Science & Environment

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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The Two-Way
11:54 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Want To Be In The Dark? Death Valley Is Among 20 Recommended Places

The Racetrack area in Death Valley National Park, which boasts one of the darkest night skies in the U.S.
Dan Duriscoe National Park Service

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 12:29 pm

Hearing that the International Dark Sky Association has declared that Death Valley National Park is now the world's largest "international dark sky park" sent us in search of other places that the organization recommends if you really like "star-filled nights."

The association, which tries to "call attention to the hazards of light pollution," has recognized:

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The Salt
5:15 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Smaller But Better? Organic Tomatoes May Pack More Nutritional Punch

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 2:05 pm

A new study published in the journal PLOS ONE finds that tomatoes grown on organic farms were about 40 percent smaller than conventionally grown tomatoes. The upside? They pack more of a nutritional punch. The researchers found the organic tomatoes had significantly higher levels of vitamin C, sugar and lycopene.

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U.S.
5:12 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Breakthrough Prize Awards Research To Cure Disease

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 6:11 pm

Melissa Block speaks with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Apple chairman Art Levinson about the multimillion-dollar prize they've created with other Silicon Valley illuminati to award advancements in research aimed at curing intractable diseases and extending human life. Eleven scientists have been named winners of the Breakthrough Prize this year.

The Two-Way
3:20 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Nation's West, Midwest In Path Of Massive Winter Storm

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 6:44 am

As many as 30 million people living from Oklahoma to the Ohio Valley are in the path of a storm moving east out of California that could dump several inches of snow in some areas and freezing rain and sleet elsewhere in the next few days.

According to the Weather Channel, the storm is caused by an "upper-level dip in the jet stream," on Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
2:46 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Antarctic Penguin Turns Up In New Zealand; Vets Say Condition 'Touch And Go'

The original "Happy Feet" ready for release aboard The New Zealand research vessel Tangaroa in Aug. 2011.
Hagen Hopkins Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 9:47 pm

New Zealand seems to be the destination of choice for wayward Antarctic penguins.

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The Picture Show
11:49 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Earth As Art: 'How Did Nature Do That?'

Carnegie Lake, Australia, 1999 Carnegie Lake in Western Australia fills with water only during periods of significant rainfall. In dry years, it is reduced to a muddy marsh. Flooded areas appear dark blue or black, vegetation appears in shades of dark and light green, and sands, soils and minerals appear in a variety of colors.
NASA

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 1:04 pm

Satellites are powerful tools. They beam our TV signals, phone calls and data around the planet. They help us spy, they track storms, they power the GPS signals in our cars and on our phones. But they also send back striking, totally disarming images of planet Earth.

This set of images is all about showing off the "beauty of the Earth," says Lawrence Friedl, the director of NASA's Applied Sciences Program and the editor of a project called Earth as Art. "We want people to look at these images and say, 'How did nature do that?' "

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The Two-Way
11:04 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Japan: Probe Of Battery Fire On Boeing 787 Finds Improper Wiring

The first Boeing 787-881 Dreamliner delivered to All Nippon Airlines.
Keith Draycott FlickrVision

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 1:33 pm

Two reports on troubles with lithium ion batteries aboard Boeing's 787 Dreamliner:

In Japan, where a battery on an All Nippon Airlines 787 overheated and began smoking on Jan. 16, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing, the Transport Ministry released a report Wednesday saying it found that the battery in question had been improperly wired.

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Around the Nation
4:09 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Cold War Bunker Network Repurposed For 21st Century Threats

WBT radio's bomb shelter in Charlotte, N.C., part of a government-funded emergency communications network, as it looked in 1963.
Courtesy of Jerry Dowd

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 6:42 pm

There's an underground bunker at a radio station in Charlotte, N.C., where time has stopped. Built decades ago to provide safety and vital communications in the event of a nuclear attack, it's now a perfectly preserved relic of Cold War fear that's gained new relevance.

The secret bunker is part of the office lore that old-timers at WBT Radio whisper to the newbies. That's how radio host Mike Collins learned of it back in the 1980s.

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The Two-Way
12:19 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Judge OKs Transocean's $1 Billion Civil Settlement Over Gulf Oil Spill

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 12:10 pm

A federal judge in New Orleans has approved a $1 billion civil settlement over its role in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill where 11 men died in April of 2010, the AP reports.

As we reported back in January, federal authorities blamed Transocean "for acting negligently when the rig's crew proceeded with maneuvers to the deep-sea well in the face of clear danger signals that oil and natural gas were flowing."

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