Science

12:24pm

Thu December 20, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

The End Of The World, My Way

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 11:06 am

YouTube

The Mayans being before my time, I'm too young for their End of the World.

Theirs comes from an ancient calendar that says "the fourteenth baktun" — a new era --will commence on Dec. 21, 2012.

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3:28am

Thu December 20, 2012
The Salt

The Paradox And Mystery Of Our Taste For Salt

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 11:37 am

Bali sea salt and a spoonful of Hawaiian red alae salt.
Jim Noelker AP

Salt is one of those dangerously tasty substances. We add the magical crystals of sodium chloride to almost everything that we cook or bake, and according to many public health experts, we add too much.

They want us to cut back, to lower our risk of heart attacks or strokes.

Yet when you really start looking for ways to do this, you run into a paradox and a scientific puzzle.

First, the paradox. Too much salt may kill us, but our bodies need some of it to survive.

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11:52am

Wed December 19, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

A Guarantee: The World Will Not End On Friday

A replica Mayan Calendar Round showing the date September 21, 2004, opening day for the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian.
Molly Stephey Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian

According to countless prophecies, terrorizing people across the world, this will be my last contribution to 13.7. On Friday, December 21, the world will come to an end. I have been receiving dozens of concerned email messages from otherwise reasonable people, convinced that this time it is for real, that there is no escape.

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11:20am

Wed December 19, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

Suddenly There's A Meadow In The Ocean With 'Flowers' Everywhere

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 1:40 pm

Courtesy of Matthias Wietz

It was three, maybe four o'clock in the morning when he first saw them. Grad student Jeff Bowman was on the deck of a ship; he and a University of Washington biology team were on their way back from the North Pole. It was cold outside, the temperature had just dropped, and as the dawn broke, he could see a few, then more, then even more of these little flowery things, growing on the frozen sea.

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5:43pm

Tue December 18, 2012
Shots - Health News

Research Chimps Get Permanent Retirement Home

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 1:27 pm

Chimpanzees check out a termite mound at the Chimp Haven sanctuary in Louisiana.
Chimp Haven

More than 100 chimps retired from medical research are about to get a new home.

Most of the primates who have been living at the New Iberia Research Center will soon make their permanent residence at the Chimp Haven sanctuary, the National Institutes of Health said Wednesday.

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3:59pm

Tue December 18, 2012
The Salt

Building A Rover Of The Edible Kind

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 12:47 pm

The other Mars Curiosity rover, made of gingerbread and on display on the Caltech campus.
Brian Bell courtesy California Institute of Technology

The folks at the California Institute of Technology have built another Mars rover, but this one will never get to leave Earth. Not surprising, really, since it's made of gingerbread.

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10:55am

Tue December 18, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Happy Birthday '13.7 Cosmos And Culture'

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 5:08 pm

soapylovedeb Flickr

So a long time ago, on a college campus far, far away (well as far as New Hampshire is from New York), Marcelo Gleiser sat me down and told me he had an idea:

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3:18am

Tue December 18, 2012
Shots - Health News

NIH Revisits Debate On Controversial Bird Flu Research

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 8:14 am

A prefectural officer carries a chicken on a poultry farm on Oct. 15 on the outskirts of Kathmandu, Nepal, where chickens suspected of being infected with bird flu were found.
Prakash Mathema AFP/Getty Images

On Tuesday, the National Institutes of Health in Maryland is holding a second day of talks about whether and how to continue funding some controversial scientific experiments.

Back in January, virologists agreed to temporarily stop research that was creating new forms of bird flu because critics argued that the work was too dangerous. NIH officials are now seeking input from scientists and the public about how to proceed.

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6:13pm

Mon December 17, 2012
Space

After A Year Of Study, Twin Probes Crash Into Moon

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 7:19 pm

The GRAIL mission's gravity map of the moon. Very precise measurements between two lunar probes orbiting the moon allowed researchers to study the moon with great detail.
NASA/JPL/Caltech

At about 5:30 p.m. on Monday, two washing machine-sized space probes crashed into the surface of the moon. It was all by design and marked the end of NASA's GRAIL mission. The two probes had been orbiting the moon for almost a year, and they've sent back data that have given scientists an unprecedented look inside our nearest solar system neighbor.

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5:18pm

Mon December 17, 2012
Environment

Photo Project Tracks Climate Change On Everest

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 1:18 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Mount Everest is a symbol of excellence and of danger. The world's highest peak means success to mountaineers. And it's also, according to filmmaker David Breashears, a canary in the coalmine of climate change. Breashears has just returned from a trip to Nepal where he's been gathering extraordinary images of Everest's retreating glaciers.

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