Tue July 15, 2014
Shots - Health News

What's Going On In There? How Babies' Brains Practice Speech

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 8:08 am

The magnetoencephalograph can record electrical signals from a baby's brain without requiring the child to be perfectly still.
University of Washington

A baby's first words may seem spur of the moment, but really, the little ones have practiced their "Mamas" and "Dadas" for months in their minds.

Using what looks like a hair dryer from Mars, researchers from the University of Washington have taken the most precise peeks yet into the fireworks display of neural activity that occurs when infants listen to people speak.

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Tue July 15, 2014
The Salt

Captain Ahab's Revenge: Brewing Beer From An Ancient Whale Bone

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 5:54 pm

Jasper Akerboom of the Lost Rhino Brewing Co. in Ashburn, Va., tested a dozen yeasts before finding one that was perfect for making bone beer.
Ryan Kellman NPR

What happens when an amateur paleontologist with a love for beer teams up with a microbiologist? Bone beer, or beer made from yeast scraped from a 35-million-year-old whale fossil, to be precise.

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Tue July 15, 2014
The Salt

Calorie Counting Machine May Make Dieting Easier In The Future

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 12:51 pm

A model of General Electric's automatic calorie counter, fitted over a plate of food.
Courtesy of GE

Part of losing weight boils down to making tweaks to the simple equation of calories in versus calories out.

Americans spend over $60 billion a year on diet and weight loss products, according to market research, but the weight often comes right back. That may be because it's such a hassle to count calories — tracking everything you order or cook at home.

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Tue July 15, 2014
Research News

Why Smartphone Breaks At Work Aren't Such A Bad Idea

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 9:00 am

A little bit of this at work might make for more productive employees.

In that cubicle by the water cooler you see him: your employee, on your dime, tilted back in that pricey Herman Miller chair, his personal smartphone in hand. Judging by the furrowed brow, you'd guess it's a hot game of Words With Friends.

Which do you do?

1. Chastise him.
2. Ignore him.
3. Give him a smile and a thumbs-up, and suggest he keep playing.

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Tue July 15, 2014
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Watch And Learn: Wave-Particle Quantum Weirdness

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 2:51 pm

Anthia Cumming iStockphoto


Tue July 15, 2014

Underwater Meadows Might Serve As Antacid For Acid Seas

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 12:45 pm

UC Santa Barbara's Jay Lunden and Andrew Brinkman, a summer intern for NOAA, prepare to deploy an instrument that measures temperature and salinity throughout the water column, and collects water samples.
Umihiko Hoshijima UCSB

The world's oceans are changing — chemically changing. As people put more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the oceans absorb more of it, and that's making the water more acidic.

The effects are subtle in most places, but scientists say that if this continues, it could be a disaster for marine life.

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Tue July 15, 2014
Shots - Health News

When Work Becomes A Haven From Stress At Home

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 11:13 am

Lucinda Schreiber for NPR

In the land that came up with the phrase "Thank God it's Friday," and a restaurant chain to capitalize on the sense of relief many feel as the work week ends, researchers made an unusual finding in 2012.

Moms who worked full time reported significantly better physical and mental health than moms who worked part time, research involving more than 2,500 mothers found. And mothers who worked part time reported better health than moms who didn't work at all.

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Mon July 14, 2014
Shots - Health News

This Is Your Stressed-Out Brain On Scarcity

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 6:24 pm

Josh Neufeld for NPR

Being poor is stressful. That's no big surprise.

In a poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, 1 in 3 people making less than $20,000 a year said they'd experienced "a great deal of stress" in the previous month. And of those very stressed-out people, 70 percent said that money problems were to blame.

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Mon July 14, 2014
Shots - Health News

Do We Choose Our Friends Because They Share Our Genes?

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 11:15 am

People often talk about how their friends feel like family. Well, there's some new research out that suggests there's more to that than just a feeling. People appear to be more like their friends genetically than they are to strangers, the research found.

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Mon July 14, 2014
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Sex, Death And Evolution ... Nursery Rhyme Style

Courtesy of Tom Griffiths