Science

1:21pm

Wed January 14, 2015
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Capturing Changes In The Way We Connect

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 4:13 pm

Courtesy of Jacob F. Lucas

After reading a recent post of mine focusing on whether we should be living our lives, or capturing them, photographer Jacob F. Lucas got in touch. He recently put together a book called Commute Culture that addresses this same topic through pictures.

I decided to find out what inspired him to delve into this subject matter. Here are some highlights from our discussion:

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4:30pm

Tue January 13, 2015
The Salt

GMO Potatoes Have Arrived. But Will Anyone Buy Them?

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 2:43 pm

After a turn in the tumbling machine, these conventional russet Burbank potatoes are starting to show signs of bruising. New GMO potatoes called Innate russet Burbanks have been bred not to bruise as easily as these.
Dan Charles NPR

On the face of it, the new potato varieties called "Innate" seem attractive. If you peel the brown skin off their white flesh, you won't find many unsightly black spots. And when you fry them, you'll probably get a much smaller dose of a potentially harmful chemical.

But here's the catch: Some of the biggest potato buyers in the country, such as Frito-Lay and McDonald's, seem afraid to touch these potatoes. Others don't even want to talk about them because they are genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

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4:16pm

Tue January 13, 2015
Space

Stars Shine Bright In Ireland's Dark Sky Reserve

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 6:45 pm

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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1:00pm

Tue January 13, 2015
Shots - Health News

U.S. Funding of Health Research Stalls As Other Nations Rev Up

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 8:32 am

U.S. funding for medical research by source, 1994-2012. (Data were adjusted to 2012 dollars using the Biomedical Research and Development Price Index.)
American Medical Association

Though the United States is still leading the world in research related to diseases, it is rapidly losing its edge, according to an analysis in the American Medical Association's flagship journal JAMA.

If you look at biomedical research around the globe, the United States funded 57 percent of that work a decade ago. The U.S. share has since dropped to 44 percent, according to the study published online Tuesday.

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5:51am

Tue January 13, 2015
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

The Invisible World Has A Funky Fresh Beat

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 7:48 am

Nigel John Stanford/YouTube

How much do you think you are missing right now — in this very moment, as you sit reading these words? How much of the world's grace and power do you think is cascading around you unseen like a swift, invisible river?

Most of it.

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3:33am

Tue January 13, 2015
Animals

Good News For Bats! Things Are Looking Up For Stemming Disease Spread

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 8:01 am

This October 2008 photo, provided by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, shows a brown bat with its nose crusted in fungus.
Ryan von Linden AP

The bat disease known as white-nose syndrome has been spreading fast, killing millions of animals. But for the first time, scientists are seeing hopeful signs that some bat colonies are recovering and new breakthroughs could help researchers develop better strategies for helping bats survive.

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8:19pm

Mon January 12, 2015
The Two-Way

3 Kings Holiday Cake Laced With Synthetic Drugs Makes Dozens Hallucinate

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 3:18 pm

Synthetic drugs, gathered in evidence bags, sit on a white counter.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Updated at 3:18 p.m. on Jan. 13.

Last week Southern California Public Radio reported that dozens of people became ill from a Rosca de Reyes, a Three Kings Day bread that is traditional in various Hispanic communities. The sick patrons of Cholula's Bakery in Santa Ana, Calif., and its retail outlets complained of heart palpitations and hallucinations.

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10:46am

Mon January 12, 2015
Shots - Health News

Your Online Avatar May Reveal More About You Than You'd Think

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 10:49 am

iStockphoto

My Nintendo Wii character, my Mii, looks a lot like me. She has the same haircut, the same skin tone and even the same eyebrow shape. And while my Mii plays tennis slightly better than I do, I designed her to be a real, virtual me (albeit with balls for hands).

But it turns out I might not have needed to mimic my appearance to let people know what I'm like.

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8:15am

Mon January 12, 2015
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Learning About The Human Mind, Magically

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 11:39 am

iStockphoto

Which is a better magic trick: turning a dove into a glass of milk, or a glass of milk into a dove? Turning a rose into a vase, or a vase into a rose?

For most people, the way these transformations go makes a big difference. In each case, they find the transformation from a nonliving object to a living thing more interesting — but why? Is it just more exciting to see a living thing appear than to have it vanish? Or is there something deeper at work?

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3:26am

Mon January 12, 2015
The Salt

Iowa's Largest City Sues Over Farm Fertilizer Runoff In Rivers

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 6:59 pm

The city of Des Moines, Iowa, sits on the Raccoon and Des Moines rivers. The city's water works says it will sue three neighboring counties for high nitrate levels in these waterways.
iStockphoto

Des Moines, Iowa, is confronting the farms that surround it over pollution in two rivers that supply the city with drinking water. Des Moines Water Works says it will sue three neighboring counties for high nitrate levels in the Raccoon and Des Moines rivers. It's a novel attempt to control fertilizer runoff from farms, which has been largely unregulated.

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