Science & Environment

Space
5:15 pm
Sat December 6, 2014

NASA's Orion Completes First Test Flight

Originally published on Sat December 6, 2014 5:36 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
5:38 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Coming Soon To A Filling Station Near You: $1.99 Gasoline

Gas prices in Oklahoma City have dipped under $2.
Joe Wertz StateImpact Oklahoma

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 5:50 pm

The photo above isn't from the archives. It was taken this week in Oklahoma City, where the price of regular gas has fallen under $2 a gallon. The last time that happened anywhere in the U.S. was in July 2010.

The OnCue filling station is the first in the country to drop its price below the $2/gallon threshold.

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Space
4:20 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Lots Of Work Remains After Successful Orion Launch

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 6:30 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Early this morning in Florida, NASA launched Orion, its latest spacecraft.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: And liftoff at dawn. The dawn of Orion and a new era of American Space exploration

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The Salt
3:50 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Why Did Vitamins Disappear From Non-GMO Breakfast Cereal?

The Original Grape-Nuts, which now bear a non-GMO label, no longer contain vitamins A, D, B-12 and B-2.
Claire Eggers NPR

Originally published on Sat December 6, 2014 6:18 am

Remember when Cheerios and Grape-Nuts went GMO-free? That was about a year ago, when their corporate creators announced that these products would no longer contain ingredients made from genetically modified organisms like common types of corn, soybeans or sugar beets.

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The Salt
12:31 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

It's Brown, It's Barrel-Aged, It's ... Gin?

Anthony Keels, bar manager at Verbena in San Francisco, serves up a cocktail made with barrel-aged, dark gin. Keels calls this gin a game-changer.
Stacy Adimando for NPR

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 3:01 pm

While many know gin for its light, bright and dry characteristics — citrusy, herbal flavors that go so well with tonic water — another gin sits at the opposite end of the spectrum. Malty, lightly tannic, and with the subtle sweetness and spice of a young whiskey, dark, barrel-aged gin is pushing the frontiers of this spirit forward.

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Goats and Soda
12:19 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Baby's Necklace Could End Up Being A Life Saver

Vikram is the first child to wear a Khushi Baby necklace, which will keep track of his immunizations. He's at a vaccine clinic in Rajasthan, India.
Ruchit Nagar Courtesy of Khushi Baby

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 4:27 pm

Meet Vikram. He's that cute baby in the picture above. Now, take a closer look at his neckwear.

It's traditional for newborns in northern India to wear a black thread necklace as a symbol of good health and good fortune, but Vikram's got a high-tech version. The round pendant on the string is a wearable device called Khushi Baby that carries his vaccination history inside a computerized chip about the size of a dime.

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The Two-Way
10:54 am
Fri December 5, 2014

A Year After Typhoon Haiyan, The Philippines Braces For Another Big Hit

A satellite image showing Super Typhoon Hagupit on Friday.
U.S. Navy Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC)

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 7:50 pm

Super Typhoon Hagupit, briefly downgraded before regaining strength, is set to smash into the Philippine coast on Saturday. The massive storm is already forcing tens of thousands of people to flee its predicted path, which might include a direct hit on the capital, Manila.

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The Two-Way
7:54 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

DNA Pioneer Watson's Nobel Prize Sells For $4.75 Million

The 1962 Nobel Prize Medal in Medicine or Physiology that James Watson won has been sold at auction.
Christie's

The Nobel Prize medal that James Watson won for helping explain how DNA is structured has a new owner, as the 1962 gold medal was bought for more than $4.75 million at auction Thursday. Watson has said he'll donate much of the money to educational institutions.

The identity of the winning bidder, who participated by phone, has not been revealed.

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The Salt
5:28 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Who Made That Flavor? Maybe A Genetically Altered Microbe

Mattheos Koffas (left), a biochemical engineer at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Andrew Jones, a graduate student in his lab, with a flask of microbe-produced antioxidants.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 7:09 pm

For practically our whole history of cooking and eating, we've gotten our spices and most flavors (not to mention all of the other basic nutrients that keep us alive) straight from plants.

But researchers and biotech companies are starting to produce some of these nutrients and flavors — especially the high-priced ones — in their laboratories.

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The Two-Way
4:53 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

2014 To Be Warmest Year On Record, U.N. Weather Agency Says

Marina owner Mitzi Richards carries her granddaughter in September as they walk on their boat dock at the dried up lake bed of Huntington Lake in California, which was at only 30 percent capacity as a severe drought continued. The state was in the grip of its third year of severe drought, the worst in decades.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 11:10 pm

This year is on track to become the warmest on record, with average global temperatures 1.03 degrees Fahrenheit above the 1961-1990 average, according to a new report from the World Meteorological Organization. That would make 2014 the 38th consecutive year with above normal temperatures.

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