Science & Environment

Krulwich Wonders...
9:45 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Who Stands Where In A Crowded Elevator And Why?

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 1:22 pm

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Law
6:06 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Supreme Court Weighs Patenting Of Human Genes

Medical geneticist Dr. Harry Ostrer (center) talks to the press outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday. The court heard oral arguments on the highly charged question of whether human genes can be patented.
Mladen Antonov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 8:44 am

In a case considered pivotal to the future of science and medicine, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court seemed skeptical Monday about a claim that human genes can be patented.

Contending that genes can be patented are the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, which see patents as the keys to new scientific exploration. On the other side are doctors, patients and many scientists, who see gene patents as an attempt to monopolize and block future exploration in the new universe of genetics.

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The Salt
5:06 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

A Tax Day Story For Hard-Cider Lovers

Is small-batch hard apple cider the next microbrew? It seems everybody and their brother is experimenting with ways to make the potent stuff profitable. Sales of domestically produced hard cider have more than tripled since 2007, according to beverage industry analysts — and that's not counting Europe, where it has held a steady popularity for centuries.

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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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