Science & Environment

Krulwich Wonders...
11:49 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Suddenly There's A Meadow In The Ocean With 'Flowers' Everywhere

Courtesy of Matthias Wietz

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 1:40 pm

It was three, maybe four o'clock in the morning when he first saw them. Grad student Jeff Bowman was on the deck of a ship; he and a University of Washington biology team were on their way back from the North Pole. It was cold outside, the temperature had just dropped, and as the dawn broke, he could see a few, then more, then even more of these little flowery things, growing on the frozen sea.

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Shots - Health News
5:43 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Research Chimps Get Permanent Retirement Home

Chimpanzees check out a termite mound at the Chimp Haven sanctuary in Louisiana.
Chimp Haven

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 1:27 pm

More than 100 chimps retired from medical research are about to get a new home.

Most of the primates who have been living at the New Iberia Research Center will soon make their permanent residence at the Chimp Haven sanctuary, the National Institutes of Health said Wednesday.

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The Salt
3:59 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Building A Rover Of The Edible Kind

The other Mars Curiosity rover, made of gingerbread and on display on the Caltech campus.
Brian Bell courtesy California Institute of Technology

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 12:47 pm

The folks at the California Institute of Technology have built another Mars rover, but this one will never get to leave Earth. Not surprising, really, since it's made of gingerbread.

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Shots - Health News
3:18 am
Tue December 18, 2012

NIH Revisits Debate On Controversial Bird Flu Research

A prefectural officer carries a chicken on a poultry farm on Oct. 15 on the outskirts of Kathmandu, Nepal, where chickens suspected of being infected with bird flu were found.
Prakash Mathema AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 8:14 am

On Tuesday, the National Institutes of Health in Maryland is holding a second day of talks about whether and how to continue funding some controversial scientific experiments.

Back in January, virologists agreed to temporarily stop research that was creating new forms of bird flu because critics argued that the work was too dangerous. NIH officials are now seeking input from scientists and the public about how to proceed.

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Space
6:13 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

After A Year Of Study, Twin Probes Crash Into Moon

The GRAIL mission's gravity map of the moon. Very precise measurements between two lunar probes orbiting the moon allowed researchers to study the moon with great detail.
NASA/JPL/Caltech

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 7:19 pm

At about 5:30 p.m. on Monday, two washing machine-sized space probes crashed into the surface of the moon. It was all by design and marked the end of NASA's GRAIL mission. The two probes had been orbiting the moon for almost a year, and they've sent back data that have given scientists an unprecedented look inside our nearest solar system neighbor.

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Environment
5:18 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Photo Project Tracks Climate Change On Everest

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 1:18 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Mount Everest is a symbol of excellence and of danger. The world's highest peak means success to mountaineers. And it's also, according to filmmaker David Breashears, a canary in the coalmine of climate change. Breashears has just returned from a trip to Nepal where he's been gathering extraordinary images of Everest's retreating glaciers.

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Shots - Health News
3:04 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Scientists Look For New Drugs In Skin Of Russian Frog

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 1:01 pm

Before the advent of refrigeration, Russians had a neat trick for keeping their milk from spoiling. They'd drop a live frog in the milk bucket.

The Russians weren't sure how this amphibian dairy treatment worked, but they were convinced it did.

Since then, researchers have discovered that the goo some frogs secrete through their skin has antibacterial and antifungal properties.

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Krulwich Wonders...
12:01 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

This Should Be A Hit In Texas: Puddle Of Oil Turns Into A Christmas Tree

YouTube

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 9:41 am

We start with a pool of oil. We turn on a magnet. The oil travels up a superstructure and blossoms into a tree. Turn off the magnet, the branches, the needles, the tree melt away. It's a puddle again.

The perfect tree for an oil billionaire, no?

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Shots - Health News
10:53 am
Mon December 17, 2012

Herbs And Empires: A Brief, Animated History Of Malaria Drugs

Adam Cole NPR

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 8:57 am

What do Jesuit priests, gin and tonics, and ancient Chinese scrolls have in common? They all show up in our animated history of malaria.

It's a story of geopolitical struggles, traditional medicine, and above all, a war of escalation between scientists and a tiny parasite. Malaria has proved to be a wily foe: Every time we think we have it backed into a corner, it somehow escapes.

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Environment
5:35 am
Mon December 17, 2012

EPA Targets Deadliest Pollution: Soot

The Environmental Protection Agency is tightening the standard for how much soot in the air is safe to breathe. Fine particles come from the combustion of fossil fuels by cars and industrial facilities. They're linked to all kinds of health problems, including heart attacks and lung ailments like asthma. States will be required to clean up their air to the level specified by the new standard.

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