Science

3:38am

Fri June 20, 2014
The Two-Way

Scientists Keep A Careful Eye On The World Cup Ball

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 8:45 am

A close up of the Brazuca ball in NASA's Ames Fluid Mechanics Laboratory. Smoke highlighted by lasers visualizes air flow around the ball.
NASA's Ames Research Center

While many millions are enjoying the drama of the World Cup, a handful of scientists are keeping their eyes very closely on the ball.

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5:29pm

Thu June 19, 2014
Commentary

Seeking the Solstice: Kick Off Your Summer of Cosmic Sunsets

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 7:12 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. Here in the Northern hemisphere, summer officially begins this weekend. The summer solstice is Saturday. Other than warm weather and school letting out, what really marks this moment are sunsets, as NPR blogger Adam Frank explains.

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3:53pm

Thu June 19, 2014
The Salt

Cut Your Cake And Keep It (Fresh), Too

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 5:53 pm

Alex Bellos seals up the cake after removing a slice.
YouTube

"The ordinary method of cutting out a wedge is very faulty," wrote Sir Francis Galton, a British mathematician, in a 1906 letter to the journal Nature concerning the scientific principles of cake-cutting.

More than a century later, cake lovers might finally be ready to face this truth.

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3:19pm

Thu June 19, 2014
Shots - Health News

To Defeat A Deadly Toxin, Disrupt Its Landing Gear

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 7:59 am

A high-resolution image of the molecular carrier that moves the botulinum toxin from the intestine into the bloodstream. The carrier (silver) creates gaps in the gut lining by grabbing the rope-like molecules (red ribbons) that tether one intestinal cell to the next.
Rongsheng Jin, UC Irvine, and Min Dong, Harvard Medical School

Botulinum toxin may be the most poisonous substance on the planet. A mere speck of the stuff can kill a person.

But just what makes the toxin so potent?

Part of the answer lies in the molecules that carry the toxin through the body. These carriers, which are produced along with the toxin by the Clostridium botulinum bacterium, protect the toxin as it travels through the hostile environment of the gastroinstetinal tract, and help it bust through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream.

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3:04pm

Thu June 19, 2014
The Two-Way

New York Passes Bill To Outlaw Tattooing Pets

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 4:56 pm

If you live in New York, you might want to cancel that appointment to get your dog tattooed: On Wednesday, a bill prohibiting pet tattooing passed the state Legislature. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to ink it.

The soon-to-be-law, which gained bipartisan support and was endorsed by the Humane Society of New York, prohibits "unnecessary body modification" of animals but includes an exemption for piercings or tattoos for the purpose of medical identification.

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2:11pm

Thu June 19, 2014
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

A Fresh Cry Of Pain: Fat-Shaming In Science

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 3:08 pm

iStockphoto

One year ago here at 13.7, I wrote about fat-shaming carried out by a college professor of evolutionary psychology.

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2:03pm

Thu June 19, 2014
Science

How To Become A Neanderthal: Chew Before Thinking

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 10:54 am

By comparing "Skull 17" from the Sima de los Huesos site with many others found in the same cave, researchers were able to discern the common facial features of the era.
Javier Trueba Madrid Scientific Films

Scientists have long puzzled over the origin and evolution of our closest relative, the Neanderthal. Now, researchers say Neanderthals seem to have developed their distinctive jaws and other facial features first, before they evolved to have big brains.

That's according to an analysis of 17 skulls, all taken from one excavation site in a mountain cave in Atapuerca, Spain, known as the Sima de los Huesos — the "pit of bones."

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5:23pm

Wed June 18, 2014
The Salt

Eating Broccoli May Give Harmful Chemicals The Boot

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 11:14 am

Researchers say eating broccoli sprouts could help protect against the harmful effects of air pollution.
Julie Gibbons/Flickr

We get a little suspicious when we hear the claims that it's possible to get rid of the gunk that accumulates in our cells by doing a cleanse with "clean" foods.

But what if some foods actually do help detox the body?

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12:49pm

Wed June 18, 2014
Shots - Health News

Kids In Juvenile Detention Face Risk Of Violent Death As Adults

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 9:24 am

Girls who were arrested and detained were at particular risk for premature death in adulthood.
iStockphoto

Delinquent children are much more likely than their nondelinquent peers to die violently later in life, a study finds. And girls who ended up in juvenile detention were especially vulnerable, dying at nearly five times the rate of the general population.

"This was astonishing," says Linda Teplin, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University's medical school and the lead author of the study.

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12:15pm

Wed June 18, 2014
The Salt

Goats In The City? Making A Case For Detroit's Munching Mowers

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 5:14 pm

Leonard Pollara, of Idyll Farms, with some of the goats housed in the Brightmoor neighborhood of Detroit.
Max Ortiz Courtesy of The Detroit News

As more urban folk strive to produce their own food, gardens both large and small are popping up everywhere. And while it's not unheard of for city dwellers to keep bees and even chickens, only a brave few have been willing to try their hand at goats.

Like hedge fund manager Mark Spitznagel, who recently tried to revitalize Detroit's Brightmoor neighborhood with a herd of 18 baby goats.

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