Science

5:20pm

Fri June 12, 2015
The Salt

Mighty Farming Microbes: Companies Harness Bacteria To Give Crops A Boost

Originally published on Fri June 12, 2015 8:55 pm

Pam Marrone (right), founder and CEO of Marrone Bio Innovations, inspects some colonies of microbes. Marrone has spent most of her professional life prospecting for microbial pesticides and bringing them to market.
Dan Charles/NPR

What if farmers, instead of picking up some agricultural chemicals at their local dealer, picked up a load of agricultural microbes instead?

It's something to contemplate, because some big names in the pesticide business — like Bayer and Monsanto — are putting money behind attempts to turn soil microbes into tools that farmers can use to give their crops a boost.

It's a symptom of the soaring interest in the ways microbes affect all of life. In our bodies, they help fight off disease. In the soil, they help deliver nutrients to plants, and perhaps much more.

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5:20pm

Fri June 12, 2015
Sports

NASCAR Goes Green: Gas-Guzzling Sport Works To Reduce Carbon Footprint

Originally published on Fri June 12, 2015 8:55 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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4:23pm

Fri June 12, 2015
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Should We Trust Science?

Originally published on Fri June 12, 2015 4:54 pm

iStockphoto

Cheating in science has been in the news lately. The Office of Research Integrity — which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services — punishes on the order of a dozen scientists a year for different sorts of misconduct, such as plagiarism and making up results, according to the founders of one watchdog group.

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12:15pm

Fri June 12, 2015
The Two-Way

Jack King, NASA's 'Voice Of Apollo,' Dies At 84

Originally published on Fri June 12, 2015 1:17 pm

A Nov. 14, 1969, photo made available by NASA shows Jack King in the Firing Room of the Kennedy Space Center's Launch Control Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., during the countdown for Apollo 12. King, who died Thursday, became known as NASA's "Voice of Apollo."
AP

Jack King, who uttered the countdown heard 'round the world followed by the historic words "Liftoff on Apollo 11!" has died at age 84.

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7:30am

Fri June 12, 2015
Research News

Scientists Investigate What Makes Us Itch

Originally published on Fri June 12, 2015 12:23 pm

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

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Scientists have just scratched the surface of another important problem - why some things make us itch. Today, there's progress to report. Researchers in California have found a molecule that may be crucial for our brains to sense itch. NPR's Joe Palca has more.

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5:03am

Fri June 12, 2015
The Salt

Organic Farmers Call Foul On Whole Foods' Produce Rating System

Originally published on Sun June 14, 2015 3:20 pm

Whole Foods says its new rating system is a way to talk to farmers and customers about issues that the organic rules don't encompass, like water, energy, labor and waste.
Dan Charles NPR

Nobody really likes to be graded. Especially when you don't get an A.

Some organic farmers are protesting a new grading system for produce and flowers that's coming into force at Whole Foods. They say it devalues the organic label and could become an "existential threat."

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7:23pm

Thu June 11, 2015
Goats and Soda

How Little Red Dots Could Help Women And Babies Stay Healthy

Originally published on Fri June 12, 2015 12:08 pm

This bindi is coated with 100 percent of the daily recommended allowance for iodine.
Courtesy of Grey Group

In the rural pockets of India, a lifesaving device may be hidden in plain sight.

Across the country, it's not uncommon to see women sporting a small dot on their foreheads between their eyebrows. The mark is known as a bindi. And it's a Hindu tradition that dates to the third and fourth centuries.

The bindi is traditionally worn by women for religious purposes or to indicate that they're married. But today the bindi has also become popular among women of all ages, as a beauty mark. And it comes in all colors, shapes and sizes.

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4:37pm

Thu June 11, 2015
Shots - Health News

Should Tanning Bed Warnings Take A Cue From Graphic Cigarette Labels?

Originally published on Fri June 12, 2015 12:13 am

The FDA requires tanning machines to bear a label explaining the risks, but the messages are not particularly attention-grabbing.
iStockphoto

Young white women like indoor tanning a lot.

Nearly a quarter of them hit a tanning bed in the past year. (The beds are even found on many college campuses.)

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4:25pm

Thu June 11, 2015
Shots - Health News

Got Water? Most Kids, Teens Don't Drink Enough

Originally published on Fri June 12, 2015 2:17 pm

Kids and teens should get two to three quarts of water per day, via food or drink, research suggests.
iStockphoto

Most American children and teenagers aren't drinking enough fluids, and that's leaving them mildly dehydrated, according to a new study. In fact, one-quarter of a broad cross-section of children ages 6 to 19 apparently don't drink any water as part of their fluid intake.

The Harvard scientists who turned up the finding were initially looking into the consumption of sugary drinks in schools and looking for ways to steer children toward water instead — a much healthier beverage.

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2:56pm

Thu June 11, 2015
The Salt

Why Is This Fisherman Selling Threatened Bluefin Tuna For $2.99 A Pound?

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 4:07 pm

Pacific bluefin tuna for sale for $2.99 per pound at the fish market in San Diego. That shockingly low price does not reflect the deeply threatened state of the bluefin population.
Clare Leschin-Hoar for NPR

Twenty minutes before the San Diego Tuna Harbor Dockside Market was set to open, the line was 75 people deep and starting to curl past the pier. The crowd here last Saturday didn't come for the local sand dabs or trap-caught black cod. They were bargain hunters looking to score freshly caught, whole Pacific bluefin tuna for the unbelievably low price of only $2.99 a pound.

That's less per pound for this fish — a delicacy prized for its fatty flesh, whose numbers are rapidly dwindling — than the cost of sliced turkey meat at a supermarket deli.

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