Science

2:08pm

Mon March 18, 2013
The Two-Way

Indonesian Zoo Breeds Rare Komodo Dragons

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 2:26 pm

Four of seven baby Komodos born at the Surabaya Zoo in Indonesia last week.
AFP/Getty Images

A zoo in Indonesia is now home to seven bouncing baby Komodo dragons. Before you recoil in disgust, have a look at this video from the BBC — "cute" may not be the operative word, but the hatchlings do exude a certain endearing quality.

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2:04pm

Mon March 18, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Death By Drone: The Moral Way To Go?

A Predator drone at Balad Air Base, Iraq, in 2004.
Rob Jensen/USAF Getty Images

Consider the following hypothetical.

Your government has enlisted a large number of assassins, mercenaries who wield hatchets and knives. They are stationed around the world in strategic locations. Unfortunately, they are a little stupid and clumsy. Because they are stupid, they need to be told exactly where to go and what to do at all times. Because they are clumsy, they sometimes kill the wrong person, or an entire group of people when targeting only one or two.

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1:42pm

Mon March 18, 2013
The Salt

Synesthetes Really Can Taste The Rainbow

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 11:23 am

A select group of synesthetes can truly "taste the rainbow."
Photo illustration by Daniel M.N. Turner NPR

Plenty of us got our fill of green-colored food on St. Patrick's Day. (Green beer, anyone?) But for some people, associating taste with color is more than just a once-a-year experience.

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4:06am

Mon March 18, 2013
Research News

Scientists Catalog Individual Dust Particles

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 12:38 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now, even if you do not suffer from asthma, it may still be a good idea to reduce your exposure to dust. Invisible tiny particles are constantly swirling around in the air we breathe.

And as reporter Gretchen Cuda Kroen reports, depending on what's in those particles, they may be affecting our health.

GRETCHEN CUDA KROEN, BYLINE: Take a deep breath.

(SOUNDBITE OF INHALATION)

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11:29am

Sun March 17, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

The New Perfectionism: Why Can't We Just Be Ourselves?

iStockphoto.com

6:05am

Sat March 16, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

The Naming Of The Shrew

Carl Buell

It looks kinda like a squirrel, except its ears are too small, its tail is ratty, then bushy, and its mouth? Definitely un-squirrel. More like a shrew, a fox, or a dog. And the teeth? Strange. What is it?

It's an act of edited, elegant imagination.

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1:18pm

Fri March 15, 2013
The Two-Way

A Peek Into Exoplanet's Atmosphere Offers Clues To How It Was Formed

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 3:06 pm

The 10-meter Keck II (right), a twin of the world's largest optical telescope, was used to study the atmosphere of HR 8799c.
Richard Wainscoat AP

Scientists peering into the atmosphere of a giant planet 130 light years away believe their findings bolster one theory of how solar systems form.

The planet, orbiting the star HR 8799, is part of a solar system containing at least three other "super-Jupiters" weighing in at between five and 10 times the mass of our own Jupiter. The nearby system features a brash, young 30-million-year-old star (by contrast, our Sun is in midlife at about 4.5 billion years old).

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1:03pm

Fri March 15, 2013
Space

Curiosity Hits Paydirt: New Clues To Life On Mars

Microbes may once have happily existed on the surface of Mars, according to chemical analysis of a sedimentary rock in the Red Planet's Gale crater. NASA geologist and exobiologist David Blake discusses evidence for an ancient freshwater lake in the crater, and describes the mineral-chomping microbes that may have thrived there.

1:03pm

Fri March 15, 2013
Health Care

Improving Healthcare, One Search At A Time

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY; I'm Ira Flatow. We've all been there, sitting at the computer late at night, clicking on those websites that offer medical opinions, trying to convince ourselves that our headache must be caused by a brain tumor, right? Yeah, that dry skin you've had for the last couple of months, of course it's due to a thyroid disorder because that's what you're finding out on the Web. Recognize yourself?

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1:03pm

Fri March 15, 2013
Author Interviews

'Bones' Inspires A New Generation Of Crime Fighters

Kathy Reichs, the writer and scientist behind the TV show Bones, is back with a new novel for young adults. Code: A Virals Novel stars Tory Brennan, great-niece of Reich's famed crime-solving heroine Tempe Brennan. Reichs discusses the book, co-written with Brendan Reichs.

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