Science & Environment

Space
1:41 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Martian Lab Made In Manhattan

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Speaking of Mars, Flora Lichtman is here with our Video Pick of the Week.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Speaking of Mars.

(LAUGHTER)

LICHTMAN: Speaking of Martians.

(LAUGHTER)

FLATOW: Well, I said it because you have a great Mars-related video.

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Space
1:38 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

After 'Terror,' Mars Scientists Plan Exploration

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. Unless you've been hiding under a rock on Mars, you know that last weekend NASA's Mars Science Laboratory safely made its way down to the surface of the Red Planet and now the Rover Curiosity sits, set up camp in Gale Crater.

So what'll it do now that it's there? Joining me now to talk about it is John Grotzinger. He's project scientist for the mission, professor of geology at Caltech. He joins me from the JPL Campus in Pasadena. Welcome back to the program.

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Books
1:33 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Catching Up With Tom Swift a Century Later

Science fiction hero Tom Swift has amazed children with his incredible inventions since combustion and electricity drove the nation into a new era. These stories captured a cultural love of science and inspired such famous figures as Steve Wozniak and Isaac Asimov — all while predicting new technologies decades in advance.

Science
1:32 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Amidst Rocky Peaks, Physicists Ponder The Universe

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY from NPR. I'm Ira Flatow. How many pictures have you seen of Einstein in front of a blackboard, you know, scribbling equations, working through the math? That's how theoretical physicists spend their time, right? Either that or cooped up alone in their university offices with pencil and paper.

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NPR Story
1:25 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Attacking Alzheimer's With Antibodies, Hormones

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. Earlier this week, yet another potential cure for Alzheimer's failed. Pfizer called off additional studies of its intravenous drug bapineuzumab, an antibody designed to seek and destroy plaques that build up in the brains of people with Alzheimer's.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:28 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Why Is The World's Largest Foundation Buying Fake Poop?

Graduate student Clement Cid sits atop the solar-powered toilet he helped to build at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif. Underneath the platform, the toilet converts waste into fertilizer. The Caltech team will use fake feces to demonstrate the toilet's features next week at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation offices.
Courtesy of Michael Hoffmann/Caltech

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 12:31 pm

Last week, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced that it's purchasing 50 pounds of fake poop.

A practical joke? No, not in the least.

Nor is this synthetic poop a plastic replica of the real thing; it's an organic version made from soybeans. The Gates Foundation will use it to test high-tech commodes at their Reinvent the Toilet Fair next week.

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Joe's Big Idea
3:00 am
Fri August 10, 2012

So You Landed On Mars. Now What?

Adam Steltzner, the leader of the rover's entry, descent and landing engineering team, cheers after Curiosity touched down safely on Mars on Sunday.
Bill Ingalls/NASA Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 6:28 am

The Mars rover Curiosity is beginning its fifth day on the red planet, and it's been performing flawlessly from the moment it landed.

That's been especially gratifying for NASA landing engineer Adam Steltzner. Last Friday, while Steltzner was still on pins and needles waiting for the landing to take place, I told the story of Steltzner's decision as a young man to give up his life as a rocker and go for a career in space engineering.

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Animals
5:24 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Study: Humans, Elephants User Similar Vocalizations

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 11:02 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Finally, this hour, a trick question. What sound does an elephant make? If you have a toddler nearby, you're no doubt getting an imitation of this.

(SOUNDBITE OF ELEPHANT)

CORNISH: But what most kids and their parents don't know because most of us have never been within hugging distance of an elephant is that their most common form of communication is this.

(SOUNDBITE OF ELEPHANT)

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Environment
5:17 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

How A Texas Town Became Water Smart

An area in San Antonio's Brackenridge Park where treated wastewater is pumped into the San Antonio River, one of many measures the city has taken to combat drought.
Mose Buchele StateImpact Texas

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 11:02 am

Faced with a booming population and a disappearing water supply, the city of San Antonio responded by dramatically cutting consumption, pioneering new storage techniques and investing in water recycling and desalination projects. It now boasts that it is "Water's Most Resourceful City."

There are so many programs and projects that Chuck Ahrens of Water Resources and Conservation with the San Antonio Water System can hardly keep track.

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NPR Story
1:46 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Paleontologists Unearth Possible Pre-Human Fossils

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 2:30 pm

Fossils discovered in East Africa suggest that Homo erectus, the species believed to be humans' direct ancestor, may have shared Earth with two genetically distinct but similar species. Some paleontologists believe that these species may be distant relatives to modern humans, while others need more evidence.

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