Science

1:03pm

Fri October 26, 2012
Mental Health

Plunging Into the Science of BASE Jumping

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Up next, time for our Video Pick of the Week. Flora Lichtman, our multimedia editor is here.

Hi, Flora.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Ira.

FLATOW: You have a super-duper, super-duper this week.

LICHTMAN: Yes, and we have one of our listeners to thank. It is about - this week's video is about humans who fly.

FLATOW: Humans who - well, you get in the plane and you fly.

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12:37pm

Fri October 26, 2012
NPR Story

Medusa's Gaze And Vampire's Bite

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 1:03 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF SPOOKY MUSIC AND HOWLING)

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Next up, the science of monsters. Like most myths, there are some real-world phenomena behind the stories. Take vampires, for example. Let me read you a passage from Bram Stoker's "Dracula," where Professor Van Helsing describes the monster.

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12:37pm

Fri October 26, 2012
NPR Story

Scared To Death... Literally

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 1:03 pm

Earthquakes, terrorist attacks and muggings have all scared people to death. Sporting events, too, sometimes cause frenzied fans to drop dead. Neurologist Martin Samuels of Brigham and Women's Hospital explains how positive or negative excitement can lead to a heart-stopping surge of adrenaline.

10:51am

Fri October 26, 2012
The Salt

As California Vote Looms, Scientists Say No To Genetically Modified Food Labels

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 5:05 pm

While lots of labels tout their lack of genetically modified ingredients, if California's Prop. 37 succeeds, foods containing GMOs would have to be labeled.
Paul Sakuma AP

9:09am

Fri October 26, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Chimpanzee Politics: Election-Year Lessons On Power And Reconciliation

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 10:17 am

Chimpanzees are political animals who understand shared power and the benefits that flow from reconciliation.
Peter Steffen AFP/Getty Images

Thirty years ago, the primatologist Frans de Waal published Chimpanzee Politics, a wonderful bombshell of a book that revealed the depth of chimpanzees' social complexity. Based on long-term observations at Arnhem Zoo in the Netherlands, many of de Waal's descriptions match comfortably with what chimpanzees in the wild have since been observed to do.

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5:07am

Fri October 26, 2012
Science

Aspartame, Cancer Study Causes Controversy

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 5:21 am

A study linking the artificial sweetener aspartame — which is found in lots of diet sodas — to a possible cancer risk in people was set to make a splash earlier this week. But shortly before the paper was published, in a very unusual move, the scientific leaders at the hospital released a statement saying the findings were too weak to promote.

4:19am

Fri October 26, 2012
Animals

Hey, Sexy Dino, Show Me Your Feathers

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 8:43 pm

This artistic interpretation shows an adult and juvenile feathered ornithomimid dinosaurs.
Julius Csotonyi Science

Some of the weirdest animal behavior is about romance. That's especially true with birds — they croon or dance or display brilliant feathers to seduce the reluctant.

This sort of sexual display apparently has a long pedigree: There's now new evidence that some dinosaurs may have used the same come-on.

The source is a kind of dinosaur that was built like a 400-pound ostrich. It lived about 75 million years ago and is called ornithomimus, meaning "bird mimic."

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5:53pm

Thu October 25, 2012
Environment

In A Shift From 2008 Race, Obama's Hush On Climate

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 5:57 pm

A boat skims through the melting ice in the Ilulissat fiord, on the western coast of Greenland, in 2008. The glacier is the most active in the Northern Hemisphere, producing 10 percent of Greenland's icebergs, or some 20 million tons of ice per day. But experts say the glacier is in bad shape because of climate change.
Steen Ulrik Johannessen AFP/Getty Images

This story is part of a two-part series about the presidential candidates' climate policies. Click Here For The Story About Mitt Romney

Both presidential candidates have all but ignored climate change during this election season. Mitt Romney would not make it a priority if he were president.

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4:50pm

Thu October 25, 2012
Environment

On Climate Policy, Romney Walks A Tightrope

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 6:51 pm

A general view of the Aletsch Glacier on April 21, 2007, near Brig, Switzerland, the largest glacier in the Alps. Unseasonably warm weather with temperatures up to 77 degrees Fahrenheit across Switzerland let snow melt, even at Alpine altitudes.
Johannes Simon Getty Images

This story is part of a two-part series about the presidential candidates' climate policies. Click Here For The Story About President Obama

Neither presidential candidate mentioned climate change during their three debates — in fact, the issue is nearly absent from the entire campaign. That's because the issue poses challenges for each candidate.

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1:50pm

Thu October 25, 2012
Shots - Health News

Study Results Linking Diet Soda To Cancer Fall Into The 'Gray Zone' Of Science

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 7:03 pm

The co-author of a controversial study on diet soda's link to blood cancers says his results fall into a gray zone between a clear relationship and no relationship at all.
iStockphoto.com

As Allison Aubrey reported on The Salt, a brouhaha has erupted in Cambridge, Ma., over a study published yesterday in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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