Archaeoglobus fulgidus, seen here in a false-color image, can live in the high temperatures found near deep-sea vents. They can also survive by consuming perchlorate, a chemical used in rocket fuel.
Alfred Pasieka Science Source

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 9:36 am

It's life, but not as we know it. Researchers in the Netherlands have found that a microbe from deep beneath the ocean can breathe a major ingredient in rocket fuel. The discovery suggests that early life may have used many different kinds of chemicals besides oxygen to survive and thrive.

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Shots - Health News
2:47 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Researchers Use Brain Scans To Reveal Hidden Dreamscape

A window into dreams may now be opening.
Silver Screen Collection Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 2:57 pm

Scientists say they have found a way to get a glimpse of people's dreams.

"Our results show that we can predict what a person's seeing during dreams," says Yukiyasu Kamitani, a researcher at the ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in Kyoto, Japan.

Philosophers, poets and psychologists have long shared a fascination with dreams. But Jack Gallant, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Berkeley says solving the mystery of our dreams is one tough problem.

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Research News
5:11 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Study: Record Number Of People Are Cohabitating

More and more Americans are opting to live together before they get married. That's according to new federal data. And on average, cohabitations last about 22 months compared to 13 months in 1995.

Environment
3:21 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Arkansas Oil Spill Sheds Light On Aging Pipeline System

A worker cleans up oil in Mayflower, Ark., on Monday, days after a pipeline ruptured and spewed oil over lawns and roadways.
Jeannie Nuss AP

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 10:45 am

Amber Bartlett was waiting last Friday for her kids to come home from school. One of them called from the entrance to the upscale subdivision near Little Rock, Ark., to tell her the community was being evacuated because of an oil spill. Bartlett was amazed by what she saw out her front door.

"I mean, just rolling oil. I mean, it was like a river," she says. "It had little waves in it."

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Space
5:40 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Sensor On Space Station May Have Seen Hints Of Elusive Dark Matter

Astronauts work to install the alpha magnetic spectrometer on the International Space Station on May 26, 2011.
NASA

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 8:50 pm

An international team of researchers announced in Switzerland on Wednesday that an experiment on the International Space Station may have seen hints of something called dark matter. The finding could be a milestone in the decades-long search for the universe's missing material.

Only a tiny sliver of stuff in the universe is visible to scientists; the rest is dark matter. Researchers don't know what it is, but they know it's there. Its gravity pulls on the things we can see.

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Science
2:18 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

The Remarkable Biodiversity Of Belly Buttons

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 10:42 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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