Science

3:44am

Wed January 22, 2014
Science

Ancient And Vulnerable: 25 Percent Of Sharks And Rays Risk Extinction

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 9:23 am

Each year, 6 to 8 percent of the global population of sharks and rays gets caught, scientists say. The fish can't reproduce fast enough to keep pace
Mike Johnston Flickr

There are more than a thousand species of sharks and rays in the world, and nearly a quarter of them are threatened with extinction, according to a new study. That means these ancient types of fish are among the most endangered animals in the world.

This word comes from a Swiss-based group called the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which maintains the so-called Red List of species threatened with extinction.

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6:26pm

Tue January 21, 2014
Science

After Hibernation, Rosetta Seeks Its Stone

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 2:58 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The European Space Agency's Rosetta mission is back in business. For the past 31 months, the spacecraft has effectively been asleep. Most of its instruments were shut off to save energy, including the radio for communicating with Earth. Mission managers can now start preparing Rosetta for a rendezvous with a comet later this year. NPR's Joe Palca has more.

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3:51pm

Tue January 21, 2014
The Salt

Whole Foods Bans Produce Grown With Sludge. But Who Wins?

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 6:55 pm

A woman shops in the produce section at Whole Foods in New York City. The company recently announced it would prohibit produce farmed using biosolids in its stores.
Stephen Chernin/Getty Images

If you've ever shopped at Whole Foods, you've probably noticed that some of the foods it sells claim all kinds of health and environmental virtues. From its lengthy list of unacceptable ingredients for food to its strict rules for how seafood is caught and meat is raised, the company sets a pretty high bar for what is permitted on its coveted shelves.

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2:00pm

Tue January 21, 2014
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

The Absurdity Of Consumerism

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 3:49 pm

iStockphoto

In his 2004 book Cloud Atlas, novelist David Mitchell imagines Nea So Copros, a dystopian future version of Seoul, Korea, in which consumer culture has become its own form of totalitarianism. It's a world where brands and logos become their own form of political power.

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10:14am

Tue January 21, 2014
Krulwich Wonders...

Treat Yourself To A 'Huh?'

Robert Krulwich NPR

You drop a ball. You drop a key. You drop a piece of lead. They each slip from your hand and tumble to the ground. But you have an orderly mind (you're a physicist) and, to you, falling things don't seem haphazard — they seem neat. The unruly world has rules, laws. So instead of saying "Bummer!" you say, "Of course! How beautiful! How logical!"

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5:15am

Tue January 21, 2014
Space

Rosetta On Course To Achieve Historic Mission

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 3:18 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Scientists are celebrating after receiving a signal from a spacecraft on a very long journey. The Rosetta is traveling through the heavens to study a comet in more detail than ever before. As NPR's Rob Stein reports, the Rosetta spacecraft's call home meant the robot onboard had successfully awakened itself from a long hibernation, and is now on course to achieve its historic mission.

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3:18am

Tue January 21, 2014
All Tech Considered

Brain Games: Move Objects With Your Mind To Find Inner Calm?

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 3:38 pm

Richard Warp uses an Emotiv headset paired with his invention, NeuroDisco, which translates brain electrical patterns into music.
Josh Cassidy KQED

Couch potatoes everywhere, rejoice.

New commercial devices, using technology borrowed from the field of neuroscience, are making it possible to control objects with brain power alone. The idea is to help train users to become more focused — and relaxed.

EEG headsets, which detect electrical activity in the brain, were once found only in research labs. Today, the technology has become cheaper and easier to use. That's made it possible to connect EEG headsets to other consumer devices.

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3:16am

Tue January 21, 2014
Shots - Health News

Mild-Mannered Stingrays Can Inflict A World Of Hurt

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 8:08 am

The round stingray is native to the eastern Pacific coast and is notorious for injuring swimmers and surfers.
laszlo-photo/Flickr

Want to get away? Thinking about a place with warm water and soft sand? Sounds nice. But think twice before you wade into that inviting surf. Chances are there are stingrays in the area.

Every year, these timid, shellfish-eating cousins of the shark inflict excruciating injuries on thousands of swimmers and surfers from the Bahamas to Bahrain to both coasts of the United States.

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2:19pm

Mon January 20, 2014
The Two-Way

Rosetta Space Probe Gets Interplanetary Wake-Up Call

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 3:01 pm

Rosetta, the European Space Agency's cometary probe with NASA contributions, is seen in an undated artist's rendering.
NASA Reuters/Landov

... That's the message received from a bleary-eyed comet-chasing space probe on Monday, much to the relief of ground-based controllers who sent it a long distance wake-up call after nearly a three-year nap.

The European Space Agency received the communique from deep space on schedule at 1 p.m. ET from Rosetta, some 500 million miles away on a trajectory to rendezvous with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in August. It's been in sleep mode to conserve power.

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11:48am

Mon January 20, 2014
The Two-Way

U.S., EU Lift Some Iran Sanctions After Assurances On Uranium

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 4:46 pm

An IAEA team checks the enrichment process inside the uranium enrichment plant Natanz in central Iran on Monday.
Kazem Ghane EPA/Landov

This post was updated at 11:40 a.m. ET.

The United States and European Union say they will lift some sanctions against Iran after reports from international inspectors that Tehran has suspended high-level enrichment of uranium under an interim pact to scale back its nuclear program.

The Associated Press reports:

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