Science & Environment

The Salt
4:51 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Even Neil DeGrasse Tyson Is Now Munching On Bugs

Neil deGrasse Tyson with a Cambodian cricket rumaki canape, wrapped in bacon. "I have come to surmise, in the culinary universe, that anytime someone feels compelled to wrap something in bacon, it probably doesn't taste very good," he said skeptically before taking a bite.
Carole Zimmer for NPR

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 5:03 pm

More than 1,000 guests in gowns and tuxedos crowded into a two-story hall on Saturday night at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Standing among a pack of well-preserved African elephants, they sampled the delicacies offered by waiters wending their way through the throngs. They had come for the annual dinner of the Explorers Club — and the cocktail-hour fare certainly required an adventurous palate: All of it was made of insects.

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Shots - Health News
4:49 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Why The War On Cancer Hasn't Been Won

Vidhya Nagarajan for NPR

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 12:26 pm

When President Richard Nixon declared a war on cancer in 1971, there were high hopes that scientists were close enough to understanding the underlying causes that many cures were within reach.

We obviously haven't won the war.

In fact, a prominent cancer biologist argues that the conceptual framework for understanding cancer has come full circle over the past 40 years.

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Shots - Health News
4:07 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Stats Split On Progress Against Cancer

Find other stories in the Living Cancer series at WNYC.org.
WNYC

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 8:33 am

When someone asks whether we're winning the war on cancer, the discussion often veers into the world of numbers. And, depending on which numbers you're looking at, the answer can either be yes or no.

Let's start with the no.

The number of cancer deaths in this country is on the rise. It climbed 4 percent between 2000 and 2011, the latest year in official statistics. More than 577,000 people died of cancer in 2011. That's almost a quarter of all deaths. Those aren't just personal tragedies – the figure represents a growing burden on America.

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Goats and Soda
1:07 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

You Think Your City Is Full Of Trash? Ha!

Even Oscar the Grouch might be put off by the growing heaps of trash in the center of Kathmandu.
Donatella Lorch

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 6:51 pm

They don't call it Trashmandu for nothing.

In Nepal's capital city of Kathmandu, garbage is pretty much everywhere. It's stuffed in plastic bags and dropped in drainage ditches. It's piled high in empty lots, on the roadside and on the edges of the city's sewage-filled rivers.

It is thrown out of bus windows and off rooftops into neighbors' yards.

It's hard to believe Kathmandu could get any worse. But this month, it did.

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The Two-Way
9:56 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Paris Bans Some Cars For A Day To Battle Smog

A photo taken on Feb. 12 shows the Eiffel Tower in Paris through thick smog.
Patrick Kovarik AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 2:05 pm

Paris has banned cars with license plates ending in even numbers from its roads today to reduce smog that last week briefly made the City of Lights among the world's most polluted places.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley, who is reporting on the story for our Newscast unit, says the Paris Metro and other public transportation are free for the next few days to encourage people to use them. The ban on cars doesn't extend to electric, hybrid or emergency vehicles.

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Shots - Health News
3:33 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Rethinking Alcohol: Can Heavy Drinkers Learn To Cut Back?

Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 8:34 am

The thinking about alcohol dependence used to be black and white. There was a belief that there were two kinds of drinkers: alcoholics and everyone else.

"But that dichotomy — yes or no, you have it or you don't — is inadequate," says Dr. John Mariani, who researches substance abuse at Columbia University. He says that the thinking has evolved, and that the field of psychiatry recognizes there's a spectrum.

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Environment
6:15 pm
Sun March 22, 2015

In California's Fourth Year Of Drought, New Regulations and $1 Billion In Relief

Originally published on Sun March 22, 2015 10:49 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

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The Two-Way
1:48 pm
Sun March 22, 2015

Top Beijing Scientist: China Faces 'Huge Impact' From Climate Change

Smoke billows from chimneys of a steel plant on a hazy day in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, earlier this month.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun March 22, 2015 7:06 pm

China's top weather scientist has made a rare official acknowledgement: climate change, he says, could have a "huge impact" on the country's crop yields and infrastructure.

Zheng Guogang, the head of China's meteorological administration, tells Xinhua news agency that China is already experiencing temperature increases that outpace those in other parts of the world.

As a result, China — the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases — faces a possible "ecological degradation," he says.

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Your Health
7:11 am
Sat March 21, 2015

How The First Bite Of Food Sets The Body's Clock

Originally published on Sat March 21, 2015 10:56 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Science
7:11 am
Sat March 21, 2015

Why Some Mushrooms Glow In The Dark

N. gardneri mushrooms grow at the base of young babassu palms in Brazil. A bland tan by day, the fungi emit an eerie green light by night.
Michele P. Verderane/IP-USP

Originally published on Sat March 21, 2015 10:56 am

A team of scientists recently created some fake, glowing mushrooms and scattered them in a Brazilian forest in hopes of solving an ancient mystery: Why do some fungi emit light?

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