Science

1:35pm

Fri September 21, 2012
Health

What The Doctor Ordered: Building New Body Parts

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Over 115,000 Americans are currently waiting for an organ transplant, and most of them are in need of a kidney. Now, what if we could just create a kidney for them in the laboratory? One of my next guests has experimented with printing out organs using an inkjet printer, but instead of ink, he uses cells.

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1:29pm

Fri September 21, 2012
Books

The SciFri Book Club Visits 'Flatland'

Mathematician Ian Stewart joins the Science Friday Book Club meeting to discuss Edwin Abbott's classic Flatland. The book, published in 1884 under the pseudonym "A. Square," tells the story of a two-dimensional world where women are straight lines and men are polygons.

11:53am

Fri September 21, 2012
The Salt

Three Burning Questions Answered About Salt

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 12:18 pm

The Salt's most colorful salts. From left to right: Cypress black lava, red Hawaiian, and pink Bolivian rose.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Salt — it's the ultimate condiment. It's the only rock we eat, and it makes our food taste better. There are dozens of varieties, from hand-harvested Himalayan pink to plain-old kosher, to various herb-infused blends. But, as we report a lot around here, when we eat too much, it can be bad for our health.

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10:45am

Fri September 21, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

Getting Slower And Slower: How Slow Can You Go?

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 11:36 am

Vincent Liota

Before we go slow, let's go fast, so fast you can't go any faster. That would be light in a vacuum, traveling at 670 million miles per hour ...

Light, of course, can slow down. When light passes through water, it loses speed. A diamond is an even better speed bump. It can slow a beam of light by 40 percent.

But moving on, you and I are going pretty fast right now, though we don't notice. The planet we're on is zipping around the sun at 66,000-plus miles per hour ...

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4:52pm

Thu September 20, 2012
Animals

Man-Made Cave Built To Shelter Bats From Infection

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 6:05 pm

The artificial cave built for bats in Tennessee has a human entrance below and a bat entrance above. In the summer, any fungus left by the bats over the winter will be cleaned up.
The Nature Conservancy

A man-made bat cave in Tennessee is looking for tenants. An hour northwest of Nashville, the artificial cave is built to give thousands of bats a haven from a devastating infection called white-nose syndrome.

Millions of bats in the Northeast have died from the infection since it first showed up a few years ago. The culprit is an invasive fungus that grows in caves. When bats hibernate inside, they wake up with faces covered in white fuzz and often wind up starving or freezing to death.

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4:33pm

Thu September 20, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Who's Next In Line For A Kidney Transplant? The Answer Is Changing

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 9:38 am

Surgeons transplant a kidney in 8-year-old Sarah Dickman at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta in 2008. The proposed changes in the transplant list attempt to maximize kidney life in young patients.
John Bazemore AP

There's some big news out today about one of the most sensitive issues in medicine: Who's next in line for a transplant?

The United Network for Organ Sharing, or UNOS, a nonprofit in charge of distributing organs, wants to revamp the system for distributing the most sought-after organ — kidneys — for the first time in 25 years.

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3:53pm

Thu September 20, 2012
The Salt

Man Wins $7 Million In Suit Claiming Microwave Popcorn Caused Lung Disease

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 8:04 pm

Wayne Watson, who just won a $7 million lawsuit, explains how a bag of popcorn would "whoof" when opened, releasing steam and flavor.
Ed Andrieski AP

A federal court has awarded a Denver man $7.2 million in a lawsuit he filed against a popcorn maker and a grocery store for selling him microwaved popcorn that made him sick.

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3:07pm

Thu September 20, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Could Genes For Stripes Help Kitty Fight Disease?

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 6:04 pm

The genetic factors responsible for a cat's stripes might help researchers understand disease resistance in humans.
kennymatic via Flickr

At this point it's just an interesting hypothesis, but it's possible that understanding cat coloration could help scientists understand resistance to infectious diseases.

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10:16am

Thu September 20, 2012
The Salt

As Scientists Question New Rat Study, GMO Debate Rages On

Italian farmer Giorgio Fidenato picks up what's left of his genetically altered corn after anti-GMO activists trampled it, back in 2010.
Paolo Giovannini AP

The headlines on the press releases that started showing up yesterday, here at The Salt certainly got our attention. Just one sample: "BREAKING NEWS: New Study Links Genetically Engineered Food to Tumors."

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3:33am

Thu September 20, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

New Experimental Drug Offers Autism Hope

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 10:10 am

Andy Tranfaglia, 23, who has Fragile X syndrome, rides a horse with his mother, Katie Clapp.
Katie Clapp

An experimental drug that helps people who have Fragile X syndrome is raising hopes of a treatment for autism.

The drug, called arbaclofen, made people with Fragile X less likely to avoid social interactions, according to a study in Science Translational Medicine. Researchers suspect it might do the same for people with autism.

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