Science

2:29pm

Wed August 22, 2012
Around the Nation

Drought Forces Ranchers Into Difficult Decisions

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Parts of the country have suffered from record heat and drought for several years in a row now, and this summer, it's been just brutal. In past programs, we talked with farmers about their crops. Today, we focus on difficult choices facing ranchers and dairy farmers.

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1:32pm

Wed August 22, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Could Antibiotics Be A Factor In Childhood Obesity?

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 2:34 pm

Childhood obesity is on the rise in many countries and overuse of antibiotics is now on the radar as a possible factor in the epidemic. Here 18-month-old twins are weighed in a nutritionist's office in Colombia.
Raul Arboleda AFP/Getty Images

There's growing evidence that the bacteria in our gut influence our health, including how much we weigh. So what happens when antibiotics knock out some of the microbes that help us?

A study, published online today in the journal Nature, finds that antibiotics make young mice fatter by changing the mix of their gut bacteria.

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10:33am

Wed August 22, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Sky Sighting: Is That A Thread Of Dark Matter I Spy?

A tenuous thread of dark matter is seen connecting the galaxy clusters Abell 222 and 223.
Courtesy Jörg Dietrich/Universitäts-Sternwarte München

When astronomers survey the universe, the landmarks are galaxies, those gigantic agglomerates of stars and interstellar gas spread across the immensity of space. A typical spiral galaxy, like our own Milky Way, boasts hundreds of billions of stars grouped along hundreds of thousands of light-years. That means that it takes a beam of light all that time to go from one extreme of the galaxy to the other, traveling, as light does in a vacuum, at 186,282 miles per second.

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10:18am

Wed August 22, 2012
The Salt

Meet A Man On A Mission To Save Rare And Unusual Figs

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 11:02 am

One of Bassem Samaan's Pan e Vino fig trees, propagated from the yard of an Italian restaurant in Bethlehem, Pa.
courtesy Bassem Samaan

In the backyard of an unassuming suburban home in Bethlehem, Pa., is a global cornucopia of botanical heritage. Almost 300 varieties of fig grow here, most of them with roots in Europe, Asia or Africa, and each one collected and propagated by Bassem Samaan, a 34-year-old Lebanese native with an unusually green thumb and an obsession with figs.

Samaan is one of a handful of eccentric gardeners around the world whose goal is to save and preserve rare or unusual fruit varieties — trees that may never have commercial value and which may barely cling to existence.

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5:23am

Wed August 22, 2012
Business

Chinese Factories Improve Conditions Where iPads Are Made

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 4:11 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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5:23am

Wed August 22, 2012
Environment

Ruling Is A Set-Back To Obama's Clean Air Plan

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 6:48 am

A federal court has rejected a rule that would have regulated air pollution that blows from one state to the next. The ruling puts a damper on the Obama administration's efforts to reduce asthma, heart disease and other ailments related to air pollution. States and utilities asserted that the rules overstepped the EPA's authority under the Clean Air Act.

3:04am

Wed August 22, 2012
It's All Politics

Are Independents Just Partisans In Disguise?

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 7:31 am

Don Nichols iStockphoto.com

Independent voters have grown in recent years into a mega voting bloc. By some estimates they outnumber registered Republicans, and even registered Democrats.

Every election cycle, independents generate enormous amounts of interest as candidates, pollsters and the media probe their feelings. These voters are widely considered to hold the key to most elections.

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4:29pm

Tue August 21, 2012
Energy

BP Recalls Gasoline That May Cause Car Problems

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 7:36 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Time now for a story on the latest recall. It's not food or an appliance. It's gasoline. BP has recalled gasoline that was stored at a facility in northwest Indiana, near Chicago. But tens of thousands of gallons of that gas have already been sold and pumped into gas tanks.

As NPR's Jeff Brady reports, local mechanics are fielding lots of calls from concerned drivers.

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12:05pm

Tue August 21, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

The City As Engine: Energy, Entropy And The Triumph Of Disorder

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 7:36 pm

Adam Frank stands atop of the Wilder Building in Rochester, N.Y.
Carlet Cleare WXXI

Cities may be the defining element of human civilization.

The path from hunter-gatherers in the Paleolithic era 25,000 years ago to the high-tech, high-wonder jumble we inhabit today runs straight through cities. In traveling that path, our construction of cities has always been a dance with physics. In some cases, that physics was explicitly understood; in others, its manifestation was only recognized in hindsight.

As our cities have become more complex the physics embodying their behavior and organization has also become more nuanced, subtle and profound.

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4:02am

Tue August 21, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

High School Daze: The Perils Of Sacrificing Sleep For Late-Night Studying

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 9:01 am

It may not be the best strategy to stay up late and cram. A new study finds that when teens don't get the sleep they need, all kinds of things can go poorly.
iStockphoto.com

High school students with heavy academic course loads often find the demands of homework colliding with the need for adequate sleep.

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