Science

1:43pm

Fri August 10, 2012
Book Reviews

SciFri Book Club Talks 'Monkey Mind'

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Up next, our monthly meeting of the SCIENCE FRIDAY book club. Flora Lichtman, our multimedia editor is going to stay here with us. And joining us now also is Annette Heist, our senior producer. Did you get your reading done? (Unintelligible) The book, the book, Annette, you chose, it was "Monkey Mind," right? "Memoir of Anxiety" by Daniel Smith. Tell us a little bit about why you chose that book. What sang to you when you chose it?

Read more

1:41pm

Fri August 10, 2012
Space

Martian Lab Made In Manhattan

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Speaking of Mars, Flora Lichtman is here with our Video Pick of the Week.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Speaking of Mars.

(LAUGHTER)

LICHTMAN: Speaking of Martians.

(LAUGHTER)

FLATOW: Well, I said it because you have a great Mars-related video.

Read more

1:38pm

Fri August 10, 2012
Space

After 'Terror,' Mars Scientists Plan Exploration

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. Unless you've been hiding under a rock on Mars, you know that last weekend NASA's Mars Science Laboratory safely made its way down to the surface of the Red Planet and now the Rover Curiosity sits, set up camp in Gale Crater.

So what'll it do now that it's there? Joining me now to talk about it is John Grotzinger. He's project scientist for the mission, professor of geology at Caltech. He joins me from the JPL Campus in Pasadena. Welcome back to the program.

Read more

1:33pm

Fri August 10, 2012
Books

Catching Up With Tom Swift a Century Later

Science fiction hero Tom Swift has amazed children with his incredible inventions since combustion and electricity drove the nation into a new era. These stories captured a cultural love of science and inspired such famous figures as Steve Wozniak and Isaac Asimov — all while predicting new technologies decades in advance.

1:32pm

Fri August 10, 2012
Science

Amidst Rocky Peaks, Physicists Ponder The Universe

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY from NPR. I'm Ira Flatow. How many pictures have you seen of Einstein in front of a blackboard, you know, scribbling equations, working through the math? That's how theoretical physicists spend their time, right? Either that or cooped up alone in their university offices with pencil and paper.

Read more

1:25pm

Fri August 10, 2012
NPR Story

Attacking Alzheimer's With Antibodies, Hormones

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. Earlier this week, yet another potential cure for Alzheimer's failed. Pfizer called off additional studies of its intravenous drug bapineuzumab, an antibody designed to seek and destroy plaques that build up in the brains of people with Alzheimer's.

Read more

11:28am

Fri August 10, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Why Is The World's Largest Foundation Buying Fake Poop?

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 12:31 pm

Graduate student Clement Cid sits atop the solar-powered toilet he helped to build at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif. Underneath the platform, the toilet converts waste into fertilizer. The Caltech team will use fake feces to demonstrate the toilet's features next week at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation offices.
Courtesy of Michael Hoffmann/Caltech

Last week, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced that it's purchasing 50 pounds of fake poop.

A practical joke? No, not in the least.

Nor is this synthetic poop a plastic replica of the real thing; it's an organic version made from soybeans. The Gates Foundation will use it to test high-tech commodes at their Reinvent the Toilet Fair next week.

Read more

3:00am

Fri August 10, 2012
Joe's Big Idea

So You Landed On Mars. Now What?

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 6:28 am

Adam Steltzner, the leader of the rover's entry, descent and landing engineering team, cheers after Curiosity touched down safely on Mars on Sunday.
Bill Ingalls/NASA Getty Images

The Mars rover Curiosity is beginning its fifth day on the red planet, and it's been performing flawlessly from the moment it landed.

That's been especially gratifying for NASA landing engineer Adam Steltzner. Last Friday, while Steltzner was still on pins and needles waiting for the landing to take place, I told the story of Steltzner's decision as a young man to give up his life as a rocker and go for a career in space engineering.

Read more

5:24pm

Thu August 9, 2012
Animals

Study: Humans, Elephants User Similar Vocalizations

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 11:02 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Finally, this hour, a trick question. What sound does an elephant make? If you have a toddler nearby, you're no doubt getting an imitation of this.

(SOUNDBITE OF ELEPHANT)

CORNISH: But what most kids and their parents don't know because most of us have never been within hugging distance of an elephant is that their most common form of communication is this.

(SOUNDBITE OF ELEPHANT)

Read more

5:17pm

Thu August 9, 2012
Environment

How A Texas Town Became Water Smart

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 11:02 am

An area in San Antonio's Brackenridge Park where treated wastewater is pumped into the San Antonio River, one of many measures the city has taken to combat drought.
Mose Buchele StateImpact Texas

Faced with a booming population and a disappearing water supply, the city of San Antonio responded by dramatically cutting consumption, pioneering new storage techniques and investing in water recycling and desalination projects. It now boasts that it is "Water's Most Resourceful City."

There are so many programs and projects that Chuck Ahrens of Water Resources and Conservation with the San Antonio Water System can hardly keep track.

Read more

Pages