Science

1:48pm

Fri October 18, 2013
NPR Story

Promising New Treatment for the Deadly Ebola Virus

Transcript

JOHN DANKOSKY, HOST:

Now, for many of us, we first heard about the Ebola virus from the movie "Outbreak," Dustin Hoffman trying to contain an outbreak of an Ebola-like virus in a small California town. Well, in the 18 years since that movie came out, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has documented 18 known outbreaks of Ebola, with the most recent happening last fall in the Congo.

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1:48pm

Fri October 18, 2013
NPR Story

Logging In to the Brain's Social Network

Does the pain we feel from rejection and loss have the same effect as physical pain? How does our brain respond to social interactions? In his new book Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect , social neuroscientist Matthew Lieberman describes the biology behind how our brains engage with the social world.

1:48pm

Fri October 18, 2013
NPR Story

New Fossil May Trim Branches of Human Evolution

Writing in Science , researchers say a 1.8 million-year-old skull found in Dmanisi, Georgia indicates that early humans may have evolved from a single lineage rather than from multiple species. Anthropologist Adam Van Arsdale tells us what this could mean for the way we view human evolution.

12:27pm

Fri October 18, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Getting The Point

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 3:21 pm

An elephant in Kenya's Tsavo East National Park, home to some 13,000 of these remarkable animals.
Ivan Lieman AFP/Getty Images

According to an article published last week in Current Biology, African elephants in captivity "can use human pointing clues to find hidden food." Elephants aren't great at this. But they are as good as human 2-year-olds. And that's pretty good.

The bottom line: You can show an elephant where you hid the food by pointing.

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12:18pm

Fri October 18, 2013
The Salt

Scratch 'N' Sniff Your Way To Wine Expertise ... Or At Least More Fun

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 8:58 pm

Scratch 'n' sniff technology hasn't changed much in the last few decades. So the peach cartoon still smells artificial and not what you'll find in a glass of sauvignon blanc.
Text copyright 2013 by Richard Betts. Illustrations copyright (c) 2013 by Wendy MacNaughton. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

Knock wine off its pedestal. That's the goal of wine expert Richard Betts. And he has come up with a brilliant way to do it: a scratch n' sniff guide to the aromas and flavors of the wine world.

With beautiful illustrations from Wendy MacNaughton, the 10-page board book looks like it belongs with your kid's toys instead of next to The Joy of Cooking.

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5:54pm

Thu October 17, 2013
Humans

Fossil Find Points To A Streamlined Human Lineage

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 5:35 pm

Researchers excavated the remains of five creatures who lived 1.8 million years ago, including this adult male skull. The excavation site, in Georgia in the former Soviet Union, was home to a remarkable cache of bones.
Courtesy of Georgian National Museum

Fossils of human ancestors are rare. You could pile all the ones that scientists have found in the back of a pickup truck.

But a remarkable site in Georgia, in the former Soviet Union, has produced a rich group of bones dating back almost 2 million years — and the discovery is shaking the family tree of human evolution.

The fossil hunters found the cache of bones more than a decade ago in a place called Dmanisi, but kept most of the find under wraps.

Now, they've lifted the veil, revealing the fossilized remains of five creatures who lived 1.8 million years ago.

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4:59pm

Thu October 17, 2013
Shots - Health News

Brains Sweep Themselves Clean Of Toxins During Sleep

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 5:35 pm

Katherine Streeter for NPR

While the brain sleeps, it clears out harmful toxins, a process that may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's, researchers say.

During sleep, the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain increases dramatically, washing away harmful waste proteins that build up between brain cells during waking hours, a study of mice found.

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1:18pm

Thu October 17, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

What If They Opened A Dolphin Theme Park, And Nobody Came?

Demonstrators at a rally in Tokyo on August 31 protest against the start of Japan's annual dolphin hunt in Taiji.
Yoshikazu Tsuno AFP/Getty Images

Earlier this month, plans for a new marine theme park were announced for the town of Taiji, Japan. Sometime within the next five years, if the plans come to fruition, tourists will be able to observe and swim with dolphins and small whales. Then, while still in the park, they can eat dolphin and whale meat, all the time knowing that their park fees support the slaughter of dolphins.

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12:21pm

Thu October 17, 2013
The Salt

Pucker Up, America: Beers Are Going Sour

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 10:57 am

Hold Your Horses: The main flavor of a sour beer is tartness, like a strawberry or lemon. But many sours also have a "funky" taste that some say smells like a horse blanket or a barnyard.
Morgan Walker NPR

Move over, bitter IPAs and chocolaty stouts. There's a new kid on the craft brewing block, and it's going to knock your salivary glands into action.

It's called "sour beer." When you take a sip, it's like biting into a Granny Smith apple that's soaked in a French red wine: crisp, refreshing and a bit odd.

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4:38am

Thu October 17, 2013
Environment

Fuel Efficiency Standards Live On After 1973 Oil Embargo

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 10:23 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This year is the 40th anniversary of the OPEC oil embargo - an event that has shaped our nation's politics and the cars we drive ever since. In 1973, the Arab world decided to cut oil exports to punish nations that supported Israel during its war with Egypt and Syria. While the embargo only lasted several months, it triggered an energy crisis that lasted for years. NPR's Richard Harris reports on the ways we are still feel those effects today.

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