Science

10:00am

Fri March 8, 2013
TED Radio Hour

Are We Alone In The Universe?

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 10:24 am

"We should search because it tells us how to collaborate our place in the cosmos." — Jill Tarter
TED / James Duncan Davidson

About Jill Tarter's TED Talk

The SETI Institute's Jill Tarter wants to accelerate our search for cosmic company. Using a growing array of radio telescopes, she and her team listen for patterns that may be a sign of intelligence elsewhere in the universe.

About Jill Tarter

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10:00am

Fri March 8, 2013
TED Radio Hour

How Can We Defend Earth From Asteroids?

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 10:24 am

Phil Plait knows the secrets to avoiding a big asteroid catastrophe.
Courtesy of TED

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Peering Into Space.

About Phil Plait's TED Talk

What's six miles wide and can end civilization in an instant? An asteroid — and there are lots of them out there. With humor and great visuals, Phil Plait enthralls the TEDxBoulder audience with all the ways asteroids can kill, and what we must do to avoid them.

About Phil Plait

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10:00am

Fri March 8, 2013
TED Radio Hour

How Did A Mistake Unlock One Of Space's Mysteries?

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 10:50 am

Nobel Prize winner Saul Perlmutter explains part of his research in astrophysics.
Kimberly White/Getty Images

Part 1 of TED Radio Hour episode Peering Into Space.

Physicist Brian Greene explains how the prevailing theories about the fabric of space changed dramatically in the last century — twice. The most recent shift in thinking came about from a strange mistake, and revealed hidden truths about the nature of our universe. Later in this episode, Greene talks more about why this discovery hints at the existence of other universes.

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2:23am

Fri March 8, 2013
Environment

Past Century's Global Temperature Change Is Fastest On Record

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 10:40 pm

Scientists say they have put together a record of global temperatures dating back to the end of the last ice age, about 11,000 years ago. This historical artwork of the last ice age was made by Swiss geologist and naturalist Oswald Heer.
Oswald Heer Science Source

There's plenty of evidence that the climate has warmed up over the past century, and climate scientists know this has happened throughout the history of the planet. But they want to know more about how this warming is different.

Now a research team says it has some new answers. It has put together a record of global temperatures going back to the end of the last ice age — about 11,000 years ago — when mammoths and saber-tooth cats roamed the planet. The study confirms that what we're seeing now is unprecedented.

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5:29pm

Thu March 7, 2013
The Salt

If Caffeine Can Boost The Memory Of Bees, Can It Help Us, Too?

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 6:13 pm

Adam Cole/NPR iStockphoto.com

Who knew that the flower nectar of citrus plants — including some varieties of grapefruit, lemon and oranges — contains caffeine? As does the nectar of coffee plant flowers.

And when honeybees feed on caffeine-containing nectar, it turns out, the caffeine buzz seems to improve their memories — or their motivations for going back for more.

"It is surprising," says Geraldine Wright at Newcastle University in the the U.K., the lead researcher of a new honeybee study published in the journal Science.

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2:47pm

Thu March 7, 2013
Shots - Health News

To Make Mice Smarter, Add A Few Human Brain Cells

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 6:13 pm

These drawings by Santiago Ramon y Cajal, published in 1899, show cortex neurons.
Santiago Ramon y Cajal Wikimedia Commons

For more than a century, neurons have been the superstars of the brain. Their less glamorous partners, glial cells, can't send electric signals, and so they've been mostly ignored.

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8:38am

Thu March 7, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Discuss: Is 'Humane Meat' An Oxymoron?

Visitors eat rostbratwurst sausages at the "Green Week" agriculture fair in Berlin in January 2011.
Wolfgang Kumm AFP/Getty Images

"There is no such thing as humane meat." This conclusion was drawn by Ingrid Newkirk, President of PETA, in an opinion piece published last week in The Huffington Post.

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3:07am

Thu March 7, 2013
Energy

BP Bows Out Of Solar, But Industry Outlook Still Sunny

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 12:50 pm

As BP leaves the solar industry, Asian countries such as China are taking a lead role in production.
Xinhua News Agency AP

The solar energy business is growing quickly, but future growth will not include oil giant BP.

At the IHS CERAWeek energy conference in Houston, BP's CEO made it clear the company is done with solar.

"We have thrown in the towel on solar," Bob Dudley said after delivering a wide-ranging speech Wednesday.

"Not that solar energy isn't a viable energy source, but we worked at it for 35 years, and we really never made money," he added.

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2:59am

Thu March 7, 2013
The Salt

In A Grain Of Golden Rice, A World Of Controversy Over GMO Foods

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 10:44 am

Genetically modified to be enriched with beta-carotene, golden rice grains (left) are a deep yellow. At right, white rice grains.
Isagani Serrano International Rice Research Institute

There's a kind of rice growing in some test plots in the Philippines that's unlike any rice ever seen before. It's yellow. Its backers call it "golden rice." It's been genetically modified so that it contains beta-carotene, the source of vitamin A.

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4:30pm

Wed March 6, 2013
Animals

Modern Camels Can Be Traced To Giant Creatures That Once Roamed Canada

Researchers have discovered the remains of a giant camel in the far northern arctic regions of Canada. Scientists say today's modern can trace their origins back to these Canadian camels. Melissa Block speaks with scientist Natalia Rybczynski who wrote about the findings in the online journal Nature Communications.

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