Science

4:13pm

Tue July 8, 2014
Science

Plants Know The Rhythm Of The Caterpillar's Creep

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 6:15 pm

According to new research, plants can actually hear the sounds of insects chewing. A University of Missouri study is the first work to report that plants can recognize the sound of a predator through the vibrations of their leaves. To learn more, Robert Siegel speaks with Heidi Appel, senior research scientist in the Bond Life Sciences Center at the University of Missouri.

3:45pm

Tue July 8, 2014
Shots - Health News

Will This Tech Tool Help Manage Older People's Health? Ask Dad

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 11:39 am

Lively is a sensor that can be attached to a pill box, keys or doors. It lets people know whether aging parents are taking their medicines or sticking to their routines.
Courtesy of Lively

Aging 2.0 may not sound like the hippest start-up in San Francisco, but it's part of an industry worth $2 billion and growing fast — technology to help older adults.

Katy Fike, 35, is the company's co-founder. She's devoted to making sure that older adults who are supposed to use the products are involved in their development.

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2:42pm

Tue July 8, 2014
The Salt

What It Takes To Make A Decent Cup Of Coffee In Space

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 4:47 pm

Leave it to the Italians to design a capsule-based espresso system for astronauts who miss their morning cup.
Andrea Guermani Courtesy of Lavazza

When our pals at the Two-Way wrote last month that engineers had finally come up with a way to brew some good Italian espresso on the International Space Station, we were thoroughly intrigued.

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10:34am

Tue July 8, 2014
The Salt

Globe-Trotting GMO Bananas Arrive For Their First Test In Iowa

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 6:53 pm

Ugandan researcher Stephen Buah and Professor James Dale hold bananas bred to be rich in vitamin A at Queensland University of Technology.
Erika Fish Courtesy of Queensland University of Technology

Somewhere in Iowa, volunteers are earning $900 apiece by providing blood samples after eating bits of a banana kissed with a curious tinge of orange.

It's the first human trial of a banana that's been genetically engineered to contain higher levels of beta carotene, the nutrient that our body converts into vitamin A. Researchers want to confirm that eating the fruit does, in fact, lead to higher vitamin A levels in the volunteers' blood.

The volunteers in Iowa may not realize it, but they're playing a small part in a story that spans the globe.

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7:03am

Tue July 8, 2014
Science

Can't Stand Meetings? Try Taking Away The Chairs

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 11:49 am

Standing even for part of a meeting could engage your team in more productive collaboration, researchers say.
pixdeluxe/Getty Getty Images

The secret to more productive meetings? You might simply need to stand up.

This we know, to some degree. Just take as examples the growing popularity of standing desks, which took off after a flurry of reports found that sitting for long periods of time can significantly, negatively, impact employees' health.

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5:01am

Tue July 8, 2014
Research News

Some Parole Requirements Could Be Increasing The Crime Rate

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 9:51 am

Prisoners who are released invariably make it back to the areas where they came from. Does this have a positive or negative effect on crime? Research triggered by Hurricane Katrina offers insight.

4:07pm

Mon July 7, 2014
Shots - Health News

The Secret History Behind The Science Of Stress

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 3:47 pm

Camel marketed smoke breaks at work as time spent relaxing instead of stressing. Camel, 1964.
Stanford University

The modern idea of stress began on a rooftop in Canada, with a handful of rats freezing in the winter wind.

This was 1936 and by that point the owner of the rats, an endocrinologist named Hans Selye, had become expert at making rats suffer for science.

"He would subject them to extreme temperatures, make them go hungry for long periods, or make them exercise a lot," the medical historian Mark Jackson says. "Then what he would do is kill the rats and look at their organs."

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9:14am

Mon July 7, 2014
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Is Obesity A Disease?

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 9:22 am

In one study, reading a fictional news story about "obesity genes" led participants to eat more cookies in a subsequent task.
iStockphoto

Last year the American Medical Association voted to recognize obesity as a disease. In a June 18, 2013, press release, AMA board member Dr. Patrice Harris explained:

"Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex issue that affects approximately one in three Americans."

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3:17am

Mon July 7, 2014
The Salt

Raw Milk Producers Aim To Regulate Themselves

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 9:45 am

Charlotte Smith, of Champoeg Creamery in St. Paul, Ore., says raw milk may offer health benefits. But she also acknowledges its very real dangers.
Courtesy of Champoeg Creamery

A growing number of Americans are buying raw milk. That's milk that has not been pasteurized to kill bacteria.

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5:33pm

Sun July 6, 2014
Brain Candy

NPR Listeners Show A Keen Ear For Temperature

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 9:23 am

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Yesterday on the show, we played a couple of sounds for you.

(SOUNDBITE OF WATER POURING)

MCEVERS: One is the sound of hot water being poured into a glass, the other is of cold water being poured into an identical glass. We asked you to go on our website and tell us whether you could tell which was which. And a lot of you took us up on it - like 30,000 of you. And 80 percent of you guessed that this...

(SOUNDBITE OF WATER POURING)

MCEVERS: ...Was cold water. You were right. This...

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