Science

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.

4:30pm

Wed March 6, 2013
Shots - Health News

Hear That? In A Din Of Voices, Our Brains Can Tune In To One

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 11:49 am

Scientists say that understanding how the cocktail party effect works could help people who have trouble deciphering sounds in a noisy environment. Guests make it look easy at a Dolce and Gabbana Lounge party in London in 2010.
Paul Jeffers AP

Scientists are beginning to understand how people tune in to a single voice in a crowded, noisy room.

This ability, known as the "cocktail party effect," appears to rely on areas of the brain that have completely filtered out unwanted sounds, researchers report in the journal Neuron. So when a person decides to focus on a particular speaker, other speakers "have no representation in those [brain] areas," says Elana Zion Golumbic of Columbia University.

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11:54am

Wed March 6, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

Neil Tyson Pounds The Table, Demanding A Future, Now!

Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

11:43am

Wed March 6, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Is The Earth Alive? That Depends On Your Definition Of Life

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 1:17 pm

If you know the signs to look for, it becomes clear that the Earth itself is breathing.
Reto Stockli/Alan Nelson/Fritz Hasler NASA

4:45am

Wed March 6, 2013
Research News

Deciphering Hidden Biases During Interviews

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 11:18 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Benjamin Franklin said the only certain things are death and taxes. Let's add a third thing: Interviews. At many points, starting with school admissions or a new job, you're going to sit down before someone else and answer their questions.

Which is what NPR's Shankar Vedantam is about to do with us because he's got some new research relating to this topic. Hi, Shankar.

SHANKAR VEDANTAM, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

INSKEEP: And let's begin this interview. What's the new research about?

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3:44am

Wed March 6, 2013
Animals

Elephant Poaching Pushes Species To Brink Of Extinction

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 11:18 am

A new study of Central African forest elephants has found their numbers down by 62 percent between 2002 and 2011. The study comes as governments and conservationists meet in Thailand to amend the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

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5:45pm

Tue March 5, 2013
Animals

'Extinction Looms' For Forest Elephants Due To Poaching

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 6:20 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now, to some alarming findings about wildlife in Africa. A 10-year survey looked at the population of forest elephants and found that it fell 62 percent in that time. The study is the largest of its kind, spanning five countries: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, its neighbor the Republic of Congo and Gabon. The Wildlife Conservation Society, which helped organize the effort, is saying that extinction looms for the forest elephant because of poaching.

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