Science

4:02am

Fri December 19, 2014
Science

7 Miles Beneath The Sea's Surface: Who Goes There?

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 5:02 am

The research vessel Falkor in August 2013.
Courtesy of Mark Schrope

A ship full of marine scientists is floating over the deepest part of the world: the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench. They're sending down probes to study life in one of the most hostile environments on the planet.

This week the researchers are targeting the two deepest spots in the trench — the Sirena Deep and the Challenger Deep — which each extend down about seven miles beneath the ocean's surface.

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8:05pm

Thu December 18, 2014
The Two-Way

Once Written Off, Kepler Telescope Finds New Planet

An artist's rendering shows the Kepler spacecraft in its new mission profile, called K2. The space telescope has found a new planet outside our solar system.
NASA

More than a year after NASA said its Kepler space telescope was beyond repair, the planet-hunting probe has delivered an unlikely find: a planet that's outside our solar system. The find comes after a team worked to find a way to make Kepler productive again, says NASA, calling the find "a comeback."

The space agency says the newly discovered exoplanet is 2.5 times the diameter of the Earth – and that the lead researcher on the project is a graduate student at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

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5:36pm

Thu December 18, 2014
The Salt

What The Change In U.S.-Cuba Relations Might Mean For Food

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 5:47 pm

Sugar, coffee, fruit juice for babies, oil and salt inside a market subsidized by the government in Havana on July 11, 2013.
Enrique De La Osa Reuters/Landov

It took a few hours for some Cubans to realize the magnitude of President Obama's announcement on Wednesday about changes in the relationship between the U.S. and Cuba, according to Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez.

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2:25pm

Thu December 18, 2014
Shots - Health News

NIH Allows Restart Of MERS Research That Had Been Questioned

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 3:26 pm

A transmission electron micrograph shows Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus particles (colorized yellow).
NIAID

Some researchers who study the virus that causes Middle East respiratory syndrome got an early Christmas present: permission to resume experiments that the federal government abruptly halted in October.

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11:24am

Thu December 18, 2014
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Evidence That Chimpanzee Moms Can Be Sneaky, Too

iStockphoto

Because I teach biological anthropology, I'm reading a lot of student work this week that focuses on the African apes, chimpanzees, bonobos and gorillas. During this end-of-semester grading marathon, I've got a festive balance going: grade a handful of papers; grab a Christmas cookie; grade a handful more; wrap a present or two.

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9:47am

Thu December 18, 2014
Shots - Health News

Worries About Unusual Botulinum Toxin Prove Unfounded

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 3:05 pm

A culture of Clostridium botulinum, stained with gentian violet.
CDC

Remember that worrisome new form of botulinum toxin we told you about in late 2013, the one that supposedly had to be kept secret out of fear it could be used as a bioweapon that would evade all of our medical defenses?

Well, as it turns out, it's not that scary after all. The antitoxin stored in the government's emergency stockpile works and would neutralize the toxin just fine.

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7:22am

Thu December 18, 2014
Around the Nation

Citing Health, Environment Concerns, New York Moves To Ban Fracking

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 12:31 pm

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The state of New York has banned fracking. After six years of study, the state says there are too many health and environmental questions involved in the controversial drilling method. NPR's Jeff Brady reports.

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5:20am

Thu December 18, 2014
Research News

Research Examines Character Concerns Versus Performance In The NFL

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 12:31 pm

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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3:36am

Thu December 18, 2014
Science

Arctic Is Warming Twice As Fast As World Average

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 12:36 pm

A lone polar bear poses on a block of arctic sea ice in Russia's Franz Josef Land.
iStockphoto

The latest word from scientists studying the Arctic is that the polar region is warming twice as fast as the average rise on the rest of the planet. And researchers say the trend isn't letting up. That's the latest from the 2014 Arctic Report Card — a compilation of recent research from more than 60 scientists in 13 countries. The report was released Wednesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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12:06pm

Wed December 17, 2014
Shots - Health News

Behind The Scenes At The Lab That Fingerprints Microbiomes

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 5:32 pm

Rob Knight, co-founder of the American Gut Project at the University of Colorado in Boulder, works in the lab where the samples are processed.
The American Gut Project

The gut microbiome may soon reveal important answers to questions about our health. But those answers aren't yet easy to spot or quick to obtain.

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