Science & Environment

Around the Nation
8:16 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Fracking Rule Delays Rile New Yorkers

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 9:30 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

Horizontal hydro-fracking has transformed the energy market. Drillers get natural gas out of the ground by drilling down, then sideways, using water pressure to unlock energy - natural gas. But for all the money coming out of the ground in some places, the technique is contentious and New York does not allow it; which causes landowners to feel they're being left behind.

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Sports
3:18 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Good Luck With That 'Perfect' March Madness Bracket. You'll Need It

Kansas center Jeff Withey (left) and Kentucky guard Darius Miller battle under the boards during the second half of the NCAA championship on April 2, 2012.
Mark Humphrey AP

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 9:30 am

Basketball fans have one more day to fill out their March Madness brackets. They'll need to predict not just the champions and their route to victory, but also the paths of all the losers. It's not easy. In fact, no person or computer has yet been able to do it.

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The Two-Way
1:03 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Flush With Oil, Abu Dhabi Opens World's Largest Solar Plant

Rows of parabolic mirrors at the Shams 1 plant in Abu Dhabi.
Marwan Naamani AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 2:34 pm

Abu Dhabi, the most oil-rich of the United Arab Emirates, is now home to the world's single-largest concentrated solar power plant.

The 100-megawatt Shams 1 plant cost an estimated $750 million and is expected to provide electricity to 20,000 homes, according to the BBC.

Why, you might ask?

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The Two-Way
10:00 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Australia's Heron Island: A Canary In The Coal Mine For Coral Reefs?

Heron Island is located on the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef, about 25 miles off the northeast coast of Australia.
Ted Mead Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 11:02 am

NPR Science Correspondent Richard Harris traveled to Australia's Great Barrier Reef to find out how the coral reefs are coping with increased water temperature and increasing ocean acidity, brought about by our burning of fossil fuels. Day 1: Richard gets a hefty dose of bad news.

I've seen the future, and it isn't pretty.

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Shots - Health News
3:15 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Alzheimer's 'Epidemic' Now A Deadlier Threat To Elderly

Social worker Nuria Casulleres shows a portrait of Audrey Hepburn to elderly men during a memory activity at the Cuidem La Memoria elderly home in Barcelona, Spain, last August. The home specializes in Alzheimer's patients.
David Ramos Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 7:44 am

Alzheimer's disease doesn't just steal memories. It takes lives.

The disease is now the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., and figures released Tuesday by the Alzheimer's Association show that deaths from the disease increased by 68 percent between 2000 and 2010.

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Science
4:43 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Internet Pioneers Win First-Ever Queen Elizabeth Prize For Engineering

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 5:54 pm

The winners of the inaugural Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering were announced Monday in London. Five Internet pioneers — Marc Andreessen, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Vinton Cerf, Robert Kahn, and Louis Pouzin — will share the honor and the one million pound prize. The new U.K.-based award aims to be a "Nobel Prize" for engineering. Robert Siegel talks to Lord Browne of Madingley about the winners.

The Salt
1:30 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Synesthetes Really Can Taste The Rainbow

A select group of synesthetes can truly "taste the rainbow."
Photo illustration by Daniel M.N. Turner NPR

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 11:23 am

Plenty of us got our fill of green-colored food on St. Patrick's Day. (Green beer, anyone?) But for some people, associating taste with color is more than just a once-a-year experience.

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Research News
4:06 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Scientists Catalog Individual Dust Particles

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 12:38 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now, even if you do not suffer from asthma, it may still be a good idea to reduce your exposure to dust. Invisible tiny particles are constantly swirling around in the air we breathe.

And as reporter Gretchen Cuda Kroen reports, depending on what's in those particles, they may be affecting our health.

GRETCHEN CUDA KROEN, BYLINE: Take a deep breath.

(SOUNDBITE OF INHALATION)

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Afghanistan
3:25 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Afghanistan's Forests A Casualty Of Timber Smuggling

An Afghan laborer works in a firewood yard at a market in Herat on Dec. 11, 2011.
Aref Karimi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 2:34 pm

Despite Afghanistan's fierce winter, it's rare to find a house with insulation or a modern heating system. So Afghans rely on bukharis, stoves that look like an oil drum with a big rusty pipe growing out of the top that bends off into a hole in the wall.

That fact keeps the hundreds of wood vendors around Kabul quite happy. This winter, NPR staff fed several tons of firewood into their bukhari — and that's just one house in a city of about 5 million people.

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Krulwich Wonders...
6:05 am
Sat March 16, 2013

The Naming Of The Shrew

Carl Buell

It looks kinda like a squirrel, except its ears are too small, its tail is ratty, then bushy, and its mouth? Definitely un-squirrel. More like a shrew, a fox, or a dog. And the teeth? Strange. What is it?

It's an act of edited, elegant imagination.

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