Science & Environment

The Salt
4:16 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

California Is So Dry, Some Diners Won't Get Water Unless They Ask

In California, some restaurants are changing their policy to serve water to patrons only upon request.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 5:39 pm

California's drought is getting very serious — so serious that even those water refills you didn't ask for at restaurants are now under scrutiny.

"We have not had this dry a time period in all of California's history since we've been keeping records — that's how bad it is," Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif., who represents a district in the Central Valley, told reporters on Tuesday.

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Krulwich Wonders...
3:26 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Big Fish Stories Getting Littler

Courtesy of Monroe County Public Library

They came, they fished, then snap! They posed. Right in front of their Big Catch — and thereby hangs a tale.

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Shots - Health News
2:07 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

An Artificial Arm Gives One Man The Chance To Feel Again

Dennis Aabo Sorensen tests a prosthetic arm with sensory feedback in a laboratory in Rome in March 2013.
Patrizia Tocci/Lifehand 2

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 8:43 pm

Ten years ago Dennis Sorensen was setting off fireworks to celebrate New Year's Eve with his family in Denmark when something terrible happened.

"Unfortunately one of the rockets we had this evening was not good and when we light it then it just blew up and, yeah, my hand was, was not that good anymore," says Sorensen.

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The Salt
1:51 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Ladies: Good Bacteria In Yogurt May Be Good For Waistlines, Too

A probiotic commonly found in yogurt seems to help women lose more weight and fat, a recent study finds. But you still have to eat healthy to see an effect.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 1:49 pm

Ladies, if that Super Bowl Sunday pitch from '90s heartthrob John Stamos didn't leave you craving more yogurt, here's some science that might do the trick: There's tantalizing new research suggesting that some friendly bacteria commonly found in yogurts may help women shed more weight while on a diet and keep it off.

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Shots - Health News
1:20 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Our Brains Rewrite Our Memories, Putting Present In The Past

The brain edits memories of the past, updating them with new information. Scientists say this may help us function better in the present. But don't throw those photos away.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 8:04 am

Think about your fifth-birthday party. Maybe your mom carried the cake. What did her face look like? If you have a hard time imagining the way she looked then rather than how she looks now, you're not alone.

The brain edits memories relentlessly, updating the past with new information. Scientists say that this isn't a question of having a bad memory. Instead, they think the brain updates memories to make them more relevant and useful now — even if they're not a true representation of the past.

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The Salt
9:20 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Electronic Tongues Are The Beer Snobs Of The Future

Personally, we're most looking forward to having robot drinking buddies.
Bongo Entertainment Inc.

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 5:01 pm

If beer is the new wine, robots are the new beer snobs. Well, sort of.

Researchers in Barcelona have developed an electronic tongue that really knows the difference between a pilsner and a bock.

For now, it looks less like a slick, futuristic robot and more like a big of clump sensors. It's still a prototype, but its creators say it could some day replace human taste testers.

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NPR Story
5:03 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Science Guy Bill Nye Debates Creationist Ken Ham

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 7:19 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A famous trial in the 1920s tested the question of creationism. That question is still open for many people, and an argument over creationism versus evolution can sell a lot of seats. Last night at the Creation Museum in Northern Kentucky, its president, Ken Ham, was pitted in debate against TV personality and science educator Bill Nye. The event sold out in a matter of minutes. As Devin Katayama, from member station WFPL in Louisville, reports, a debate is not likely to change many minds.

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The Two-Way
7:09 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Watch The Creationism Vs. Evolution Debate: Ken Ham And Bill Nye

Bill Nye, left, and Ken Ham take the stage to debate evolution and creationism Tuesday in Kentucky.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 5:13 pm

Does it damage children to teach them biblical creationism? What are the costs of denying evolution, one of biology's core tenets?

Those questions were asked Tuesday night, in a live debate between best-selling Christian author Ken Ham and Emmy Award-winning educator Bill Nye ("the Science Guy") at the Creation Museum of Petersburg, Ky.

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Krulwich Wonders...
8:02 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Even Dead, Really Nasty Pets Are Still ... Um ... Trouble

 

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 11:36 am

The Inmans had a parrot. Grump (that was his name) was horrible, angry, scheming and nasty. But he was their parrot so they couldn't shoot him. Instead he lived in their house, soiled their mail, stole their fried chicken and, every so often, bit. Then, finally, he died.

Sort of.

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The Salt
3:40 am
Tue February 4, 2014

How American Food Companies Go GMO-Free In A GMO World

Allen Williams grows corn and soybeans for Clarkson Grain, which has been selling GMO-free grain to Japan for years.
Dan Charles/NPR

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 8:12 am

Quite possibly, you've noticed some new food labels out there, like "Not made with genetically modified ingredients" or "GMO-free." You might have seen them on boxes of Cheerios, or on chicken meat. If you've shopped at Whole Foods, that retailer says it now sells more than 3,000 products that have been certified as "non-GMO."

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