Science

11:03am

Tue December 17, 2013
The Salt

Industrial Meat Bad, Small Farm Good? It's Not So Simple

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 11:53 am

Somali refugees lead their herds of goats home for the night outside Dadaab, Kenya. A new study shows that animals in many parts of the developing world require more food — and generate more greenhouse emissions — than animals in wealthy countries.
Rebecca Blackwell AP

To feed all 7 billion of us, address climate change and live longer, we all need to eat less meat. From Al Gore to the Meatless Monday movement to Harvard epidemiologists, that's been the resounding advice offered to consumers lately.

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10:44am

Tue December 17, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Can Science Explain Everything?

Is science more like a pyramid, or a sun-dappled patch of ground?
Fayez Nureldine AFP/Getty Images

Is science complete and unitary? Does it offer an overarching and all-inclusive description of reality, reaching from the foundations of space-time to the self-illuminating capacities of consciousness? This question strikes at the heart of much of the debate between science and religion as atheists argue that the explanatory powers of science make religion irrelevant. Stepping beyond the forever-contentious arena of science vs. religion, the question of completeness stands at the center of hard-core philosophical debates about the nature of world and our access to it.

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8:49am

Tue December 17, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

Why We Need Grandpas And Grandmas (Part 1)

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 5:55 pm

Robert Krulwich NPR

Oldsters, it turns out, matter. They matter a lot. And not just in human families. I've been reading a new book called The Once and Future World, by J. B. MacKinnon, which points out that when we humans hunt game, when we fish the sea, we often prize the biggest animals because they have the biggest tusks, or the most protein, so they're the ones we kill first.

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4:34am

Tue December 17, 2013
Space

Moon Landing Is A Major Step Forward For China

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 12:30 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This weekend, China landed a probe on the surface of the moon. This is the first soft-landing on the moon's surface in nearly 40 years, and it's a major step forward for China's space program.

Joining us to discuss these developments, NPR science correspondent Geoff Brumfiel. Hey, Geoff.

GEOFF BRUMFIEL, BYLINE: Hi, there.

GREENE: So what did China actually pull off here?

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3:04am

Tue December 17, 2013
Energy

Environmentalists Split Over Need For Nuclear Power

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 12:30 am

Southern California's San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, shown here in April 2012, was closed after small radiation leaks.
Lenny Ignelzi AP

California is regarded as the leading state when it comes to addressing climate change. But in 2012, according to analysts at Rhodium Group, California's carbon emissions actually increased more than 10 percent, bucking the national trend of decreases. That's in large part because California shut down one of its few remaining nuclear power plants.

That rise in carbon emissions underscores the huge impact nuclear power can have in efforts to combat climate change.

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3:04am

Tue December 17, 2013
Around the Nation

To Make Science Real, Kids Want More Fun

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 12:30 am

Hands-on science activities like making bubble mitts at the Mission Science Workshop teach students about things like surface tension.
Justin Jach Courtesy of Mission Science Workshop

Are American kids being adequately prepared in the sciences to compete in a highly competitive, global high-tech workforce? A majority of American parents say no, according to a poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.

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5:17pm

Mon December 16, 2013
Environment

Scientists Find Tiny Exfoliating Beads In Great Lakes Fish Guts

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 8:06 pm

Tiny plastic beads used in some cosmetics and toothpaste are making their way into the bellies of fish in the Great Lakes, and it's raising concern among environmentalists. Dr. Sherri Mason, a chemistry professor at the State University of New York at Fredonia, has been researching the issue, and she joins Audie Cornish to explain what this means for the Great Lakes ecosystem.

3:40pm

Mon December 16, 2013
Shots - Health News

Novice Neurosurgeons Train On Brains Printed In 3-D

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 9:58 am

A simulated patient at the University of Malaya makes use of different materials to mimic the look and feel of human tissue.
Courtesy of Vicknes Waran

There's no such thing as too much practice when it comes to brain surgery.

But it's hard for beginner neurosurgeons to get real hands-on experience. Most residents learn by watching and assisting experienced surgeons.

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10:43am

Mon December 16, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Global Warming Explained, In About A Minute

Jean-Pierre Clatot AFP/Getty Images

10:29am

Mon December 16, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

What's That Clinging To The Towering Wall And Why Doesn't It Fall Off?

YouTube

Maybe you've seen this, (it's gotten around), but I'm still gobsmacked. Totally amazed. We're in northern Italy looking at the face of the Cingino Dam, and here and there on the vertical stone wall, you'll see a few dark specks.

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