Science

3:05am

Thu November 28, 2013
Shots - Health News

'The Coolest Thing Ever': How A Robotic Arm Changed 4 Lives

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 10:00 am

Dee Faught tests a robotic arm installed on his wheelchair in September. Commercially produced robotic arms can cost tens of thousands of dollars, but three Rice engineering students built one for Dee for about $800.
Eric Kayne for NPR

Three engineering undergrads at Rice University gave a teenager with a rare genetic disease something he'd always wished for: the ability to turn off the light in his room.

It may not seem like much, but for 17-year-old Dee Faught, it represents a new kind of independence.

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10:46am

Wed November 27, 2013
Shots - Health News

Estrogen May Not Help Prevent Fuzzy Thinking After Menopause

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 11:16 am

Hormones clearly influence a women's health, but figuring out how is a tricky business.
Andrew Ostrovsky iStockphoto.com

There's a widely held belief that women experience moodiness and fuzzy thinking because of the drop in estrogen during menopause. And women have looked to hormone replacement therapy for relief.

But researchers increasingly think there's not much of a link between declining levels of estrogen during menopause and cognition.

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6:33am

Wed November 27, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Probing Extraterrestrial Abduction

illustration iStockphoto

In the United States the first story of abduction by extraterrestrials that received national attention was that of Betty and Barney Hill, a couple from New Hampshire who claimed to have been kidnapped in a UFO in 1961. There is, however, another, earlier, story of abduction. This one dates from 1957 and centers around Antônio Villas Boas, a farmer from rural Brazil.

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4:51pm

Tue November 26, 2013
Research News

Study Finds Plan B Pill Less Effective In Overweight, Obese Women

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 5:56 pm

Even as the Supreme Court takes up the issue of emergency contraception coverage, a new study suggests the most popular form of the drug might not work for most American women. It seems one formulation of the popular drug loses effectiveness in women who are obese or who weigh over a certain amount.

3:21pm

Tue November 26, 2013
NPR Story

At STREB Action Lab, Dance and Physics Collide

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

If you're headed to the ballet this season, chances are to hear something like the "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" from "The Nutcracker," this season's dance blockbuster as usual. But dance doesn't always sound this sweet. Sometimes it sounds more like this.

(SOUNDBITE OF PLEXIGLAS SLAMMING)

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3:21pm

Tue November 26, 2013
NPR Story

Eating 'Wilder' Foods for a Healthier Diet

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Hope you had a good Thanksgiving, this being the day after. One of the best parts of Thanksgiving is, I think, the leftovers. Don't they always taste better? Well, my next guest is here to tell us how we can get the most flavor and nutrition out of those leftovers and our food all year round.

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3:21pm

Tue November 26, 2013
NPR Story

Annual Prizes Honor the Stranger Side of Science

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. There's research that tackles the really big questions like where did we come from? How did the universe form? How can people live longer, better lives? Today is probably not the day for that research. Instead, it's our annual salute to science that first makes you laugh and then makes you think.

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1:34pm

Tue November 26, 2013
The Salt

Beer-Tapping Physics: Why A Hit To A Bottle Makes A Foam Volcano

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 12:37 pm

Morgan Walker NPR

Ah, the old beer-tapping prank: One strong hit on the top of an open beer bottle, and poof! Your IPA explodes into a brewski volcano.

"In one second, most of your beer has really turned into foam," says physicist Javier Rodriguez Rodriguez of Carlos III University in Madrid. "You better have put the bottle into your mouth, because you need to drink whatever is coming out."

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12:31pm

Tue November 26, 2013
The Salt

Al Gore Goes Vegan, Following In Footsteps Of Bill Clinton

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 4:13 pm

Former Vice President Al Gore has reportedly gone vegan.
Mark Lennihan AP

The decision to give up entire food groups can be a radical attempt to reform an unhealthy diet, as former President Bill Clinton demonstrated when he revealed in 2011 that he'd gone vegan, after heart bypass surgery.

But more often in this day and age, eschewing animal products is political.

And so that's why we were interested to read that former Vice President Al Gore, one of the world's most famous environmentalists, had — like his former boss — gone vegan, too.

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11:13am

Tue November 26, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Time Travel Saves The Day

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 9:10 pm

The Cathedral Spires in the Black Hills of South Dakota are just one of innumerable formations across the planet that speak to the Earth's ancient history.
K. Scott Jackson/Ohio Water Science Center USGS

So I'm standing on the top of this hill near my house wondering about thankfulness. I needed to take a walk after getting double-teamed by news about the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan and a NY Times article about the coming crisis in food production due to climate change. Thanksgiving was just a week away and it was hard to square my own manifold blessings with a world full of difficulty and suffering.

And then I remembered time.

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