Science

1:24pm

Wed October 9, 2013
Energy

One Thing Obama Can Do: Decide The Fate Of The Keystone Pipeline

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 3:58 pm

President Obama speaks at the southern site of the Keystone XL pipeline in Cushing, Okla., in March 2012.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Journalist Ryan Lizza says there's one far-reaching, controversial issue President Obama will soon get to decide all by himself, without having to ask Congress. He alone can approve or reject construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, designed to take heavy crude oil extracted from Alberta, Canada, through America's heartland to refineries on the Gulf Coast.

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9:32am

Wed October 9, 2013
Shots - Health News

Nobel Goes To Scientists Who Took Chemistry Into Cyberspace

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 11:08 am

Classical mechanics, represented by Isaac Newton, typically doesn't play nicely with quantum mechanics, represented by Schrodinger's cat. But the 2013 Nobel laureates for chemistry figured out a way to get the two to work together.
Courtesy of the Nobel Prize

This year's Nobel Prize for chemistry is shared by three international scientists, who moved chemistry out of the lab and into the world of computing.

Together they developed tools for studying complex molecules — such as enzymes in the human body and plants' photosynthesis machinery — inside cyberspace.

These computerized tools allow scientists to design drugs more quickly and cheaply by doing their experiments with computer programs instead of inside rats and monkeys.

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8:22am

Wed October 9, 2013

6:52am

Wed October 9, 2013
The Two-Way

3 Scientists Win Chemistry Nobel For Complex Computer Modeling

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 12:34 pm

A screenshot of the Nobel Prizes webpage showing the 2013 chemistry laureates Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel.
Claudio Bresciani AP

Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel have won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for their development of powerful computer models used to simulate how chemical reactions work, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced Wednesday.

The technology they pioneered is now used to develop drugs and to perform other vital tasks in the laboratory.

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6:08am

Wed October 9, 2013
Research News

3 Scientists Share 2013 Nobel Prize For Chemistry

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. This year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry will be shared by three scientists who took chemistry inside the world of computing. This powerful technology is now used to develop drugs and perform all sorts of vital tasks in chemistry. The three winners were all born overseas but collaborated in the United States and elsewhere in the 1970s, where they started their work.

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5:00pm

Tue October 8, 2013
Environment

Flood Forensics: Why Colorado's Floods Were So Destructive

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 10:25 am

Flooding brought down a house in Jamestown, Colo., on Sept. 18.
Matthew Staver Landov

Parts of Colorado are still drying out after floods hit the state last month. Eight people died, and damage from the worst flooding in decades is in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Scientists are now venturing into the hardest-hit areas to do a sort of "flood forensics" to understand why the floods were so bad.

Geologist Jonathan Godt takes Peak Highway in northern Colorado up into the Rockies. The road there winds past ravines and streams where water is still rushing.

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5:00pm

Tue October 8, 2013
Science

Researches Who Theorized 'God Particle' Get Physics Nobel

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:24 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. The Nobel Prize in physics was awarded this morning to two scientists from Europe. Both men independently proposed the existence of the so-called "god particle" as part of a mechanism to explain how the universe works. As NPR's Geoff Brumfiel reports, the award was expected but one winner is nowhere to be found.

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4:27pm

Tue October 8, 2013
The Two-Way

Shutdown Forces Antarctic Research Into 'Caretaker Status'

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 4:44 am

The Chalet (right) is the U.S. Antarctic Program's administrations and operations center at McMurdo Station.
Reed Scherer National Science Foundation

Earlier this week we told you that scientists who do research in Antarctica have been on pins and needles, worried that the government shutdown would effectively cancel all of their planned field work this year.

Well, those scientists just got the news they didn't want to hear.

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2:42pm

Tue October 8, 2013
The Two-Way

An Aerogramme From Professor Higgs, Nobel Winner

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 6:02 pm

Letter from Peter Higgs
David Kestenbaum NPR

Well, it's happened. British scientist Peter Higgs has won a Nobel Prize for proposing the Higgs boson particle as part of a mechanism that explains how things in the universe came to have mass.

Higgs seems to be lying low today so far — a colleague told The New York Times that Higgs had "gone off by himself for a few days without saying where" and that a reporter seeking an interview recently had been "sent away with a flea in his ear."

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10:16am

Tue October 8, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Science Suffers In Unseen Ways From Government Dysfunction

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 11:41 am

Very Large Array in 2005. The facility, on the Plains of San Agustin, 50 miles west of Socorro, N.M., has been closed as a result of the government shutdown. The VLA consists of 27 radio antennas linked together to simulate the capabilities of a single dish 17 miles in diameter." href="/post/science-suffers-unseen-ways-government-dysfunction" class="noexit lightbox">
Tourists are dwarfed by the Very Large Array in 2005. The facility, on the Plains of San Agustin, 50 miles west of Socorro, N.M., has been closed as a result of the government shutdown. The VLA consists of 27 radio antennas linked together to simulate the capabilities of a single dish 17 miles in diameter.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

On Saturday night I saw Gravity, the new semi-realistic space survival flick. I thought: an astrophysicist's view of this film would certainly be worth a 13.7 post. But I've left that thought behind for an email I had received the day before:

Dear user community colleagues,

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