Science & Environment

Shots - Health News
7:03 am
Thu June 18, 2015

When Should Surgeons Stop Operating?

A program based at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore offers a two-day series of assessments for older surgeons, evaluating "physical and cognitive" function.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri June 19, 2015 11:44 am

Increased fatigue, forgetfulness, and reduced eyesight — these are some of the declines that can come with aging.

Certain professions keep a close watch for these sorts of changes, in hopes of protecting the public. And some jobs even have a firm age cutoff: Airline pilots are required to retire at 65, for example, and some firefighters must step down by 57. But there are no nationwide age-related cutoffs, required assessments or guidelines to make sure doctors can do their jobs safely.

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The Two-Way
6:03 pm
Wed June 17, 2015

Worms Know What's Up — And Now Scientists Know Why

Researchers say that inside the head of the worm C. elegans, an antenna-like structure at the tip of the AFD neuron (highlighted in green) is the first identified sensor for Earth's magnetic field.
Andrés Vidal-Gadea

In what researchers say is a first, they've discovered the neuron in worms that detects Earth's magnetic field. Animals have been known to sense the magnetic field; a new study identifies the microscopic, antenna-shaped sensor that helps worms orient themselves underground.

The sensory neuron that the worm C. elegans uses to migrate up or down through the soil could be similar to what many other animals use, according to the team of scientists and engineers at The University of Texas at Austin.

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Environment
5:02 pm
Wed June 17, 2015

Gambler-Turned-Conservationist Devotes Fortune To Florida Nature Preserve

M.C. Davis, former gambler and businessman, stands in his 54,000-acre preserve, Nokuse Plantation, in the Florida Panhandle. It's the largest privately owned conservation area in the southeastern United States.
Matt Ozug NPR

Originally published on Wed June 17, 2015 7:22 pm

You might think you know what frogs sound like — until, that is, you hear the symphony of amphibians that fills the muggy night air at Nokuse Plantation, a nature preserve in the Florida Panhandle.

There, about 100 miles east of Pensacola, a man named M.C. Davis has done something extraordinary: He has bought up tens of thousands of acres in the Florida sandhills and turned them into a unique, private preserve.

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Environment
4:05 pm
Wed June 17, 2015

Leaked Encyclical Highlights Growing Resistance To Pope's Reform Agenda

Originally published on Wed June 17, 2015 6:27 pm

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Around the Nation
4:05 pm
Wed June 17, 2015

Red Crabs Invade Southern California Beaches In Search Of Warm Water

Originally published on Wed June 17, 2015 6:48 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

There's something strange happening along the coast of Southern California. It's the latest in a string of rare phenomena that scientists link to unusually warm ocean waters. NPR's Kirk Siegler went to have a look.

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Shots - Health News
1:58 pm
Wed June 17, 2015

Why Some Teen Brains May Be Hardwired To Make Risky Choices

Originally published on Fri June 19, 2015 11:45 am

Teenagers aren't exactly known for their responsible decision making.

But some young people are especially prone to making rash, risky decisions about sex, drugs and alcohol. Individual differences in the brain's working memory — which allows people to draw on and use information to make decisions — could help explain why some adolescents are especially impulsive when it comes to sex, according to a study published Wednesday in Child Development.

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The Salt
1:50 pm
Wed June 17, 2015

To Tackle Food Waste, Big Grocery Chain Will Sell Produce Rejects

Imperfect Produce is a new venture that's sourcing funny-looking produce and partnering with the chain Raley's to sell it at discounted prices.
Courtesy of Imperfect Produce

Originally published on Thu June 18, 2015 10:45 am

It's easy to blame someone else for food waste. If this is really a $2.6 trillion issue, as the United Nations estimates, then who's in charge of fixing it?

Turns out, we the eaters play a big role here.

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The Two-Way
1:03 pm
Wed June 17, 2015

NASA Satellites Show World's Thirst For Groundwater

The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, or GRACE, used a pair of satellites to measure water use in the world's aquifers.
NASA

Originally published on Wed June 17, 2015 6:25 pm

New data from NASA's GRACE satellites show that many of the world's biggest aquifers are being sucked dry at a rate far greater than they are being replenished. Although scientists don't know how much water is left, they hope their findings will serve as a "red flag" for regions that may be overusing water.

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Shots - Health News
9:35 pm
Tue June 16, 2015

Updated Training Of Birth Control Counselors Boosts Use Of IUDs

When health care providers have the latest information on various birth control methods, research suggests, more of their patients who use birth control choose a long-acting reversible method, like the IUD.
iStockphoto

Just over half of all pregnancies in America are unplanned.

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Parallels
5:11 am
Tue June 16, 2015

Will Pope's Much-Anticipated Encyclical Be A Clarion Call On Climate Change?

Pope Francis prays during his general audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican on June 3. The pope has made statements supporting the idea that climate change is man-made, and his upcoming encyclical on the environment and poverty is highly anticipated.
Vincenzo Pinto AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 8:14 pm

In April this year, on Earth Day, Pope Francis urged everyone to see the world through the eyes of God, as a garden to cultivate.

"May the way people treat the Earth not be guided by greed, manipulation, and exploitation, but rather may it preserve the divine harmony between creatures and creation, also in the service of future generations," he said.

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