Science

4:22pm

Wed August 12, 2015
Shots - Health News

'Defunding' Planned Parenthood Is Easier Promised Than Done

Originally published on Wed August 12, 2015 6:08 pm

The undercover videos purporting to show officials of Planned Parenthood bargaining over the sale of fetal tissue have made the promise to defund the organization one of the most popular refrains of Republicans running for president.

It's actually a much easier promise to make than to fulfill. But that's not slowing down the candidates.

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2:04pm

Wed August 12, 2015
Science

Octopus Genome Offers Insights Into One Of Ocean's Cleverest Oddballs

Originally published on Wed August 12, 2015 7:26 pm

A juvenile California two-spot octopus (Octopus bimaculoides).
Michael LaBarbera/Nature

Scientists have just sequenced the first genome of an octopus, and it was no trivial task.

"The octopus has a very large genome. It's nearly the size of the human genome," says Carrie Albertin, a biologist at the University of Chicago.

As technology to sequence DNA has gotten faster and cheaper, scientists have unraveled the genes of all kinds of creatures. But until now, no one had done an octopus — despite its obvious appeal as one of the weirdest animals on Earth.

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1:50pm

Wed August 12, 2015
Shots - Health News

Not Everybody Likes Kissing

Originally published on Thu August 13, 2015 2:29 pm

The music swells. On-screen, the two main characters' eyes meet. They lean in, and — slowly! — their lips gently press in a romantic kiss. All the teenage girls in the audience exhale audibly.

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1:24pm

Wed August 12, 2015
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Q&A: 'Unity' Director Discusses Humanity's Future

Originally published on Wed August 12, 2015 4:21 pm

Super Typhoon Maysak, as seen from the International Space Station on March 31.
ESA/NASA/Samantha Cristoforetti

A couple weeks ago, I wrote a 13.7 post about the documentary Unity, written and directed by Shaun Monson, which opened Wednesday for a one-day screening in more than 1,000 theaters around the world.

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12:45pm

Wed August 12, 2015
The Salt

Dining Like Darwin: When Scientists Swallow Their Subjects

Originally published on Fri August 14, 2015 10:40 am

Scientists who eat the plants and animals they study are following in the tradition of Charles Darwin. During the voyage of The Beagle, he ate puma ("remarkably like veal in taste"), iguanas, giant tortoises, armadillos. He even accidentally ate part of a bird called a lesser rhea, after spending months trying to catch it so that he could describe the species.
Benjamin Arthur for NPR

Scientists are a driven bunch, dedicated and passionate about understanding the inner workings of the world. You must be focused, willing to work strange hours in every kind of weather. Willing to go beyond the known and be constantly inspired by your curiosity.

It takes guts to be a scientist. And a strong stomach doesn't hurt, either.

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6:35am

Wed August 12, 2015
Research News

Archeologist Believes He's Found Egyptian Queen Nefertiti's Tomb

Originally published on Wed August 12, 2015 8:02 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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6:08am

Wed August 12, 2015
Animals

Before Humans Showed Up, Huge Animals Were The Norm

Originally published on Wed August 12, 2015 7:57 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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5:03am

Wed August 12, 2015
Shots - Health News

Whistleblower Says Medicare Advantage Plans Padded Charges In Home Visits

Originally published on Wed August 12, 2015 1:15 pm

A whistleblower case in Texas accuses a medical consulting firm and more than two dozen health plans for the elderly of ripping off Medicare by conducting in-home patient exams that allegedly overstated how much the plans should be paid.

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5:03am

Wed August 12, 2015
Science

12 Ancient Giants: An Ode To The Enormous And Extinct

Josephoartigasia was a cow-size rodent that lived 3 million years ago.
Mary McLain NPR's Skunk Bear

In the history of life on Earth, evolutionary forces have pushed some species to become incredibly large. After most dinosaurs died off 66 million years ago, some mammals and marsupials grew bigger and bigger, taking the dinos' place.

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6:41pm

Tue August 11, 2015
The Two-Way

LA Rolls Out Water-Saving 'Shade Balls'

Originally published on Wed August 12, 2015 7:08 am

In this photo, obtained from ABC7 News in Los Angeles, the shade balls are released into the reservoir.
ABC7 Los Angeles

Today, "shade balls" got their moment in the sun.

On Monday afternoon, the 20,000 black plastic balls tumbled down the slopes of Los Angeles Reservoir, joining 95,980,000 of their brethren already covering the surface of the water.

The final deployment of these shade balls was the last step in a $34.5 million water quality protection project aimed at preventing evaporation and algae growth in the reservoir.

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