Science

1:03pm

Fri January 11, 2013
Space

Simulating The Red Planet, On The Pale Blue Dot

What's it like to live--and cook--on Mars? To find out, researchers are simulating Mars missions in Russia, and on the slopes of a Hawaiian volcano. Kim Binsted talks about her study to whip up tastier space food. Porcini mushroom risotto, anyone? And sleep expert Charles Czeisler talks about how humans adapt to the 24.65-hour Martian day.

1:03pm

Fri January 11, 2013
Medical Treatments

Using Genetics to Target Cancer's Achilles' Heel

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 11:25 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Next up, yet another way that genetics is giving rise to new ways to treat cancer. A few months ago I was at a conference focusing on individualized medicine; that's treating people individually, using medicines that were designed for each person's genetic makeup. It's a new frontier that we'll be talking about more.

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1:03pm

Fri January 11, 2013
Fitness & Nutrition

The Fallacies Of Fat

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 10:29 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. This isn't going to take you by surprise, but America is fat. One in three adults is obese. For kids, it's one in six. But don't forget the infants. Doctors say there's now an obesity epidemic among six-month-old babies. And if you think you're safe because you're thin, consider that up to 40 percent of thin people have metabolic syndrome, in other words, on the road to type 2 diabetes, even if they can't tell by looking in the mirror.

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1:03pm

Fri January 11, 2013
Health

Pap Test May Detect More Than Just Cervical Cancer

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. Pap tests are routinely used to screen women for signs of cervical cancer, but now researchers from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore say the tests might be able to detect ovarian and uterine cancers as well.

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10:05am

Fri January 11, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

The Oldest Rock In The World Tells Us A Story

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 1:51 pm

Steve Munsinger Photo Researchers Inc.

It's hard to imagine how this teeny little rock — it's not even a whole rock, it's just a grain, a miniscule droplet of mineral barely the thickness of a human hair — could rewrite the history of our planet. But that's what seems to be happening.

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3:55am

Fri January 11, 2013
Opinion

The True Weight Of Water

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 8:35 am

Craig Childs walks in the desert surrounding the Colorado River delta.
Courtesy of Craig Childs

Part of the nation's physical landscape is changing. Nature writer and commentator Craig Childs has been watching the dramatic transformation of a mighty river that is running dry.

Small porpoises once swam in the brackish estuaries of the Colorado River delta. Jaguars stalked the river channels and marshes. It's not like that any more, though. The Colorado River no longer reaches the sea in Northern Mexico. It hasn't since 1983.

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3:34am

Fri January 11, 2013
The Salt

This Butter Sculpture Could Power A Farm For 3 Days

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 9:49 pm

A 1,000-pound butter sculpture is unveiled at the 97th Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg last week.
Bradley C. Bower AP

For more than a week, it was the belle of the ball, the butter with no better: a giant 1,000-pound dairy sculpture that occupied the place of honor at the annual Farm Show in Harrisburg, Pa.

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3:57pm

Thu January 10, 2013
The Two-Way

Agreed, Baby Pandas Are Cute. But Why?

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 1:05 pm

Tai Shan and his mother, Mei Xiang, enjoy frozen fruit treats at the National Zoo in 2006.
Avie Schneider NPR

Xiao Liwu made his public debut Thursday at the San Diego Zoo. Fans crowded around the exhibit, their camera lenses extended, hoping to catch a glimpse of the 5-month-old giant panda cub. If they're lucky and actually do see the 16-pound panda (his Chinese name means "Little Gift"), there'll be much oooing and aaahing.

You'd have to be heartless not to agree that pandas, especially the youngest of them, are as cute as all get-out. Right? But why?

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11:13am

Thu January 10, 2013
The Salt

Artist's State-Shaped Steaks Explore Beef's Origins

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 1:14 pm

Sarah Hallacher came up with the idea to represent the beef industry as "raw" steaks while she was researching on the web about where her own steak dinner came from.
Courtesy of Sarah Hallacher

If there's one thing we love more than talking about beef here at The Salt, it's visualizing the U.S.'s insatiable appetite for meat through infographics and charts.

So when we ran across Sarah Hallacher's Beef Stakes project over at Fast Company's Co.Design blog, our eyes lit up like the charcoal grill on Super Bowl Sunday.

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11:06am

Thu January 10, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Jared Diamond, A New Guinea Campfire, And Why We Should Want To Speak Five Languages

Chances are they already speak more languages than you: children from Papua New Guinea's Andai tribe of hunter-gatherers wait for their parents to vote in the village of Kaiam. Over 800 languages are spoken in PNG, a country of about six million people.
Torsten Blackwood AFP/Getty Images

Some years ago, Jared Diamond, the Pulitzer-Prize winning author of Guns, Germs, and Steel, was sitting around a campfire in the highlands of Papua New Guinea. He'd recently had a conversation with a New Guinea friend who spoke a total of eight languages: five were local to the friend's village and the friend had just picked them up as a child, the other three he learned in school.

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