Science

11:13am

Tue November 27, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Sean Carroll Tells A Story Of Humanity In The Hunt For The Higgs Boson

Sean Gallup Getty Images

Now that the election is over its time to address that one burning question still haunting us all. You know the one I am talking about: What exactly is the Higgs Boson?

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6:21am

Tue November 27, 2012
Remembrances

Hope, Innovation: Remembering A Transplant Pioneer

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 7:31 am

Renee Montagne talks with Dr. Atul Gawande about the life and work of Dr. Joseph E. Murray, who performed the first successful organ transplant in 1954. Murray died Monday at age 93.

5:02am

Tue November 27, 2012
Shots - Health News

To Fight Tick-Borne Disease, Someone Has To Catch Ticks

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 12:35 pm

Last year, Tom Mather caught 15,000 deer ticks in the woods of southern Rhode Island. "People really need to become tick literate," the University of Rhode Island researcher says.
Brian Mullen for NPR

Most people try to avoid ticks. But not Tom Mather.

The University of Rhode Island researcher goes out of his way to find them.

He looks for deer ticks — poppy seed-sized skin burrowers — in the woods of southern Rhode Island. These are the teeny-tiny carriers of Lyme disease, an illness that can lead to symptoms ranging from nasty rashes to memory loss.

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6:18pm

Mon November 26, 2012
U.S.

Will Florida Pythons Slither To Rest Of The U.S.?

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 6:42 pm

A Burmese python coils around the arm of a hunter during a news conference in 2010 in the Florida Everglades. New research suggests that the pythons won't spread through the American Southeast, as previously believed.
Lynne Sladky AP

There are several exotic snake species that have become a problem in the Everglades. But for wildlife managers, the biggest headache is the Burmese python.

Earlier this year, researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey captured the largest Burmese python yet in Everglades National Park. Three USGS staffers had to wrestle the snake out of a plastic crate to measure it. The snake was a 17-foot-7-inch female carrying 87 eggs.

Wildlife managers are working to get a handle on the problem of exotic snakes in South Florida; but the snakes have already made a big impact.

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3:26pm

Mon November 26, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

It's Time To End The Turkey-Tofurky Thanksgiving Food Fight

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 11:46 am

Thanksgiving is a traditional time for American families to come together and share a festive meal. But if my family is any indication, they aren't always sharing the same food. I had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner with assorted omnivores, an aunt who doesn't eat red meat, a pescatarian, a vegetarian toddler and a mostly-vegan Australian. (I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader to figure out which of these food categories also describes me.)

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2:24pm

Mon November 26, 2012
Science

As 2012 Comes To A Close, The Facts About Doomsday

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 2:44 pm

Some doomsayers predict that the world will end on Dec. 21, 2012, citing the end of the pre-Columbian Mayan calendar.
iStockphoto.com

On Dec. 21, 2012, some fear that a rogue planet will collide with Earth and destroy the planet, or that the supposed end of the Mayan calendar will lead to the obliteration of the universe.

When people have questions about these scenarios, they often turn to the Internet.

NASA astrobiologist David Morrison has taken it upon himself to enter that online conversation and answer hundreds of questions about the science of existential threats.

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2:16pm

Mon November 26, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Welcome Tania Lombrozo To '13.7'

It is with great pleasure that we welcome our newest blogger to the 13.7 community. You have, no doubt, already been enjoying Tania Lombrozo's insights via her guest posts for the blog with posts such as "Would You Vote For An Atheist?"

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5:16am

Mon November 26, 2012
U.S.

Overrun By Otters, Illinois Reinstates Trapping Season

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 9:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Just over a couple of decades ago, there were fewer than 100 otters remaining in the state of Illinois. Today, there are at least 15,000. They're furry and cute and a nuisance to some, often called the raccoons of Illinois waterways. What's wrong with raccoons? Anyway. So for the first time in almost 90 years, Illinois has reinstated otter trapping season. We called Bob Bluett, a biologist with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

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6:34am

Sat November 24, 2012
Animals

Apes, Humans Share A Happiness Dip Mid-Life

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 10:30 am

Host Scott Simon talks with University of Edinburgh professor Alex Weiss about his new study on ape well-being. He found that apes, like humans, experience a U-shaped pattern of life satisfaction that dips in middle-age, commonly known as a mid-life crisis.

4:13pm

Fri November 23, 2012
Science

Experiments That Keep Going And Going And Going

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 10:00 pm

William Beal, standing at center, started a long-term study on seed germination in 1879. He buried 20 bottles with seeds in them for later researchers to unearth and plant.
Michigan State University

A biologist who has been watching a dozen bottles of bacteria evolve for nearly a quarter of a century is hoping he can find someone to keep his lab experiment going long after he dies.

Meanwhile, just by coincidence, a botanist who works across campus is carefully tending an experiment that started before he was born, all the way back in 1879.

These two researchers, both at Michigan State University in East Lansing, represent different sides of an unusual phenomenon in science: experiments that outlive the people who started them.

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