Science

10:57am

Mon January 27, 2014
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Must Science Murder Its Darlings?

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 11:56 am

iStockphoto

"The great tragedy of Science," wrote Thomas Henry Huxley, is "the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact."

Of course, part of what makes science so powerful is its very willingness to see its darlings go by the wayside. New facts come in, new ideas emerge and once-valued notions make their way from science texts to history books.

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3:33am

Mon January 27, 2014
Science

Grand Canyon May Be Older (And Younger) Than You Think

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 11:31 am

The eastern Grand Canyon was about half-carved (to the level of the red cliffs above the hiker) from 15 million to 25 million years ago, an analysis published Sunday suggests. But the inner gorge was likely scooped out by the Colorado River in just the past 6 million years.
Laura Crossey University of New Mexico

In recent years geologists have hotly debated the age of the Grand Canyon. Some think it's young (just 6 million years old), while others argue that it dates back 70 million years — to the days of dinosaurs.

Now one group says the Grand Canyon is neither young nor old. Instead, these geologists say, it's both.

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5:21pm

Sun January 26, 2014
Science

A Reading Teacher Who Lost The Ability To Read

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 6:53 pm

Alexia is a condition often associated with the occipital lobe — the part of the brain that receives visual information.
iStockphoto

Here's a medical mystery that begins with a kindergarten teacher. We're not using her full name to protect her medical privacy, so we'll call her M.

M. taught reading to 4 and 5-year-olds at a school outside Chicago, but two years ago something happened to her that changed her life: she lost the ability to read.

Her problems began a few days before Halloween. M. was helping out at a Halloween party put on by the local park district, selling tickets at the front desk.

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9:41am

Sun January 26, 2014
Space

Mars Rover Turns 3-Month Mission Into Decade Of Exploration

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 12:47 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Ten years ago, NASA's rover, optimistically named Opportunity, landed on Mars on what was to be a three-month mission. But Opportunity is still going strong today, still searching the Red Planet, sending data and images back to NASA. To celebrate Opportunity's decade of life, we called Jim Bell. He's an astronomer at Arizona State University. Welcome to the program.

JIM BELL: Great to be here.

MARTIN: So, take us back, Jim. What was Opportunity originally designed to do?

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5:05am

Sun January 26, 2014
The Salt

Pig Virus Continues To Spread, Raising Fears Of Pricier Bacon

Piglets at Hilldale Farm in State Center, Iowa in March 2013, just before porcine epidemic diarrhea began spreading through hog farms in the U.S.
Amy Mayer Harvest Public Media

Pork producers across the country are grappling with a virus that's going after piglets. Livestock economists estimate the porcine epidemic diarrhea, or PED, virus has already killed about 1 million baby pigs in the U.S. since it was first found in Iowa last spring.

Canada reported its first case Thursday, and the disease shows no sign of abating. That has veterinarians worried.

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5:04pm

Sat January 25, 2014
Science

Antarctic Discovery: A Massive Valley Under The Ice

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 8:58 am

Ross' campsite on the West Antarctic ice sheet. For weeks, researchers eat, sleep and analyze data in these tents.
Neil Ross Newcastle University

Not long ago, researchers found something amazing under the ice of West Antarctica: a valley deeper than the Grand Canyon, measuring about 2 miles deep, 15 miles across and nearly 200 miles long.

Neil Ross, lead author of the paper on the discovery, wasn't looking for the valley — he found it by accident.

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5:58pm

Fri January 24, 2014
The Two-Way

New Study Shakes Up Science On Midwest Quake Zone

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 7:44 am

Map showing seismic activity in the New Madrid Seismic Zone.
United States Geological Survey (USGS)

One of the biggest earthquakes in U.S. history didn't occur in California. Or Alaska. It happened in the country's midsection some 200 years ago in an area where today seven states straddle the Mississippi River Valley.

And seismologists from the United States Geological Survey believe they've uncovered evidence that the New Madrid Seismic Zone, as the area that spawned the 1811-12 quakes is known, is still alive and kicking.

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5:22pm

Fri January 24, 2014
Science

Not Gone, Just Sleeping: Earthquakes May Reawaken In Midwest

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 7:29 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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5:22pm

Fri January 24, 2014
Science

Tickety-Tock! An Even More Accurate Atomic Clock

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 10:24 pm

Computer networks and GPS systems are only possible because of the precision timekeeping of atomic clocks like the one above, says clockmaker and physicist Jun Ye.
Ye Group and Baxley/JILA

Scientists announced this week that they have created the most advanced clock in the world.

The clock, described this week in the journal Nature, is so precise that it would neither lose nor gain one second in about 5 billion years of continuous operation. That's pretty good, considering that the Earth itself is only around 4.5 billion years old.

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3:58pm

Fri January 24, 2014
The Salt

Can Mom's Pregnancy Diet Rewire Baby's Brain For Obesity?

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 7:07 pm

Choose wisely: What Mom eats during pregnancy can set the stage for obesity in her baby.
Meg Vogel NPR

Moms-to-be are often reminded that they're eating for two. It's tempting to take this as an excuse to go for that extra scoop of the ice cream. (Believe me, I've been there.)

But a solid body of research suggests that expectant mothers should be walking away with the opposite message: Pregnancy should be a time to double-down on healthful eating if you want to avoid setting up your unborn child for a lifetime of wrestling with obesity.

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