On Australia's Heron Island, buff-banded rails like this one have become the avian equivalent of a weed.
Credit Richard Harris / NPR
NPR Science Correspondent Richard Harris traveled to Australia's Great Barrier Reef to find out how the coral reefs are coping with increased water temperature and increasing ocean acidity, brought about by our burning of fossil fuels. Day 3: Waiting for a boat to the next island, Richard meets some rowdy birds.
Weeds are not a true category of plant. A weed is simply a plant that's growing where a person wishes it weren't.
For vegetable lovers, the start of spring can be a cruel tease, hinting of a feast of just-picked peas and spinach and beets, but delivering instead tired iceberg and romaine shipped from distant climes.
"It's zero here right now," Terry Nennich reported Wednesday morning, the first official day of spring, from Grand Rapids, Minn. So much for spring. Not only was it well below freezing, but the ground remained blanketed by 2 feet of snow.
Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 11:52 am
By Barbara J. King
Bonobos at the <a href="http://www.friendsofbonobos.org/">Lola ya Bonobo</a> sanctuary near Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2006.
Credit Issouf Sanogo / AFP/Getty Images
In a book coming out next week called The Bonobo and the Atheist, primatologist Frans de Waal argues that morality is built into our species. Rather than coming to us top-down from God, or any other external source, morality for de Waal springs bottom-up from our emotions and our day-to-day social interactions, which themselves evolved from foundations in animal societies.
Advances in forensic technology are showing that what used to be considered clear-cut proof of guilt may be nothing of the kind. A California case highlights a growing problem facing courts: what to do when an expert witness changes his mind because of better science and technology.
William Richards was convicted of brutally murdering his wife and is serving 25 years to life. The evidence against him was mostly circumstantial and two different juries were unable to reach a verdict. A third trial was aborted because the judge recused himself.
The Universe has an origin; whether we'll ever get to the bottom of it is the question.
Today I'd like to start a discussion on the ways certain kinds of questions present formidable challenges to the conventional scientific method of explanation, based on hypotheses and empirical validation. Given that the topic is vast and space short, I will divide the discussion into three parts (at least). Although there may be many questions that pose a challenge to the scientific method (for example, the much-debated questions of morality and altruism), I am interested in a trio that can be grouped as the "three origins questions": cosmos, life, and mind.
Guillermo Diaz-Pulido from Griffith University in Brisbane grows bits of seaweed attached to pieces of coral in tanks at the research facility on Australia's Heron Island.
Credit Richard Harris / NPR
NPR Science Correspondent Richard Harris traveled to Australia's Great Barrier Reef to find out how the coral reefs are coping with increased water temperature and increasing ocean acidity, brought about by our burning of fossil fuels. Day 2: The good news is life could get better for seaweed.
Picture a coral reef and the first things likely to come to mind are brilliantly colored fish swimming among stout branches of coral. Let your mind wander a bit more and you might imagine some sea turtles, stingrays and sharks.
The future doesn't look so bright for China-based Suntech, one of the world's largest makers of solar panels: On Wednesday, it was forced into bankruptcy after missing a $541 million payment to bondholders.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
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Horizontal hydro-fracking has transformed the energy market. Drillers get natural gas out of the ground by drilling down, then sideways, using water pressure to unlock energy - natural gas. But for all the money coming out of the ground in some places, the technique is contentious and New York does not allow it; which causes landowners to feel they're being left behind.
Basketball fans have one more day to fill out their March Madness brackets. They'll need to predict not just the champions and their route to victory, but also the paths of all the losers. It's not easy. In fact, no person or computer has yet been able to do it.