Science

5:12pm

Wed February 20, 2013
U.S.

Breakthrough Prize Awards Research To Cure Disease

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 6:11 pm

Melissa Block speaks with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Apple chairman Art Levinson about the multimillion-dollar prize they've created with other Silicon Valley illuminati to award advancements in research aimed at curing intractable diseases and extending human life. Eleven scientists have been named winners of the Breakthrough Prize this year.

4:16pm

Wed February 20, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Universe Or universe? It All Depends On The Multiverse

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 12:41 pm

D. Minniti/Acknowledgement: Ignacio Toledo/VVV Survey ESO

Sometimes behind what appears to be a mere grammatical issue hides a much deeper question of meaning.

The reader can easily check, after glancing at a handful of books and articles, including here at 13.7, that the word "universe" sometimes is capitalized and sometimes not. How is that decided, exactly? And who decides it? A choice is being made every time an author (or, more realistically, an editor) refers to the cosmos as "Universe" or as "universe." Let's ponder the reasoning behind this choice.

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3:20pm

Wed February 20, 2013
The Two-Way

Nation's West, Midwest In Path Of Massive Winter Storm

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 6:44 am

As many as 30 million people living from Oklahoma to the Ohio Valley are in the path of a storm moving east out of California that could dump several inches of snow in some areas and freezing rain and sleet elsewhere in the next few days.

According to the Weather Channel, the storm is caused by an "upper-level dip in the jet stream," on Wednesday.

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11:49am

Wed February 20, 2013
The Picture Show

Earth As Art: 'How Did Nature Do That?'

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 1:04 pm

Carnegie Lake, Australia, 1999 Carnegie Lake in Western Australia fills with water only during periods of significant rainfall. In dry years, it is reduced to a muddy marsh. Flooded areas appear dark blue or black, vegetation appears in shades of dark and light green, and sands, soils and minerals appear in a variety of colors.
NASA

Satellites are powerful tools. They beam our TV signals, phone calls and data around the planet. They help us spy, they track storms, they power the GPS signals in our cars and on our phones. But they also send back striking, totally disarming images of planet Earth.

This set of images is all about showing off the "beauty of the Earth," says Lawrence Friedl, the director of NASA's Applied Sciences Program and the editor of a project called Earth as Art. "We want people to look at these images and say, 'How did nature do that?' "

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10:52am

Wed February 20, 2013
The Two-Way

Japan: Probe Of Battery Fire On Boeing 787 Finds Improper Wiring

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 1:33 pm

The first Boeing 787-881 Dreamliner delivered to All Nippon Airlines.
Keith Draycott FlickrVision

Two reports on troubles with lithium ion batteries aboard Boeing's 787 Dreamliner:

In Japan, where a battery on an All Nippon Airlines 787 overheated and began smoking on Jan. 16, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing, the Transport Ministry released a report Wednesday saying it found that the battery in question had been improperly wired.

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2:58pm

Tue February 19, 2013
Intelligence Squared U.S.

Should We Prohibit Genetically Engineered Babies?

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 3:59 pm

Nita Farahany and Lee Silver argue against the motion "Prohibit Genetically Engineered Babies" during an Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.
Samuel LaHoz
  • Listen To The Full Audio Of The Debate
  • Listen To The Broadcast Version Of The Debate

What if, before your children were born, you could make sure they had the genes to be taller or smarter? Would that tempt you, or would you find it unnerving?

What if that genetic engineering would save a child from a rare disease?

As advancements in science bring these ideas closer to reality, a group of experts faced off two against two in an Intelligence Squared U.S. debate on the proposition: "Prohibit Genetically Engineered Babies."

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10:58am

Tue February 19, 2013
The Salt

Pictures Don't Lie: Corn And Soybeans Are Conquering U.S. Grasslands

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 1:56 pm

A corn field is shrouded in mist at sunrise in rural Springfield, Neb.
Nati Harnik AP

For years, I've been hearing stories about the changing agricultural landscape of the northern plains. Grasslands are disappearing, farmers told me. They're being replaced by fields of corn and soybeans.

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10:08am

Tue February 19, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

The Filibuster Solution, Or 'What If Honeybees Ran The U.S. Senate?'

Adam Cole NPR

Bees are democrats. They vote. When a community of bees has to make a choice, like where to build a new hive, they meet, debate and decide. But here's what they don't do: they don't filibuster. No single bee (or small band of bees) will stand against the majority, insisting and insisting for hours. They can't.

Bee biology prevents it.

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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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