Science

4:08pm

Tue August 6, 2013
Research News

Study: Rising Military Suicide Rate Not Linked To Deployment

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 7:25 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A new study out today finds that the rising number of suicides in the military is not caused by deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. The paper says mental health and alcohol abuse are much stronger indicators that a service member will commit suicide. As NPR's Larry Abramson reports, that finding runs smack into other evidence that says there is a connection.

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11:46am

Tue August 6, 2013
The Salt

The Cotton Candy Grape: A Sweet Spin On Designer Fruit

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 1:48 pm

The Cotton Candy grape looks and smells like a regular green grape. But the taste will evoke memories of the circus.
Courtesy of Spencer Gray

Can't we just leave our fruit alone?

Last year, apple farmers were soaking their fruit in grape flavor to make them more attractive to kids. Now, plant breeders in California have created a grape that tastes like — well, spun sugar and air.

That's right, Salties. Say hello to the Cotton Candy grape.

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11:33am

Tue August 6, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

The Subtle Mysteries Of Dinosaur Sex

Robert Krulwich NPR

They dominated our planet for 130 million years. You can't do that without having babies, and to have babies, dinosaurs had to have sex. The mystery is — and this is still very much a mystery — we don't really know how they did it.

The key problems being:

First, dinosaur ladies and dinosaur gentlemen were roughly the same size. No big/little asymmetry as with spiders. With spiders, the little fellow mounts the big lady. There are no body-crushing weight issues.

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9:41am

Tue August 6, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Is Weak Evidence Better Than No Evidence?

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 9:44 am

Jonathan Downey iStockphoto.com

In my post last week, I wrote that "weak evidence is still better than no evidence." The statement prompted some thoughtful comments from readers:

I find that weak evidence is often worse than no evidence. (Chris Harlan)

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4:29pm

Mon August 5, 2013
The Salt

Long Awaited Lab-Grown Burger Is Unveiled In London

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 5:04 pm

Scientists say commercial production of cultured beef could begin within 10 to 20 years.
David Parry / PA Wire

After three months, $330,000 and a high-profile media blitz, the world's first hamburger grown in a lab made its worldwide debut Monday.

The unveiling of "cultured beef," as the burger is branded, was a production worthy of the Food Network era, complete with chatty host, live-streamed video, hand-picked taste testers, a top London chef and an eager audience (made up mostly of journalists). Rarely has a single food gotten such star treatment.

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3:28pm

Mon August 5, 2013
Space

No Tax Dollars Went To Make This Space Viking Photo

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 4:02 pm

The Vikings Have Landed: Photographer Ved Chirayath staged this photograph in Palo Alto Foothills Park in California last December.
Courtesy of Ved Chirayath

Scrutinizing the books of government agencies can turn up lavish parties or illicit trips at the taxpayers' expense. But not every investigation turns out that way. And when they don't, the hunt for waste can appear to be a waste itself.

Such appears to be the case with a recent inquiry involving NASA and Viking re-enactors. This whole saga began with an idea from Ved Chirayath, an aeronautics graduate student at Stanford University who loves photography. He was talking over what to shoot one day with a colleague, and thought of Vikings.

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10:16am

Mon August 5, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

How To Fall Forever Into The Night Sky

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 6:31 pm

European Southern Observatory." href="/post/how-fall-forever-night-sky" class="noexit lightbox">
The Milky Way dominates the sky over Chile's Atacama Desert, home to the European Southern Observatory.
John Colosimo ESO

It's your neck that's the problem. Your neck is lying to you.

All your life you've had to look up at the stars. You walk along on a summer's evening and they're always there, those stars, those bright mysterious points of light, waiting for you to notice, waiting for you to understand what they are saying about time and space and your own place in it all.

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3:22am

Mon August 5, 2013
Space

A Year On Mars: What's Curiosity Been Up To?

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 10:55 am

This self-portrait of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity combines dozens of exposures taken by the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager during the 177th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars, plus three exposures taken during Sol 270 to update the appearance of part of the ground beside the rover.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Imagine winning the World Series, the lottery and a Nobel Prize all in one day. That's pretty much how scientists and engineers in mission control at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., felt one year ago when the 1 ton, six-wheeled rover named Curiosity landed safely on Mars.

Within minutes, the rover began sending pictures back to Earth. In the past year it has sent back a mountain of data and pictures that scientists are sorting through, trying to get a better understanding of the early climate on Mars.

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1:16pm

Sun August 4, 2013
The Two-Way

Talking Robot Astronaut Heads To International Space Station

Kirobo, a small talking humanoid robot, is unveiled by a team of Japanese researchers in Tokyo on June 26.
Kyodo /Landov

HAL 9000 he's not. But Kirobo, the first-ever talking robot in space is heading to the International Space Station this week ahead of his human companion, Japanese astronaut Kochi Wakata, who takes over as ISS commander in November.

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7:03am

Sun August 4, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

So, You Think You Can Dance?

iStockphoto.com

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