Science

12:03pm

Fri September 14, 2012
The Salt

Love To Hate Cilantro? It's In Your Genes And Maybe, In Your Head

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:45 pm

The very sight of this lacy, green herb can cause some people to scream. The great cilantro debate heats up as scientists start pinpointing cilantrophobe genes.
lion heart vintage Flickr.com

There's no question that cilantro is a polarizing herb. Some of us heap it onto salsas and soups with gusto while others avoid cilantro because it smells like soap and tastes like crushed bugs.

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10:10am

Fri September 14, 2012
The Salt

How African Cattle Herders Wiped Out An Ancient Plague

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:45 pm

Scientist Robert Koch holding a post-mortem on an ox thought to have died of rinderpest, circa 1900.
Reinhold Thiele Getty Images

Twice in all of history, humans have managed to eradicate a devastating disease. You've heard of the first one, I suspect: smallpox. But rinderpest?

That's a German word for "cattle plague" a feared companion of cattle throughout history. When outbreaks occurred, as in Europe of the 1700s or Africa in the 1880s, entire herds were wiped out and communities went hungry. Now the disease is gone, eliminated from the face of the earth.

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5:20pm

Thu September 13, 2012
The Salt

A Little Patience, A Lot Of Salt Are Keys To A Lost Pickle Recipe

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:45 pm

There's more than one way to make a pickle.
iStockphoto.com

Here's a new mantra you might consider adding to your list of daily kitchen chants: "It takes patience to perpetuate pickles."

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3:22pm

Thu September 13, 2012
The Two-Way

Monkey, New To Science, Found In Central Africa

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 11:19 pm

Researchers have identified a new species of African monkey, locally known as the lesula.
Maurice Emetshu, Noel Rowe PLOS ONE/AP

It would seem difficult to overlook something as large as a new species of monkey, but scientists had no idea about the lesula until just a few years ago when conservation biologist John Hart discovered a specimen being kept as a pet in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In retrospect, the monkey's striking, almost humanlike face should have made it hard to miss, and Hart, who spoke with All Things Considered host Melissa Block, is the first to admit that this new monkey was apparently not such a mystery to the Congolese themselves.

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10:04am

Thu September 13, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

For How Long Have We Been Human?

A piece of red ochre with a deliberately engraved design is pictured here at Cape Town's Iziko/South African Museum in 2002. The piece was discovered in Blombos Cave near Stilbaai, about 300 kilometers from Cape Town.
Anna Ziemenski AFP/Getty Images

This year I greeted my new Biological Anthropology students with a chalked timeline of some human-evolution highlights:

6-7 million years ago: Start of the human lineage, following a split with the lineage containing chimpanzees and gorillas

2.6 mya: Onset of large-scale making and use of stone tool technology

2.5 mya: First human ancestors in our own genus, Homo

200,000 years ago: First modern humans, Homo sapiens

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5:18pm

Wed September 12, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Time Moves With The Moon

Originally published on Mon September 17, 2012 9:25 am

On its way to Jupiter, the Galileo spacecraft looked back and captured this remarkable view of Earth and the moon. The image was taken from a distance of about 3.9 million miles.
NASA

According to the latest theories, the moon was born from the Earth, its matter torn off when a Mars-size planetoid hit the Earth in a grazing collision some 4.5 billion years ago, when the Sun and its court of planets were emerging from a contracting and spinning hydrogen-rich primordial cloud of matter. For those who enjoy Biblical references, as Eve was born from Adam's rib, so the Moon was born from the Earth's innards.

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3:18pm

Wed September 12, 2012
The Salt

Have Lobster, Will Travel — And Race The Clock

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:47 pm

An overabundance of lobsters in Maine due to early shedding of shells has driven down prices to record lows. That's good for consumers.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

This summer in Maine, I ate more lobster than at any other time I've been there – twice in one day on a couple of occasions. We lobster lovers had the glut of soft-shells, which started in June as the lobsters began to shed earlier and faster than usual, to thank for the more affordable market price of around $4 or less a pound.

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3:39am

Wed September 12, 2012
The Salt

Five Ways To Spot A Fake Online Review, Restaurant Or Otherwise

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:47 pm

One sign that a restaurant review is a fake is if it gives a very high or very low rating without many specifics.
Bill Oxford iStockphoto.com

Thinking of going to a nice restaurant? Before you decide, you probably go online and read reviews of the place from other customers (or you listen to these actors read them to you). Online reviews of restaurants, travel deals, apps and just about anything you want to buy have become a powerful driver of consumer behavior. Unsurprisingly, they have also created a powerful incentive to cheat.

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5:52pm

Tue September 11, 2012
Science

'Astonishing' Arctic Ice Melt Sets New Record

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 9:57 pm

Norman Kuring NASA/GSFC/Suomi

Arctic sea ice has melted dramatically this summer, smashing the previous record. The Arctic has warmed dramatically compared with the rest of the planet, and scientists say that's what's driving this loss of ice.

To be sure, ice on the Arctic Ocean always melts in the summer. Historically, about half of it is gone by mid-September. But this year, three-fourths of the ice has melted away, setting a dramatic new benchmark.

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4:52pm

Tue September 11, 2012
Environment

Officials Combat Big Stink In Southern California

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 9:57 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Here are some descriptions of a foul smell that has stunk its way across a huge stretch of Southern California.

PAT STEVENS: Rotting fish, sewage, you know.

JOYCE THATCHER: It smells exactly like somebody's septic system overflowed.

SEAN NEALON: Like an old banana under the seat for, like, a week, and it just turns all black and gooey and, like, something's rotting.

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