Science

12:44pm

Sat August 24, 2013
The Two-Way

Tons Of Molten Glass Go Into Making Mirror For Giant Telescope

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 4:08 pm

An artist's concept of the completed Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT)
Giant Magellan Telescope

Technicians on Saturday are set to cast 20 tons of glass for the third of seven ultra-precise primary mirrors that will make up the 72-foot Giant Magellan Telescope, scheduled for completion in northern Chile's arid Atacama Desert in 2020.

The parabolic mirror will be cast at the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory Mirror Lab. The molten borosilicate, made by the Ohara Corporation, will be spun cast at 2140 degrees Fahrenheit.

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7:35am

Sat August 24, 2013
Environment

Can The World Engineer A Cooler Climate?

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 11:39 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Draft report from the intergovernmental panel on climate change was leaked to the media this week. The scientists will report to the U.N. that it is nearly certain that human activity has caused most of the earth's climate change over the last 50 years. Now, this leak is certain to rekindle debates about how best to contend with events like increasing temperatures and rising sea levels, and it might make some people take a new look at what's called geoengineering.

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7:35am

Sat August 24, 2013
Environment

On A Rocky Maine Island, Puffins Making A Tenuous Comeback

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 11:39 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. East Coast seabirds have had a tough year. They've been battered by storms and disruptions in the food chain. Among them, the sturdy little Atlantic puffin. Now, here in the United States, their numbers dwindle to just a single nesting pair by 1901. Since then, thanks to the Audubon Society's Project Puffin, they've made a comeback. But as WBUR's Fred Bever reports, the puffins are now facing some new threats.

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5:49pm

Fri August 23, 2013
Environment

The 'Consensus' View: Kevin Trenberth's Take On Climate Change

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 9:12 pm

Next month, a scientific committee sponsored by the United Nations will put out its latest assessment of climate change. The report is expected to underscore yet again that climate change is a serious problem and human beings are largely responsible.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) represents a consensus view of hundreds of scientists from around the world. The effort shared the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore.

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2:35pm

Fri August 23, 2013
Shots - Health News

To Reduce Prejudice, Try Sharing Passions And Cultures

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 10:17 am

Sharing passions can help erase ethnic prejudice. No word if that includes a passion for NCAA basketball.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

People can become less prejudiced, but it's not entirely clear how we make the journey from hatred to acceptance.

Something as simple as a shared passion for The Catcher in the Rye can help, researchers say. So does getting an inside look at the other person's culture, even if only for a few minutes.

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1:41pm

Fri August 23, 2013
Science

Rebooting Science Museums for the 21st Century

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 9:16 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

When you last visited your local science museum, what did you see? Those cavernous dark halls, the dinosaurs, a bone frozen into place. The dioramas of stuffed big-horn sheep in a painted habitat. We all know of those. At least that might be how you remember it. But museum directors today are reimagining that Victorian-era museum, reimagining it for the 21st century. They envision using everything from smartphone apps to walk-through labs and meet and greet with actual scientists.

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1:40pm

Fri August 23, 2013
Music

Judging Music With Visual Cues

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 4:26 pm

Musical performances may not be a completely auditory experience, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Study author Chia-Jung Tsay discusses how visual cues can influence our judgments about music and other social settings.

1:40pm

Fri August 23, 2013
Technology

A Robot Lab to Survey the Sea Floor

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 4:26 pm

Imagine a robotic lab that can sample ocean organisms on its own and perform DNA analysis of what it finds. William Ussler, of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, describes how a prototypical robotic explorer is helping study the life around undersea thermal vents.

1:40pm

Fri August 23, 2013
Space

A Telescope Fails, but the Hunt for Exoplanets Continues

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 4:26 pm

The ailing Kepler planet-hunting telescope cannot be fixed, the victim of failed reaction wheels required to aim the instrument. However, researchers still have reams of data to sift through. William Borucki of NASA and Joshua Winn of MIT discuss the search for distant planets.

1:40pm

Fri August 23, 2013
Your Health

Study Correlates Copper Intake and Alzheimer's in Mice

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 4:26 pm

Reporting in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers write of a possible link between copper in drinking water and Alzheimer's disease in mice. Lead author Rashid Deane discusses the potential mechanism.

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