Science

5:36pm

Wed January 30, 2013
Shots - Health News

Gut Microbes May Play Deadly Role In Malnutrition

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 10:44 am

Researchers followed 300 sets of twins in Malawi for the first three years of their life. In many cases, only one twin developed severe malnutrition, while the other remained healthier.
Photograph courtesy of Tanya Yatsunenko

There's a part of our body that's only now getting mapped: the trillions of microbes, mostly bacteria, that live in our guts.

Some scientists describe this community as a previously unnoticed vital organ. It appears to play a role in how quickly we gain weight and how well we fight off disease.

A study published in the journal Science suggests that changes in this community of microbes also may cause kwashiorkor, a kind of deadly malnutrition.

Read more

4:01pm

Wed January 30, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Big Science Paves The Way Forward

Big science in orbit: the Hubble Space Telescope
NASA

Arguments are often heard against big (read: expensive) scientific projects, especially those without an immediate pay off. "Why spend so much money building this machine or spacecraft, when there are so many pressing social issues we must deal with?"

Read more

2:11pm

Wed January 30, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

Pale Blue Blobs Invade, Freeze, Then Vanish

Courtesy of Emmanuel Coupe Kalomiris

It's a lake, yes. But it's also a bomb. Those pale blue blobs, stacked like floating pancakes down at the bottom of this photograph? They're astonishingly beautiful, yes, but they can be dangerous.

Read more

2:59am

Wed January 30, 2013
Science

When Crime Pays: Prison Can Teach Some To Be Better Criminals

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 11:26 am

Prison provides an opportunity for networking with more seasoned criminals.
iStockphoto.com

In popular lore — movies, books and blogs — criminals who go to prison don't come out reformed. They come out worse.

Read more

7:43pm

Tue January 29, 2013
Around the Nation

Drought Causes Ripple Effect Along Mighty Mississippi River

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 8:30 pm

International ships call at the busy Port of New Orleans. It's a major shipping convergence point on the Mississippi River. Ships come upriver from the Gulf of Mexico with imports from abroad, and barges come downriver, bringing U.S. goods for export.
Debbie Elliott NPR

The persistent drought is raising questions about how the Mississippi River is managed — both upstream and down.

While cargo traffic upriver has gotten lots of attention, the drought is creating a different set of problems downriver at the mouth of the Mississippi, where saltwater has encroached.

An old-fashioned staff river gauge behind the New Orleans district office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shows the Mississippi is running just shy of 6 feet above sea level at the river bend.

Read more

5:41pm

Tue January 29, 2013
Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond

Sand After Sandy: Scientists Map Sea Floor For Sediment

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 2:29 pm

Highly detailed sonar systems aboard the research vessel Pritchard gave researchers a clear view of the sediment on the seafloor off Long Island.
Courtesy of John Goff University Of Texas

Congress has now agreed to give some $60 billion to states damaged by Hurricane Sandy. A lot will go to Long Island, one of the hardest hit areas. Besides damages to homes and businesses, its system of protective barrier islands and beaches were partially washed away.

Scientists are trying to find out where that sand and sediment went, and whether it can be used to rebuild Long Island's defenses.

In January. On a boat in Long Island Bay.

Read more

4:35pm

Tue January 29, 2013
Research News

Swiss Scientists Discover Dung Beetles Use The Milky Way For GPS

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 2:29 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. And we have a story now about celestial navigation - that is, looking to the sky for guidance.

BLOCK: But before we get too lofty, this story also happens to be about dung beetles. And so we start with this lowly central unpleasant fact about dung beetles.

ERIC WARRANT: Dung beetles and their grubs eat dung and everything about dung beetles has to do with dung in some form.

Read more

4:35pm

Tue January 29, 2013
Animals

Killer Kitties? Cats Kill Billions Of Creatures Every Year

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 2:29 pm

Out For Lunch? Researchers estimate that billions of birds and small mammals are killed by cats in the U.S. annually.
Vishnevskiy Vasiliy iStockphoto

The battle between cat lovers and bird lovers has been going on for a long time. Cats and birds just don't mix. But trying to get a handle on how many birds and other animals are being killed by cats isn't easy. Just figuring out how many cats there are is tough enough.

Read more

7:51am

Tue January 29, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Is There A Place For The Mind In Physics? Part I

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 11:30 am

Where does the mind fit within the cosmos? Are they separate, intertwined or one and the same?
F. Comeron ESO

So I want you to do something for me. I want you to think of a blue monkey. Are you ready? OK, go! Visualize it in your head. Any kind of monkey will do (as long as it's blue). Take a moment. Really, see the little blue dude! Got it? Great. Now, here is the question: Where did that thought fit into reality? How was it real? Where was it real?

Read more

3:38am

Tue January 29, 2013
Research News

Bird, Plane, Bacteria? Microbes Thrive In Storm Clouds

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 8:36 am

The eye of Hurricane Earl in the Atlantic Ocean, seen from a NASA research aircraft on Aug. 30, 2010. This flight through the eyewall caught Earl just as it was intensifying from a Category 2 to a Category 4 hurricane. Researchers collected air samples on this flight from about 30,000 feet over both land and sea and close to 100 different species of bacteria.
Jane Peterson NASA

Microbes are known to be able to thrive in extreme environments, from inside fiery volcanoes to down on the bottom of the ocean. Now scientists have found a surprising number of them living in storm clouds tens of thousands of feet above the Earth. And those airborne microbes could play a role in global climate.

Read more

Pages