Science

1:08pm

Wed October 10, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

Obama's Secret Weapon In The South: Small, Dead, But Still Kickin'

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 3:10 pm

Ron Blakey Northern Arizona University

Look at this map, and notice that deep, deep in the Republican South, there's a thin blue band stretching from the Carolinas through Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. These are the counties that went for Obama in the last election. A blue crescent in a sea of red.

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12:57pm

Wed October 10, 2012
The Salt

Liquid Nitrogen Cocktails: Smoking Hot Trend Or Unnecessary Risk?

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 3:21 pm

A bartender prepares cocktails using liquid nitrogen at Bourbon and Branch in San Francisco.
John Joh/star5112 Flickr.com

Doctors use liquid nitrogen — a substance registering a wickedly cold 321 degrees below zero Fahrenheit — to freeze warts so they dry up and fall off. Yes, folks, this stuff kills tissue. So imagine what it might do to your stomach if you drink some.

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10:44am

Wed October 10, 2012
The Salt

Too Busy To Peel Garlic? Try The 20-Second Microwave Tip

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 11:03 am

Garlic's papery skin slips off quick after a little turn in the microwave. Yes, the microwave is back.
khrawlings Flickr.com

If I were rich, I might hire a sous chef. But for now, I'm learning to cheat time. And here's a new way I've stumbled upon to save a minute or two every time I use garlic.

Toss it in the microwave. I put the whole bulb in — 15 to 20 seconds will do the trick. It makes peeling much easier. The cloves practically slide -– or pop — out of their skins, though I won't make any promises about stickiness.

But, since I'm on the science desk, I have to ask, how does it work?

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9:02am

Wed October 10, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

On Faith And Science: An Idealized Dialogue

In this Gustave Dore engraving from Milton's Paradise Lost, Satan, the Fallen Angel, is flung from Heaven and nears the confines of the Earth on his way to Hell.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Within the perennial debate between science and religion, something that tends to irritate scientists — especially those who declare themselves atheists or agnostics — is the insistence in the existence of a parallel reality, inaccessible to reason. To explore this clash of world views, playing itself out in countless debates, conversations and confrontations, here is a fictitious dialogue between an atheist scientist and a religious person well-versed in the current state of science.

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7:35am

Wed October 10, 2012
Science

Nobel Prize Winner Proves Teacher Wrong

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. It was the sort of report card that could crush a budding young talent. In 1949, a teacher at Eton belittled John Gurdon's dreams of becoming a scientist as quite ridiculous. If he can't learn simple biological facts, the teacher sniffed, pursuing science would be a waste of time. Gurdon eventually did go on to study zoology. And this week his breakthrough in reprogramming cells received the Nobel Prize for Medicine. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

7:08am

Wed October 10, 2012
The Two-Way

Chemistry Nobel Goes To Scientists Who Studied Body's Receptors

This year's winners of the Chemistry Nobel: Robert Lefkowitz (left) and Brian Kobilka.
NobelPrize.org

Americans Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Kobilka have been awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their "groundbreaking discoveries" about the "fine-tuned system of interactions between billions of cells" in the human body, the Nobel Prize committee announced this morning.

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4:32am

Wed October 10, 2012
Research News

Nobel In Chemistry Is Shared By Two Americans

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 7:12 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

All this week, we've been reporting on the winners of this year's Nobel Prizes. And today in Stockholm, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced the winners of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. The chair of the Nobel Prize committee for chemistry described the importance of the discovery by giving the assembled reporters a little scare.

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3:17am

Wed October 10, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Fun With Physics: How To Make Tiny Medicine Nanoballs

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 9:20 am

Álvaro Marín

For the past decade, scientists have been toying with the notion of encapsulating medicine in microscopic balls.

These so-called nanospheres could travel inside the body to hard-to-reach places, like the brain or the inside of a tumor. One problem researchers face is how to build these nanospheres, because you'd have to make them out of even smaller nanoparticles.

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7:15pm

Tue October 9, 2012
Science

Nobel In Physics: Your Tax Dollars At Work

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 10:45 am

In this combination of photos, American physicist David Wineland (left) speaks at a news conference in Boulder, Colo., and French physicist Serge Haroche speaks to the media in Paris after they were named winners of the 2012 Nobel Prize in physics.
Ed Andrieski, Michel Euler AP

You wouldn't be surprised to learn that a laboratory run by the U.S. Department of Commerce is working on more precise methods to measure stuff.

However, you might not expect it to be at the cutting edge of the mind-bending world of quantum physics. But on Tuesday, David Wineland became the fourth employee at the National Institute for Standards and Technology, a federal lab, to win a Nobel since 1997. Wineland learned he will share the Nobel Prize in physics with Frenchman Serge Haroche for work that's both esoteric and practical.

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5:49pm

Tue October 9, 2012
All Tech Considered

To This Agency, There's Only One Way To Operate: Precisely

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 10:46 am

NIST physicist and Nobel Prize-winner David Wineland adjusts an ultraviolet laser beam used to manipulate ions in a high-vacuum apparatus containing an "ion trap." These devices have been used to demonstrate the basic operations required for a quantum computer.
Copyright Geoffrey Wheeler National Institute of Standards and Technology

David Wineland is the American half of the scientific duo celebrating the award of the Nobel Prize in Physics today.

Wineland and French scientist Serge Haroche developed new ways for scientists to observe individual quantum particles without damaging them. This may not sound so impressive, but the work opens a world of possibilities— including the development of a quantum computer and super-precise clock.

But who needs a better clock? Don't we have pretty good ones already?

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