Mon August 17, 2015
Shots - Health News

'Play This Video Game And Call Me In The Morning'

Originally published on Tue August 18, 2015 4:57 pm

Can playing the Project Evo game really improve the brain's ability to deal with distractions? Its manufacturer thinks so.
Courtesy of Akili

I'm driving through a frozen world, where the roads are paved in ice. As I swerve left to avoid a miniature iceberg, a red fish flashes at the top of my screen. I'm supposed to tap all the red fish that pop up, but not the green fish or the blue. And I have to do this without crashing the car.

An unidentifiable, omnipresent game-meister says: "Doing one thing at a time is easy, but doing them both at the same time is where the magic happens!"

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Fri August 14, 2015

Scientists Discover 15th Convex Pentagon Able To Tile A Plane

Originally published on Fri August 14, 2015 7:17 pm

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Fri August 14, 2015
The Two-Way

With Discovery, 3 Scientists Chip Away At An Unsolvable Math Problem

Originally published on Fri August 14, 2015 3:38 pm

The 15th convex pentagon found to be able to tile a plane.
Casey Mann

Jennifer McLoud-Mann had almost come to believe that her last two years of work had been for naught.

"It had gotten to the point, where we hadn't found anything," she said. "And I was starting to believe I just don't know if we're going to find anything."

Armed with an algorithm, McLoud-Mann, along with her husband, Casey Mann, and David Von Derau — all of the University of Washington, Bothell — had been trying to help unravel one of math's long-standing unanswered questions.

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Fri August 14, 2015
The Two-Way

Newly Discovered Exoplanet Provides Glimpse Into Jupiter's Past

Originally published on Fri August 14, 2015 2:45 pm

An artistic conception of the Jupiter-like exoplanet, 51 Eridani b, seen in the near-infrared light that shows the hot layers deep in its atmosphere glowing through clouds.
Danielle Futselaar & Franck Marchis, SETI Institute

The discovery of a new planet about 100 light years from Earth could provide clues as to what Jupiter was like early in the life of our solar system.

The new exoplanet, 51 Eridani b, is thought to be just 20 million years old, a tiny fraction of the age of Jupiter, which was formed along with the rest of the solar system about 4.5 billion years ago.

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Fri August 14, 2015
TED Radio Hour

What Does It Take To Produce Nuclear Fusion — In Your Garage?

"Physics tells you what you can and can't do. If you know the physics anything else is possible." — Taylor Wilson
James Duncan Davidson TED

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Amateurs.

About Taylor Wilson's TED Talk

Taylor Wilson is a self-taught nuclear physicist who sees every obstacle as a challenge. He describes how — at age 14 — he built a working nuclear fusion reactor in his garage.

About Taylor Wilson

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Fri August 14, 2015
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Finding The True Philosophical Discussion In 'Irrational Man'

Originally published on Fri August 14, 2015 11:32 am

Woody Allen's lovely new movie, Irrational Man, tells the story of an alcoholic philosophy professor, played by Joaquin Phoenix, who arrives one summer to take up a teaching gig at an idyllic, elite liberal arts college.

I'm not sure what is more far-fetched, the proposition that the entire campus is aflutter with erotic anticipation at the "brilliant" man's arrival, or the idea that Joaquin Phoenix is supposed to be a brilliant philosophy professor.

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Fri August 14, 2015
Research News

Engineers Make Narcotics With Yeast. Is Home-Brewed Heroin Next?

Originally published on Mon August 17, 2015 5:05 pm

This genetically modified yeast can convert sugar into powerful opioid drugs. Scientists working with the modified yeast strains are required to register them with the Drug Enforcement Administration and keep the yeast under lock and key.
Courtesy of Christina Smolke/Stanford University

When bioengineer Christina Smolke started her own research lab, she was only 29-years-old. But that didn't stop her from setting colossal goals.

Smolke immediately began to work on what many considered to be a holy grail in bioengineering: yeast that can literally brew narcotic drugs. Achieving that, she knew, could open the door to the quick development of better medications of all sorts.

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Fri August 14, 2015
Shots - Health News

Katrina's Emotional Legacy Includes Pain, Grief And Resilience

Originally published on Fri August 14, 2015 4:35 pm

Dyha Gresham (front, left), her older sister Briceshanay (in back) and Briceshanay's daughter Uri stand in their New Orleans home with the family's cat Sugar-Pepper and dog Selena. After Katrina, Briceshanay says, she relied on theater and the arts to help her "move through terrible and difficult times."
Edmund D. Fountain for NPR

When hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005 most residents evacuated safely. But thousands lost homes, careers, and the lives they had known. Since then, many seem to have recovered emotionally from the trauma. But some have not.

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Thu August 13, 2015
Shots - Health News

Titanium Rings Tough To Crack In Emergencies

Originally published on Mon August 17, 2015 5:06 pm

Titanium wedding bands are becoming popular, jewelers say, as lightweight, less expensive alternatives to rings made of gold.

When the patient showed up in the emergency department, he was hurting. He'd taken a nice long soak in a warm tub, and a few hours later his fingers swelled enough to trap his ring. Now that finger was painful and swollen. The ring needed to come off, since restricted blood flow can lead to tissue death in the finger, which is about as fun as it sounds.

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Thu August 13, 2015

Forecasters Predict Powerful El Nino To Bring Rain To The Dry West

Originally published on Thu August 13, 2015 6:55 pm

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