Science & Environment

Space
5:30 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Space Shuttle Endeavour Makes Final Landing

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 6:53 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Finally this hour, to California, where space shuttle Endeavour made its final flight today. Endeavour left Andrews Air Force Base this morning on the back of a 747. It flew over San Francisco and Sacramento before heading south to Los Angeles. There, it will find new life as an exhibit in a science museum. Before Endeavour touched down, it made a low-level pass over a number of Southern California landmarks. NPR's Mandalit del Barco was with some elementary school students as the shuttle flew by.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:07 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Government Officials Retire Chimpanzees From Research

Federally funded chimps at the New Iberia Research Center in Louisiana will retire to either a lab in Texas or a chimp sanctuary in Louisiana.
Courtesy of the Humane Society of the United States

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 6:47 pm

One hundred ten chimpanzees will retire from biomedical research, the National Institutes of Health announced today. The move comes as some groups are pushing for a ban on all medical chimp research.

The NIH has been reviewing its chimp research since December. That's when a report from the Institute of Medicine said that there was almost no scientific need for doing biomedical research on chimps.

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Energy
1:40 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Printing Solar Panels In The Backyard

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Up next, Flora Lichtman is here with our Video Pick of the Week. Hi, Flora.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Ira.

FLATOW: What's in store for us this week?

LICHTMAN: I pretty much geeked out this week.

FLATOW: You geeked...

(LAUGHTER)

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Health
1:35 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

What The Doctor Ordered: Building New Body Parts

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Over 115,000 Americans are currently waiting for an organ transplant, and most of them are in need of a kidney. Now, what if we could just create a kidney for them in the laboratory? One of my next guests has experimented with printing out organs using an inkjet printer, but instead of ink, he uses cells.

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Books
1:29 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

The SciFri Book Club Visits 'Flatland'

Mathematician Ian Stewart joins the Science Friday Book Club meeting to discuss Edwin Abbott's classic Flatland. The book, published in 1884 under the pseudonym "A. Square," tells the story of a two-dimensional world where women are straight lines and men are polygons.

NPR Story
1:20 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Can Government Bans Tackle Obesity?

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 1:48 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

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NPR Story
1:20 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

The Ugly Truth About Food Waste In America

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 2:42 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Up next, an entirely different kind of food problem. Recycling paper and plastic, as you know, is an effective way to save money and energy. So why not recycle all the uneaten food that goes to waste? And there is an awful lot of it. Forty percent of the food in the U.S. today goes uneaten, which means Americans are throwing out the equivalent of 165 billion - with a B - billion dollars worth of food each year. But that's not all. Food waste, as it decays in landfills, also produces methane, which is a potent greenhouse gas.

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The Salt
11:53 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Three Burning Questions Answered About Salt

The Salt's most colorful salts. From left to right: Cypress black lava, red Hawaiian, and pink Bolivian rose.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 12:18 pm

Salt — it's the ultimate condiment. It's the only rock we eat, and it makes our food taste better. There are dozens of varieties, from hand-harvested Himalayan pink to plain-old kosher, to various herb-infused blends. But, as we report a lot around here, when we eat too much, it can be bad for our health.

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:49 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Getting Slower And Slower: How Slow Can You Go?

Vincent Liota

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 11:36 am

Before we go slow, let's go fast, so fast you can't go any faster. That would be light in a vacuum, traveling at 670 million miles per hour ...

Light, of course, can slow down. When light passes through water, it loses speed. A diamond is an even better speed bump. It can slow a beam of light by 40 percent.

But moving on, you and I are going pretty fast right now, though we don't notice. The planet we're on is zipping around the sun at 66,000-plus miles per hour ...

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Animals
4:52 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Man-Made Cave Built To Shelter Bats From Infection

The artificial cave built for bats in Tennessee has a human entrance below and a bat entrance above. In the summer, any fungus left by the bats over the winter will be cleaned up.
The Nature Conservancy

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 6:05 pm

A man-made bat cave in Tennessee is looking for tenants. An hour northwest of Nashville, the artificial cave is built to give thousands of bats a haven from a devastating infection called white-nose syndrome.

Millions of bats in the Northeast have died from the infection since it first showed up a few years ago. The culprit is an invasive fungus that grows in caves. When bats hibernate inside, they wake up with faces covered in white fuzz and often wind up starving or freezing to death.

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