Science

3:02am

Wed September 19, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Scientists See Upside And Downside Of Sequencing Their Own Genes

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 4:03 pm

Dr. James Watson looks at a reproduction of the structure of DNA, which he helped discover, in this 1962 photograph. Decades later, Watson was one of the first people to have his entire genome sequenced.
Mondadori Mondadori via Getty Images

When scientists were looking for the first person to test a new, superfast way of deciphering someone's entire genetic blueprint, they turned to James Watson the guy who shared a Nobel Prize for discovering the structure of DNA.

"They had to sequence someone, so they got me," he says.

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9:29am

Tue September 18, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Big Data And Its Big Problems

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 12:37 pm

Imagine every thousandth blood cell in your body has a tiny radio transmitter in it. Imagine that 10 times a second that transmitter sends each cell's location to a computer storing the data. Along with position, it also sends the concentration of a list of 10 chemicals encountered at receptors distributed at 10 sites over the surface of each cell. Now imagine following all those blood cells for an hour. That makes a billion blood cells being sampled 10 times a second for 3,600 seconds.

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6:11am

Tue September 18, 2012
Space

NASA Probes Record Sounds Of Space

Twin spacecraft recently began orbiting the earth, and the probes have been sending back strangely beautiful recordings of the sounds of space. Scientists call it the chorus. The sounds come from the magnetosphere, an area where charged particles from the sun interact with the earth's magnetic field.

3:42am

Tue September 18, 2012
The End Of The Space Shuttle Era

Shuttle Endeavour Begins Long Voyage To New Home

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 6:11 am

Workers remove a tree from a median in the middle of Manchester Boulevard in Inglewood, Calif., on Sept. 4 to make room for Endeavour.
Reed Saxon AP

Space shuttle Endeavour begins a kind of farewell tour this week. The shuttle will set off on a cross-country trip to its retirement home, flying from Florida to Los Angeles on the back of a modified jumbo jet.

Along the way, the spaceship will stop off in Houston, home of NASA's Mission Control and, weather permitting, fly over NASA centers and various landmarks in cities that include San Francisco and Sacramento.

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3:36am

Tue September 18, 2012
The Salt

It's No Yolk: Mexicans Cope With Egg Shortage, Price Spikes

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 8:22 pm

There is a new crisis in Mexico. It's not the ongoing drug war or a plunge in the peso: It's eggs.

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3:34am

Tue September 18, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

As Genetic Sequencing Spreads, Excitement, Worries Grow

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:43 pm

Slides containing DNA sit in a bay waiting to be analyzed by a genome sequencing machine.
David Paul Morris Bloomberg via Getty Images

Ever since James Watson and Francis Crick cracked the genetic code, scientists have been fascinated by the possibilities of what we might learn from reading our genes.

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4:16pm

Mon September 17, 2012
Science

What Drove Early Man Across Globe? Climate Change

Originally published on Mon September 17, 2012 6:39 pm

An artist's re-creation of the first human migration to North America from across the Bering Sea.
DEA Picture Library De Agostini/Getty Images

Anthropologists believe early humans evolved in Africa and then moved out from there in successive waves. However, what drove their migrations has been a matter of conjecture.

One new explanation is climate change.

Anthropologist Anders Erikkson of Cambridge University in England says the first few hardy humans who left Africa might've gone earlier but couldn't. Northeastern Africa — the only route to Asia and beyond — was literally a no man's land.

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3:44pm

Mon September 17, 2012
The Salt

Shriveled Mich. Apple Harvest Means Fewer Jobs, Tough Year Ahead

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:42 pm

A lonely Michigan apple.
Noah Adams NPR

An apple a day might keep the doctor away, but what do you do when there are no apples? It's a question western Michigan's apple growers are dealing with this season after strange weather earlier in the year decimated the state's apple cultivation.

Michigan is the third-largest apple producer in the U.S. after New York and Washington, but the state's apples will soon be in short supply. Now in the middle of harvest season, growers are picking only 10 percent to 15 percent of their normal crop.

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10:19am

Mon September 17, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

Which Is Greater, The Number Of Sand Grains On Earth Or Stars In The Sky?

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 9:53 am

Gilles Chapdelaine NASA & ESA

Here's an old, old, question, but this time with a surprise twist. The question is — and I bet you asked it when you were 8 years old and sitting on a beach: Which are there more of — grains of sand on the Earth or stars in the sky?

Obviously, grains and stars can't be counted, not literally. But you can guestimate.

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3:36am

Mon September 17, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Teachers' Expectations Can Influence How Students Perform

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 9:52 am

Teachers interact differently with students expected to succeed. But they can be trained to change those classroom behaviors.
iStockphoto.com

In my Morning Edition story today, I look at expectations — specifically, how teacher expectations can affect the performance of the children they teach.

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