Science & Environment

Animals
4:36 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Adult Prairie Dogs Dig Living In Mom's Burrow

John Hoogland of the University of Maryland's Center for Environmental Science holds up a female prairie dog to check for signs of pregnancy, nursing or injury.
Courtesy of Elaine Miller Bond

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 9:47 pm

Like many humans, most young animals approaching adulthood tend to leave their parents and siblings and strike out on their own. They want to avoid competing with relatives. They want to avoid incest. In certain species, they want to avoid nagging.

But a new paper published in Thursday's Science shows there's at least one species that bucks this trend. Prairie dogs, especially female prairie dogs, stay home. They tend to only leave their native territories when all of their relatives are gone.

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Author Interviews
1:59 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Al Gore Envisions 'The Future'

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

My next guest really needs almost no introduction. He's former vice president of the United States. He's one of the most well-known communicators of the risks of climate change. He shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for those efforts. I'm guessing a lot of you have read his book, "An Inconvenient Truth," or you've seen the movie.

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Brain Candy
1:52 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Behold the Mighty Water Bear

Water bears, a.k.a. tardigrades, can withstand boiling, freezing and the vacuum of space. Biologist Bob Goldstein, of University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, studies these millimeter-long creatures to try to understand how organisms develop.

All Tech Considered
1:01 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

In Open Source Rocket Competition, Collaboration Takes Off

A screenshot shows how a team would track changes to its rocket project on a Sunglass platform.
Sunglass

Here's the challenge: Build a rocket engine. Don't worry, you don't need much.

At the SXSW festival in Austin on Saturday, startup companies DIYRockets and Sunglass are launching a competition to create 3-D-printed rocket engines with open source (read: free) technology.

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Shots - Health News
12:53 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Could A 'Brain Pacemaker' Someday Treat Severe Anorexia?

Kim Rollins of Ontario, Canada, struggled with anorexia for more than 20 years. After starting deep brain stimulation 14 months ago, the 36-year-old says she's in recovery.
Courtesy of Krembil Neuroscience Centre

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 10:23 am

Many people who get anorexia recover after therapy and counseling. But in about 20 to 30 percent of cases, the disease becomes a chronic condition that gets tougher and tougher to treat.

Right now, doctors have few options for helping these patients, mostly women, whose disease can be crippling or fatal.

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NPR Story
12:26 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

When The Earth Swallows

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 1:54 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. By now I'm sure you've heard about the real-life nightmare of a Florida man named Jeff Bush. As he lay sleeping last week, a gaping hole opened beneath his home, swallowing him alive. His body was never found. The search has now been called off, and the sinkhole that devoured him is now his grave.

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NPR Story
12:26 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Can the Anti-Aging Secret Be Found in...Red Wine?

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 3:04 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. Here's some news to raise a glass to: the idea that red wine may help us live longer and healthier lives. Well, it got a new boost this week. According to a team of researchers, a compound found in the skin of grapes could be an antidote to aging by slowing down the process and even fending off disease and inflammation associated with getting old. It's the topic of a new study published this week in the journal Science.

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NPR Story
12:26 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Getting the Springtime Buzz on Bees

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 1:03 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

You're listening to SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. You may not tell by looking outside your window if you're in the Midwest, or snow has been dumped on you in the last week or so, but spring is really just around the corner, and with that comes blooming plants and buzzing bees. And what can we expect this spring from nature's great pollinators?

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NPR Story
12:26 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

'Nightmare Bacteria' Defy Even Last-Ditch Drugs

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 3:04 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Now for nightmare bacteria. They defy all our antibiotics, even our latest drugs. This week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that strains of these completely drug-resistant bacteria have quadrupled in the last decade or so, and the bugs have been lurking around in hospitals, hundreds of hospitals around the nation.

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The Salt
12:05 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

We Like 'Em Big And Juicy: How Our Table Grapes Got So Fat

Left to their own devices, many seedless grapes would be puny and soft. But these Thompson seedless got pleasingly plump after a little girdling and hormone treatment.
Daniel M.N. Turner NPR

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 5:37 pm

It's no secret that many Americans have a fetish for big food. Whether it's a triple-decker cheeseburger or a 128-ounce Big Gulp, some portions in the U.S. have gotten freakishly large.

But not all of our supersizing is unhealthy.

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