Fri March 21, 2014
The Salt

Why 500 Million U.S. Seafood Meals Get Dumped In The Sea

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 3:04 pm

A marlin caught as bycatch by the California drift gillnet fishery. The conservation group Oceana called the fishery one of the "dirtiest" in the U.S. because of its high rate of discarded fish and other marine animals.
Courtesy of NOAA

Seafood often travels huge distances over many days to reach the people who eat it. And it's often impossible to know where a fillet of fish or a few frozen shrimp came from — and, perhaps more importantly, just how they were caught.

Fortunately, activists are doing the homework for us, and what they're telling us could make your next fish dinner a little less tasty.

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Fri March 21, 2014
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Digging Into The Roots Of Gender Differences

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 10:36 am

Olga Solovei iStockphoto

Why do little boys tend to behave differently from little girls? Why do boys and girls play differently, for instance, choosing different toys as their favorites?

Ask these questions and you invite a firestorm — of more questions.

Is the premise behind these queries even accurate? Aren't our sons and daughters really more similar than different, after all? And when behavioral sex differences do occur, aren't parents who inflict sex-stereotypical expectations on their children largely responsible?

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Fri March 21, 2014
Krulwich Wonders...

What's The Biggest Animal Gathering Ever? (Was Rod Stewart There?)

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 10:08 am

Robert Krulwich NPR

It's a small moment in a sprawling Shakespeare play. Most people miss it. A nobleman named Mortimer has been locked up by the king, who decrees: Don't anyone say "Mortimer" in my royal presence. That name is forbidden. But one of Mortimer's allies has a plan. He wants to give the king a little bird, a starling.

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Fri March 21, 2014
Research News

Does Diversity On Research Team Improve Quality Of Science?

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 7:45 am

As science becomes more diverse, scientific collaborators are growing more diverse, too. New research exploring the effect of this change suggests the diversity of the teams that produce scientific research play a big role in how successful the science turns out to be.


Thu March 20, 2014
Shots - Health News

Never Mind Eyesight, Your Nose Knows Much More

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 8:14 am

Your schnoz deserves more respect.
epSos .de/Flickr

The human eye can distinguish more than 2 million distinct colors. But scientists studying smell now say they have their vision colleagues beat: The human nose, they say, can distinguish more than a trillion different smells.

Yes, trillion with a T.

That new figure displaces a much more modest estimate. Until now, smell researchers have been saying the human nose can distinguish about 10,000 smells.

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Thu March 20, 2014

This Freeloading Bird Brings Help — And The Help Smells Gross

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 6:20 pm



From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.


And I'm Audie Cornish.

The great spotted cuckoo is a sneaky bird. It lays its eggs in the nests of other species such as crows. Baby cuckoos grow up side by side with the crows that belong in that nest, gobbling up food and the parents' attention. You'd think that this would be a bad thing for those crows. But as NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce reports, this kind of freeloading can sometimes be helpful.

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Thu March 20, 2014
The Salt

French-Fry Conspiracy: Genes Can Make Fried Foods More Fattening

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 1:11 pm

Oh, these look good! But how much the fries hurt your waistline depends not only on how many you eat but also your DNA.
angela n./Flickr

When it comes to fried foods, sometimes I feel cursed.

My husband can eat as many spicy, crispy chicken sandwiches as he wants and never gain a pound. But for me, just smelling the chicken fryer seems to expand my waistline.

Now doctors at the Harvard School of Public Health show what we've all suspected: Some people do indeed pay a higher price for indulging in French fries and Tater Tots. And we have Mom and Dad to blame for it.

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Thu March 20, 2014
Code Switch

Digging For Gold: Study Says Your Race Determines Your Earwax Scent

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 8:40 am

Didn't your doctor tell you never to stick Q-tips in your ear? Who follows that rule, anyway?

I'm not sure what type of situation would lead you to compare your earwax with anybody else's earwax. (Because, gross.) But researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center have found that the smell of ear gold varies by race. The volatile organic compounds in earwax — call it cerumen, if you're in a scientific mood — can contain key information about your body and your environment.

So Why Did The Researchers Start Digging?

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Thu March 20, 2014

The 500-Pound 'Chicken From Hell' Likely Ate Whatever It Wanted

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 4:07 pm

Courtesy of Bob Walters

For the past decade, dinosaur scientists have been puzzling over a set of fossil bones they variously describe as weird and bizarre. Now they've figured out what animal they belonged to: a bird-like creature they're calling "the chicken from hell."

There are two reasons for the name.

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Thu March 20, 2014

Einstein's Lost Theory Discovered ... And It's Wrong

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 11:19 am

It's OK, kids. Even Albert Einstein sometimes made math mistakes.
Harris & Ewing Library of Congress

Earlier this week, physicists announced they'd seen evidence of ripples in the fabric of space and time from just moments after the Big Bang. Such ripples were predicted almost a century ago by Albert Einstein.

Einstein's theory of relativity is arguably the 20th century's greatest idea. But not everything he did was right: Some newly uncovered work from the brilliant physicist was wrong. Really, really wrong.

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