Science

1:56pm

Fri February 8, 2013
Your Health

Science of Slumber: How Sleep Affects Your Memory

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 3:55 pm

Transcript

JOE PALCA, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Joe Palca, sitting in for Ira Flatow. If you add it up, we spend a lot of time sleeping, about a third of our lives, actually, and it turns out our bodies don't just power down as we slumber. Research is showing that sleep plays an important role in how our brains process and store the information that we learn throughout the day.

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1:42pm

Fri February 8, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Do We Know How Life Began? Not Really

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 12:41 pm

Egg reassembly machine?
Johannes Eisele AFP/Getty Images

The account of evolution we call Darwinian can explain the great diversity of life on Earth. The origin of species and the descent of human beings are well understood.

Darwinism is silent on the question of life's first beginnings, however. This is not a hole or an omission; it represents no unfulfilled promise. The theory of evolution is not a theory of that.

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1:35pm

Fri February 8, 2013
Science

Researchers Point To The Demise of the Dinosaurs

Transcript

JOE PALCA, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Joe Palca.

You know the theory that a big collision, a comet or an asteroid, something like that, helped kill off the dinosaurs? The idea has been around for a while. But this week, new research published in journal Science provides more accurate dates for the giant impact and the dino demise.

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1:29pm

Fri February 8, 2013
Digital Life

Tracking Privacy and Ownership In An Online World

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 1:03 pm

Transcript

JOE PALCA, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY; I'm Joe Palca. Do you ever get the feeling you're being watched? These days if you're not careful, your phone knows where you are, and there's a good chance somebody else does, too. Or you've noticed that the ads on sites you visit are starting to look a little too personalized, like how did they know I was planning a vacation to New Orleans.

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1:16pm

Fri February 8, 2013
Technology

Automakers Drive Towards Hydrogen Cars

Toyota and BMW have formed an alliance to work on fuel cell cars. So have Daimler, Ford, and Nissan, with hopes of having cars on the road by 2017. But why now, and what obstacles still stand in the way? Jennifer Kurtz discusses the current state of hydrogen fuel technology.

3:35am

Fri February 8, 2013
Space

Close Shave: Asteroid To Buzz Earth Next Week

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 4:36 pm

This computer image from a NASA video shows the small asteroid 2012 DA14 on its path as it passes by Earth on Feb. 15.
NASA

An asteroid the size of an office building will zoom close by Earth next week, but it's not on a collision course, NASA says.

Still, some people think this near-miss should serve as a wake-up call.

"It's a warning shot across our bow that we are flying around the solar system in a shooting gallery," says Ed Lu, a former astronaut and head of the B612 Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting humanity from asteroids.

The asteroid known as 2012 DA14 was first spotted last year by astronomers in Spain. It's thought to be about 150 feet across and made of rock.

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5:06pm

Thu February 7, 2013
Science

Blocking Iran With A Global Game Of Nuclear 'Keep Away'

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 7:27 pm

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (center) visits a uranium enrichment facility in Natanz, Iran, in 2008. Enriching uranium requires many fast-spinning centrifuges, arranged in what's called a cascade.
Iranian President's Office AP

Iran's government on Thursday made clear it has no interest in direct talks until the U.S. eases sanctions that have been squeezing Iran's economy. But the Obama administration isn't budging and says the ball is in the Iranians' court.

The suspicion that Iran wants to make a nuclear weapon is the rationale for the sanctions as well as for veiled threats of U.S. or Israeli military action if those sanctions fail.

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5:01pm

Thu February 7, 2013
The Salt

Animal Magnetism: How Salmon Find Their Way Back Home

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 2:50 pm

Bright red sockeye salmon swim up the Fraser River to the stream where they were hatched.
Current Biology, Putman et al.

Before they end up filleted and sautéed on your dinner plate, salmon lead some pretty extraordinary, globe-trotting lives.

After hatching in a freshwater stream, young salmon make a break for the ocean, where they hang out for years, covering thousands of miles before deciding its time to settle down and lay eggs in their natal stream.

So how do these fish find their way back to their home river?

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4:19pm

Thu February 7, 2013
Science

Fresh Clues In Dinosaur Whodunit Point To Asteroid

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 7:53 pm

Scientists have confirmed that the impact of a giant asteroid and the mass extinction of the dinosaurs happened at the same time.
Courtesy of Don Dixon/cosmographica.com

Some 66 million years ago, about 75 percent of species on Earth disappeared. It wasn't just dinosaurs but most large mammals, fish, birds and plankton. Scientists have known this for a long time just from looking at the fossil record. If you dig deep enough, you find lots of dinosaur bones. And then a few layers up, they're gone.

But scientists couldn't figure out exactly what had caused this phenomenon. Of course, there were lots of theories.

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12:25pm

Thu February 7, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

Next Time Your Mom Says Don't Go Out in The Rain, Spray Yourself With This

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 12:38 pm

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