Science

7:39am

Sat March 28, 2015
Animals

Birder Finds Panama Packed With Species, But No Harpy Eagles

Originally published on Sat March 28, 2015 10:56 am

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

7:39am

Sat March 28, 2015
Shots - Health News

Indiana's HIV Spike Prompts New Calls For Needle Exchanges Statewide

Originally published on Sat March 28, 2015 10:47 am

Needle exchange programs, like this one in Portland, Maine, offer free, sterile syringes and needles to drug users. The programs save money and lives, health officials say, by curtailing the spread of bloodborne infections, such as hepatitis and HIV.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Shane Avery practices family medicine in Scott County, Ind. In December, a patient came to his office who was pregnant, and an injection drug user.

After running some routine tests, Avery found out that she was positive for HIV. She was the second case he had seen in just a few weeks.

"Right then, I kind of realized, 'Wow, are we on the tip of something?' " Avery says. "But you just put it away. ... It's statistically an oddity when you're just one little doctor, you know?"

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7:39am

Sat March 28, 2015
The Two-Way

A Day's A Day The World Around — But Shorter On Saturn

Originally published on Sat March 28, 2015 10:56 am

Saturn has a rocky surface, but it's deep beneath the clouds. That makes it hard to tell exactly how long the day is.
NASA

Researchers have answered a question that has been nagging them for years: Exactly how long is a day on the planet Saturn? The result (10 hours and 32 minutes or so) was published this week in the journal Nature, and could teach scientists more about the giant, ringed planet.

A day is simply how long it takes a planet to spin all the way around. On Earth, one rotation takes 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds — though earthlings round up to 24 hours even.

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6:05pm

Fri March 27, 2015
The Salt

Calif. Governor Can't Make It Rain, But Can Make Relief Money Pour

A worker kicks up dust as he drives a tractor at a farm on Aug. 22, 2014 near drought-stricken Firebaugh, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Can you spend your way out of an historic drought? Not really, but the consensus in Sacramento these days seems to be that money certainly helps.

Just days after it was introduced, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed his sweeping $1.1 billion emergency drought relief bill today.

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12:01pm

Fri March 27, 2015
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

The Fight Against Addiction: Is Love All You Need?

Ben Goode iStockphoto

If anything deserves to be called "the establishment view," it is what Johann Hari — in his new book on addiction and the war on drugs, Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugscalls the pharmaceutical model of addiction.

The pharmaceutical model says that addiction is about chemicals. Addiction is a chronic incurable disease of the brain. The brain's pleasure centers are hijacked.

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9:47am

Fri March 27, 2015
Goats and Soda

Is There Any Way To Screen The World's Pilots For Suicidal Tendencies?

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 3:45 pm

Flight crew in cockpit, rear view (zoom effect).
Tom Sheppard Getty Images

The crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 into the French Alps earlier this week appears to have been a deliberate act carried out by a co-pilot.

It is too soon to put the label "suicide" on the co-pilot's actions. Not enough is known yet about his state of mind or what his motivation might have been. But as investigations continue, the incident raises questions about whether better mental health screening can prevent a person with suicidal tendencies from taking charge in the cockpit in the first place.

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8:53am

Fri March 27, 2015
TED Radio Hour

How Can Video Games Improve Our Real Lives?

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 11:50 am

Game designer Jane McGonigal says we need to harness the beneficial aspects of video games.
James Duncan Davidson Courtesy of TED

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode Press Play

About Jane McGonigal's TED Talk

When Jane McGonigal was bedridden after a concussion, she gave herself a prescription: play a game. She says games helped her get better, and for many of us, virtual games can improve our real lives. Here's her first TED Talk about using games to solve real world problems:

About Jane McGonigal

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8:52am

Fri March 27, 2015
TED Radio Hour

What Can Bonobos Teach Us About Play?

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 11:45 am

Primatologist Isabel Behncke Izquierdo says play helps to foster creativity, trust, and cooperation.
James Duncan Davidson Courtesy of TED

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Press Play

About Isabel Behncke's TED Talk

Primatologist Isabel Behncke Izquierdo explains how bonobos learn by constantly playing. She says play isn't frivolous; it appears to be a critical way to solve problems and avoid conflict.

About Isabel Behncke

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8:52am

Fri March 27, 2015
TED Radio Hour

How Can Playing A Game Make You More Empathetic?

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 11:37 am

Research finds playing a collaborative video game like Rock Band makes you more comfortable with strangers.
Paul Sakuma AP

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Press Play

Why is it so hard to feel empathy for strangers? Because we're stressed by them, says neuroscientist Jeff Mogil. His research suggests one way to reduce that stress: play Rock Band together.

About Jeff Mogil

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5:02am

Fri March 27, 2015
The Two-Way

NASA To Study A Twin In Space And His Brother On Earth

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 3:58 pm

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly is seen inside a Soyuz simulator at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center on March 4 in Star City, Russia. Kelly, along with Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko of the Russian Federal Space Agency, are scheduled for launch Friday aboard a Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
NASA/Bill Ingalls

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

A Russian rocket has carried a Russian cosmonaut and an American astronaut to the International Space Station, where they will live for a full year, twice as long as people usually stay.

No American has remained in space longer than 215 days. Only a few people have ever gone on space trips lasting a year or more — the longest was 437 days — and they're all Russian cosmonauts. The last year-plus stay in space occurred nearly two decades ago.

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