Science

5:58pm

Wed May 13, 2015
Shots - Health News

Smokers More Likely To Quit If Their Own Cash Is On The Line

Originally published on Thu May 14, 2015 3:25 pm

A new study finds that employer-based programs to help people stop smoking would work better if they tapped into highly motivating feelings — such as the fear of losing money.

This conclusion flows from a study involving the employees of CVS/Caremark. Some workers got postcards asking them if they wanted a cash reward to quit smoking. One card ended up in the hands of Camelia Escarcega in Rialto, Calif., whose sister works for CVS.

Read more

5:42pm

Wed May 13, 2015
Environment

Santa Fe Cuts Water Consumption By Imposing Tiered Pricing Model

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 6:56 pm

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Now, to another city that's grown in population, but at the same time, has managed to cut its total water consumption, Santa Fe, N.M. We're going to find out how they've done that from Santa Fe's mayor, Javier Gonzalez. Welcome to the program.

Read more

4:33pm

Wed May 13, 2015
Around the Nation

California Builders Prepare For Future Water Needs As Population Grows

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 6:56 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Read more

3:19pm

Wed May 13, 2015
Shots - Health News

Why Would A Fish Make Its Own Sunscreen?

Originally published on Thu May 14, 2015 3:25 pm

The lowly zebra fish can make its own sunscreen.
Marrabbio2 Wikimedia Commons

Creatures that venture out into the daylight can be damaged by the sun's ultraviolet rays. Humans produce melanin, a dark pigment, to help protect our skin. And now many of us slather on sunscreen, too.

Bacteria, algae and fungi make their own chemicals that sop up UV rays. And there's one called gadusol that's been found in fish and their eggs.

Read more

2:29pm

Wed May 13, 2015
The Salt

How To Feed A Numbat: Zoo Cookery Aids Endangered Species

Originally published on Mon May 18, 2015 2:01 pm

Peter Mawson, director of animal health and research at the Perth Zoo in Australia, shows off a Western Swamp Tortoise in the zoo's breeding area (where visitors are not allowed). Like numbats, these tortoises are critically endangered and Mawson and his team are working to breed them in captivity for release back into the wild.
Sujata Gupta for NPR

To make the New Numbat Artificial Diet, mix together powdered cat chow, hen's eggs and water. Cook on low heat for 10 minutes and cool. Add calcium carbonate, a vitamin-mineral supplement, cellulose powder, fish oil, Vitamin B12 and crushed termite mound.

Read more

12:43pm

Wed May 13, 2015
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Merging Global Values In A More Secular America

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 4:54 pm

The percentage of Americans affiliated with a religion is declining, according to a new study.
iStockphoto

We have an African-American president and may soon have a female president. But would Americans ever elect an atheist or agnostic president?

Perhaps in a decade or so.

A new Pew Research Center survey, dramatically titled "America's Changing Religious Landscape," has painted a somewhat surprising picture of the decline of Christians as a share of the population since 2007, contrasted with the rise of those claiming to be unaffiliated to any particular religion.

Read more

7:32pm

Tue May 12, 2015
The Two-Way

How Bird Beaks Got Their Start As Dinosaur Snouts

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 12:01 pm

The skull of a chicken embryo (left) has a recognizable beak. But when scientists block the expression of two particular genes, the embryo develops a rounded "snout" (center) that looks something like an alligator's skull (right).
Bhart-Anjan S. Bhullar

Scientists say they have reversed a bit of bird evolution in the lab and re-created a dinosaurlike snout in developing chickens.

"In this work, we can clearly see a comeback of the characteristics which we see in some of the first birds," says Arhat Abzhanov, an evolutionary biologist at Harvard University.

Read more

1:14pm

Tue May 12, 2015
Shots - Health News

Seasons May Tweak Genes That Trigger Some Chronic Diseases

Originally published on Thu May 14, 2015 3:26 pm

The seasons appear to influence when certain genes are active, with those associated with inflammation being more active in the winter, according to new research released Tuesday.

Read more

6:01am

Tue May 12, 2015
Research News

What Might Make Young People Practice Safe Sex? Lottery Tickets!

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 9:13 am

In a study in Lesotho, the prospect of earning a cash prize in a lottery motivated young people to practice safe sex.
iStockphoto

Let's say you're a young person, around 30 years old. And you're the kind of person who likes to take risks. So maybe you're taking risks in your sexual relationships. You're not practicing safe sex.

What would make you change your behavior?

That's a question that's long been pondered by public health officials. And now new research from a World Bank-funded team in Lesotho, a tiny country in southern Africa, has produced a surprising answer.

Lottery tickets!

Read more

5:36am

Tue May 12, 2015
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Climate Denialists In Congress Acting As NASA's Kryptonite

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 10:41 am

The Gulf of Aden and the Horn of Africa as seen from the International Space Station.
Samantha Cristoforetti NASA/ESA

Quick: List the first four words that pop into your mind when you hear NASA.

If you are like most folks, you hit some mix of astronauts, moon landings, space telescopes and Mars probes. Those are pretty positive images representing accomplishments we can all feel proud about.

Read more

Pages