Science

4:31pm

Thu May 21, 2015
The Salt

Chew On This: The Science Of Great NYC Bagels (It's Not The Water)

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 6:30 pm

Steaming-hot bagels are scooped out of the water in which they were boiled and dumped onto a stainless steel drain board at a bagel bakery in Queens, New York City, 1963. Traditionally, bagels were boiled, but bakers who use the modern method skip this step.
Dan Grossi AP

One of the first life lessons I picked up in college was this: The secret to the shiny crust and chewy bite prized in New York bagels is boiling. Any other way of cooking them, my Brooklyn born-and-raised, freshman-year roommate told me, is simply unacceptable.

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2:10pm

Thu May 21, 2015
Shots - Health News

You And Yeast Have More In Common Than You Might Think

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 7:07 pm

This fungus among us — baker's yeast, aka Saccharomyces cerevisiae -- is useful for more than just making bread.
iStockphoto

Rip open a little package of baker's yeast from the supermarket, peer inside, and you'll see your distant cousin.

That's because we share a common ancestor with yeast, and a new study in the journal Science suggest that we also share hundreds of genes that haven't really changed in a billion years.

Edward Marcotte, a biologist at the University of Texas at Austin, knew that humans and yeast have thousands of similar genes. But, he wondered, how similar are they?

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11:57am

Thu May 21, 2015
The Salt

Urban Food Forests Make Fruit Free For The Picking

A morning's berry harvest from West Philadelphia's Ogden Orchard includes raspberries, gooseberries, currants, goumis and mulberries.
Courtesy of Philadelphia Orchard Project

To discover the new frontier of urban farming, you'll have to look up — and look sharp — for hanging fruit.

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8:15am

Thu May 21, 2015
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Is The War On Fat Harming Our Children?

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 2:26 pm

Project ACES (All Children Exercise Simultaneously), launched by gym teacher Len Saunders, aimed to have students in 28 states and at least seven other countries exercising on the same day in an effort to curb childhood obesity.
Mike Derer AP

America's ongoing war on fat, which aims to save this country — and especially its young people — from a costly and damaging epidemic of obesity, turns out to be dangerous all on its own: It exacts a severe psychological and physical toll on the very individuals it purports to help, according to an upcoming book.

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7:37am

Thu May 21, 2015
The Two-Way

Pipeline Operator In Calif. Spill Reportedly Had History Of Infractions

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 4:29 pm

A helicopter coordinates ships below pulling booms to collect oil from a spill near Refugio State Beach, north of Goleta, Calif., on Wednesday.
Michael A. Mariant AP

Updated at 11 a.m. ET

The Texas-based company responsible for the undersea pipeline that has leaked tens of thousands of gallons of oil into the sea near the coast at Goleta, Calif., has a history of federal safety violations, The Los Angeles Times reports.

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3:40am

Thu May 21, 2015
The Salt

Avian Flu Outbreak Takes Poultry Producers Into Uncharted Territory

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 4:25 pm

"No trespassing" signs are posted on the edge of a field at a farm operated by Daybreak Foods near Eagle Grove, Iowa, which has been designated "bio security area," on May 17.
Scott Olson Getty Images

An avian flu outbreak is sweeping across the Midwest at a frightening pace, ravaging chicken and turkey farms and leaving officials stumped about the virus's seemingly unstoppable spread.

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7:17pm

Wed May 20, 2015
Science

Chipping Away At The Mystery Of The Oldest Tools Ever Found

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 7:07 pm

An ancient stone tool unearthed at the excavation site near Kenya's Lake Turkana. It's not just the shape and sharp edges that suggest it was deliberately crafted, the researchers say, but also the dozens of stone flakes next to it that were part of the same kit.
MPK-WTAP

A scientific discovery in Kenya, first reported in April, challenges conventional wisdom about human history, say the scientists who made the discovery and are now releasing the details. The scientists say the collection of stone tools they turned up near Lake Turkana were made long before the first humans are thought to have evolved.

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5:28pm

Wed May 20, 2015
The Salt

FDA Wants To Pull Back The Curtain, Slightly, On Farm Antibiotics

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 9:16 pm

Cattle that are grass-fed and free of antibiotics and growth hormones are seen at Kookoolan Farm in Yamhill, Ore.
Don Ryan AP

Farmers and public health advocates have been arguing for many years now about the use of antibiotics on farm animals, yet that argument takes place in a fog of uncertainty, because a lot of information simply isn't available.

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5:28pm

Wed May 20, 2015
Education

Energy Companies Step In To Fund STEM Education

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 8:15 pm

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

Transcript

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5:28pm

Wed May 20, 2015
Shots - Health News

Maine Bill Aims To Make Abuse-Deterrent Painkillers More Affordable

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 7:17 pm

Sales of prescription opioid painkillers have quadrupled since 1999, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

The problem of opiate addiction in Maine is one that state Rep. Barry Hobbins knows something about. "One of my family members has been struggling with this dreaded addiction of opiates for six years," he says.

So when pharmaceutical company Pfizer — which makes opioids that have abuse-deterrent properties — asked Hobbins to sponsor a bill that would require insurance companies to cover these more expensive drugs at the same level as other opioids, he agreed.

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