Science & Environment

Krulwich Wonders...
7:23 am
Fri March 21, 2014

What's The Biggest Animal Gathering Ever? (Was Rod Stewart There?)

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 10:08 am

It's a small moment in a sprawling Shakespeare play. Most people miss it. A nobleman named Mortimer has been locked up by the king, who decrees: Don't anyone say "Mortimer" in my royal presence. That name is forbidden. But one of Mortimer's allies has a plan. He wants to give the king a little bird, a starling.

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Research News
5:06 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Does Diversity On Research Team Improve Quality Of Science?

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 7:45 am

As science becomes more diverse, scientific collaborators are growing more diverse, too. New research exploring the effect of this change suggests the diversity of the teams that produce scientific research play a big role in how successful the science turns out to be.

Shots - Health News
4:36 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Never Mind Eyesight, Your Nose Knows Much More

Your schnoz deserves more respect.
epSos .de/Flickr

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 8:14 am

The human eye can distinguish more than 2 million distinct colors. But scientists studying smell now say they have their vision colleagues beat: The human nose, they say, can distinguish more than a trillion different smells.

Yes, trillion with a T.

That new figure displaces a much more modest estimate. Until now, smell researchers have been saying the human nose can distinguish about 10,000 smells.

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The Salt
10:33 am
Thu March 20, 2014

French-Fry Conspiracy: Genes Can Make Fried Foods More Fattening

Oh, these look good! But how much the fries hurt your waistline depends not only on how many you eat but also your DNA.
angela n./Flickr

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 1:11 pm

When it comes to fried foods, sometimes I feel cursed.

My husband can eat as many spicy, crispy chicken sandwiches as he wants and never gain a pound. But for me, just smelling the chicken fryer seems to expand my waistline.

Now doctors at the Harvard School of Public Health show what we've all suspected: Some people do indeed pay a higher price for indulging in French fries and Tater Tots. And we have Mom and Dad to blame for it.

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Code Switch
7:03 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Digging For Gold: Study Says Your Race Determines Your Earwax Scent

Didn't your doctor tell you never to stick Q-tips in your ear? Who follows that rule, anyway?

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 8:40 am

I'm not sure what type of situation would lead you to compare your earwax with anybody else's earwax. (Because, gross.) But researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center have found that the smell of ear gold varies by race. The volatile organic compounds in earwax — call it cerumen, if you're in a scientific mood — can contain key information about your body and your environment.

So Why Did The Researchers Start Digging?

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5:02 am
Thu March 20, 2014

The 500-Pound 'Chicken From Hell' Likely Ate Whatever It Wanted

Courtesy of Bob Walters

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 4:07 pm

For the past decade, dinosaur scientists have been puzzling over a set of fossil bones they variously describe as weird and bizarre. Now they've figured out what animal they belonged to: a bird-like creature they're calling "the chicken from hell."

There are two reasons for the name.

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5:02 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Einstein's Lost Theory Discovered ... And It's Wrong

It's OK, kids. Even Albert Einstein sometimes made math mistakes.
Harris & Ewing Library of Congress

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 11:19 am

Earlier this week, physicists announced they'd seen evidence of ripples in the fabric of space and time from just moments after the Big Bang. Such ripples were predicted almost a century ago by Albert Einstein.

Einstein's theory of relativity is arguably the 20th century's greatest idea. But not everything he did was right: Some newly uncovered work from the brilliant physicist was wrong. Really, really wrong.

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It's All Politics
5:04 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

White House Launches Climate Change Data Website

People walk along Venice Beach in Los Angeles. A new climate-focused U.S. government website will provide data on sea level rise and coastal flooding.
Damian Dovarganes AP

The White House on Wednesday rolled out a new initiative designed to make climate data more accessible to researchers and industries trying to adapt to global warming.

The project includes the introduction of a climate-focused section of the federal government's open data platform at; an innovation challenge to solicit ideas from the private sector to demonstrate coastal flooding; and collaboration with companies like Google and Ersi to provide technological support.

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Shots - Health News
4:17 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Most U.S. Women Wouldn't Know A Stroke If They Saw Or Felt One

The rupture of a weakened portion of blood vessel (the dark blue spot in this brain scan of a 68-year-old woman) can prompt bleeding and death of brain tissue — a stroke.
Simon Fraser Science Source

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 10:04 am

When it comes to treating a stroke victim, every minute counts.

Each moment that passes without treatment increases the likelihood of permanent damage or death. So the first steps to getting help are being able to spot a stroke in yourself or others and knowing how to respond.

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Shots - Health News
3:25 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Half Of Americans Believe In Medical Conspiracy Theories

Twenty percent of Americans think that cellphones cause cancer and that the government and big corporations are covering this up.

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 6:08 pm

Misinformation about health remains widespread and popular.

Half of Americans subscribe to medical conspiracy theories, with more than one-third of people thinking that the Food and Drug Administration is deliberately keeping natural cures for cancer off the market because of pressure from drug companies, a survey finds.

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