Science

5:22pm

Fri March 1, 2013
Energy

Natural Gas Dethrones King Coal As Power Companies Look To Future

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 8:01 pm

American Electric Power's natural gas-burning plant in Dresden, Ohio, is one of the energy company's new investments in alternatives to coal-burning plants.
Michael Williamson The Washington Post/Getty Images

The way Americans get their electricity is changing. Coal is in decline. Natural gas is bursting out of the ground in record amounts. And the use of wind and solar energy is growing fast. All this is happening as power companies are trying to choose which kind of energy to bet on for the next several decades.

Until recently, half of these plants burned coal to make electricity. Now, that's down to about one-third. Since 2010, about 150 coal plants either have been retired or it's been announced they will be retired soon.

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5:01pm

Fri March 1, 2013
Remembrances

'Breathable' Nail Polish Creator Searched For A Healthier Cosmetic

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 6:03 pm

Audie Cornish talks with AP correspondent Vanessa Gera about Polish inventor Wojciech Inglot, who died last weekend. Inglot invented a "breathable" nail polish, which became a surprise hit among Muslim women. The special polish allows them to fulfill the religious obligation of hand-washing before prayers, and still keep their manicures.

5:01pm

Fri March 1, 2013
Energy

State Department Finds No Major Objections To Keystone XL Pipeline Proposal

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 8:01 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. We've reported a lot on the fight over the Keystone XL pipeline. It would carry oil from the tar sands of Canada all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico. And today, there's a development in this story. The State Department has released a new analysis of environmental impacts of the pipeline.

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5:01pm

Fri March 1, 2013
Science

Earth Provides Little Warning Before 'Catastrophic' Sinkholes

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 8:01 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. Late last night in Sefner, Florida, near Tampa, a giant sinkhole opened up suddenly under the home of Jeffrey Bush. The hole measures some 30 feet across. It's at least 20 feet deep. Five people escaped the home, but Mr. Bush was plunged into the sinkhole and is feared dead.

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5:01pm

Fri March 1, 2013
Research News

Study: Depression, Autism And Schizophrenia Share Genetic Links

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 8:01 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Scientists have known for some time that genes play a role in disorders like major depression, bipolar disorder, autism, schizophrenia and ADHD. But a major new study published in the journal Lancet suggests that those five disorders may actually share some of the same genetic links. The study analyzed the DNA of more than 60,000 people around the world. Jordan Smoller is a professor of psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. And he helped lead the study. I asked him what the study set out to find.

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3:31pm

Fri March 1, 2013
The Two-Way

Researchers Connect Rats' Minds Via Internet

Rats share information via brain implants, say researchers.
NPR

An experiment that used rats to create a "brain-to-brain interface" shows that instructions can be transferred between animals via electronic signals and the Internet, according to scientists who studied how rats can use brain implants to share problem-solving information.

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2:03pm

Fri March 1, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Are You Overwhelmed? You Don't Have To Be

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 6:28 pm

We didn't always feel guilty when we bought Wonder Bread and baloney at the supermarket, instead of fresh organic vegetables at the farmers' market.
Chris Hondros Getty Images

The other day I got an email from a friend. It began: "Am suffocating and overwhelmed. Impossible to list everything that's going on. It's all work related. By next week should be out of the darkest of woods."

My 11-year-old son exclaimed the other day that he felt overwhelmed. I think what he meant was that the demands of school and home life, compounded by baseball-practice and karate class, are just too much.

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11:39am

Fri March 1, 2013
NPR Story

Rap Nerdy To Me

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 9:48 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: And I'm Flora Lichtman.

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11:39am

Fri March 1, 2013
NPR Story

A Natural Particle Accelerator, Far Above The Planet

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 1:03 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Far above the Earth's surface, two doughnuts of radiation surround the planet, charged particles zipping around in stable belts - that's the shape of them - and they were discovered in 1958 by James Van Allen and now bear his name. They are the Van Allen Belts.

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11:39am

Fri March 1, 2013
NPR Story

Robert Langer, Father Of Invention

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 1:03 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Robert Langer is sort of a modern-day Thomas Edison. He holds over 800 patents. He's launched two dozen startups making an eclectic variety of stuff from tumor-zapping nanoparticles to biosensors and blood tests, synthetic spinal cords, even anti-frizz hair products, all of this originating from the same lab. And recently, President Obama awarded him the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. He's already won the National Medal of Science, after all.

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