At about 5:30 p.m. on Monday, two washing machine-sized space probes crashed into the surface of the moon. It was all by design and marked the end of NASA's GRAIL mission. The two probes had been orbiting the moon for almost a year, and they've sent back data that have given scientists an unprecedented look inside our nearest solar system neighbor.
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Mount Everest is a symbol of excellence and of danger. The world's highest peak means success to mountaineers. And it's also, according to filmmaker David Breashears, a canary in the coalmine of climate change. Breashears has just returned from a trip to Nepal where he's been gathering extraordinary images of Everest's retreating glaciers.
Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 9:41 am
Last week I shared an interview with Stephan Lewandowsky, a cognitive psychologist and Winthrop Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Western Australia. Lewandowsky's recent research investigates why people do or don't accept the lessons of contemporary climate science, and in my post we discussed the provocative new finding that rejecting anthropogenic climate change is associated with conspiratorial thinking.
Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 8:57 am
What do Jesuit priests, gin and tonics, and ancient Chinese scrolls have in common? They all show up in our animated history of malaria.
It's a story of geopolitical struggles, traditional medicine, and above all, a war of escalation between scientists and a tiny parasite. Malaria has proved to be a wily foe: Every time we think we have it backed into a corner, it somehow escapes.
After the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday, many parents dropping their kids off at school this morning are facing a lot of anxiety. Today in Your Health, we asked NPR's science correspondent Shankar Vedantam to come by to talk about how tragedies shape our perceptions of risk.
Shankar, good morning.
SHANKAR VEDANTAM, BYLINE: Good morning, David.
GREENE: So tell us what we know from school shootings of the past. I mean, what sort of impact will this tragedy have on parents and how they think?
The Environmental Protection Agency is tightening the standard for how much soot in the air is safe to breathe. Fine particles come from the combustion of fossil fuels by cars and industrial facilities. They're linked to all kinds of health problems, including heart attacks and lung ailments like asthma. States will be required to clean up their air to the level specified by the new standard.
Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 8:33 pm
The winter holidays are upon us, and with them the excuse (or obligation) to buy presents for our loved ones. I was taught that it's the thought that counts; but recent findings in psychology suggest otherwise.