Science

5:04pm

Thu April 25, 2013
Shots - Health News

Researchers Find Hormone That Grows Insulin-Producing Cells

A microscopy image of a rat pancreas shows the insulin-making cells in green.
Masur Wikimedia.org

The work is only in mice so far, but it sure is intriguing.

A newly found hormone revs up production of cells that make insulin — the very kind that people with advanced diabetes lack.

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5:03pm

Thu April 25, 2013
Environment

From Battle To Birds: Drones Get Second Life Counting Critters

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 8:16 pm

Researchers are using small remote-controlled planes to survey the populations of the greater sage grouse.
Stephen J. Krasemann Science Source

The U.S. military and law enforcement agencies have seen increased public scrutiny on the domestic use of the robotically piloted planes known as drones. Working on the sidelines of this debate, the U.S. Geological Survey has been trying to find a second life for retired military drones in the areas of environmental and wildlife management. Instead of watching the battlefield, these drones are watching birds.

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4:58pm

Thu April 25, 2013
The Salt

Monkeys Also Want To Eat Like The Locals

The blue corn's just as tasty as the red corn, but it's not what the locals like.
Erica van de Waal Science

When you travel, do you want to drink Bellinis in Venice and yak butter tea in Tibet? Well, so do monkeys.

Monkeys will eat new, different food if they travel to a new place and want to fit in with the locals, according to a new study. But back home, they'll eat what Mama eats, shunning perfectly good food if it doesn't get her approval.

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11:44am

Thu April 25, 2013
Science

Not Your Ordinary Science Fair

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 12:03 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We're going to switch gears now and tell you about a competition that is really about to take off - pun intended. We're talking about the nation's largest rocketry tournament, the Team America Rocketry Challenge.

If you think that making a model rocket is kids' stuff, listen to this: Teams must build a rocket that can fly as close to 800 feet as possible in about 45 seconds. The rockets have to carry two raw eggs into the air and bring them back safely. The top-ranked teams will compete in the national competition on May 11th.

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9:48am

Thu April 25, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

When Humans Mourn: The Mozart Requiem And A Matter Of Scale

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 11:35 am

A visitor walks through the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, also known as the Holocaust Memorial, in Berlin, Germany.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

My husband and I recently attended a production of the Mozart Requiem at James Madison University's gorgeous Forbes Center for the Performing Arts. The stage was full. Conducted by Dr. Jo-Anne van der Vat-Chromy, sung by the JMU Chorale (in which our daughter is a soprano), with music by the JMU Chamber Orchestra, the work was masterful and moving.

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3:31am

Thu April 25, 2013
Shots - Health News

A Tale Of Mice And Medical Research, Wiped Out By A Superstorm

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 2:46 am

In this Jan. 18 photo provided by the NYU Langone Medical Center, a technician examines mice to determine their health at the hospital's complex in New York.
New York University AP

When Superstorm Sandy inundated lower Manhattan last year, thousands of lab animals drowned and many scientists lost months or even years of work. One of those scientists is Gordon Fishell, a brain researcher at New York University.

Just hours before Sandy reached New York, Fishell says, he began to worry that animals housed in a basement below his lab were in danger. "I realized Hurricane Sandy and high tide were going to coincide at Battery Park, which is right where my lab is," he says.

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5:48pm

Wed April 24, 2013
Energy

Tar Sands Pipelines Should Get Special Treatment, EPA Says

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 4:57 pm

An oil sheen appears along the shore of the Kalamazoo River in August 2012. In July 2010, more than 800,000 gallons of tar sands oil entered Talmadge Creek and flowed into the Kalamazoo River, a Lake Michigan tributary. Heavy rains caused the river to overtop existing dams and carried oil 30 miles downstream.
John W. Poole NPR

Up until now, pipelines that carry tar sands oil have been treated just like pipelines that carry any other oil. But the Environmental Protection Agency now says that should change. That's because when tar sands oil spills, it can be next to impossible to clean up.

The agency made this argument in its evaluation of the State Department's environmental review of the Keystone XL pipeline project, which, if approved, would carry heavy crude from Alberta, Canada, to refineries in the United States.

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3:11pm

Wed April 24, 2013
The Two-Way

1960s Satellite Images Add To Evidence Of Shrinking Sea Ice

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 7:30 am

An artist's rendering of the Nimbus 1.
NASA

Scientists have digitized and analyzed imagery taken by one of the first U.S. weather satellites to create a montage showing the extent of polar sea ice in 1964 so they can compare it to more recent satellite photos.

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2:34pm

Wed April 24, 2013
Global Health

Deadly Strain Of Bird Flu Is 'Most Lethal' Flu Virus Yet

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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9:33am

Wed April 24, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

God, Einstein And Games Of Chance

iStockphoto.com

"God doesn't play dice."

I'm sure the reader has heard this famous saying from Einstein in a 1926 letter to fellow physicist Max Born. Perhaps not so clear to most people is what God and what dice Einstein was referring to. His worries reflect a deep concern about how far our explanations of Nature can go. They speak to the heart of what science is, an issue that remains contentious to this day.

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