Science

11:45am

Tue January 22, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

Nature Has A Formula That Tells Us When It's Time To Die

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 10:19 pm

Courtesy of Yunfun Tan

Editor's Note: Robert has added a postscript to this post. Scroll down or click here to read it.


We wax, we wane. It's the dance of life.

Every living thing is a pulse. We quicken, then we fade. There is a deep beauty in this, but deeper down, inside every plant, every leaf, inside every living thing (us included) sits a secret.

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4:07pm

Mon January 21, 2013
Animals

To Catch A Marten: Seeking Clues In Olympic National Forest

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 9:01 am

A group of volunteers is helping biologists see whether there are any martens left in the Olympic National Forest in Washington state.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

It's about 25 degrees on a clear Saturday morning when Gregg Treinish — executive director of Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation, a nonprofit that puts volunteers to work gathering data for scientists around the world — gathers a small group of outdoor adventurers around him near the Duckabush River in the Olympic National Forest in Washington state.

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5:01pm

Sun January 20, 2013
Environment

Former Anti-GMO Activist Says Science Changed His Mind

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 5:29 pm

Harvest wheat from a field near Wright, Kan. May 10, 2004.
ORLIN WAGNER ASSOCIATED PRESS

For years, British environmental activist Mark Lynas destroyed genetically modified food (GMO) crops in what he calls a successful campaign to force the business of agriculture to be more holistic and ecological in its practices.

His targets were companies like Monsanto and Syngenta — leaders in developing genetically modified crops.

Earlier this month he went in front of the world to reverse his position on GMOs.

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5:54am

Sat January 19, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

Miss Piggy's Version Of Global Warming: What About Me?

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 12:14 pm

Click to go to the New Scientist App.
New Scientist

Here's a new, sly (and frankly selfish) way to think about global warming: Instead of worrying about the whole planet and all its oceans, how about asking a more personal question ...

What about me? What about where I live? Or where my grandma lives? Or the North Pole? Or Siberia? What if I could take my cursor, plop it onto any place on Earth and find out what's happened to temperatures right there.

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5:24pm

Fri January 18, 2013
Science

Powerful But Fragile: The Challenge Of Lithium Batteries

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 7:58 pm

A United Airlines 787 Dreamliner arrives at O'Hare international Airport in Chicago in November. Aviation authorities in the U.S. and abroad have grounded the planes because of problems with batteries on board.
Nam Y. Huh AP

Boeing announced late Friday that it is postponing deliveries of its new 787 Dreamliner because of problems with its big batteries. Aviation authorities in the U.S. and abroad grounded the new jetliners after those batteries failed in two planes operated by Japanese airlines, including one battery that burned while the plane was on the ground.

These lithium-ion batteries are new to jetliners. They're powerful and lightweight, and, unfortunately, they're also fragile.

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3:51pm

Fri January 18, 2013
Shots - Health News

A Worm's Ovary Cells Become A Flu Vaccine Machine

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 9:57 am

The fall armyworm, a corn pest, is now also a vaccine factory.
Wikimedia Commons

As the flu season grinds on from news cycle to news cycle, there's some flu news of a different sort. Federal regulators have approved a next-generation type of flu vaccine for the second time in two months.

The two new vaccines are the first fruits of a big government push to hasten and simplify the laborious production of flu vaccines.

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12:03pm

Fri January 18, 2013
NPR Story

Dementia Takes The Stage In 'The Other Place'

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 1:03 pm

In the Broadway play The Other Place actress Laurie Metcalf ("Jackie" on the TV show "Roseanne") plays a scientist suffering from the dementia she studies. Playwright Sharr White discusses the play and the challenge of presenting complicated science on a theater stage.

12:03pm

Fri January 18, 2013
NPR Story

Colossal Quasar Clump Too Huge To Exist, In Theory

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 1:03 pm

Astronomers have discovered a clump of 73 quasars that spans four billion light years at its widest point--that's like 40,000 Milky Way galaxies lined end-to-end. The only problem? Theory says the quasar cluster is too big to exist. Astronomer Gerard Williger and reporter Ron Cowen discuss this cosmological oddity, and other news about the cosmos.

12:03pm

Fri January 18, 2013
NPR Story

Beijing Grapples with Record Air Pollution

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 1:03 pm

Last weekend, air pollution in Beijing reached record highs, raising concerns about the cost of China's rapid industrialization. David Pettit, of the Natural Resources Defense Council, discusses the pollution problem in China's capital, and why severe smog can be deadly.

12:03pm

Fri January 18, 2013
NPR Story

How Do You Fend Off The Flu?

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 1:03 pm

Aside from getting the flu shot, how do you outsmart the wily virus? Hoard hand sanitizer? Dodge door knobs? Or quietly slink away from coughing commuters? Dr. Nicole Bouvier, a flu researcher at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, talks about what works--and what doesn't--in avoiding influenza.

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