Science

5:51am

Tue February 19, 2013
Research News

Does Having Children Make You Happier?

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 2:55 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

There's been a debate raging in academic circles for years. Does having children really make one happier? Most parents say their kids absolutely make them happy, but some researchers have come to question that.

NPR science correspondent Shankar Vedantam sat down with MORNING EDITION's Steve Inskeep to take on this question.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Hi, Shankar.

SHANKAR VEDANTAM, BYLINE: Good to be here, Steve.

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3:14am

Tue February 19, 2013
Environment

Forecasting Climate With A Chance Of Backlash

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 5:31 pm

Jim Gandy, chief meteorologist for WLTX, in Columbia, S.C.
Brian Dressler Courtesy of WLTX

When it comes to climate change, Americans place great trust in their local TV weathercaster, which has led climate experts to see huge potential for public education.

The only problem? Polls show most weather presenters don't know much about climate science, and many who do are fearful of talking about something so polarizing.

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4:39pm

Mon February 18, 2013
Science

New Project Would Map The Human Brain

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 5:59 pm

Melissa Block speaks with Dr. Story Landis, director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, about the Brain Activity Map project written about in today's New York Times. If it goes forward, the project would seek to find treatments for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, autism, psychiatric disorders and more.

5:37am

Mon February 18, 2013
Environment

Protesters Call On Obama To Reject Keystone XL Pipeline

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 4:33 pm

Dr. J. William Hirzy, a chemistry professor at American Universiy, rests outside the rally route with a graph he uses to teach his students about the relationship between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperature.
Daniel M.N. Turner NPR

Tens of thousands of protesters turned out on the National Mall Sunday to encourage President Obama to make good on his commitment to act on climate change.

In his Inaugural address from outside the U.S. Capitol, the president said: "We will respond to the threat of climate change knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations."

Just a few weeks later, next to the Washington Monument, Paul Birkeland was one of a couple dozen people holding a long white tube above their heads.

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3:28am

Mon February 18, 2013
The Salt

Growing Resistance, Oregon Hazelnuts Battle Blight

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 6:42 am

Oregon State University has been growing a variety of hazelnut trees over the years to develop blight-resistant breeds.
Rebecca McCluskey

Although Oregon is known for many exports — from timber to hipster irony — few people are aware that it's actually the country's leading source of hazelnuts.

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3:02pm

Sun February 17, 2013
The Salt

Should You Be Worried About Your Meat's Phosphorus Footprint?

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 10:36 am

A tractor spreads fertilizer at a dairy farm in Morrinsville, New Zealand.
Sandra Mu Getty Images

If you've ever played around with one of those carbon or water footprint calculators, you probably know that meat production demands a lot from the environment — a lot of oil, water and land. (Check out the infographic we did on what goes into a hamburger last year for Meat Week.)

But have you thought about your meat's phosphorus footprint? Probably not.

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4:42pm

Sat February 16, 2013
Author Interviews

'Noble Savages': A Journey To Break The Mold Of Anthropology

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 10:44 am

Cover of Noble Savages

When Napoleon Chagnon first saw the isolated Yanomamo Indian tribes of the Amazon in 1964, it changed his life forever. A young anthropologist from the University of Michigan, he was starting on a journey that would last a lifetime, and take him from one of the most remote places on earth to an international controversy.

That controversy would divide his profession and impugn his reputation. Eventually he would come to redefine the nature of what it is to be human.

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5:23pm

Fri February 15, 2013
Shots - Health News

What Nuclear Bombs Tell Us About Our Tendons

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 8:57 am

Nuclear bomb tests like this one, conducted at the Nevada Test Site in 1957, are helping scientists understand how the human body works.
Photo courtesy of National Nuclear Security Administration / Nevada Site Office

You really don't want to mess with your Achilles tendons. Trust us, injury to these tendons can take months to heal, and even then recovery is often not complete.

A big reason the Achilles is such a foot-dragger at getting better is that the tendon tissue we have as adults is basically the same as we had when we were teenagers.

That finding was published earlier this week in The FASEB Journal.

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4:21pm

Fri February 15, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Investigations Of Experience

The Berlin-Potsdam Railway (1847) by Adolph Menzel
Joerg P. Anders bpk Berlin/Alte Nationalgalerie/Art Resource

The painter Adolph Menzel (1815-1905) is not well-known, even in his native Germany. He was tiny and ugly and never married; he wrote in his will that "there is a lack of any kind of self-made bond between me and the outside world." Perhaps this lack of bond is what made it possible for him to devote himself so totally to the task of making pictures.

Menzel drew constantly. He drew everything. He drew with his left hand and with his right. He drew on napkins and on the backs of menus. No social event was so formal, or so intimate, it seems, as to quiet his active hands.

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4:18pm

Fri February 15, 2013
Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond

After Sandy, Not All Sand Dunes Are Created Equal

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 5:04 pm

Daniel Riscoe, Jenna Hart, Anthony Chau and Caroline Lloyd (all students from the Peddie School in Hightstown, N.J.) carry donated Christmas trees across Island Beach.
Adam Cole NPR

When Superstorm Sandy hit Island Beach State Park — one of the last remnants of New Jersey's barrier island ecosystem — it flattened the dunes, pushing all that sand hundreds of feet inland.

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