Science

7:32pm

Tue April 2, 2013
Shots - Health News

Obama's Plan To Explore The Brain: A 'Most Audacious' Project

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 2:35 pm

A colored 3-D MRI scan of the brain's white matter pathways traces connections between cells in the cerebrum and the brainstem.
Tom Barrick, Chris Clark, SGHMS Science Source

President Obama has announced an ambitious plan to explore the mysteries of the human brain.

In a speech Tuesday, Obama said he will ask Congress for $100 million in 2014 to "better understand how we think and how we learn and how we remember." Other goals include finding new treatments for Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy and traumatic brain injury.

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5:45pm

Tue April 2, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

How Close Is Doomsday?

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 3:40 pm

Mindaugas Kulbis AP

How close are we to the end? How close are we to being among the last humans to ever live? Depending on who you are — your religion, politics, relative degree of pessimism or optimism — that question is bound to bring up images of some particular kind of cataclysm. It could be an all-out nuclear exchange or a climate change-driven mass extinction. But what if there was a way of answering the doomsday question in the most generic way possible.

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5:03pm

Tue April 2, 2013
Research News

Brain Mapping Project Could Help Find Cures For Alzheimer's, Epilepsy

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 2:28 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Today, President Obama announced a new $100 million initiative to map the human brain. NPR's Mara Liasson reports the White House is predicting the project could eventually help find cures for diseases like epilepsy and Alzheimer's.

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4:04pm

Tue April 2, 2013
The Two-Way

In The Name Of Science, Head-Bobbing Sea Lion Keeps The Beat

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 4:30 pm

Ronan, a 3-year-old female sea lion, has learned to keep a beat, something researchers previously thought was tied to vocal mimicry.
Screengrab via YouTube

While rhythm can often be hard enough to find among humans, finding it in the animal kingdom has been even more rare.

But thanks to a 3-year-old sea lion named Ronan who knows how to keep the beat, previous notions of rhythmic ability among animals are now being challenged.

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3:55pm

Tue April 2, 2013
Shots - Health News

Could Wind Turbines Be Toxic To The Ear?

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 11:18 am

A maintenance worker looks out over an off-shore wind farm in Liverpool, England in 2008. Some people are concerned about the potential health effects of noise from wind turbines.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

The U.S. is embracing wind energy, with wind turbines making up half of the new electricity added to the power grid last year. But a smattering of people who live near the turbines say they're a nuisance — and making them ill.

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2:41pm

Tue April 2, 2013
The Two-Way

DNA-Mapped Furniture Really Ties The Room Together — With You

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 3:53 pm

The Darwin Table is created from a person's unique DNA profile.
Tjep. via Wired Magazine

Furnishing a new apartment or house can be tough; sometimes you just can't find that end table or couch that is uniquely "you."

Well, as Wired reports, a Dutch design studio is trying to change that.

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2:29pm

Tue April 2, 2013
The Salt

Fruit, Not Fries: Lunchroom Makeovers Nudge Kids Toward Better Choices

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 4:49 pm

Students select blueberries and rolls from the food line at Lincoln Elementary in Olympia, Wash., in 2004.
John Froschauer AP

Gone are the days of serving up tater tots and French toast sticks to students. Here are the days of carrot sticks and quinoa.

New nutritional guidelines, announced in 2012, require public school lunchrooms to offer more whole grains, low-fat milk and fewer starchy sides like french fries. But short of stationing grandmothers in every cafeteria, how do you ensure that students actually eat the fruits and veggies they're being offered?

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2:03pm

Tue April 2, 2013
Science

The Buzz On Bees: Why Many Colonies Are Collapsing

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 2:57 pm

Bees have been dying off in increasing numbers over the past few years. Experts say that habitat loss and disease are the biggest culprits, and some believe that pesticides are to blame. NPR science correspondent Dan Charles explains the possible causes and what is being done to stop this trend.

1:58pm

Tue April 2, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

Sing, Fly, Mate, Die — Here Come The Cicadas!

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 12:33 pm

Joel Anderson Copyright 2013 Anderson Design Group

If you live in Missouri, they've already gone.

But back East, cicadas are about to climb out of their little holes in the ground, wriggle out of their skins, like this ...

... so after 17 years of getting ready, they can now do the thing they hope, hope, hope to do — which is, if at all possible, make a baby.

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1:32pm

Tue April 2, 2013
The Salt

From Pets To Plates: Why More People Are Eating Guinea Pigs

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 2:00 pm

Guinea pigs on the grill
Courtesy of Curtiss Calleo

You may best know the guinea pig as a nervous little pet that lives in a cage and eats alfalfa pellets.

Now, the rodents are increasingly showing up on plates in the United States.

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