Science

2:04pm

Mon July 8, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

Where's My Dinner? It Was Here A Second Ago — The Sandpiper's Dilemma

Robert Krulwich NPR

They scuttle, peck, scuttle, peck, then they dash up the shoreline, dodging waves, heads down, concentrating. What are they doing? They're "looking for something, something, something," writes the poet Elisabeth Bishop.

Read more

12:06pm

Mon July 8, 2013
The Salt

Math Class Made Delicious: Learn About Cones Through Scones

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 12:19 pm

If only Algebra II class had been this tasty ...
Courtesy Lenore M. Edman

Cooks use math to make beautiful food all the time: Slicing eight perfect pieces of pie or doubling a recipe requires basic knowledge of fractions, for example.

But how many cooks think about using beautiful food to illustrate the math itself?

Lenore M. Edman and Windell H. Oskay of the blog Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories do. Feast your eyes on their latest work, "Sconic Sections," pictured above.

Read more

11:44am

Mon July 8, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

What Does Your Summer Reading Say About You?

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 3:44 pm

Cameron Spencer Getty Images

If the proliferation of summer reading lists is any indication, summer is prime time for recreational reading, whether it's fiction or non.

Read more

3:42am

Mon July 8, 2013
Shots - Health News

Finding Simple Tests For Brain Disorders Turns Out To Be Complex

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 1:17 pm

Anne Jones, 62, and Robin Jones, 73, at their home in Menlo Park, Calif. He took a test that revealed proteins typical of Alzheimer's disease.
Ramin Rahimian for NPR

If you're having chest pain, your doctor can test you for a heart attack. If you're having hip pain, your doctor could test for osteoarthritis.

But what if you're depressed? Or anxious? Currently there are no physical tests for most disorders that affect the mind. Lab tests like these could transform the field of mental illness. So far efforts to come up with biomarkers for common mental health disorders have proved largely fruitless.

Read more

9:54am

Sat July 6, 2013
Research News

Why You're Clapping: The Science Of Applause

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

We've all been to concerts and performances that bring us to our feet in wild applause.

(APPLAUSE)

WERTHEIMER: But what makes us clap more for some performances than others? You'd think it's obvious: the better the show, the more applause. Think again. New research at Uppsala University in Sweden has revealed that applause spreads through a crowd more like a contagion than a reaction to a performer. Researchers watched audience members respond to academic talks - talks even as dull as this one.

Read more

5:32pm

Fri July 5, 2013
The Salt

What Is Farm Runoff Doing To The Water? Scientists Wade In

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 12:37 pm

Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey sample water in Goodwater Creek, Mo., for pesticides and other chemicals that may have run off from the surrounding land.
Abbie Fentress Swanson Harvest Public Media

America's hugely productive food system is one of its success stories. The nation will export a projected $139.5 billion in agricultural products this fiscal year alone. It's an industry that supports "more than 1 million jobs," according to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

But all that productivity has taken a toll on the environment, especially rivers and lakes: Agriculture is the nation's leading cause of impaired water quality, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Read more

4:25pm

Fri July 5, 2013
Animals

Big Old Alaskan Fish Turns Out To Be Just Big, Not Old

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 12:37 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And now a big fish story. Last month a fisherman off the coast of Sitka, Alaska, brought in a record-breaking shortraker rock-fish. At nearly 40 pounds and three and a half feet long, the bug-eyed, bright orange beast is the biggest fish of its kind ever caught by a recreational fisherman.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Read more

1:55pm

Fri July 5, 2013
Science

Benjamin Franklin's Intellectual Revolution

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Up next, you know, this week was Independence Day, and to celebrate, we're going to be looking at the life of Benjamin Franklin. We know him for his role in the American Revolution, but we're going to look at the great intellectual revolution he brought to America. Maybe you didn't know about that. Well, you can find out more about it in the new book, "The Society for Useful Knowledge: How Benjamin Franklin and Friends Brought the Enlightenment to America."

Read more

1:55pm

Fri July 5, 2013
Environment

With Rising Temperatures, Infrastructure Falters

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Exactly a year ago this week, a video on YouTube went viral. It was called "Heat Buckles Highway, SUV Goes Airborne." A road in Wisconsin buckled so badly from the heat that it sent cars flying. Well, this year, the buckling continues. But if you're in certain parts of the country, you don't need me to tell you that. It's hot, and I'm not going to use that but-it's-a-dry-heat line, either.

Read more

1:54pm

Fri July 5, 2013
Medical Treatments

Building a Liver From Stem Cells

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Read more

Pages