Science

5:20pm

Wed August 5, 2015
The Salt

Green Pie In The Sky? Vertical Farming Is On The Rise In Newark

Originally published on Wed August 5, 2015 8:05 pm

AeroFarms grows greens under intense LED grow lights, while their roots are bathed in a nutrient-rich mist.
Courtesy of AeroFarms

From the outside, the AeroFarms headquarters looks like any other rundown building in downtown Newark, N.J. It used to be a store, and more recently a nightclub. Now it's a test farm.

"My favorite is the mustard green that's called a Ruby Streak, which is this leaf right here," says AeroFarms CEO David Rosenberg, sampling some of the company's greens. "And my second favorite is cress, watercress, which is this guy right here."

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4:18pm

Wed August 5, 2015
Shots - Health News

Sharing Art Helps Medical Students Connect With Dementia Patients

Originally published on Wed August 5, 2015 8:17 pm

A New York study found that getting medical students together with dementia patients and their families at museums to view, discuss and create art for 90 minutes made the students better communicators.
Colin Hawkins Getty Images

Hannah Roberts was a first-year-medical student at Columbia University College of Physicians in 2013 when she noticed her classmates were having an especially tough time relating to dementia patients.

"There's a misconception that dementia patients are like toddlers in a way," Roberts says. Many medical students, she says, "are intimidated at the challenge of having to get accurate histories and establish a connection with someone who has a limited ability to communicate."

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1:28pm

Wed August 5, 2015
The Salt

Why You Shouldn't Take Your Milk's 3-Week Shelf Life For Granted

Originally published on Thu August 6, 2015 3:58 pm

Even with the three-week shelf life in the U.S., plenty of milk goes to waste here.
iStockphoto

Buy a jug of milk in the U.S. and, as long as it's in the fridge, you shouldn't have to worry about it spoiling for about three weeks.

That's quite a luxury. Because it's not the case in many other parts of the world where fresh milk has a much shorter shelf life.

Milk is highly perishable — a few hours out of the cow at room temperature, and bacteria, some of which cause disease, start to flourish.

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5:34pm

Tue August 4, 2015
The Salt

Judge Strikes Down Idaho 'Ag-Gag' Law, Raising Questions For Other States

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 8:25 pm

Laws in Montana, Utah, North Dakota, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and North Carolina have also made it illegal for activists to smuggle cameras into industrial animal operations.
iStockphoto

Idaho's so-called "ag-gag" law, which outlawed undercover investigations of farming operations, is no more. A judge in the federal District Court for Idaho decided Monday that it was unconstitutional, citing First Amendment protections for free speech.

But what about the handful of other states with similar laws on the books?

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4:29pm

Tue August 4, 2015
Energy

When Relying On The Sun, Energy Storage Remains Out Of Reach

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 8:02 pm

Jim and Lyn Schneider installed solar panels and batteries because bringing grid power to their house in central Wyoming was going to cost around $80,000.
Leigh Paterson Wyoming Public Radio

The ability to store energy could revolutionize the way we make and use electricity. But for many utility companies and regular folks, energy storage is still way out of reach. It's expensive — sometimes more expensive than building out old-fashioned infrastructure like power lines and power plants.

For people like Jim and Lyn Schneider, their decision to invest in battery storage came four years ago when they moved to central Wyoming.

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2:00pm

Tue August 4, 2015
Shots - Health News

Straighten Your Hair Without Frying It? Engineers Are On The Case

Originally published on Wed August 5, 2015 9:51 am

It's the heat that straightens the hair. But too much, and hair can be permanently limp, or burned.
iStockphoto

Heated tools like flat irons can make hair waterfall straight. But there's always that worry of burning the hair, or yourself.

That can make hair-straightening a miserable process, as Marita Golden wrote in her essay "My Black Hair":

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12:13pm

Tue August 4, 2015
Shots - Health News

Women, There's A Reason Why You're Shivering In The Office

Originally published on Wed August 5, 2015 1:11 pm

It may be August, but in the office it feels like January. And there's a mysterious man to blame.
Neil Webb Getty Images/Ikon Images

He was probably about 40 years old, 155 pounds, white and wearing a suit. And he's the reason why women are shivering at their desks in air-conditioned buildings.

At some point in the 1930s, someone defined "metabolic equivalents" — how much energy a body requires while sitting, walking and running. Almost a century later, the back-of-the-envelope calculations are considered a standard for many things, including air conditioning.

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10:33am

Tue August 4, 2015
Goats and Soda

In The Fight Against Tsetse Flies, Blue Is The New Black

If you were a tsetse fly, you would be irresistibly attracted to these blue flags.
Courtesy of J.Esterhuizen/LSTM Tsetse Project

Walk along one of the many streams and rivers in the West Nile region of Uganda, and you'll notice something funny. All along the riverbanks, you'll see small pieces of blue cloth, attached to wooden stakes in the ground. There's one every 50 yards or so.

No, this isn't some half-baked public art project. These dinky contraptions are actually flytraps, designed to lure and kill tsetse flies, whose bites transmit a parasitic disease called sleeping sickness, which, like rabies, drives victims mad before it kills them.

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8:03am

Tue August 4, 2015
Code Switch

So You Flunked A Racism Test. Now What?

Originally published on Wed August 5, 2015 9:51 am

Mary McLain NPR

You're probably at least a little bit racist and sexist and homophobic. Most of us are.

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7:08am

Tue August 4, 2015
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

The Epic Battle Of Science Vs. Malarkey

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 3:10 pm

Science does a lot of things for us. It creates astonishing technologies transforming our lives for the better. It reveals unseen dimensions of wonder, from the grandeur of spinning galaxies to the marvels of microscopic cells.

But for all that wonder and all those game-changing technologies, sometimes science just turns out to be the best way to call "BS."

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