Science

11:52am

Wed November 20, 2013
The Salt

Can A Fish Farm Be Organic? That's Up For Debate

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 2:34 pm

Employees at Pan Fish USA, a salmon fish farm, unload fish feed on Bainbridge Island, Wash.
Ron Wurzer Getty Images

This year, Americans are expected to buy more than $30 billion worth of organic grains, produce, coffee, wine and meats.

Some producers of farmed fish want the chance to get a cut of those profits, and retailers, who can charge a premium price for organic farmed fish, are with them. But an organic label for aquaculture is not coming easy.

Read more

4:41pm

Tue November 19, 2013
The Two-Way

Researchers Find Ancient Seawater Had Twice The Salt

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 6:57 pm

A map showing the impact areas of a large asteroid or comet that struck the Chesapeake Bay some 35 million years ago.
U.S. Geological Survey

Scientists have discovered a pocket of ancient seawater that's been trapped underground near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay since the time of the dinosaurs — strong evidence that the Atlantic Ocean was once much saltier than today.

Read more

10:47am

Tue November 19, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Embracing Life And Death

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 2:32 pm

Given how little we understand about the roots of consciousness, it simply doesn't make a whole lot of sense to make commitments one way or the other when it comes to questions of what exactly dies and how.
Duncan P. Walker iStockphoto

It's the question beyond all questions, the central enigma, the unrelenting mystery. Beyond understanding the nature of matter or the origin of species, past the strangeness of quantum computing or the reality of a multiverse, it's there. Always.

I'm talking about death.

Read more

4:23am

Tue November 19, 2013
Research News

Study: Commuting Adversely Affects Political Engagement

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 12:04 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Okay. We all know about the partisan divide in this country - Democrats, Republicans - but there's another political divide. Part of the country is very engaged in the political process and part is not.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Older Americans, richer Americans and better educated Americans are more likely to be politically engaged. Now researchers have found one more factor that seems to shape political engagement, the length of your commute. It comes to our attention as MORNING EDITION focuses on commuting.

Read more

5:35pm

Mon November 18, 2013
The Two-Way

Chinese Supercomputer Retains Title Of World's Fastest

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 6:24 pm

The Cray-built Titan, at Oak Ridge National Laboratories, comes in second.
Jason K. Richards Oak Ridge National Laboratories

A "Made in China" supercomputer that can perform 33.9 petaflops, or 33 quadrillion calculations per second, retains its top spot in the list of the world's 500 most powerful machines.

Tianhe-2, or Milky Way-2, is still No. 1, where it debuted in the list issued in June. In fact, the top 5 slots are all unchanged:

  1. Tianhe-2 (China, National Super Computer Center in Guangzhou): 33.86 petaflops
  2. Titan (U.S., Cray): 17.59 petaflops
Read more

5:05pm

Mon November 18, 2013
Typhoon Haiyan Devastates The Philippines

How And Where Should We Rebuild After Natural Disasters?

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 6:27 pm

The wreckage in Tacloban, Philippines, on Nov. 16 was overwhelming, after Typhoon Haiyan plowed through.
David P. Gilkey NPR

The physical damage from Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines is catastrophic. Hundreds of thousands of people are now homeless.

Soon, though, people will start to rebuild, as they have after similar natural disasters.

How they do it, and where, is increasingly important in places like the Philippines. The island nation lies in a sort of "typhoon alley," and with climate change and rising sea levels, there are more storms in store.

Read more

4:16pm

Mon November 18, 2013
The Salt

Meat Mummies: How Ancient Egyptians Prepared Feasts For Afterlife

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 12:25 pm

Anyone up for meat mummies? Above, a mummified beef rib from the tomb of Tjuiu, an Egyptian noblewoman, and her husband, the powerful courtier Yuya, circa 1386-1349 BC.
Image courtesy of PNAS

Meat mummies.

It's a word pairing that is, I dare say, pretty rare. Who among us has heard those two words together? What, indeed, could a "meat mummy" be?

Read more

3:33pm

Mon November 18, 2013
The Two-Way

First Fuel Rods Plucked From Tsunami-Damaged Fukushima Plant

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 6:30 pm

Workers remove nuclear fuel rods from a pool at the Unit 4 reactor of the Fukushima Daii-chi nuclear power plant on Monday.
Handout TEPCO

Workers at Japan's Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power station successfully completed the first day of a delicate operation to remove radioactive fuel rods from a reactor damaged in the March 2011 tsunami.

The fuel rods were removed from the Unit 4 reactor, which was offline at the time the tsunami smashed into the plant, overwhelming its backup systems. Although Unit 4 was spared the fate of three other reactors that melted down, a fire in its containment building weakened the structure.

Read more

3:05pm

Mon November 18, 2013
The Two-Way

MAVEN Lifts Off On Nearly Half-Billion-Mile Trip To Mars

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 5:38 pm

NASA's MAVEN, short for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, with a capital "N" in EvolutioN, atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, on Monday.
John Raoux AP

NASA's MAVEN explorer blasted off Monday on the first leg of its 440-million-mile journey to Mars, where scientists hope it will answer an ancient question: why the red planet went from warm and wet to cold and dry in a matter of just a billion years.

The robot orbiter, called the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution probe, launched aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 1:28 p.m. EST. It will take 10 months to reach Mars.

The Associated Press writes:

Read more

10:44am

Mon November 18, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

'Brain Porn' Not So Seductive After All?

If we are seduced by neuroscience, it might not be the pretty pictures that people find so alluring.
Illustration iStockphoto.com

There's something deeply compelling about "seeing" the mind at work with the help of relatively new neuroscientific tools, such as functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), which furnish the images of brain activation that often accompany popular science coverage. Indeed, a well-known 2008 paper by McCabe and Castel reported that people thought articles containing fMRI images of the brain reflected better scientific reasoning than matched articles that did not.

Read more

Pages