Science

3:38am

Thu January 9, 2014
Science

There She Blew! Volcanic Evidence Of The World's First Map

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 10:21 am

A reproduction of the mural from a room in Catalhoyuk, a Neolithic settlement in Turkey.
Sarah Murray Flickr

A new study of volcanic rocks suggests that an ancient mural may indeed depict an erupting volcano, adding new weight to a theory that this image is a contender for the world's oldest known landscape painting or map.

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7:25pm

Wed January 8, 2014
The Two-Way

Solar Flare Will Hit Earth Thursday; Northern Lights May Expand South

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 3:51 pm

Coming At You: An image created by NASA combines two pictures from its Solar Dynamics Observatory. One shows the location of a large sunspot; the other shows Tuesday's massive solar flare.
NASA/SDO

Tired of reading about intensely cold temperatures? Here's some news that might help take your mind off this week's deep freeze. It could even give you an excuse to hang around outside Thursday.

An intense solar flare is being blamed for disrupting a NASA mission and could force airlines to reroute some flights. That's the bad news. The good news is that the flare is also expected to expand the viewing field of the aurora borealis southward, perhaps down to Colorado and Illinois.

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4:21pm

Wed January 8, 2014
The Salt

This GMO Apple Won't Brown. Will That Sour The Fruit's Image?

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 10:29 pm

Soon after being sliced, a conventional Granny Smith apple (left) starts to brown, while a newly developed GM Granny Smith stays fresher looking.
Courtesy of Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc.

If you (or your children) turn up your nose at brown apple slices, would you prefer fresh-looking ones that have been genetically engineered?

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2:41pm

Wed January 8, 2014
Shots - Health News

Sealant Inspired By Beach Worm Could Become Surgical Superglue

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 5:05 pm

The superglue developed by scientists sticks to wet, bloody surfaces. Researchers hope the adhesive could one day seal a torn vessels or fix heart defects.
Randal McKenzie / McKenzie Illustrations.

Remember that wacky glue commercial from the 1980s? "Krazy Glue, you crazy rat," the narrator says. "Strong enough to hold this man suspended in mid-air." He promises the stuff can bond almost anything: a plastic knob, a plastic plug, a rubber boot, a door knob, and even a flashlight case.

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11:51am

Wed January 8, 2014
The Salt

Whales, Dolphins Are Collateral Damage In Our Taste For Seafood

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 10:29 pm

A sperm whale entangled in a drift net. A report says commercial fisheries around the world kill or injure 650,000 mammals a year.
Alberto Romero Marine Photobank

Hundreds of thousands of marine mammals are injured or killed every year by fishermen around the world. And because most seafood in the U.S. is imported, that means our fish isn't as dolphin-friendly as you might expect.

Under pressure from conservation groups, federal regulators are preparing to tighten import standards to better protect marine mammals.

There was a time, more than 40 years ago, when U.S. fishermen killed millions of dolphins while fishing for tuna. After a public backlash, fishermen figured out how to minimize that so-called bycatch.

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11:25am

Wed January 8, 2014
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

A Tribute To Failure

Topical Press Agency Getty Images

In a society where success is pursued and celebrated above everything else, where media stars, sport champions and the very rich are idolized, failure is seen as an embarrassment, something we must avoid at all costs and, when we can't, must be hidden from everyone else.

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9:41am

Wed January 8, 2014
The Two-Way

NASA Reportedly Gets OK To Keep Space Station Going Until 2024

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 11:25 am

Astronauts Mike Hopkins and Rick Mastracchio replace a pump on the International Space Station during a spacewalk last month.
NASA Reuters/Landov

The White House has approved NASA's call for four more years for the International Space Station, ensuring that the orbiting science laboratory will keep going for another decade, according to documents obtained by The Orlando Sentinel.

The newspaper writes:

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8:27am

Wed January 8, 2014
Krulwich Wonders...

Am I Going To Die This Year? A Mathematical Puzzle

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 12:56 pm

Robert Krulwich NPR

A few years ago, physicist Brian Skinner asked himself: What are the odds I will die in the next year? He was 25. What got him wondering about this, I have no idea, but, hey, it's something everybody asks. When I can't wedge my dental floss between my two front teeth, I ask it, too. So Brian looked up the answer — there are tables for this kind of thingand what he discovered is interesting. Very interesting. Even mysterious.

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7:21pm

Tue January 7, 2014
The Salt

Think You're Cold And Hungry? Try Eating In Antarctica

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 1:24 pm

Morrie Fisher drinks at Mawson Station, an Australian base in East Antarctica, in 1957. Apparently, these sorts of amusements tend to pop up when you're bored in a barren landscape.
Courtesy of the Australian Antarctic Division

If the icy blast of polar air that's descended upon much of the U.S. over the last couple of days has you reaching for the cookie jar for comfort — and ready to give up on those New Year's resolutions — then seriously? It's time to toughen up. Just think: At least you're not in the Antarctic.

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5:22pm

Tue January 7, 2014
Shots - Health News

50 Years After Landmark Warning, 8 Million Fewer Smoking Deaths

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 3:22 pm

Tobacco companies incorporated doctors in their ads, such as this 1930 Lucky Strike campaign, to convince the public that smoking wasn't harmful.
Stanford University

Saturday marks an important milestone in public health – the 50th anniversary of the first Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health.

Few if any documents have had the impact of this one — both on the amount of disease and death prevented, and on the very scope of public health.

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