Science

9:52am

Thu November 29, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

The Rubik's Cube That Isn't

YouTube

This is your brain making things up.

What you see isn't really there.

Even if I tell you "this isn't what you think," you'll think it anyway — until I make a simple move, and suddenly — you know.

Read more

8:59am

Thu November 29, 2012
The Salt

Key To E. Coli-Free Spinach May Be An Ultrasonic Spa Treatment

Spinach has lots of opportunities to pick up E. coli and other bugs during harvest and growing. Here, a Mexican migrant worker cuts organic spinach during the fall harvest at Grant Family Farms in Wellington, Co.
John Moore Getty Images

Salad producers haven't succeeded in banishing E. coli and other dangerous microbes from fresh greens, though they've tried hard. As we've reported before, it's a major challenge to both growers and the environment. But one scientist thinks he's making progress – with a spinach spa that zaps bad bugs with ultrasound.

Read more

5:43pm

Wed November 28, 2012
Research News

A Short Fuse For Fusion As Ignition Misses Deadline

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 3:07 am

A worker inspects a huge target chamber at the National Ignition Facility in California, in 2001, where beams from 192 lasers are aimed at a pellet of fusion fuel in the hopes of creating nuclear fusion.
Joe McNally Getty Images

The National Ignition Facility in Livermore, Calif., has been called a modern-day moonshot, a project of "revolutionary science," and "the mother of all boondoggles."

NIF, as it's called, is a $5 billion, taxpayer-funded superlaser project whose goal is to create nuclear fusion — basically a tiny star inside a laboratory. But so far, that hasn't happened.

Read more

2:12pm

Wed November 28, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Astrotheology: Do Gods Need To Be Supernatural?

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 11:08 am

Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

Call it the ponderous effect of the holidays, but today I'd like to share some reflections on our search for meaning.

Humans are limited beings. We are also creative and innovative, and by the diligent application of reason and, in different but complementary ways, by exercising our artistic expression, we manage to amplify our understanding of the world and of ourselves.

Read more

8:59am

Wed November 28, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

Is Life A Smoother Ride If You're A Chicken?

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 11:02 am

YouTube

2:30pm

Tue November 27, 2012
Deceptive Cadence

Do Orchestras Really Need Conductors?

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 10:12 am

Does This Guy Matter? Conductor Leonard Bernstein during rehearsal with the Cincinnati Symphony at Carnegie Hall in 1977.
James Garrett New York Daily News via Getty Images

Have you ever wondered whether music conductors actually influence their orchestras?

They seem important. After all, they're standing in the middle of the stage and waving their hands. But the musicians all have scores before them that tell them what to play. If you took the conductor away, could the orchestra manage on its own?

Read more

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?

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

Pages