Science

1:03pm

Fri January 25, 2013
Environment

Months After Sandy, Mucking And Gutting

On a recent day in the Rockaways, a neighborhood in Queens, N.Y., hazmat-suited volunteers far outnumber anyone else on the streets. They are "mucking and gutting" — stripping homes to the studs to remove mold. Many residents are concerned about the health effects of mold exposure, according to community organizer Peter Corless. Mycologist Joan Bennett has been sampling fungi in homes damaged by Sandy to determine which species are present.

1:02pm

Fri January 25, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

Falling Off The Moon

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 5:42 pm

YouTube

1:00pm

Fri January 25, 2013
Research News

Shakespeare's Sonnets, Encoded In DNA

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

How much information do you think exists in the entire world? Take a guess. Forget megabytes and gigabytes and terabytes and petabytes, even exobytes. We're talking zetabytes here or 10 to the 21st bytes. Take the number 10, put 21 zeroes after it, that's what you've got because one recent estimate says there may be around three zetabytes of digital information out there. That's over one trillion gigabytes. Just imagine all those hard drives piled up, and then imagine them not starting up when you plug them in.

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4:06pm

Thu January 24, 2013
The Salt

Maxing Out The Mini Season For Maine Shrimp

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 7:29 pm

Trawlers in the Gulf of Maine are allowed to catch Maine shrimp during a limited season that started this week.
Gulf of Maine Research Institute

To Mainers, cold-water shrimp pulled from the Gulf of Maine in midwinter by a shrinking fleet of fisherman are many things: fresh, sweet, delicious, affordable, precious.

"The absolute best thing about them is that they are almost exclusively ours," boasts Portland-based architect and Maine shrimp lover Ric Quesada. He revels in the fact that Maine shrimp don't travel well out of state. "You don't run errands with these in your car. They want to go right home and be eaten," he says.

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12:52pm

Thu January 24, 2013
The Salt

In Order To Live With People, Canines Evolved To Love Carbs

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 9:42 am

Got spaghetti? Dogs digest starch more efficiently than their wolf ancestors, which may have been an important step during dog domestication.
Lauren Solomon/iStockphoto.com/Nicholas Moore Courtesy of Nature
  • Listen To The Story From 'Morning Edition'

These days, a trip down the dog food aisle of your local pet store or supermarket can be a little overwhelming. There are hundreds of brands out there, catering to – let's be honest – every dog owner's taste: everything from generic kibble to organic nuggets.

There are even dog food cookbooks and specialty gourmet shops for people who want their pets to eat as well – or better – than they do.

How did we get here? The first step happened thousands of years ago, when meat-eating wolves evolved to tolerate people – and their more starchy, plant-based diet.

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11:38am

Thu January 24, 2013
Shots - Health News

If You Think You're Good At Multitasking, You Probably Aren't

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 4:54 pm

Take it easy, fella.
iStockphoto.com

Everybody complains that people shouldn't talk on cellphones while driving. And yet it seems pretty much everybody does it.

That may be because so many of us think we're multitasking ninjas, while the rest of the people nattering away while driving are idiots.

But scientists say that the better people think they are at multitasking, the worse they really are at juggling.

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10:00am

Thu January 24, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

House Cat-Odyssey Highlights The Mysteries Of Animal Migration

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 5:50 pm

A Sandhill Crane flies in at sunset to roost for the night in the wetlands of the Monte Vista Wildlife Refuge in Colorado. Migrating along the same route they've followed for thousands of years, about 25,000 Greater Sandhill Cranes pass through the San Luis Valley in late winter every year.
Doug Pensinger Getty Images

Early in November, a tortoiseshell cat named Holly jumped out of her human family's RV in Daytona Beach, Florida, and ran off. After a fruitless search, the husband and wife returned home to West Palm Beach without their cat.

Holly showed up back in West Palm Beach, only a mile from her house, on New Year's Eve. Because she had been micro-chipped, the family, two surprised and grateful humans and one bedraggled cat, were readily reunited.

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8:34am

Thu January 24, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

Wile E. Coyote Teaches Math (And Despair) To Lucky Students In New Zealand

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 10:07 am

There's something about being upside down (from all of us in the Northern Hemisphere) that makes New Zealanders a little melancholy. At least that's my theory.

My evidence? Well, the other day, I was looking at a curriculum guide for math teachers ("maths" teachers, they would say) on the New Zealand Ministry of Education's site, where the text on top says, We want to equip "all New Zealanders with the knowledge, skills, and values to be successful citizens in the 21st century."

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5:17am

Thu January 24, 2013
Animals

Research: Wolves Starchy Diet Led To Domesticated Dogs

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 9:37 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It took a very long time for this...

(SOUNDBITE OF WOLF HOWLING)

MONTAGNE: ...to evolve into this:

(SOUNDBITE OF DOG BARKING)

MONTAGNE: But the gray wolf is the ancestor of all domesticated dogs, including that Jack Russell terrier we just heard. Just how wolves came to live with people isn't really known. But as NPR's Veronique LaCapra reports, a new study suggests that food may have played a role.

VERONIQUE LACAPRA, BYLINE: Most dogs will eat just about anything.

(SOUNDBITE OF DOG EATING)

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3:37am

Thu January 24, 2013
Research News

Shall I Encode Thee In DNA? Sonnets Stored On Double Helix

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 1:19 pm

William Shakespeare, depicted in this 17th century painting, penned his sonnets on parchment. Now his words have found a new home ... in twisting strands of DNA.
Attributed to John Taylor National Portrait Gallery

English critic Samuel Johnson once said of William Shakespeare "that his drama is the mirror of life." Now the Bard's words have been translated into life's most basic language. British scientists have stored all 154 of Shakespeare's sonnets on tiny stretches of DNA.

It all started with two men in a pub. Ewan Birney and Nick Goldman, both scientists from the European Bioinformatics Institute, were drinking beer and discussing a problem.

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