Science

5:01pm

Mon September 23, 2013
Shots - Health News

Could Detectives Use Microbes To Solve Murders?

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 1:30 pm

Knight (left) and Bucheli take soil samples from beneath one of the decomposing bodies.
Katie Hayes Luke for NPR

In the woods outside Huntsville, Texas, scientists are trying to determine whether they can use the microbes that live on the human body as microscopic witnesses that could help catch criminals.

It's a strange scene at the Southeast Texas Applied Forensic Science Facility. At first, it's easy to miss the human bodies scattered among the tall pines, wild grass and weeds.

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2:45pm

Mon September 23, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Does Science Require Faith?

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 3:38 pm

Are faith and reason just like oil and water?
iStockphoto.com

Does science require faith? According to astronomer Phil Plait, the answer is:

No.

According to the physicist at Ask A Mathematician / Ask A Physicist, the answer is:

No. Exactly No.

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10:51am

Mon September 23, 2013
The Picture Show

Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Bee-Holder

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 4:55 pm

Osmia chalybea, Male, Cumberland Island National Seashore, Georgia
USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab

For a lot of people, the sight of a bee or wasp is enough to elicit some kind of visceral reaction. But a bee at 1:1 magnification becomes something a little more awe-inspiring.

"We know the average American reaction to insects," says Sam Droege, head of the U.S. Geological Survey Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab. But, he says, "At this scale, none of them are ugly."

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3:34am

Mon September 23, 2013
Monkey See

The Man Who Gets The Science Right On 'The Big Bang Theory'

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 12:02 pm

The Big Bang Theory." href="/post/man-who-gets-science-right-big-bang-theory" class="noexit lightbox">
David Saltzberg (right) hosts his "Geek of the Week," UCLA student Andrew Peck, on the set of The Big Bang Theory.
Michael Yarish Warner Bros.

Sure, Bob Newhart may have won his first Emmy for guest-starring as Professor Proton on the hugely popular show The Big Bang Theory, about four young scientists at Caltech. But behind the scenes is a real-life professor, David Saltzberg of UCLA.

Saltzberg studies high-energy particle physics and high-energy neutrino astronomy, using radio-detection techniques when he's not working as The Big Bang Theory's science consultant.

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6:19pm

Sat September 21, 2013
Shots - Health News

In Life, Man Immune To HIV Helped Scientists Fight Virus

Stephen Crohn, a New York artist and editor, carried a genetic mutation that protected him against HIV. He died last month at age 66. The cause was suicide.
Facebook.com

Stephen Crohn, a man best known for staying alive during the early days of the AIDS epidemic, died Aug. 23 at age 66. Throughout his lifetime, the New York artist helped researchers uncover vital clues about HIV and how to stop it.

Crohn's partner was one of the first people to die from AIDS in 1978. Over the years, Crohn watched boyfriends and acquaintances die from the disease. But he never got sick.

Knowing that there was something unique about himself, Crohn volunteered to be studied.

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5:03pm

Sat September 21, 2013
Science

Black Widow Spider Fan Gets Dangerously Close To His Subject

Originally published on Sat September 21, 2013 8:07 pm

Nature writer Jackson Landers kept a black widow alive in a jar on his desk for months.
Courtesy Jackson Landers

The first time Jackson Landers spotted a black widow spider on his front porch, he was transfixed. The nature writer grew curious about the poisonous arachnids and even kept one as a pet in a jar for months.

"When you're confronted by this deadly, venomous thing day after day, you can't help but become interested in it," Landers tells NPR's Arun Rath.

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12:33pm

Fri September 20, 2013
The Two-Way

Powerful Typhoon Has Hong Kong In Its Sights

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 3:47 pm

In this NASA image released Thursday, Typhoon Usagi is seen nearing Taiwan and the Philippines.
NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team

Super-typhoon Usagi — the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane with sustained winds of 150 mph — is expected to skirt the Philippines and Taiwan before slamming into the Chinese coast near Hong Kong over the weekend.

The storm is forecast to skirt the coast of Luzon in the northern Philippines on Friday and brush the southern tip of Taiwan on Saturday. Although it is expected to be downgraded in strength by the time it hits Hong Kong on Sunday evening, Typhoon Usagi could still do considerable damage.

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12:04pm

Fri September 20, 2013
Animals

A Chronicle of a Whale's Life, Captured in Earwax

Transcript

JOHN DANKOSKY, HOST:

Now you've probably seen a cutaway section of a tree trunk, those rings inside? Well, they tell a story about the conditions the tree faced year after year. It turns out that whales contain a similar record inside their ears. Joining me now to talk about it are two researchers looking into this record. Stephen Trumble is an assistant professor of biology. Sascha Usenko is an assistant professor of environmental science. They're both at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Welcome to SCIENCE FRIDAY.

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12:04pm

Fri September 20, 2013
Animals

Birding the Fall Migration

September is peak season for the fall bird migration. Hummingbirds have already made the trip south while songbirds have been slow to move this year. Naturalist and author Kenn Kaufman shares tips on spotting different species and making your yard bird-friendly.

12:04pm

Fri September 20, 2013
Science

Science Fairs 2.0

The science fair is a nearly century-old right of passage for students. What role does the traditional science fair play in the digital age? How can these competitions be reworked to include broader participation and encourage students, and teachers, to explore hands-on learning?

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