Science

5:20am

Sun May 3, 2015
Shots - Health News

Who Keeps Track If Your Surgery Goes Well Or Fails?

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 4:37 pm

XiXinXing iStockphoto

In order to improve the quality of health care and reduce its costs, researchers need to know what works and what doesn't. One powerful way to do that is through a system of "registries," in which doctors and hospitals compile and share their results. But even in this era of big data, remarkably few medical registries exist.

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8:25am

Sat May 2, 2015
Author Interviews

A Veteran Scientist Dreams Boldly Of 'Earth And Sky'

Originally published on Sat May 2, 2015 10:26 am

Freeman Dyson is one of the most famous names in science, and sometimes one of the most controversial. Dyson is 91 and was one of the British scientists who helped win World War II. He spent most years since as a professor of physics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. He has won the Max Planck Medal and the Templeton Prize, and written important, oft-quoted books including Disturbing the Universe and The Scientist as Rebel, and newspaper articles that inspire both admiration and debate.

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2:03am

Sat May 2, 2015
Deceptive Cadence

3-D Printers Bring Historic Instruments Back To The Future

Originally published on Sat May 2, 2015 10:26 am

Sina Shahbazmohamadi places a 3-D printed copy of a recorder foot joint into a measuring device in a lab at the University of Connecticut's Center for Clean Energy Engineering.
Peter Morenus UConn

In a recital hall at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, a group of musicians got together to play Jean-Baptiste Singelée's 1857 quartet for saxophones on some very old, very special instruments.

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3:51pm

Fri May 1, 2015
The Salt

'Into The Wild' Author Tries Science To Solve Toxic Seed Mystery

Originally published on Wed May 6, 2015 3:06 pm

Once the roots of the Eskimo potato got too tough to eat, Christopher McCandless started collecting the seeds in a plastic bag, says author Jon Krakauer.
Photo courtesy of McCandless family

In August 1992, Christopher McCandless died in an abandoned bus in the Alaska wilderness after living mostly on squirrels, birds, roots and seeds for 113 days. Hunters found his body months later. Alaska state coroners declared starvation as the cause of death.

But a mystery lingered: What exactly did him in? A scientific paper published this spring by the journalist who'd been doggedly following the story offers another big clue.

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2:30pm

Fri May 1, 2015
Shots - Health News

Urine For A Surprise: Your Pee Might Reveal Your Risk For Obesity

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 4:38 pm

iStockphoto

You might think it's easy to guess if a person is at risk of becoming overweight or developing diabetes. The behavioral traits are pretty clear – that person might exercise less or eat more. He or she might have high blood pressure, or might have gained weight.

But now there's another place to find evidence of those risk factors: in a person's pee.

Researchers are finding clues about the metabolism in human urine – most recently in more than 2,000 samples kept frozen in the basement of Imperial College, in London.

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12:11pm

Fri May 1, 2015
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

What Else Might We Term 'God'?

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 6:24 pm

NASA/ESA

In her contributions last week to 13.7, guest blogger and author Nancy Ellen Abrams proposed what she calls a new way to define the word "God." You can read the posts here and here.

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7:39am

Fri May 1, 2015
Research News

Does Reading Harry Potter Have An Effect On Your Behavior?

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 3:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

A famous fictional conflict in children's literature has a happier ending. Tomorrow is the day "Harry Potter" fans know as the date of the Battle of Hogwarts. And there is evidence the boy wizard's power might extend beyond the book.

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8:19pm

Thu April 30, 2015
Health

Western Hemisphere Wipes Out Its Third Virus

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 11:39 am

Health worker Jackie Carnegie delivers a rubella vaccine in Colorado in 1972.
Ira Gay Sealy Denver Post via Getty Images

It took 15 years and hundreds of millions of vaccines. But North America and South America have officially eradicated rubella, health authorities said Wednesday. Rubella is only the third virus eradicated from people in the Western Hemisphere.

Also known as German measles, rubella causes only a mild illness in children, with a rash and sometimes a fever.

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4:53pm

Thu April 30, 2015
Space

NASA Spacecraft Crashes Into Mercury, Concluding 4-Year Study Of Planet

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 8:19 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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3:42pm

Thu April 30, 2015
The Salt

Why We Can't Take Chipotle's GMO Announcement All That Seriously

Originally published on Wed May 6, 2015 3:06 pm

Chipotle restaurant workers in Miami fill orders on April 27, the day the company said it would use only non-GMO ingredients in its food.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Chipotle is trumpeting its renunciation of ingredients derived from genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. The company says that using GMOs — mainly corn in its tortillas and soybean oil for cooking — "doesn't align" with its vision of "food with integrity." According to Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold, it represents "our commitment to serving our customers the very best ingredients we can find."

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