Science & Environment

Shots - Health News
5:00 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

This Is How Diabetes Swept The Nation

The march of diabetes across the nation.
Stephanie d'Otreppe NPR

Originally published on Sat November 17, 2012 6:22 am

When it comes to diabetes, just about everyone has heard there's an epidemic upon us.

In 2010, about 18.8 million people of all ages in the U.S. had been diagnosed with diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Another 7 million had diabetes but hadn't been diagnosed.

How much have things changed?

Back in 1995, about 4.5 percent of adults in the U.S. had been diagnosed with diabetes. By 2010, the prevalence had zoomed to 8.2 percent.

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The Salt
2:12 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

Pig Genome Project May Pave The Way For Better Bacon

Tenderness, fat content and meat color are targets for breeders hoping to improve the pork on our plates.
iStockphoto.com

Could bacon get any tastier?

Pig scientists and breeders say indeed it could, now that the pig genome has been sequenced and a trove of new genetic information is available.

The Swine Genome Sequencing Consortium, an international group of researchers, published their analysis of the genome this week in Nature.

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Shots - Health News
1:51 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

Mental Disorders And Evolution: What Would Darwin Say About Schizophrenia?

Charles Darwin
iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat November 17, 2012 6:36 am

It's a question that's baffled evolutionary theorists for decades: if survival of the fittest is the rule, how have the genes that contribute to serious, debilitating mental disorders survived?

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Animals
1:09 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

A Millipede That (Almost) Lives Up To The Name

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 3:02 pm

No millipede actually has 1000 feet--but the species Illacme plenipes comes closest, with up to 750. Entomologist Paul Marek, who rediscovered the rare species a few years ago in California's coastal mountains, calls counting legs and measuring millipedes a "guilty pleasure."

Technology
12:57 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

Looking Back On 2012 Election Technology

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 3:02 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. If you're a political junkie, I'm guessing a couple of words will make your skin crawl: hanging chads. Or you might like pregnant chads or whatever - we didn't know what a chad was before then. After the problems counting ballots in the 2000 election in Florida, municipalities around the country moved to adopt electronic voting systems with the thought that they would be easier to use, more straightforward to count.

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Science
12:57 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

Searching For 'The Particle At The End Of The Universe'

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 3:02 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Why does stuff have mass, you know, that gives it weight? If you're a regular listener, you might recall that it has to do with how subatomic particles interact with something called the Higgs Field, right? Higgs boson, becoming more familiar? How do scientists know that? Well, it's theory. It's backed up by, in part, by the reported discovery of the Higgs Boson at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, back in July.

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NPR Story
12:01 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

Are We Getting Dumber? Maybe, Scientist Says

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 3:02 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. Turn on reality TV, and it may not be long before you ask yourself: Are we getting dumber? A new study may have some genetic answers to that question. Provocative research published this week in the journal Trends in Genetics suggests that human intelligence may have peaked thousands of years ago.

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NPR Story
12:01 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

James Watson: The Double Helix and Beyond

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 3:02 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Well, luckily that we lost Dr. Crabtree that - I'm sorry that we did lose him, but fortunately for us we have our next guest with us here, it's Dr. James Watson, sitting right here with us. Welcome to the program.

JAMES WATSON: I'm glad to be back with you.

FLATOW: Well, let me begin our interview a little bit early. You are certainly not unknown, Watson and Crick, and you have also a new book out now called "The Double Helix," and it's got all kinds of annotations, and what's new about this version of the book?

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NPR Story
12:01 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

Desktop Diaries: Temple Grandin

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 3:02 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Next up, Flora Lichtman is here, our multimedia editor, with our Video Pick of the Week.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Ira.

FLATOW: Hi, Flora. And it is super - we have a specials - we have special ones. This is a...

LICHTMAN: This is a special day for us.

FLATOW: ...special day.

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Environment
5:03 pm
Thu November 15, 2012

BP Oil Spill Has Lingering Effects In Gulf Coast

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 11:55 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

To understand what the environmental impact of the BP oil spill has been over the last two years, we turn now to Dr. Jim Cowan. He is a professor of oceanography and coastal science at Louisiana State University. Dr. Cowan, welcome to the program.

DR. JIM COWAN: Happy to be here.

CORNISH: So you've been out on the water examining the impacts of the spill since the early days. What were the sort of concerns at first and how has that changed over time?

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