Science & Environment

The Two-Way
2:38 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Aquarium Dumping Linked To Giant Tahoe Goldfish

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 2:40 pm

You're going to need a bigger fishbowl.

Scientists searching for invasive species in Lake Tahoe scooped up a bright orange goldfish measuring nearly a foot and a half long and weighing more than 4 pounds, according to the website Live Science. (You can see it here.)

Environmental scientist Sudeep Chandra says a survey has uncovered a "nice corner" of the lake where about 15 other giant goldfish were living, apparently after being dumped there by aquarium owners.

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The Salt
1:42 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Despite Lingering Drought, USDA Predicts A Flood Of Grain

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 2:51 pm

Economists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, gazing into their crystal ball, see American farmers planting and harvesting huge amounts of corn, soybeans, and wheat this year. They're predicting a record harvest of corn: 14 billion bushels, up nearly 40 percent over last year's drought-crippled level.

With supply up, prices will fall. The USDA thinks that the price of the average bushel of corn could fall by a third. And soybean production and price are expected to follow a similar track.

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NPR Story
11:22 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Is China's Military Behind Cyberattacks on U.S.?

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 1:03 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. The Internet is the new battleground.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets. Now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions, our air traffic control systems. We cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy.

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NPR Story
11:22 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Surprise: Cockroaches are Fastidious Groomers!

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 1:03 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Time now for our Video Pick of the Week. Flora Lichtman is here. Welcome to the program. Flora's our correspondent and managing editor for video.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Ira.

(LAUGHTER)

FLATOW: This one, this week...

LICHTMAN: I don't even know what to say.

(LAUGHTER)

FLATOW: Have you - make sure you've eaten your lunch or your breakfast.

LICHTMAN: It might be - it's going to be grossest video you've probably seen all week. But you should still watch it because it's fascinating.

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NPR Story
11:22 am
Fri February 22, 2013

The SciFri Book Club Visits "Gorillas in the Mist"

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 1:03 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Up next - let me get a cup of coffee, put my feet down, get cozy, because it's our monthly meeting of the SCIENCE FRIDAY Book Club. We have the book club regulars here with us. Flora's still with us. And joining us now is Annette Heist, senior producer for SCIENCE FRIDAY. Welcome to the program, Anette?

ANNETTE HEIST, BYLINE: Hi, Ira. Hi, Flora.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hello.

FLATOW: And we had another classic book this month which is...

HEIST: "Gorillas in the Mist" by Dian Fossey.

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NPR Story
11:22 am
Fri February 22, 2013

How Wood Smoke is Dirtying Alaska's Air

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 1:03 pm

In Fairbanks, Alaska, residents are using wood stoves to heat their homes during the frigid winter months. But, smoke created by these wood burners is contributing to some of the worst air pollution in the country. Cathy Cahill discusses air quality in the Last Frontier.

NPR Story
11:22 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Russia Meteor Renews Focus on Asteroid Threats

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 1:03 pm

A week after a meteor exploded over Russia on the same day that an asteroid swung closely past Earth, experts discuss how the potential threats posed by near-Earth objects should be addressed. Astronomers Donald Yeomans and John Tonry weigh in on how to keep the planet safe.

The Salt
10:22 am
Fri February 22, 2013

For Fruit Flies, Alcohol Really Is Mommy's Little Helper

Alcohol: a key babyproofing product for this little mother.
Illustration by Daniel M.N. Turner Photos via istockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 12:26 pm

Many a mom has reached for a glass of wine after a long day of tending children. But only fruit fly moms use their version of Chardonnay to guard their babies from harm.

When fly moms see marauding wasps, they seek out the alcohol in fermenting fruit, and lay their eggs there, according to new research. The alcohol is toxic to the wasps, but not to the fruit flies. They've evolved a tolerance for hooch.

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Animals
3:27 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Honey, It's Electric: Bees Sense Charge On Flowers

Adam Cole NPR

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 7:47 am

Flowers are nature's ad men. They'll do anything to attract the attention of the pollinators that help them reproduce. That means spending precious energy on bright pigments, enticing fragrances and dazzling patterns.

Now, scientists have found another element that contributes to flowers' brand: their distinct electric field.

Anne Leonard, who studies bees at the University of Nevada, says our understanding of pollinator-flower communication has been expanding for decades.

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Shots - Health News
5:47 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Morning-After Pills Don't Cause Abortion, Studies Say

Plan B is one of two emergency contraceptives available in the U.S.
UPI/Landov

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 4:51 pm

The most heated part of the fight between the Obama administration and religious groups over new rules that require most health plans to cover contraception actually has nothing to do with birth control. It has to do with abortion.

Specifically, do emergency contraceptives interfere with a fertilized egg and cause what some consider to be abortion?

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