Science

4:48pm

Sat March 23, 2013
Technology

Four Robots That Are Learning To Serve You

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 6:34 pm

Future Robot's FURo robot acts as a host.
Innorobo.com

From Star Wars' R2-D2 to The Terminator to WALL-E, robots have pervaded popular culture and ignited our imaginations. But today, machines that can do our bidding have moved from science fiction to real life.

Think hands-free vacuum cleaners or iPhone's Siri or robotic arms performing surgery. At the Innorobo conference in Lyon, France, the latest in service robot technology was on display.

Read more

12:43pm

Sat March 23, 2013
All Tech Considered

The Cicadas Are Coming! Crowdsourcing An Underground Movement

Cicadas live underground and emerge in 13- or 17-year cycles.
Stephen Jaffe AFP/Getty Images

Back in 1996, a group of baby cicadas burrowed into soils in the eastern U.S. to lead a quiet life of constant darkness and a diet of roots. Now at the ripe age of 17, those little cicadas are all grown up and it's time to molt, procreate and die while annoying a few million humans with their constant chirping in the process.

Read more

6:17am

Sat March 23, 2013
The Two-Way

Coal And Coral: Australia's Self-Destructive Paradox

The city of Gladstone near the Great Barrier Reef is the world's fourth largest coal-export hub. Dredges, like one seen here, have turned the harbor brown as they work to expand the coal port.
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 5: A return to shore finds that people prefer cars to corals.

It's not every day you open an in-flight magazine and read an ad touting "spitwater pressure cleaners for the mining industry." Flip the page and you'll also see an ad cajoling you to "snorkel, sip, snooze" on the Great Barrier Reef.

Read more

2:14pm

Fri March 22, 2013
Health

Scientists Search For Gulf War Illness Answers

Transcript

JOHN DANKOSKY, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm John Dankosky. Ira Flatow is out this week. Last December, Steven Coughlin, an epidemiologist at the Veterans Affairs Office of Public Health, resigned his position. And last week he told a congressional subcommittee why. He had serious ethical concerns about the research being done on Gulf War Illness at the VA.

Read more

2:13pm

Fri March 22, 2013
Science

Birds Evolve Shorter Wings To Escape Traffic Crush

Transcript

JOHN DANKOSKY, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm John Dankosky. Some 30,000 people die on U.S. roads every year, but the highway isn't just dangerous for us humans. Scientists estimate that our cars and trucks kill 80 million birds a year. That's 80 million. That death toll is high enough, they say, that it's turning out to be a powerful force of natural selection. In fact, some birds may be evolving shorter wings to let them navigate traffic more safely. That's according to a paper out this week in the journal Current Biology.

Read more

2:02pm

Fri March 22, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

What's Behind The Invention Of 'Neuroscience Care'?

A real human brain on display at an exhibition in Bristol, England.
Matt Cardy Getty Images

Neurology is the branch of medicine concerned with the health of the brain and nervous system. If you've spent time in the office of a neurologist, you'll have noticed that there is something quaintly old-world about the practice.

Neurologists ask a lot of questions; they listen; then they hook you up to pre-computer age devices that measure the speed of nerve conductance; neurologists do things like attach electrodes and stick needles in your arm. It's all positively 19th-century.

Read more

1:47pm

Fri March 22, 2013
Animals

Project Seeks To Bring Extinct Species Back

Transcript

JOHN DANKOSKY, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm John Dankosky. It sounds like something from a science fiction movie, researchers using cutting-edge biotech methods to bring an extinct species back to life. As a matter of fact, I think I saw that one. It was called "Jurassic Park."

Read more

1:45pm

Fri March 22, 2013
Science

For Babies, It's Better To Like What I Like

Babies as young as nine months appear to approve of people who like what they like — and approve of being mean to those who don't share their tastes. Kiley Hamlin, lead author of a study in the journal Psychological Science, discusses the importance of similarity to young children.

10:58am

Fri March 22, 2013
The Two-Way

Scientists Use Antacid To Help Measure The Rate Of Reef Growth

Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution for Science takes a water sample during his experiment out on part of the Great Barrier Reef. The water is slightly pink because his team is using a dye to trace an acid-neutralizing chemical as it flows across the reef.
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 4: Richard catches up with one of the gurus of climate science out on the reef.

Ken Caldeira loves a challenge, and he has a big one right under his feet. He's standing on an expanse of coral reef out in Australia's Great Barrier Reef. It's being washed with water as the tide streams over the reef, from a lagoon to the open sea.

Read more

3:02am

Fri March 22, 2013
Research News

Mosh Pit Math: Physicists Analyze Rowdy Crowd

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 10:55 am

Fans in the mosh pit during the performance of Liturgy at the 2012 Pitchfork Music Festival in Union Park, Chicago, on July 14, 2012.
Roger Kisby Getty Images

Pages