Science

6:34pm

Wed April 1, 2015
Shots - Health News

Germanwings Crash Highlights Workplace Approaches To Mental Health

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 2:12 pm

When it comes to an employee's mental health status, what does an employer need to know, or have a right to know?
iStockphoto

The horrifying crash last week of the Germanwings flight operated by Lufthansa has put a spotlight on what the airline knew — and what it should, or could have done — about its pilot's mental health.

Lufthansa could face unlimited liability, after the pilot allegedly brought the plane down deliberately. Here in the U.S., employment experts say monitoring employees' mental health status raises a thicket of complicated issues.

Read more

3:41pm

Wed April 1, 2015
Goats and Soda

A Virus In Your Mouth Helps Fight The Flu

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 6:07 pm

Hanna Barczyk for NPR

Hidden inside all of us are likely thousands of viruses — maybe more. They just hang out, harmlessly. We don't even know they're there.

But every once in a while, one of these viral inhabitants might help us out.

Young people infected with a type of herpes virus have a better immune response to the flu vaccine than those not infected, scientists at Stanford University report Wednesday. In mice, the virus directly stops influenza itself.

Read more

10:56am

Wed April 1, 2015

3:53am

Wed April 1, 2015
Shots - Health News

Tobacco Firm Seeks Softer Warning For Cigarette Alternative

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 5:50 pm

Will this maker of snus, an alternative to cigarettes, be allowed to claim it is less harmful?
Swedish Match

The Food and Drug Administration is weighing whether to allow a tobacco company to do something it's never done before — claim that one of its products is less risky than cigarettes.

The company, Swedish Match of Stockholm, has applied to the FDA to designate its General brand of snus (rhymes with "loose") as safer than other versions of tobacco.

Read more

3:30am

Wed April 1, 2015
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Van Gogh's Turbulent Mind Captured Turbulence

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 6:16 pm

This week marked Vincent van Gogh's 162nd birthday. The always-illuminating Maria Popova celebrated in her Brainpickings newsletter by bringing back studies linking van Gogh's celebrated 1889 painting The Starry Night -- where light and clouds flow in turbulent swirls on the night sky — with studies of turbulence in fluid flows.

How this works is one of the hardest questions in modern physics.

Read more

2:36pm

Tue March 31, 2015
Shots - Health News

Hackers Teach Computers To Tell Healthy And Sick Brain Cells Apart

Originally published on Wed April 8, 2015 11:17 am

The Allen Institute for Brain Science hosted its first BigNeuron Hackathon in Beijing earlier this month. Similar events are planned for the U.S. and U.K.
Courtesy of Allen Institute for Brain Science

Brain researchers are joining forces with computer hackers to tackle a big challenge in neuroscience: teaching computers how to tell a healthy neuron from a sick one.

Read more

11:52am

Tue March 31, 2015
The Two-Way

U.S. Promises To Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions Up To 28 Percent By 2025

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 7:57 pm

President Obama, seen here inspecting solar panels on the roof of the Department of Energy, has submitted a U.S. pledge to reduce greenhouse gases.
Kevin Lamarque Reuters/Landov

The Obama administration is pledging that the U.S. will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent of 2005 levels over the next 10 years. The new target was submitted today to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Read more

11:19am

Tue March 31, 2015
Shots - Health News

Meet The Bacteria That Make A Stink In Your Pits

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 5:51 pm

While you're resting, your armpit bacteria are hard at work pumping out stinky thioalcohols.
iStockphoto

The human armpit has a lot to offer bacteria. It's moist, it's warm, and it's usually dark.

But when the bacteria show up, they can make a stink. That's because when some kinds of bacteria encounter sweat they produce smelly compounds, transforming the armpit from a neutral oasis to the mothership of body odor. And one group of bacteria is to blame for the stink, researchers say.

Read more

9:09am

Tue March 31, 2015
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

How Many Stars Are There?

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 10:33 am

A view of the bright star cluster NGC 3532 from La Silla Observatory in Chile.
G. Beccari ESO

The night sky carries the weight of many meanings for humanity. It's the home of the gods (or God). It's the essence of distance. It's the embodiment of infinities.

Read more

4:59am

Tue March 31, 2015
National Security

After Snowden, The NSA Faces Recruitment Challenge

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 10:16 am

Daniel Swann is exactly the type of person the National Security Agency would love to have working for it. The 22-year-old is a fourth-year concurrent bachelor's-master's student at Johns Hopkins University with a bright future in cybersecurity.

And growing up in Annapolis, Md., not far from the NSA's headquarters, Swann thought he might work at the agency, which intercepts phone calls, emails and other so-called "signals intelligence" from U.S. adversaries.

Read more

Pages