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A new label on some of the steaks in your grocery store highlights a production process you may never have heard of: mechanical tenderizing.

This means the beef has been punctured with blades or needles to break down the muscle fibers and make it easier to chew. But it also means the meat has a greater chance of being contaminated and making you sick.

The labels are a requirement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that went into effect this week.

Aristotle wrote that imitation is natural to human beings from childhood, and he observed that this is one of our advantages over the so-called lower animals.

A human being is "the most imitative creature in the world, and learns at first by imitation," he said.

In the last two millennia, we have learned very little that would contradict Aristotle's believe that imitation — the ability to see others and do what they do — is critical for human learning and development. But is it true that we learn "at first" by imitation?

What Can Today's Designers Learn From Nature?

May 20, 2016

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Power Of Design

About Janine Benyus' TED Talk

Science writer Janine Benyus believes more innovators should look to nature when solving a design problem. She says the natural world is full of inspired ideas for making things waterproof, solar-powered and more.

About Janine Benyus

Inside a lab near Washington, D.C., there is a stack of stainless steel that weighs a million pounds.

It's part of a unique machine that was built in 1965 and just refurbished for the first time. And in the world of metrology, the science of measurement, this giant is a source of national pride.

Amid a raging opioid epidemic, many doctors and families in the U.S. have been pleading for better treatment alternatives. One option now under consideration by the Food and Drug Administration is a system of implanted rods that offer controlled release of buprenorphine — a drug already used in other forms to treat opioid addiction.

Because it's implanted in the skin, this version of the drug can't easily be sold on the illegal market, proponents say — a key treatment advantage. The FDA is expected to decide whether to approve the device — called Probuphine — within a week.

The Obama administration gathered feedback from students about what they want to see in STEM programs. This came after 9-year-old Jacob Leggette encouraged President Obama to ask students about their opinions at a White House science fair.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

After four years of drought in California, concerns are finally beginning to ease in parts of the state. Northern California saw strong snowfall and rainfall recently, but Central and Southern California remain dry.

The discrepancy has prompted state water regulators to approve new regulations that allow local water authorities to set their own conservation standards.

A team of scientists has developed "robot flies" about the size of a quarter that can perch on almost any surface.

We've all been caught in that hazy tug of war between wakefulness and sleep. But the biology behind how our brains drive us to sleep when we're sleep-deprived hasn't been entirely clear.

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