Science

9:42am

Fri July 26, 2013
TED Radio Hour

What's It Take To Become A Polar Explorer?

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 1:39 pm

frogdesignmind

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode To The Edge.

About Ben Saunders' TEDTalk

Explorer Ben Saunders wants you to go outside. Not because it's always pleasant and happy, but because that's where the meat of life is, "the juice that we can suck out of our hours and days." In 2004, Saunders skied solo to the North Pole. Saunders' next outdoor excursion? To try to be the first in the world to walk from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole and back again.

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9:41am

Fri July 26, 2013
TED Radio Hour

To The Edge

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 10:02 am

What motivates explorers to venture into the unknown?
TED

"Certainly to enter a world of terror, you should not be pushed by someone. You should be called. You should be curious. You should have the heart of an explorer." — Philippe Petit, high-wire artist

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2:58am

Fri July 26, 2013
Shots - Health News

Don't Blame Your Lousy Night's Sleep On The Moon — Yet

Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 3:10 pm

Anton-Marlot iStockphoto.com

From madness to seizures, to crime and lack of sleep, people have long blamed the full moon for a range of problems. Research, on the other hand, has found little evidence over the years to support these anecdotal accounts of the moon's powers over the human body and brain.

But scientists in Switzerland decided to look again at one of those putative effects — disturbed sleep — and were surprised to see there might be something to the claim after all.

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5:52pm

Thu July 25, 2013
Shots - Health News

Why Mosquitoes Love Me, And Other Mysteries Revealed

Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 1:44 pm

The mosquitoes that feed on people are attracted to over 300 gases and other compounds emitted by human skin.
CDC Public Health Image Library

Come summertime, some of us here at Shots are reminded, as we lounge on decks and venture into overgrown gardens, that we are irresistible to mosquitoes. As we gripe about our itchy, pocked limbs, we can't help but wonder just why they unfailingly devour us and pass over our friends and loved ones. And when it comes to repellent, it's hard to tell just what works best.

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5:43pm

Thu July 25, 2013
Science

If You Want A Doughnut Hole, Don't Ask A Mathematician

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 11:27 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

A program such as ours is timed to the exact second, and occasionally, there are small holes when our mix of news and features doesn't quite fill up our two-hour slot.

So NPR's Joe Palca offered to come to our rescue with some short math and sciencey hole-filling stories, stories about what else - holes.

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11:48am

Thu July 25, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

Look What You've Done, North America!

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 4:25 pm

Robert Krulwich NPR

This is the story of two continents doing battle, North America versus South America. It is also a biological mystery.

For a very long time, North America and South America were separate land masses. The Pacific Ocean slipped between them, flowing into the Caribbean. The Isthmus of Panama was there, but it was underwater. The two continents didn't touch.

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11:16am

Thu July 25, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Is Cancer A Gift?

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 4:02 pm

Cagri Ozgur iStockphoto.com

There's a gift in cancer. It says so right on page 203 of Greg Anderson's book Cancer: 50 Essential Things to Do (2013 edition; first published 1993). Anderson quotes the singer Olivia Newton-John as saying this about her "journey through breast cancer": "I see it [cancer] as a gift. I know it sounds strange. But I don't think I would have grown in the areas I did without this experience."

Then Anderson urges his readers to "Seek the gift in cancer. It's there."

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5:27am

Thu July 25, 2013
The Two-Way

Steam And Groundwater Raise Concern At Japanese Nuclear Plant

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 10:01 am

Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) workers work on waste water tanks at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in the town of Okuma, Fukushima prefecture in Japan on June 12, 2013.
Noboru Hashimoto AFP/Getty Images

3:38am

Thu July 25, 2013
Environment

La. Flood Board Sues Oil Industry Over Wetlands

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 11:49 am

Canals created for navigation and oil and gas pipelines cut through the marsh off the coast of Louisiana, seen in 2010.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Since the 1930s, Louisiana has lost roughly as much land as makes up the state of Delaware.

"If you put the state of Delaware between New Orleans and the ocean, we wouldn't need any levees at all," says John Barry, vice president of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East. "There is this large buffer of land that has disappeared, and that buffer makes New Orleans much more vulnerable to hurricanes."

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5:48pm

Wed July 24, 2013
Environment

What's Swimming In The River? Just Look For DNA

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 7:34 pm

Biologists normally look for the hellbender slamander, which is known by the nickname "snot otter," under rocks in streams. But now there's a gentler way: They can take water samples and look for traces of the animals' DNA.
Robert J. Erwin Science Source

If you want to protect rare species, first you have to find them. In the past few years, biologists have developed a powerful new tool to do that. They've discovered that they can often find traces of animal DNA in streams, ponds — even oceans.

The idea took root just five years ago, when biologists in France found they could detect invasive American bullfrogs simply by sampling pond water and looking for an exact genetic match to the frogs' DNA.

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