Science

11:10am

Thu January 9, 2014
The Two-Way

Aurora Watchers 'May Be In Luck' As Solar Flare Reaches Earth

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 5:32 pm

A coronal mass ejection (CME) exploding off the surface of the sun in an image captured Tuesday by the European Space Agency and NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory.
Uncredited AP

Update at 3:05 p.m. ET:

NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center now reports:

"The coronal mass ejection (CME), originally expected to arrive around 0800 UTC (3:00 a.m. EST) today, January 9, was observed at the ACE spacecraft just upstream of Earth at 1932 UTC (2:32 p.m. EST)."

The SWPC goes on to say that "the original forecast continues to be for G3 (Strong) Geomagnetic Storm activity on January 9 and 10."

"Aurora watchers may be in luck for tonight."

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7:08am

Thu January 9, 2014
Krulwich Wonders...

A Rain Forest Begins With Rain, Right? Is This A Trick Question?

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 1:50 pm

MinuteEarth YouTube

Think of a rain forest — rich with trees, covered by clouds, wet all the time.

Then ask yourself, how did this rain forest get started?

I ask, because the answer is so going to surprise you. It's not what you think.

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3:39am

Thu January 9, 2014
Shots - Health News

Legal Loopholes Leave Some Kids Without Dental Insurance

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

Kamora Cyprian got her teeth cleaned at a free health care event in the Los Angeles Sports Arena in September 2012.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

If you think buying health insurance under the Affordable Care Act has been complicated, just wait. Buying dental coverage on the health exchanges, it turns out, is even more confusing.

Dental coverage for children is one of the benefits that must be offered under the law. But, it turns out, a loophole in the law means that — in most states — families don't actually have to buy that coverage.

These rules are so confusing that they even tripped me up.

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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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