Science

4:07pm

Wed June 10, 2015
The Two-Way

Saturn's Dark And Mysterious Outer Ring Is Even Bigger Than Expected

Originally published on Wed June 10, 2015 8:19 pm

An artist's conception of how Saturn's immense Phoebe ring might appear to eyes sensitive to infrared wavelengths.
NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Saturn is famous for its lovely rings, but this gas giant has another ring that people normally don't see — and some new observations with an infrared telescope show that this mysterious ring is even bigger than scientists thought.

The first hint that Saturn had this secret ring came back in 1671, when the Italian astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini looked through a telescope and discovered the moon now known as Iapetus.

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3:53pm

Wed June 10, 2015
Animals

It's Spawning Season: Are Horseshoe Crabs Down For the Count?

Originally published on Wed June 10, 2015 6:31 pm

Drexel Siok, environmental scientist at Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve, holds a horseshoe crab that's been tagged on Kitts Hummock Beach near Dover, Del. During the annual count volunteers make a note if they find a tagged crab. Researchers then use the information to learn where crabs are moving over time.
Jeff Brady NPR

Walk along Mid-Atlantic beaches right now and you may see odd creatures that look like they belong in the dinosaur age. They're horseshoe crabs, and scientists worry their numbers are declining.

To gather more information about what's happening to the crabs, volunteers are dispatched along the coast each year at this time for an annual count.

It's getting dark, and these sea creatures are lined up for miles on Kitts Hummock Beach near Dover, Del., where they come ashore to spawn.

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3:10pm

Wed June 10, 2015
The Two-Way

Nobel Laureate In Hot Water For 'Trouble With Girls' In Labs

Originally published on Wed June 10, 2015 4:29 pm

Biochemist Tim Hunt, a 2001 Nobel laureate, has apologized – to an extent – for saying that women are a disruptive presence in scientific labs. He's seen here in 2012.
AFP/Getty Images

In 2001, Tim Hunt won a share of a Nobel Prize. In 2006, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. But in 2015, he's being widely criticized for his recent remarks about women in science, including: "when you criticize them, they cry."

Hunt, a biochemist, made that and other comments during a speech this week at the World Conference of Science Journalists that's being held in South Korea this week. He was quoted in a tweet that's since been shared hundreds of times, asking the audience to "let me tell you about my trouble with girls."

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2:55pm

Wed June 10, 2015
Shots - Health News

Some Insured Patients Still Skipping Care Because Of High Costs

Originally published on Thu June 11, 2015 12:48 pm

Renee Mitchell says even though she has health insurance she'll have trouble paying for the eye surgery she needs to save her vision.
Jim Burress/WABE

A key goal of the Affordable Care Act is to help people get health insurance who may have not been able to pay for it before. But the most popular plans – those with low monthly premiums – also have high deductibles and copays. And that can leave medical care still out of reach for some.

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2:13pm

Wed June 10, 2015
Shots - Health News

More Evidence That Parents' Ages Could Influence Autism Risk

Originally published on Thu June 11, 2015 12:04 pm

Children born to older moms and dads tend to have higher rates of autism, but researchers aren't sure why.
iStockphoto

Lots of factors may affect a child's odds of ending up with autism. Researchers around the world have been striving to fully understand how biology, genetics and environment play roles.

A huge study that includes data from more than 5.7 million children in five countries might shed some light on how autism develops — but it also raises new questions.

Researchers looked at autism rates among children born between 1985 and 2004 in Denmark, Israel, Norway, Sweden and Australia.

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1:39pm

Wed June 10, 2015
The Salt

Like Us, Chimps Go Bananas For Booze

Originally published on Wed June 10, 2015 2:18 pm

A juvenile chimpanzee uses a leaf sponge to drink palm wine in Bossou, Guinea.
Gaku Ohashi Chubu University, Japan, and Wildlife Research Center, Kyoto University, Japan

Chimpanzees are smart. They can master sign language, swimming and even cooking. Now, evidence shows they are using their smarts to sip wine.

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11:50am

Wed June 10, 2015
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

If You Don't Know You Are Held Captive, Does It Matter?

iStockphoto

Last week, I held a class discussion on the issue of freedom. This was the closing lecture of my Dartmouth course "Question Reality!," an examination of the nature of physical reality and the limits of knowledge.

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5:03am

Wed June 10, 2015
Research News

Retailers Use Time To Their Advantage; More Impulse Products Sold

Originally published on Wed June 10, 2015 8:01 am

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

5:43pm

Tue June 9, 2015
Shots - Health News

Costs Of Slipshod Research Methods May Be In The Billions

Originally published on Wed June 10, 2015 3:10 pm

iStockphoto

Laboratory research seeking new medical treatments and cures is fraught with pitfalls: Researchers can inadvertently use bad ingredients, design the experiment poorly, or conduct inadequate data analysis. Scientists working on ways to reduce these sorts of problems have put a staggering price tag on research that isn't easy to reproduce: $28 billion a year.

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4:08pm

Tue June 9, 2015
The Salt

Monsanto, Angling For Global Pesticide Dominance, Woos Syngenta

Originally published on Tue June 9, 2015 5:18 pm

Central Illinois corn and soybean farmer Tim Seifert loads his field planter with Syngenta insecticide while planting seed corn in 2011. Monsanto has made a bid to buy Syngenta for its pesticide business.
Seth Perlman AP

Selling seeds and pesticides used to be a sleepy, slow-moving business. That was, until about 20 years ago, when the chemical company Monsanto introduced genetically modified crops and started buying up seed companies. Ever since, companies in this industry have been maneuvering like hungry fish in a pond, occasionally dining on pieces of each other, hoping to survive through size and speed.

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