Science

11:27am

Fri June 14, 2013
NPR Story

Human Genes Not Patentable, Supreme Court Says

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 4:13 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled that human genes cannot be patented. The case involves a dispute over patents held on the BRCA1 and the BRCA2 genes, the so-called breast cancer genes; and tests a company, Myriad Genetics, used to look for mutations to those genes.

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11:27am

Fri June 14, 2013
NPR Story

Denis Hayes on Being Green

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 4:13 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Anyone who has taken some time on Earth Day to contemplate the planet has my next guest to thank. Danis Hayes was the first national coordinator for Earth Day back in 1970, and if I might insert a personal note, Earth Day back in 1970 was also the anniversary of my first science story I ever did. So this is very interesting, and I'm very happy to have as my guest today Denis Hayes, who is, and as I say, he's head of the Solar Energy Research Institute under President Jimmy Carter.

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11:27am

Fri June 14, 2013
NPR Story

With Climate Change, No Happy Clams

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 4:13 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Think for a minute about the victims of climate change. You might envision the polar bear, right? You see a lot of that in the news, atop a block of melting ice or - where there's no ice to grab onto, or the great ice sheet covering Greenland drip, drip, dripping away, or the tiny island of Tuvalu whose people and beaches might soon be swallowed by rising seas.

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11:27am

Fri June 14, 2013
NPR Story

Rolling Out Bamboo Bicycles

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 4:13 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Up next, Flora Lichtman is here with us for our Video Pick of the Week. Hi, Flora.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Ira.

You went with something Seattlely(ph). How would I describe it - Seattle-like this week for this week's video.

That's right. When in Mayor McSchwinn's city, you have to go with the bikes. Lightening it up for pick of the week, but - as usual.

(LAUGHTER)

LICHTMAN: Oh, yes. This week's video is about, not just any bicycle builders, these are folks who are building bicycles out of bamboo.

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10:10am

Fri June 14, 2013
Shots - Health News

Scientists Go Medieval To Solve Ancient Leprosy Puzzle

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 2:51 pm

A woodcut from the 1800s, Healing the Lepers, depicts the common tableau of Jesus healing a leper as his disciples look on.
Images from the History of Medicine

Look through a series of 15th-century woodcuts, and you'll find that the leper is as much an icon of medieval art as the crown or the cross.

Leprosy was so common in Europe during the Middle Ages that it's estimated 1 in 30 people was infected with the bacteria. But by the turn of the 16th century, after the Crusades had swept across Europe, the disease mysteriously disappeared. And it never returned.

This left scientists puzzled. Did the bacteria mutate to become less harmful, or did Europeans become resistant to the germs?

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4:00pm

Thu June 13, 2013
The Salt

Why Bill Gates Is Investing In Chicken-Less Eggs

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 1:34 pm

At left: Beyond Eggs' egg-substitute product, a powder made of pulverized plant-based compounds. Right: Mother Nature's version.
Cody Pickens Beyond Eggs

The egg of the future may not involve a chicken at all. In fact, in the high-tech food lab at Hampton Creek Foods in San Francisco, the chicken-less egg substitute has already been hatched.

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2:47pm

Thu June 13, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

What Hunter-Gatherers May Tell Us About Modern Obesity

Engineered deliciousness: more of a problem than sedentary lifestyles?
iStockphoto.com

In the wake of the 439 comments on my last post about obesity and weight-bias in our society, I've been thinking about issues of comparative health around the world and, as I have before, about the Paleo diet.

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1:56pm

Thu June 13, 2013
Science

What Bird Flocks And Fish Schools Can Teach Us About The Future

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 4:19 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

We've all seen a flock of birds shift direction instantaneously mid-flight, or a school of fish swirl in what looked like tightly choreographed maneuvers. That's called collective behavior and it fascinated and baffled scientists. Why do they do it? How? Telepathy? Now technology is revolutionizing the way researchers can track, visualize and even create swarms, and what they're finding will make you go wow.

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1:12pm

Thu June 13, 2013
The Two-Way

Chinese Astronauts Dock With Orbiting Space Lab

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 1:54 pm

Chinese astronauts (from left) Wang Yaping, mission commander Nie Haisheng and Zhang Xiaoguang gesture as they prepare to board the Shenzhou-10 spacecraft in Jiuquan, China, on Tuesday.
AFP/Getty Images

A trio of Chinese astronauts has successfully docked with the Tiangong-1 space laboratory for what's expected to be a total of 15 days in orbit — the longest mission to date for China's burgeoning manned space program.

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12:53pm

Thu June 13, 2013
Shots - Health News

Prevention Pill Cuts HIV Risk For Injecting Drug Users

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says doctors should prescribe Truvada, a once-a-day pill for HIV, to help prevent infections in IV drug users.
Jeff Chiu AP

A once-a-day pill has been proven to lower the risk of getting HIV among needle-using drug addicts, just as it does among heterosexual couples and men who have sex with men.

Among 2,400 injecting drug users in Bangkok, those assigned to take a daily dose of an antiviral drug Viread, or tenofovir generically, had half the risk of getting HIV over a four-year period as those who took a placebo pill. Among those who took tenofovir faithfully, there were 74 percent fewer infections.

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