Science

3:23am

Mon April 1, 2013
Business

EPA's Push For More Ethanol Could Be Too Little, Too Late

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 8:50 am

A decal advertising E85 ethanol is displayed on a pump at a gas station in Johnston, Iowa.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could soon issue a final ruling that aims to force oil companies to replace E10, gasoline mixed with 10 percent ethanol, with E15.

This move could come just as widespread support for ethanol, which is made from corn, appears to be eroding.

Mike Mitchell was once a true believer in ethanol as a homegrown solution to foreign oil imports. He owns gas stations, and he went further than most, installing expensive blender pumps that let customers choose E15, E20 and all the way up to E85.

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3:16am

Mon April 1, 2013
Research News

Why Not Apologizing Makes You Feel Better

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 8:50 am

Illustration by NPR

To err is human.

So is refusing to apologize for those errors.

From toddlers and talk show hosts to preteens and presidents, we all know people who have done stupid, silly and evil things, then squared their jaws and told the world they've done nothing wrong.

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5:22pm

Sun March 31, 2013
Science

Somewhere Over The Brainbow: The Journey To Map the Human Brain

Originally published on Sun March 31, 2013 9:55 pm

More than 100 years ago, Golgi staining on nerve cells opened the gates to modern neuroscience. Scientists recently developed the Technicolor version of Golgi staining, Brainbow, allowing more detailed reconstructions of brain circuits.
AFP/Getty Images

During the State of the Union, President Obama said the nation is about to embark on an ambitious project: to examine the human brain and create a road map to the trillions of connections that make it work.

"Every dollar we invested to map the human genome returned $140 to our economy — every dollar," the president said. "Today, our scientists are mapping the human brain to unlock the answers to Alzheimer's."

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4:46pm

Fri March 29, 2013
Environment

EPA Proposes New Rule To Clean Up Gasoline And Reduce Smog

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 7:55 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Today, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a new rule to clean up gasoline. The regulation would reduce ozone and other air pollutants by close to 30 percent. That would benefit 100 million people who now live in areas that at times have unhealthful air. NPR's Richard Harris reports.

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4:46pm

Fri March 29, 2013
Science

'Biotech Rider' In Budget Angers Opponents Of Genetically-Modified Crops

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 7:55 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Tucked away inside the new federal budget for this year - which President Obama signed yesterday - is one, small paragraph dealing with genetically engineered crops. That paragraph - actually, one long, complicated sentence - has the biotech industry smiling. But opponents of biotech crops are hopping mad. They say this biotech rider, as they call it, is a blatant attempt to shield biotech crops from all judicial oversight.

Joining me now to talk about this is NPR's Dan Charles. Welcome, Dan.

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3:15pm

Fri March 29, 2013
The Two-Way

U.S. Navy Funding Development Of Giant Jellyfish Robot

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 4:09 pm

We've already seen drones shaped like various animals, including humming birds and dogs. Next is one made to look (and swim) like a jellyfish.

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2:49pm

Fri March 29, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

On Making It Up In The Media

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 2:26 pm

The other day I heard a remarkable conversation between Lawrence Weschler, the journalist and author, and Bob Garfield, host of WNYC's On the Media. The topic was accuracy and honesty, truth and fiction, in reporting. Weschler remarked that when he was working on a story, he never recorded interviews and rarely made verbatim notes, and yet he'd never once been accused of misquoting or in any way misrepresenting a source. "I write what people remember having said."

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12:10pm

Fri March 29, 2013
The Two-Way

Commute From Earth To Space Station Just Got Shorter

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 2:09 pm

U.S. astronaut Chris Cassidy gestures before Thursday's launch of the Soyuz from the Russian-leased Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Natalia Kolesnikova AFP/Getty Images

Three astronauts have arrived at the International Space Station after being the first to try out a new "express" route that slashes their launch-to-docking commute from two days to just six hours.

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3:08am

Fri March 29, 2013
Shots - Health News

Number Of Early Childhood Vaccines Not Linked To Autism

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 4:33 pm

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds no link between the number of vaccinations a young child receives and the risk of developing autism spectrum disorders.
Jeff J. Mitchell Getty Images

A large new government study should reassure parents who are afraid that kids are getting autism because they receive too many vaccines too early in life.

The study, by researchers at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, found no connection between the number of vaccines a child received and his or her risk of autism spectrum disorder. It also found that even though kids are getting more vaccines these days, those vaccines contain many fewer of the substances that provoke an immune response.

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3:05am

Fri March 29, 2013
Research News

Tiny DNA Switches Aim To Revolutionize 'Cellular' Computing

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 11:14 am

NPR Illustration

If you think programming a clock radio is hard, try reprogramming life itself. That's the goal of Drew Endy, a synthetic biologist at Stanford University.

Endy has been working with a laboratory strain of E. coli bacteria. He sees the microbes as more than just single-cell organisms. They're little computers.

"Any system that's receiving information, processing information and then using that activity to control what happens next, you can think of as a computing system," Endy says.

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