Science

5:24pm

Wed August 22, 2012
The Salt

Food Waste Is Overwhelming. Here Are Five Things People Are Doing About It

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 5:39 pm

Rotten jackfruit and tomatoes are sorted at a dump in New Delhi. India loses an estimated 40 percent of its produce harvest for lack of infrastructure. And Americans waste about 40 percent of our food.
Mustafa Quraishi AP

The food world is buzzing today about the latest news on just how often we waste perfectly good food. And we admit, the statistics are pretty depressing.

About 40 percent of food in the United States today goes uneaten. The average American consumer wastes 10 times as much food as someone in Southeast Asia — up 50 percent from Americans in the 1970s. Yet, 1 in 6 Americans doesn't have enough to eat, says the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And food waste costs us about $165 billion a year and sucks up 25 percent of our freshwater supply.

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4:30pm

Wed August 22, 2012
Environment

Humans' Role In Antarctic Ice Melt Is Unclear

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 7:59 pm

The Larsen B ice shelf, a large floating ice mass on the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula, shattered and separated from the continent 10 years ago. A NASA satellite captured the event in this image from Feb. 23, 2002. The 650 foot-thick, 1,250-square-mile ice shelf had existed since the last ice age.
AP

Ten years ago, a piece of ice the size of Rhode Island disintegrated and melted in the waters off Antarctica. Two other massive ice shelves along the Antarctic Peninsula had suffered similar fates a few years before. The events became poster children for the effects of global warming. But a new study finds that the story isn't quite so simple.

There's no question that unusually warm air triggered the final demise of these huge chunks of ice. But a lingering question is whether these events can be attributed to human-induced global warming.

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2:29pm

Wed August 22, 2012
Around the Nation

Drought Forces Ranchers Into Difficult Decisions

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Parts of the country have suffered from record heat and drought for several years in a row now, and this summer, it's been just brutal. In past programs, we talked with farmers about their crops. Today, we focus on difficult choices facing ranchers and dairy farmers.

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1:32pm

Wed August 22, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Could Antibiotics Be A Factor In Childhood Obesity?

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 2:34 pm

Childhood obesity is on the rise in many countries and overuse of antibiotics is now on the radar as a possible factor in the epidemic. Here 18-month-old twins are weighed in a nutritionist's office in Colombia.
Raul Arboleda AFP/Getty Images

There's growing evidence that the bacteria in our gut influence our health, including how much we weigh. So what happens when antibiotics knock out some of the microbes that help us?

A study, published online today in the journal Nature, finds that antibiotics make young mice fatter by changing the mix of their gut bacteria.

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10:33am

Wed August 22, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Sky Sighting: Is That A Thread Of Dark Matter I Spy?

A tenuous thread of dark matter is seen connecting the galaxy clusters Abell 222 and 223.
Courtesy Jörg Dietrich/Universitäts-Sternwarte München

When astronomers survey the universe, the landmarks are galaxies, those gigantic agglomerates of stars and interstellar gas spread across the immensity of space. A typical spiral galaxy, like our own Milky Way, boasts hundreds of billions of stars grouped along hundreds of thousands of light-years. That means that it takes a beam of light all that time to go from one extreme of the galaxy to the other, traveling, as light does in a vacuum, at 186,282 miles per second.

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10:18am

Wed August 22, 2012
The Salt

Meet A Man On A Mission To Save Rare And Unusual Figs

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 11:02 am

One of Bassem Samaan's Pan e Vino fig trees, propagated from the yard of an Italian restaurant in Bethlehem, Pa.
courtesy Bassem Samaan

In the backyard of an unassuming suburban home in Bethlehem, Pa., is a global cornucopia of botanical heritage. Almost 300 varieties of fig grow here, most of them with roots in Europe, Asia or Africa, and each one collected and propagated by Bassem Samaan, a 34-year-old Lebanese native with an unusually green thumb and an obsession with figs.

Samaan is one of a handful of eccentric gardeners around the world whose goal is to save and preserve rare or unusual fruit varieties — trees that may never have commercial value and which may barely cling to existence.

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5:23am

Wed August 22, 2012
Business

Chinese Factories Improve Conditions Where iPads Are Made

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 4:11 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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5:23am

Wed August 22, 2012
Environment

Ruling Is A Set-Back To Obama's Clean Air Plan

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 6:48 am

A federal court has rejected a rule that would have regulated air pollution that blows from one state to the next. The ruling puts a damper on the Obama administration's efforts to reduce asthma, heart disease and other ailments related to air pollution. States and utilities asserted that the rules overstepped the EPA's authority under the Clean Air Act.

3:04am

Wed August 22, 2012
It's All Politics

Are Independents Just Partisans In Disguise?

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 7:31 am

Don Nichols iStockphoto.com

Independent voters have grown in recent years into a mega voting bloc. By some estimates they outnumber registered Republicans, and even registered Democrats.

Every election cycle, independents generate enormous amounts of interest as candidates, pollsters and the media probe their feelings. These voters are widely considered to hold the key to most elections.

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4:29pm

Tue August 21, 2012
Energy

BP Recalls Gasoline That May Cause Car Problems

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 7:36 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Time now for a story on the latest recall. It's not food or an appliance. It's gasoline. BP has recalled gasoline that was stored at a facility in northwest Indiana, near Chicago. But tens of thousands of gallons of that gas have already been sold and pumped into gas tanks.

As NPR's Jeff Brady reports, local mechanics are fielding lots of calls from concerned drivers.

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