Science & Environment

Science
5:09 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Hybrid Trout Threaten Montana's Native Cutthroats

Clint Muhlfeld, an aquatic ecologist with the USGS, holds a native Westslope cutthroat trout in Glacier National Park.
Noah Clayton USGS

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 7:58 pm

Many parts of the U.S. have been getting warmer over the past several decades, and also experiencing persistent drought. Wildlife often can't adjust. Among the species that are struggling is one of the American West's most highly prized fish — the cutthroat trout.

In springtime, you can find young cutthroats in the tiny streams of Montana's Shields Basin. Bend over and look closely and you might see a 2-inch fish wriggling out from under a submerged rock — the spawn of native cutthroats.

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Shots - Health News
2:08 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Military Plans To Test Brain Implants To Fight Mental Disorders

In epilepsy, the normal behavior of brain neurons is disturbed. The drug valproic acid appears to help the brain replenish a key chemical, preventing seizures.
David Mack/Science Source

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 1:35 pm

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, is launching a $70 million program to help military personnel with psychiatric disorders using electronic devices implanted in the brain.

The goal of the five-year program is to develop new ways of treating problems including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, all of which are common among service members who fought in Iraq or Afghanistan.

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Shots - Health News
4:08 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

The Blind Woman Who Sees Rain, But Not Her Daughter's Smile

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 8:37 am

Imagine a world that is completely black. You can't see a thing — unless something happens to move. You can see the rain falling from the sky, the steam coming from your coffee cup, a car passing by on the street.

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Interviews
7:49 am
Sat May 24, 2014

'TED Radio Hour': What We Fear And How To Fight It

Originally published on Sat May 24, 2014 2:09 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

What are you afraid of? The TED Radio Hour is asking that question this week. Guy Raz spoke to retired astronaut Chris Hadfield, who commanded the International Space Station, about the scariest day of his life.

GUY RAZ, BYLINE: Can you describe the day of a launch? Like, what happens on that day?

CHRIS HADFIELD: It's like a - that feeling in a roller coaster, I think, where you get into that little chunka, chunka, chunka chain thing that drags you up the hill to make the ride begin.

RAZ: Right.

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The Salt
6:38 am
Sat May 24, 2014

If Local Farms Aren't Local Enough, Buy From The Rooftop

At the Mini-Farmery in North Carolina, greens grow on the walls and customers can pick their own produce.
Amy Edwards New Image Studio

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 3:07 pm

Local produce just tastes better, right? That perception is part of what's driving the rush of new farming ventures to supply cities with food grown nearby.

Some urban farmers are even experimenting with growing food a few blocks away from or even inside the grocery store. Call it über-local food.

Most of these new ventures are lead by idealistic entrepreneurs who want to part of the new food system. It's not yet clear whether they'll fit in for the long haul.

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Science
5:14 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Uncertainty Swirls Saturday's Predicted Meteor Shower

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 6:04 pm

Alan MacRobert of Sky and Telescope magazine says that Earth on Saturday may pass through relatively dense streams of debris, resulting in a vivid display of shooting stars — or it won't.

The Two-Way
4:35 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Organic Cat Litter Chief Suspect In Nuclear Waste Accident

Workers at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant are still investigating what caused a radioactive release at the site, but organic cat litter may be the culprit.
DOE/WIPP

Originally published on Sat May 24, 2014 3:12 am

In February, a 55-gallon drum of radioactive waste burst open inside America's only nuclear dump, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico.

Now investigators believe the cause may have been a pet store purchase gone bad.

"It was the wrong kitty litter," says James Conca, a geochemist in Richland, Wash., who has spent decades in the nuclear waste business.

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The Salt
4:01 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

California's Drought Isn't Making Food Cost More. Here's Why

Farmworkers pull weeds from a field of lettuce near Gonzales, Calif. Salinas Valley farms like this one rely on wells, which haven't been affected much by the drought.
George Rose Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 4:48 pm

The entire state of California is in a severe drought. Farmers and farmworkers are hurting.

You might expect this to cause food shortages and higher prices across the country. After all, California grows 95 percent of America's broccoli, 81 percent of its carrots and 99 percent of the country's artichokes, almonds and walnuts, among other foods.

Yet there's been no sign of a big price shock. What gives?

Here are three explanations.

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The Salt
1:04 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Sushi's Secret: Why We Get Hooked On Raw Fish

A feast for the eyes and the mouth. Tuna swim long distances, but their muscles are still soft and tender.
Kyodo /Landov

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 9:59 am

Raw fish is sizzling hot right now.

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The Two-Way
12:28 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Tonight's New 'Giraffes' Meteor Shower Could Be A Great One

A map from NASA predicts the peak viewing areas and times for the Camelopardalids meteor shower Friday night and early Saturday.
Danielle Moser NASA

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 2:22 pm

An all-new meteor shower makes its debut tonight, and astronomers say it could put on a show starting as early as 10:30 p.m. ET Friday and peaking early Saturday. Called the Camelopardalids, the shower is named after the giraffe constellation. It's expected to be visible in nearly all of the U.S., if skies are clear.

"No one has seen it before," NASA says, "but the shower could put on a show that would rival the prolific Perseid meteor shower in August."

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