Science

3:32am

Wed July 9, 2014
Shots - Health News

Like All Animals, We Need Stress. Just Not Too Much

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 12:09 pm

Daniel Horowitz for NPR

Ask somebody about stress, and you're likely to hear an outpouring about all the bad things that cause it — and the bad things that result. But if you ask a biologist, you'll hear that stress can be good.

In fact, it's essential.

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8:30pm

Tue July 8, 2014
The Two-Way

As Engines Sputter To Life, Vintage Spacecraft Turns Toward Moon

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 9:56 am

With a comet fly-by and a solar orbit behind it, ISEE-3 has now revved its engines for a swing past the moon.
Mark Maxwell Courtesy ISEE-3 Reboot Project

A gung-ho group of space enthusiasts has started the process of putting a vintage NASA spacecraft on a new flight path, so that this venerable piece of hardware will be able to do useful science once again.

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4:40pm

Tue July 8, 2014
Science

In A Lab Store Room, An Unsettling Surprise: Lost Vials Of Smallpox

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 6:13 pm

Scientists at the National Institutes of Health made an unpleasant discovery last week as they cleaned out an old laboratory: The lab contained vials of the smallpox virus, previously unknown to authorities. The vials have since been transferred to a secure lab at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

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4:13pm

Tue July 8, 2014
Science

Plants Know The Rhythm Of The Caterpillar's Creep

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 6:15 pm

According to new research, plants can actually hear the sounds of insects chewing. A University of Missouri study is the first work to report that plants can recognize the sound of a predator through the vibrations of their leaves. To learn more, Robert Siegel speaks with Heidi Appel, senior research scientist in the Bond Life Sciences Center at the University of Missouri.

3:45pm

Tue July 8, 2014
Shots - Health News

Will This Tech Tool Help Manage Older People's Health? Ask Dad

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 11:39 am

Lively is a sensor that can be attached to a pill box, keys or doors. It lets people know whether aging parents are taking their medicines or sticking to their routines.
Courtesy of Lively

Aging 2.0 may not sound like the hippest start-up in San Francisco, but it's part of an industry worth $2 billion and growing fast — technology to help older adults.

Katy Fike, 35, is the company's co-founder. She's devoted to making sure that older adults who are supposed to use the products are involved in their development.

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2:42pm

Tue July 8, 2014
The Salt

What It Takes To Make A Decent Cup Of Coffee In Space

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 4:47 pm

Leave it to the Italians to design a capsule-based espresso system for astronauts who miss their morning cup.
Andrea Guermani Courtesy of Lavazza

When our pals at the Two-Way wrote last month that engineers had finally come up with a way to brew some good Italian espresso on the International Space Station, we were thoroughly intrigued.

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10:34am

Tue July 8, 2014
The Salt

Globe-Trotting GMO Bananas Arrive For Their First Test In Iowa

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 6:53 pm

Ugandan researcher Stephen Buah and Professor James Dale hold bananas bred to be rich in vitamin A at Queensland University of Technology.
Erika Fish Courtesy of Queensland University of Technology

Somewhere in Iowa, volunteers are earning $900 apiece by providing blood samples after eating bits of a banana kissed with a curious tinge of orange.

It's the first human trial of a banana that's been genetically engineered to contain higher levels of beta carotene, the nutrient that our body converts into vitamin A. Researchers want to confirm that eating the fruit does, in fact, lead to higher vitamin A levels in the volunteers' blood.

The volunteers in Iowa may not realize it, but they're playing a small part in a story that spans the globe.

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7:03am

Tue July 8, 2014
Science

Can't Stand Meetings? Try Taking Away The Chairs

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 11:49 am

Standing even for part of a meeting could engage your team in more productive collaboration, researchers say.
pixdeluxe/Getty Getty Images

The secret to more productive meetings? You might simply need to stand up.

This we know, to some degree. Just take as examples the growing popularity of standing desks, which took off after a flurry of reports found that sitting for long periods of time can significantly, negatively, impact employees' health.

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5:01am

Tue July 8, 2014
Research News

Some Parole Requirements Could Be Increasing The Crime Rate

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 9:51 am

Prisoners who are released invariably make it back to the areas where they came from. Does this have a positive or negative effect on crime? Research triggered by Hurricane Katrina offers insight.

4:07pm

Mon July 7, 2014
Shots - Health News

The Secret History Behind The Science Of Stress

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 3:47 pm

Camel marketed smoke breaks at work as time spent relaxing instead of stressing. Camel, 1964.
Stanford University

The modern idea of stress began on a rooftop in Canada, with a handful of rats freezing in the winter wind.

This was 1936 and by that point the owner of the rats, an endocrinologist named Hans Selye, had become expert at making rats suffer for science.

"He would subject them to extreme temperatures, make them go hungry for long periods, or make them exercise a lot," the medical historian Mark Jackson says. "Then what he would do is kill the rats and look at their organs."

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