Science

5:13pm

Wed September 19, 2012
Science

Hungry Snakes Trap Guam In Spidery Web

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 8:09 pm

Invasive brown tree snakes have gobbled up most of Guam's native forest birds. Without these avian predators to keep their numbers in check, the island's spider population has exploded.
Isaac Chellman Rice University

The Pacific Island of Guam is experiencing a population explosion — of spiders.

There are more spiders there now than anyone can remember. To get a sense of how weird the situation is, I started out in Maryland. On my front porch, overlooking the Severn River.

At 6:30 in the morning on a cool fall day, I find two spider webs in a matter of five minutes. But if I were on the island of Guam, I might find 70 or 80 spider webs in five minutes.

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4:07pm

Wed September 19, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Tiny Bubbles: Injectable Oxygen Foam Tested For Emergency Care

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 4:12 pm

Bubbles of oxygen injected as a foam might someday help patients live long enough to get treatment for oxygen deprivation.
iStockphoto.com

A lot of medicine's direst emergencies come down to one problem: lack of oxygen.

Cardiologist John Kheir started thinking about that when a little girl in his care, drowning from lung hemorrhages, died before she could be hooked up to a heart-lung machine that would have kept her blood oxygenated while the damage was repaired.

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2:07pm

Wed September 19, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Does The Multiverse Make Sense?

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 4:35 pm

A portal to another universe? No, just the Trifid Nebula, a massive star factory. This amazing image was captured by the European Southern Observatory's La Silla facility in northern Chile.
ESO

It's good to start by explaining this title since, to most people, "multiverse" isn't even a word. The idea is that our Universe (with capital "U") is but one amongst a multitude of other possible universes, all part of a single multiverse.

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9:44am

Wed September 19, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

U.S. Explodes Atomic Bombs Near Beers To See If They Are Safe To Drink

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 4:34 pm

National Technical Information Service via Alex Wellerstein

So you're minding your own business when all of a sudden, a nuclear bomb goes off, there's a shock wave, fires all around, general destruction and you, having somehow survived, need a drink. What can you do? There is no running water, not where you are. But there is a convenience store. It's been crushed by the shock wave, but there are still bottles of beer, Coke and diet soda intact on the floor.

So you wonder: Can I grab one of those beers and gulp it down? Or is it too radioactive? And what about taste? If I drink it, will it taste OK?

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3:02am

Wed September 19, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Scientists See Upside And Downside Of Sequencing Their Own Genes

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 4:03 pm

Dr. James Watson looks at a reproduction of the structure of DNA, which he helped discover, in this 1962 photograph. Decades later, Watson was one of the first people to have his entire genome sequenced.
Mondadori Mondadori via Getty Images

When scientists were looking for the first person to test a new, superfast way of deciphering someone's entire genetic blueprint, they turned to James Watson the guy who shared a Nobel Prize for discovering the structure of DNA.

"They had to sequence someone, so they got me," he says.

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9:29am

Tue September 18, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Big Data And Its Big Problems

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 12:37 pm

Imagine every thousandth blood cell in your body has a tiny radio transmitter in it. Imagine that 10 times a second that transmitter sends each cell's location to a computer storing the data. Along with position, it also sends the concentration of a list of 10 chemicals encountered at receptors distributed at 10 sites over the surface of each cell. Now imagine following all those blood cells for an hour. That makes a billion blood cells being sampled 10 times a second for 3,600 seconds.

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6:11am

Tue September 18, 2012
Space

NASA Probes Record Sounds Of Space

Twin spacecraft recently began orbiting the earth, and the probes have been sending back strangely beautiful recordings of the sounds of space. Scientists call it the chorus. The sounds come from the magnetosphere, an area where charged particles from the sun interact with the earth's magnetic field.

3:42am

Tue September 18, 2012
The End Of The Space Shuttle Era

Shuttle Endeavour Begins Long Voyage To New Home

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 6:11 am

Workers remove a tree from a median in the middle of Manchester Boulevard in Inglewood, Calif., on Sept. 4 to make room for Endeavour.
Reed Saxon AP

Space shuttle Endeavour begins a kind of farewell tour this week. The shuttle will set off on a cross-country trip to its retirement home, flying from Florida to Los Angeles on the back of a modified jumbo jet.

Along the way, the spaceship will stop off in Houston, home of NASA's Mission Control and, weather permitting, fly over NASA centers and various landmarks in cities that include San Francisco and Sacramento.

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3:36am

Tue September 18, 2012
The Salt

It's No Yolk: Mexicans Cope With Egg Shortage, Price Spikes

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 8:22 pm

There is a new crisis in Mexico. It's not the ongoing drug war or a plunge in the peso: It's eggs.

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3:34am

Tue September 18, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

As Genetic Sequencing Spreads, Excitement, Worries Grow

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:43 pm

Slides containing DNA sit in a bay waiting to be analyzed by a genome sequencing machine.
David Paul Morris Bloomberg via Getty Images

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