Science

5:31am

Sat May 16, 2015
Joe's Big Idea

'Playing Around With Telescopes' To Explore Secrets Of The Universe

Originally published on Mon May 18, 2015 12:26 pm

The 200-inch Hale Telescope, a masterpiece of engineering at Caltech's Palomar Observatory, was the world's largest telescope until 1993.
Scott Kardel/Palomar Observatory Courtesy of Palomar Observatory/California Institute of Technology

Shrinivas Kulkarni, an astronomy and planetary science professor at the California Institute of Technology, is a serious astronomer. But not too serious.

"We astronomers are supposed to say, 'We wonder about the stars and we really want to think about it,' " says Kulkarni — in other words, think deep thoughts. But he says that's not really the way it is.

"Many scientists, I think, secretly are what I call 'boys with toys,' " he says. "I really like playing around with telescopes. It's just not fashionable to admit it."

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5:19pm

Fri May 15, 2015
Energy

'Not On My Land': Southern Residents Fight Building Of Palmetto Pipeline

Originally published on Fri May 15, 2015 6:58 pm

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

5:19pm

Fri May 15, 2015
Science

Beekeepers Reported Losing 42 Percent Of Honeybee Colonies Last Summer

Originally published on Fri May 15, 2015 6:58 pm

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

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5:19pm

Fri May 15, 2015
Energy

In Arctic Drilling Debate, A Dispute Over Cleanup Preparedness

Originally published on Mon May 18, 2015 9:12 pm

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

Transcript

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5:04pm

Fri May 15, 2015
The Two-Way

First In Fish: 'Fully Warmblooded' Moonfish Prowls The Deep Seas

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 3:12 pm

NOAA Fisheries biologist Nick Wegner holds an opah caught during a research survey off the California coast. Researchers say the opah is the first fish known to be fully warmblooded, circulating heated blood throughout its body.
NOAA Reuters/Landov

Over decades of studying the oceans' fishes, some species have been found to have partial warmbloodedness. But scientists say the opah, or moonfish, circulates heated blood — and puts it to a competitive advantage.

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4:20pm

Fri May 15, 2015
The Two-Way

Massive Antarctic Ice Shelf Will Be Gone Within Years, NASA Says

Originally published on Fri May 15, 2015 4:31 pm

A 2008 view of the leading edge of the Larsen B ice shelf, extending into the northwest part of the Weddell Sea. Huge, floating ice shelves that line the Antarctic coast help hold back sheets of ice that cover land.
Mariano Caravaca Reuters/Landov

In 2002, NASA released dramatic images that showed a portion of Antarctica's Larsen B ice shelf collapse and disappear. Now, the space agency says what's left of the massive feature will be gone before the end of the decade.

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2:16pm

Fri May 15, 2015
Goats and Soda

Why We Can Depend On The Kindness Of Strangers

Originally published on Fri May 15, 2015 5:48 pm

They hunt, they gather, they're equal! An elderly Agta couple in the Philippines was part of the study on how communities are formed.
Sylvain Viguier Courtesy of University College London

If this blog were Us magazine, we'd say: Hunter-gatherers, we're just like them.

Because seriously, we are.

Here's the story. Humans today live and work in communities with vast numbers of folks we're not related to.

And we often quite happily cooperate and share knowledge with strangers or mere acquaintances. These exchanges allow us to innovate and develop increasingly complex technologies.

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1:59pm

Fri May 15, 2015
The Salt

Bistro In Vitro: A Virtual Playground To Ponder The Future Of Meat

The bistro imagines the day when will be possible to culture "meat thread" made from long strands of muscle tissue. On a "special knitting machine," meat is thread into a steak.
Submarine Channel/Next Nature Network/Bistro In Vitro

Flowering meat that unfolds when plopped into hot broth, beef "yarn" that can be knitted directly onto your plate and fried nuggets made from the extinct dodo bird are just a few of the menu options at the Bistro In Vitro.

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5:04am

Fri May 15, 2015
Goats and Soda

What It Takes To Lift Families Out Of Poverty

Originally published on Sun May 17, 2015 3:00 pm

More than 1 million people in Peru earn less than the equivalent of about $450 each year.
Courtesy of Michael Rizzo/CGAP

Eighteen years ago, Dean Karlan was a fresh, bright-eyed graduate student in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He wanted to answer what seemed like a simple question:

"Does global aid work?" Karlan says.

He was reading a bunch of studies on the topic. But none of them actually answered the question. "We were tearing our hair out reading these papers because it was frustrating," he says. "[We] never really felt like the papers were really satisfactory."

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12:40pm

Thu May 14, 2015
The Two-Way

Why Do Most Galaxies Die? It's A Case Of Strangulation, Scientists Say

Originally published on Fri May 15, 2015 3:09 pm

The view of the universe known as the Hubble Deep Field, presented in 1996, shows classical spiral and elliptical shaped galaxies, as well as a variety of other galaxy shapes.
NASA AP

Scientists think they may finally be resolving a decades-old cold case as to what is killing galaxies: They're being strangled.

Astronomers have long known that galaxies fall into two main categories — those that spawn new stars (like our own Milky Way) and those that don't.

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