Mon February 23, 2015
The Salt

Acidifying Waters Are Endangering Your Oysters And Mussels

Crew members pull an oyster dredge in Tangier Sound of the Chesapeake Bay near Deal Island, Md., in 2013. A study found that the Chesapeake Bay shellfishery is a "hot zone" for ocean acidification.
Patrick Semansky AP

Bad news for bivalves comes this week from scientists studying ocean acidification.

Ocean water in parts of the world is changing. Its chemistry is very slowly becoming more acidic, like lemon juice, and less alkaline, a la baking soda.

The change so far is small — you wouldn't notice if you swam in the ocean or even drank it (not recommended, in any case). But numerous scientific studies show that it could get worse. One reason is that as humans produce more carbon dioxide, a lot is absorbed into the oceans. That makes the water more acidic.

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Mon February 23, 2015
The Salt

Feeding Babies Foods With Peanuts Appears To Prevent Allergies

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 2:28 pm

Babies at high risk for becoming allergic to peanuts are much less likely to develop the allergy if they are regularly fed foods containing the legumes starting in their first year of life.

That's according to a big new study released Monday involving hundreds of British babies. The researchers found that those who consumed the equivalent of about 4 heaping teaspoons of peanut butter each week, starting when they were between 4 and 11 months old, were about 80 percent less likely to develop a peanut allergy by their fifth birthday.

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Mon February 23, 2015

Catching A Southern Coyote, Then Letting It Go In The Name Of Science

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 6:40 pm

Professional trapper Dan Eaton starts to release a coyote after it was fitted with a GPS collar. University of Georgia biologists will track the animal for two years as part of a study of Southern coyotes.
Grant Blankenship Georgia Public Broadcasting

The hunt for coyotes starts in Dan Eaton's truck.

Eaton is a professional trapper. He's been doing it for a long time — since he was 10 years old — so he's nonchalant about the dead beaver in the truck bed that he sometimes uses to attract coyotes.

On a recent day, Eaton heads to a trap line set on private hunting land outside Augusta, Ga.

"Everybody wants you to trap coyotes for free until you tell them you're collaring them and letting them go," Eaton says.

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Mon February 23, 2015
Shots - Health News

Kids, Allergies And A Possible Downside To Squeaky Clean Dishes

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 11:21 am

Vidhya Nagarajan for NPR

Could using a dishwashing machine increase the chances your child will develop allergies? That's what some provocative new research suggests — but don't tear out your machine just yet.

The study involved 1,029 Swedish children (ages 7 or 8) and found that those whose parents said they mostly wash the family's dishes by hand were significantly less likely to develop eczema, and somewhat less likely to develop allergic asthma and hay fever.

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Sun February 22, 2015
Arts & Life

The Scents And Sensibility Of LA's Nosy New Perfume Enthusiasts

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 1:54 pm

Scent Bar, in central Los Angeles, is home to over 700 niche fragrances — several of which are neatly arranged here.
Courtesy of LuckyScent

The sense of smell is a powerful trigger — capable of calling to mind the sight of a new car, or the memory of a freshly mown lawn from many years past. But this power doesn't just serve to remind; it's also captivating scientists and inspiring a burgeoning subculture in Los Angeles, where many people are collecting fragrances like some people collect stamps.

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Sun February 22, 2015

Parks Service Surveys The Environment's Accoustical Health

Originally published on Sun February 22, 2015 12:36 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



Over the past decade, The National Park Service has placed hundreds of microphones around the country. These are some of the sounds those mics captured.


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Sat February 21, 2015
Author Interviews

Exploring The Solar System Through The Eyes Of Robotic Voyagers

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 9:06 am

This NASA file image shows a true color photo of Saturn assembled from images collected by Voyager 2.
HO AFP/Getty Images

The Voyager spacecraft have revolutionized our understanding of our solar system since their launch in 1977. After decades of sending back data on our planetary neighbors, Voyager 1 and 2 are entering new territory: interstellar space.

In a new book, The Interstellar Age: Inside The Forty-Year Voyager Mission, planetary scientist Jim Bell shares the amazing human stories behind the machines' mission.

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Fri February 20, 2015
The Two-Way

For The Evolution Of Marine Creatures, Bigger Is Better, Study Says

Originally published on Sat February 21, 2015 12:02 am

A blue whale is seen in Timor waters in an undated photo. The marine mammal buttresses Cope's rule, the notion that over the course of evolution, most animals tend to get bigger.
Kiki Dethmers AP

For more than 500 million years, sea creatures have been getting bigger — much bigger as it turns out, according to a study by scientists who say that the evolutionary trend toward larger body size fits with a 19th-century principle known as Cope's rule.

The rule, first posited in the late 1800s by Edward Drinker Cope, "states that evolution tends to increase body size over geologic time in a lineage of populations."

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Fri February 20, 2015
Goats and Soda

15-Minute Ebola Test Approved For Fighting The Epidemic

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 4:57 pm

The rapid Ebola test from Corgenix Medical Corporation is small and easy to use. But because it involves blood, health workers would still need to run the test at a lab to stay safe.
Courtesy of Corgenix Medical Corp.

Speed. That's key to ending the Ebola epidemic, health officials have been saying for months. Now there's a new tool to help do the trick.

The World Health Organization approved the first quick test for Ebola Friday. The test gives results in about 15 minutes, instead of hours. So people infected can get treatment and be quarantined more quickly.

"It's definitely a breakthrough," WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said Friday in Geneva.

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Fri February 20, 2015
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Taking A Good Look At Touch


Vision comes first in our society. The study of perception has tended to be dominated by the study of vision. Vision, said Aristotle, is the queen of the senses.

There's something to it: I may hear you in the kitchen — but there's a sense that when I see you, only then do I really know exactly what you are doing.

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