Science

12:04pm

Fri September 28, 2012
NPR Story

Ice Age Co-Stars: Horses, Camels And Cheetahs

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 1:59 pm

Mammoths and saber-toothed cats may be the most famous beasts of the Ice Age. But they shared the prairie with horses and camels, too--both of which evolved in North America and crossed the ice bridge into Eurasia, before disappearing here. Matthew Kohn and Christopher Hill talk about the lesser-known fauna of the Ice Age.

10:37am

Fri September 28, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

The Best College Prank Of The 1790s (With Bats, Poop & Grass)

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 12:03 pm

Benjamin Arthur for NPR

In yesterday's post, I crowned an Oxford geologist William Buckland as Most Daring Eater Ever. And he was. But I think he deserves one additional, albeit smaller, honor.

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3:22am

Fri September 28, 2012
Space

NASA's Curiosity Finds Water Once Flowed On Mars

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 8:29 am

NASA says it has found proof that water shaped the rocks on the left, in a photograph taken by the Mars rover Curiosity (left). For comparison, the agency released an image of rocks from Earth (right).
NASA

NASA's newest Mars rover, Curiosity, has snapped photos of rocky outcroppings that jut out from the alien soil, and scientists say they look like the remnants of an ancient stream bed where water once flowed on the surface of the red planet.

The exposed rocks look like broken slabs of concrete sidewalk, about four inches thick, and are made of rounded bits of gravel in a sandy matrix. The rock has eroded a little bit, and some of the smooth pebbles — about the size of M&M candies — have fallen down into a little pile.

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5:01pm

Thu September 27, 2012
Technology

Biodegradable Electronics Could End Toxic Trash

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 5:50 pm

A future in which a discarded cell phone dissolves into a landfill, rather than living on for thousands of years as garbage, may not be that far off. Melissa Block talks with John A. Rogers, a 2009 MacArthur Fellow and professor of engineering at University of Illinois, about his research into "transient electronics."

4:26pm

Thu September 27, 2012
The Salt

Health Benefits Of Tea: Milking It Or Not

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 5:50 pm

The Emperor's Himalayan lavender tea is popular at Washington, D.C.'s Park Hyatt Tea Room, but please don't put milk in it.
Courtesy of Park Hyatt

The idea that milk may diminish the potential heart-health benefits of tea has been a topic of some debate. Lots of us can't imagine black tea without a little dairy to cut the bitterness. But, according to this research going back to 2007, we might want to at least consider trying, say, a nice cup of green tea sans sugar or cream.

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3:11pm

Thu September 27, 2012
The Two-Way

Streams Of Water Once Flowed On Mars; NASA Says Photos Prove It

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 4:20 pm

NASA says it has found proof that water shaped the rocks on the left, in a photograph taken by the Mars rover Curiosity (left). For comparison, the agency released an image of rocks from the Earth (right).
NASA

NASA's Curiosity rover has found definitive proof that water once ran across the surface of Mars, the agency announced today. NASA scientists say new photos from the rover show rocks that were smoothed and rounded by water. The rocks are in a large canyon and nearby channels that were cut by flowing water, making up an alluvial fan.

"You had water transporting these gravels to the downslope of the fan," NASA researchers say. The gravel then formed into a conglomerate rock, which was in turn likely covered before being exposed again.

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3:04pm

Thu September 27, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Thoughts On Three Famous 'Language Apes'

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 9:35 pm

Kanzi
Great Ape Trust

Koko, Kanzi and Panbanisha are about as famous as three apes can get.

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2:29pm

Thu September 27, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Medical Electronics Built To Last Only A Little While

An electronic circuit in its first phases of dissolution.
Fiorenzo Omenetto

Most engineers build things to last.

But a group of mechanical and electrical engineers are working on electronics that will break down in as little as a couple of days. On purpose!

The electronic circuits they're developing don't crash. It's more dramatic than that. They dissolve in liquid.

Sounds a little bit crazy, but circuits that work for a while then disappear could be pretty useful in medical devices implanted in the human body.

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10:37am

Thu September 27, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

Who Wants To Eat Jellyfish Omelettes? Dolphin Meatballs? Mouse-On-Toast? These Guys

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 10:14 am

Aaron Birk for NPR

Foodwise, we live in choosy times, mostly choosing "no thank you."

More and more of us choose not to eat meat or fish or eggs or fatty foods. We don't want anything too sugary, too fried, too raw, too strange. We tiptoe through the grocery as if it's a danger zone, hoping not to be tempted by a glazed doughnut.

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3:38am

Thu September 27, 2012
Research News

Big Quakes Signal Changes Coming To Earth's Crust

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 9:31 am

A prison official examines the damage a day after a powerful earthquake hit the west coast of Indonesia in Banda Aceh on April 12.
Adek Berry AFP/Getty Images

On April 11 of this year, an extraordinary cluster of earthquakes struck off Sumatra. The largest shock, magnitude 8.7, produced stronger ground-shaking than any earthquake ever recorded. And it surprised seismologists by triggering more than a dozen moderate earthquakes around the world.

The quakes are also a sign of big changes to come in the Earth's crust.

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