Science & Environment

Shots - Health News
1:04 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

With Help From Extinct Humans, Tibetans Adapted To High Altitude

A mother and daughter herd their yaks along a highway on the Tibetan plateau.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 5:15 pm

At an altitude of nearly 3 miles, the Tibetan plateau is an extreme place to live. It's cold, it's hard to grow food, and there's about 40 percent less oxygen in the air than there is at sea level.

Somehow, though, native Tibetans are adapted to it. Their bodies — and their blood in particular — work differently than those of people used to lower altitudes. The Tibetans' advantage might be thanks to an ancient inheritance.

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Shots - Health News
11:37 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Easy Method For Making Stem Cells Was Too Good To Be True

The heart beats in a mouse embryo grown with stem cells made from blood. Now the research that claimed a simple acid solution could be used to create those cells has been retracted.
Courtesy of Haruko Obokata

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 11:21 am

A prestigious scientific journal Wednesday took the unusual step of retracting some high-profile research that had generated international excitement about stem cell research.

The British scientific journal Nature retracted two papers published in January by scientists at the Riken research institute in Japan and at Harvard Medical School that claimed that they could create stem cells simply by dipping skin and blood cells into acid.

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The Two-Way
11:19 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Oh, Pooh: Bear Cub Gets Head Stuck In Cookie Jar

A bear cub that had to be rescued from a tree after getting its head stuck in a cookie jar is shown in a handout photo from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 12:25 pm

Blame it on the animal crackers. A plastic jar of the treats was too enticing for a young bear in New Jersey, which got its head irretrievably wedged in the container. When people approached it to help, the 28-pound bear cub got scared — and climbed 40 feet up a tree, where it became stuck.

The incident happened in Ringwood, a small New Jersey town that's situated among forests and parkland. Workers from the state Environmental Protection Department and other local agencies got the cub safely back down and cut the jar off its head — but not before taking a photo of its plight.

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Krulwich Wonders...
7:10 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Watch It Swallow An Entire Tree In Seconds

deniscimafinc YouTube

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 7:03 am

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Research News
5:05 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Living 63 Feet Underwater Helps Cousteau Team Conduct Experiments

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 2:03 pm

Fabien Cousteau and a crew of scientists and explorers have spent the past 31 days underwater in the Aquarius Reef Base off the coast of Florida. David Greene talks to Cousteau about the experience.

Shots - Health News
3:49 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Targeting Overweight Workers With Wellness Programs Can Backfire

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 2:08 pm

Employers say obesity is a top health concern for their workers. But health is a sensitive and personal issue. Some employees say these wellness initiatives can go too far.

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The Salt
5:40 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Breeding Battle Threatens Key Source Of California Strawberries

Originally published on Sun July 6, 2014 11:48 pm

In California, a legal skirmish has erupted over strawberries — or rather, over strawberry breeding.

To be absolutely precise, the battle is about strawberry breeding at the University of California, Davis. This is more important than it might sound. More than half of all strawberries in the supermarket trace their ancestry to breeding plots at UC Davis.

The strawberry breeders at UC Davis, who've led that program for decades, are leaving the university to carry on their work at a new private company.

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Shots - Health News
4:38 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

A Misspent Youth Doesn't Doom You To Heart Disease

Had a bit too much fun in your 20s?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 10:34 am

We all know that a healthy lifestyle can keep heart disease at bay. But if like many of us you spent your 20s scarfing down pizza, throwing back a few too many beers and aggressively avoiding the gym, don't despair.

People who drop bad habits in their late 30s and 40s can reduce their risk of developing coronary artery disease, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal Circulation.

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Food
6:55 am
Tue July 1, 2014

IBM's Watson Is Out With Its Own Barbecue Sauce

The barbecue sauce concocted with the help of Watson contains a dozen ingredients.
IBM

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 11:12 am

A company specializing in bytes is offering a special flavor for your Fourth of July: IBM's Watson barbecue sauce.

The supercomputer first showed off its intellectual process on Jeopardy, but Watson now seems ready for the Food Channel.

After analyzing massive numbers of recipes, Watson went gourmet. The condiment, called Bengali Butternut BBQ Sauce, contains a dozen ingredients, including butternut squash, white wine, dates, Thai chilies and tamarind. According to IBM, "it's got a slow, warm heat and a kick."

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Space
6:35 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Why Theories On Black Holes Are Full Of Holes

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 2:24 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Scientists announced, earlier this week, they had discovered three supermassive black holes orbiting close together in a single galaxy. That indicates that black holes are more common than astronomers previously thought. And it's a good reason to revisit a report from Joe Palca on black holes. In this encore segment, he reports that the theories about these super powerful bodies are still, well, full of holes.

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