Science http://wvasfm.org en This Albino Redwood Tree Isn't Dead — But It Came Close http://wvasfm.org/post/albino-redwood-tree-isnt-dead-it-came-close <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.<img src="http://www.google-analytics.com/__utm.gif?utmac=UA-5828686-4&utmdt=This+Albino+Redwood+Tree+Isn%27t+Dead+%E2%80%94+But+It+Came+Close&utme=8(APIKey)9(MDAxNzg0MDExMDEyMTYyMjc1MDE3NGVmMw004)"/></div><p> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 20:11:00 +0000 editor 52155 at http://wvasfm.org Cognitive Science Honors Its Pioneers And Leaders http://wvasfm.org/post/cognitive-science-honors-its-pioneers-and-leaders <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9BihQSdSMY</p> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 18:54:00 +0000 Tania Lombrozo 52148 at http://wvasfm.org Cognitive Science Honors Its Pioneers And Leaders To Stop Cheating, Nuclear Officers Ditch The Grades http://wvasfm.org/post/stop-cheating-nuclear-officers-ditch-grades The young officers at <a href="http://www.warren.af.mil/">F.E. Warren Air Force Base</a> have an enormous job: to keep 150 nuclear-tipped missiles ready to launch at a moment's notice.<p>Understandably, they're expected to know exactly what they're doing.<p>Three times a month, they're tested on the weapons and the codes used to launch them. Anything less than 90 percent is a fail.<p>But until recently, even 90 percent wasn't really good enough. "I was told that if I got a 90 on a test, I was a D student — and I would be treated that way," says Lt. Mon, 28 Jul 2014 17:19:00 +0000 Geoff Brumfiel 52146 at http://wvasfm.org To Stop Cheating, Nuclear Officers Ditch The Grades With Men's Y Chromosome, Size Really May Not Matter http://wvasfm.org/post/mens-y-chromosome-size-really-may-not-matter Basic biology has it that girls are girls because they have two X chromosomes — the things inside cells that carry our genes. Boys are boys because they have one X and one Y. Recently, though, there's been a lot of debate in scientific circles about the fate of that Y chromosome — the genetic basis of maleness.<p>Very early in the evolution of the Y chromosome, explains <a href="http://wi.mit.edu/people/faculty/page">Dr. David Page</a>, a geneticist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, something pretty dramatic happened: The ancestral Y lost most of its genes. Mon, 28 Jul 2014 16:41:00 +0000 Rob Stein 52141 at http://wvasfm.org With Men's Y Chromosome, Size Really May Not Matter Where The Birds Are Is Not Where You'd Think http://wvasfm.org/post/where-birds-are-not-where-youd-think This is a trick question. Where would you expect to find the greatest variety of birds?<p>Downtown, in a city?<p>Or far, far from downtown — in the fields, forests, mountains, where people are scarce?<p>Or in the suburbs? Mon, 28 Jul 2014 16:19:00 +0000 Robert Krulwich 52142 at http://wvasfm.org Where The Birds Are Is Not Where You'd Think How Protecting Wildlife Helps Stop Child Labor And Slavery http://wvasfm.org/post/how-protecting-wildlife-helps-stop-child-labor-and-slavery When scientists talk about the destruction of rain forests or the acidification of oceans, we often hear about the tragic loss of plants and animals.<p>But ecologists at the University of California, Berkeley say there's also a human tragedy that frequently goes unnoticed: As fish and fauna are wiped out, more children around the world are forced to work, and more people are forced into indentured servitude, scientists <a href="http://www.sciencemag.org/content/345/6195/376.summary">wrote</a> Thursday in the journal <em>Science</em>.<p>"My students, postdocs and I spent a year stepping back an Mon, 28 Jul 2014 13:20:00 +0000 editor 52133 at http://wvasfm.org How Protecting Wildlife Helps Stop Child Labor And Slavery Rust Devastates Guatemala's Prime Coffee Crop And Its Farmers http://wvasfm.org/post/rust-devastates-guatemalas-prime-coffee-crop-and-its-farmers Outside the northern Guatemalan town of Olopa, near the Honduran border, farmer Edwin Fernando Diaz Viera stands in the middle of his tiny coffee field. He says it was his lifelong dream to own a farm here. The area is renowned for producing some of the world's richest arabica, the smooth-tasting beans beloved by specialty coffee brewers.<p>"My farm was beautiful; it was big," he says.<p>But then, a plant fungus called coffee rust, or <em>roya</em> in Spanish, hit his crop.<p>"Coffee rust appeared and wiped out everything," he says.<p>That was in 2012, and it was Diaz Viera's first crop. Mon, 28 Jul 2014 09:00:00 +0000 Carrie Kahn 52115 at http://wvasfm.org Rust Devastates Guatemala's Prime Coffee Crop And Its Farmers Shifts In Habitat May Threaten Ruddy Shorebird's Survival http://wvasfm.org/post/shifts-habitat-may-threaten-ruddy-shorebirds-survival An intrepid bird called the <a href="http://www.fws.gov/northeast/redknot/">red knot</a> migrates from the southern tip of South America to the Arctic and back every year. Mon, 28 Jul 2014 09:00:00 +0000 editor 52117 at http://wvasfm.org Shifts In Habitat May Threaten Ruddy Shorebird's Survival Why We Think Ignorance Is Bliss, Even When It Hurts Our Health http://wvasfm.org/post/why-we-think-ignorance-bliss-even-when-it-hurts-our-health Medical tests are rarely a pleasant experience, especially if you're worried that something could be seriously wrong. That's true even though we know that regular screenings and tests often help doctors catch issues early.<p>But of course, humans don't always behave rationally. Sometimes people will go to great lengths to avoid hearing bad news. Social scientists call this sort of behavior information aversion, or the ostrich effect (based on the old myth that ostriches bury their heads in the sand when they're scared). Mon, 28 Jul 2014 09:00:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 52118 at http://wvasfm.org Why We Think Ignorance Is Bliss, Even When It Hurts Our Health How Do You Lose A Half-Million Birds? http://wvasfm.org/post/how-do-you-lose-half-million-birds In late July and August, something remarkable happens in the air above Lake Murray in South Carolina. Around sunset, hundreds of thousands of <a href="http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Purple_Martin/id">purple martins</a> come streaming toward the center of the lake from every direction, swirling together in a massive flock that darkens the sky. After an hour or so, they settle down on <a href="http://www.lakemurray-sc.com/purplemartins.html">Bomb Island</a> in the center of the lake.<p>It's called a "roost" — a gathering of purple martins that precedes their epic migration to South America. Sun, 27 Jul 2014 22:12:00 +0000 Adam Cole 52114 at http://wvasfm.org How Do You Lose A Half-Million Birds?