Science & Environment

Research News
3:16 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Why Not Apologizing Makes You Feel Better

Illustration by NPR

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 8:50 am

To err is human.

So is refusing to apologize for those errors.

From toddlers and talk show hosts to preteens and presidents, we all know people who have done stupid, silly and evil things, then squared their jaws and told the world they've done nothing wrong.

Read more
Science
5:22 pm
Sun March 31, 2013

Somewhere Over The Brainbow: The Journey To Map the Human Brain

More than 100 years ago, Golgi staining on nerve cells opened the gates to modern neuroscience. Scientists recently developed the Technicolor version of Golgi staining, Brainbow, allowing more detailed reconstructions of brain circuits.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 31, 2013 9:55 pm

During the State of the Union, President Obama said the nation is about to embark on an ambitious project: to examine the human brain and create a road map to the trillions of connections that make it work.

"Every dollar we invested to map the human genome returned $140 to our economy — every dollar," the president said. "Today, our scientists are mapping the human brain to unlock the answers to Alzheimer's."

Read more
Environment
6:11 am
Sat March 30, 2013

State Gives Example Of New Federal Gas Standards

Originally published on Sat March 30, 2013 10:34 am

The Environment Protection Agency has proposed new rules that will require cars to run on cleaner gas. The rules are intended to lower sulfur emission and reduce smog, and they'd go into effect in 2017. NPR's Sonari Glinton reports they're similar to standards in place in California.

Science
5:22 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

'Biotech Rider' In Budget Angers Opponents Of Genetically-Modified Crops

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 7:55 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Tucked away inside the new federal budget for this year - which President Obama signed yesterday - is one, small paragraph dealing with genetically engineered crops. That paragraph - actually, one long, complicated sentence - has the biotech industry smiling. But opponents of biotech crops are hopping mad. They say this biotech rider, as they call it, is a blatant attempt to shield biotech crops from all judicial oversight.

Joining me now to talk about this is NPR's Dan Charles. Welcome, Dan.

Read more
Environment
4:46 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

EPA Proposes New Rule To Clean Up Gasoline And Reduce Smog

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 7:55 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Today, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a new rule to clean up gasoline. The regulation would reduce ozone and other air pollutants by close to 30 percent. That would benefit 100 million people who now live in areas that at times have unhealthful air. NPR's Richard Harris reports.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:15 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

U.S. Navy Funding Development Of Giant Jellyfish Robot

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 4:09 pm

We've already seen drones shaped like various animals, including humming birds and dogs. Next is one made to look (and swim) like a jellyfish.

Read more
Shots - Health News
3:08 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Number Of Early Childhood Vaccines Not Linked To Autism

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds no link between the number of vaccinations a young child receives and the risk of developing autism spectrum disorders.
Jeff J. Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 4:33 pm

A large new government study should reassure parents who are afraid that kids are getting autism because they receive too many vaccines too early in life.

The study, by researchers at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, found no connection between the number of vaccines a child received and his or her risk of autism spectrum disorder. It also found that even though kids are getting more vaccines these days, those vaccines contain many fewer of the substances that provoke an immune response.

Read more
Research News
3:05 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Tiny DNA Switches Aim To Revolutionize 'Cellular' Computing

NPR Illustration

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 11:14 am

If you think programming a clock radio is hard, try reprogramming life itself. That's the goal of Drew Endy, a synthetic biologist at Stanford University.

Endy has been working with a laboratory strain of E. coli bacteria. He sees the microbes as more than just single-cell organisms. They're little computers.

"Any system that's receiving information, processing information and then using that activity to control what happens next, you can think of as a computing system," Endy says.

Read more
Animals
5:46 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

What's Behind The 'Fairy Circles' That Dot West Africa?

Thousands of "fairy circles" dot the landscape of the NamibRand Nature Reserve in Namibia. Why these barren circles appear in grassland areas has puzzled scientists for years.
N. Juergens AAAS/Science

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 7:19 pm

There's a mystery in West Africa that's puzzled scientists for years. Strange circles of bare soil appear in grassland; they're commonly called "fairy circles." These naturally occurring shapes last for decades, until the grass eventually takes over and the circles fade.

Now German scientists think they have an explanation — a horde of insects seems to be bioengineering thousands of miles of desert.

Read more
Environment
5:33 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Federal Budget Cuts Hamper Waste Cleanup At Washington Nuclear Reservation

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 6:38 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In Washington State, radioactive waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation is leaking from underground containment tanks. The site contains the leftovers from plutonium production, some from World War II, most from the Cold War. And it turns out the federal budget sequester is slowing the cleanup.

From Richland, Washington, Anna King of the Northwest News Network has that story.

(SOUNDBITE OF MACHINERY)

Read more

Pages