Science

4:40pm

Mon April 29, 2013
The Two-Way

Europe Bans Pesticides In Move To Protect Honey Bees

Beekeepers demonstrate at the EU headquarters in Brussels Monday, as lawmakers vote on whether to ban pesticides blamed for killing bees.
Georges Gobet AFP/Getty Images

Three popular pesticides will soon be illegal in the European Union, where officials hope the change helps restore populations of honey bees, vital to crop production, to healthy levels. The new ban will be enacted in December.

"I pledge to do my utmost to ensure that our bees, which are so vital to our ecosystem and contribute over €22 billion ($28.8 billion) annually to European agriculture, are protected," said EU Health and Consumer Commissioner Tonio Borg.

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4:32pm

Mon April 29, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Elegance Trumps Ethics In A Scientific Scandal

iStockphoto.com

In a compelling New York Times piece published last Friday, writer Yudhijit Bhattacharjee discusses the rise and fall of Diederik Stapel, a Dutch social psychologist who committed fraud in 55, or more, of his scientific papers.

While I have very little sympathy for Stapel, I was surprised to recognize the impulse behind his fabrication. Here's how the article explained it:

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4:26pm

Mon April 29, 2013
Shots - Health News

Big Sibling's Big Influence: Some Behaviors Run In The Family

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 12:02 pm

iStockphoto.com

Patricia East is a developmental psychologist who began her career working at an OB-GYN clinic in California. Thursday mornings at the clinic were reserved for pregnant teens, and when East arrived the waiting room would be packed with them, chair after chair of pregnant adolescents.

It was in this waiting room, East explains, that she discovered her life's work — an accidental discovery that emerged from the small talk that staff at the clinic had with their young clients as they walked them back for checkups.

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1:54pm

Mon April 29, 2013
The Two-Way

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Passes First Rocket Test

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 4:02 pm

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo — designed to carry paying passengers beyond Earth's atmosphere — passed a key test Monday, shooting past the speed of sound under its own rocket power.

The spacecraft developed by Sir Richard Branson's space tourism venture dropped from its mother ship over the Mojave Desert and then, for the first time, fired its engine. It hit Mach 1.2 and reached an altitude of 56,000 feet before gliding to a landing.

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4:56pm

Sun April 28, 2013
Science

The Sounds of Thirsty Trees

Originally published on Sun April 28, 2013 6:38 pm

A team of physicists at Grenoble University in France discovered that trees make different sounds when they are starved for water versus when they are simply thirsty. We hear from Dr. Alexandre Ponomarenko, the lead researcher, and hear a bit of the thirsty tree sounds.

4:21pm

Sun April 28, 2013
History

First He Invented The Phone. Then, Bell Left A Voice Message

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 4:28 pm

Though the quality of the sound recordings is poor, we know what Alexander Graham Bell was saying because he left transcripts.
Smithsonian's National Museum of American History

As the inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell is credited with bringing countless voices to our ears. And now, for the first time, here he is imploring us to hear his own voice:

The sound is scratchy. You have to strain to decipher it, but the words are clear. They're from Bell's lips, recorded in 1885 but unveiled just last week by the Smithsonian.

"It lets us know what the past was really like. It fills in a gap for people," says Shari Stout, collections manager at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

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6:41am

Sun April 28, 2013
Science

From Coast To Coast with The Power Of The Sun

Originally published on Sun April 28, 2013 6:40 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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8:03am

Sat April 27, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

Nobody Throws Balls Like Yu

Jeff Gross Getty Images

8:03am

Sat April 27, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Oliver Sacks: An Appreciation

Oliver Sacks in 2009 at Columbia University
Chris McGrath Getty Images

A comment I heard more than once at a recent event in New York to celebrate the life of Oliver Sacks, who turns 80 this year, is that it isn't Sacks' patients who are particularly interesting; it is the interest that Sacks brings to them that makes them special. He has good eyes.

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4:47pm

Fri April 26, 2013
Animals

Navy Sonar Criticized For Harming Marine Mammals

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The U.S. Navy is planning to ramp up training activities off California and Hawaii. But that has rekindled a battle over Navy sonar, which is known to harm marine mammals. From member station KQED, Lauren Sommer reports.

LAUREN SOMMER, BYLINE: We humans are visual creatures and for good reason. If someone is far away, you can usually see them before you hear them. Underwater, it's the opposite.

BRANDON SOUTHALL: The physical environment of the ocean really favors the use of sound, and the animals have evolved accordingly.

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