Science

1:14pm

Wed April 2, 2014
The Two-Way

A State Fossil For S. Carolina Faces Mammoth Obstacle

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 5:27 pm

A fossil of a Columbian Mammoth in the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles.
Wikimedia Commons

The Columbian mammoth is facing extinction as South Carolina's proposed state fossil unless the elephant-sized Ice Age mammal can survive the efforts of creationist lawmakers.

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12:21pm

Wed April 2, 2014
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

What Universe Is This, Anyway?

Observing the multitude of galaxies in our own universe is a piece of cake. Observing the multiverse, if such a thing exists, seems impossible. Above, the Milky Way rises above the ESO's ALMA observatory in Chile.
Y.Beletsky ESO

Let's take a walk on the wild side and assume, for the sake of argument, that our universe is not the only one; let's say there are many others, possibly infinitely many, "out there." The totality of this bizarre ensemble is what cosmologists call the "multiverse," a hypothesis that sounds more mythic than scientific, a conceptual troublemaker that inspires some and outrages others.

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11:23am

Wed April 2, 2014
Shots - Health News

Ethicists Tell NASA How To Weigh Hazards Of Space Travel

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 7:55 am

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Aki Hoshide makes a space walk outside the International Space Station in 2012.
NASA Getty Images

NASA is hoping to soon venture out farther into space than ever before. But these long journeys mean astronauts could face greater risks to their physical and mental health than the space agency currently allows.

Now, an independent group of experts convened by the Institute of Medicine, the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, has weighed in on how NASA should make decisions about the kinds of risks that are acceptable for missions that venture outside low Earth orbit or extend beyond 30 days.

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3:55am

Wed April 2, 2014
Parallels

So You Think You're Smarter Than A CIA Agent

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 1:04 pm

A group of 3,000 ordinary citizens, armed with nothing more than an Internet connection, is often making better forecasts of global events than CIA analysts. Here, a man crosses the CIA logo at its headquarters in Langley, Va.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

The morning I met Elaine Rich, she was sitting at the kitchen table of her small town home in suburban Maryland trying to estimate refugee flows in Syria.

It wasn't the only question she was considering; there were others:

Will North Korea launch a new multistage missile before May 10, 2014?

Will Russian armed forces enter Kharkiv, Ukraine, by May 10? Rich's answers to these questions would eventually be evaluated by the intelligence community, but she didn't feel much pressure because this wasn't her full-time gig.

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3:55am

Wed April 2, 2014
Paying For College

Changing The Face Of Astronomy Research

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 1:04 pm

Students from CUNY's AstroCom NYC program meet for a weekly class at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Dennis Robbins, an associate professor of science education at CUNY's Hunter College, teaches Betsy Hernandez (from left), Jaquelin Erazo, Ariel Diaz and Mario Martin.
Beth Fertig WNYC

Shooting for the stars is expensive.

Advanced sciences like astronomy require years of study and graduate degrees. And the soaring cost of college can be a heavy obstacle for low-income and minority students hoping to break into those fields.

A program at the City University of New York hopes to lift that burden by providing scholarships and one-on-one mentoring to underrepresented students.

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1:45pm

Tue April 1, 2014
Krulwich Wonders...

The List Of Animals Who Can Truly, Really Dance Is Very Short. Who's On It?

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 3:05 pm

Courtesy of Irena Schulz/ Bird Lovers Only

1:25pm

Tue April 1, 2014
Shots - Health News

Fraud Found In Study Claiming Fast, Easy Stem Cells

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 8:04 am

Ryoji Noyori, a Nobel Prize-winning chemist and president of Japan's prestigious RIKEN research institute, bows at a news conference in Tokyo Tuesday to apologize for the scientific misconduct of a RIKEN colleague.
Eugene Hoshiko AP

What is it with stem cell research? Despite solid science from many corners, the scandals never seem to stop. In this case, after a lofty international announcement in January, it only took about two months for the other shoe to drop.

A scientific committee in Japan said Tuesday that the lead author of a recent "breakthrough study" fabricated data and is guilty of scientific misconduct.

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11:50am

Tue April 1, 2014
Shots - Health News

Becoming More Popular Doesn't Protect Teens From Bullying

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 8:01 am

Cady Heron (played by Lindsay Lohan, left) found out the hard way that moving up into the A-list clique doesn't protect you in the movie Mean Girls.
The Kobal Collection

Movies like Mean Girls have told us that the popular crowd rules, and the nerds and nonconformists get picked on.

But even the top rungs of high school social ladder aren't immune to bullying, researchers say. Becoming more popular can actually increase a teen's risk of getting bullied rather than making them immune to attack.

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7:00am

Tue April 1, 2014
Research News

Methane-Producing Microbes Caused 'The Great Dying'

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 8:23 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning. The biggest extinction the Earth has ever seen took place 250 million years ago and it remains something of a mystery. Scientists suspected giant volcanoes or perhaps an asteroid caused it, but NPR's Christopher Joyce has seen new research suggesting the cause might not have been so cataclysmic - maybe something much more subtle.

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5:22pm

Mon March 31, 2014
Shots - Health News

How Your Face Shows Happy Disgust

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 3:31 pm

Can you name the 10 emotions conveyed above? The first six are basic emotions. The last four are complex emotions that combine two of the basic ones. (Check at the bottom for the answers.)
Courtesy of Aleix M. Martinez

We smile when we're happy. But how does a face strike the proper look to show, say, happy surprise? Or happy disgust, like when you're laughing at a really gross joke?

A new report, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that we instinctively mix and match actions from the six basic emotions to stitch together more subtle expressions.

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