Science

8:19am

Sat January 4, 2014
Research News

Want Perfect Pitch? You Might Be Able To Pop A Pill For That

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 10:13 am

Jazz singer Ella Fitzergerald was said to have perfect pitch.
Klaus Frings AP

In the world of music, there is no more remarkable gift than having perfect pitch. As the story goes, Ella Fitzgerald's band would use her perfect pitch to tune their instruments.

Although it has a genetic component, most believe that perfect pitch — or absolute pitch — is a primarily a function of early life exposure and training in music, says Takao Hensch, professor of molecular and cellular biology at Harvard.

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8:19am

Sat January 4, 2014
Shots - Health News

Saving Babies' Lives Starts With Aquarium Pumps And Ingenuity

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 9:59 am

Neonatal nurse Florence Mwenifumbo monitors a newborn receiving bubble CPAP treatment in Blantyre, Malawi. The device was developed by students at Rice University in Houston.
Rice 360/Rice University

Good ideas don't only come from experts. An innovative engineering program in Texas has been proving that college undergraduates can tackle — and solve — vexing health challenges in developing countries.

Two engineers at Rice University in Houston are tapping the potential of bright young minds to change the world.

Big Problems, Simple Solutions

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5:53am

Sat January 4, 2014
Science

Tree-Incarnation: Christmas Trees Return To Nature (A Poem)

Originally published on Sat January 4, 2014 2:38 pm

Alexandra Jones-Twaddell and Malley Chertkov add a Christmas tree to the growing line in Island Beach State Park in February 2013. Similar dune restoration projects — using trees as a foundation to trap sand — will be carried out this year all along the Atlantic Coast.
Adam Cole NPR

There are lots of creative Christmas tree recycling programs around the country, and in keeping with the holiday spirit, here are a few of them — set to verse.

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11:24am

Fri January 3, 2014
TED Radio Hour

Is It Possible To Live With The Voices In Your Head?

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 2:48 pm

James Duncan Davidson TED

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Overcoming.

About Eleanor Longden's TEDTalk

Eleanor Longden was a normal college student — until she began hearing voices. Longden recounts her journey with schizophrenia and how she came to listen to and live with her voices.

About Eleanor Longden

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11:24am

Fri January 3, 2014
TED Radio Hour

Can Autism Be An Asset?

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 2:48 pm

"People just don't see things, this is where you need visual thinkers like me ... we need the different kinds of minds." — Temple Grandin
James Duncan Davidson TED

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Overcoming.

About Temple Grandin's TEDTalk

Temple Grandin struggled with autism until she realized her ability to "think in pictures" allows her to solve problems that others can't.

About Temple Grandin

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7:47am

Fri January 3, 2014
Krulwich Wonders...

'You're Invisible, But I'll Eat You Anyway.' Secrets Of Snow-Diving Foxes

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 1:57 pm

Robert Krulwich NPR

I'm a fox. It's January. I'm hungry. I want a meal. My food, however, is buried 3 feet down, deep in the snow, hiding. It's alive, in motion, and very small, being a mouse. So how does an above-ground fox catch an underground mouse? Well, the answer is nothing short of astonishing. Here's a fox:

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6:50pm

Thu January 2, 2014
The Two-Way

Tonight's Meteor Shower: Live, From Space, It's The Quadrantids

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 8:07 pm

The Quadrantid meteor shower is seen shortly after 5 a.m. on Jan 3, 2013. This year's shower will be helped by a new moon that will keep the night sky dark.
Mike Lewinski Flickr

It's early January, and that means it's time for the Quadrantid meteor shower to peak. Despite winter weather that might cloud the skies in some areas, forecasters say this year's event is worth getting up for, citing lunar conditions that will darken the night sky.

If you haven't heard of the Quadrantids, don't worry. Even NASA calls them "a little-known meteor shower named after an extinct constellation."

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4:23pm

Thu January 2, 2014
Space

On Planet GJ1214 B, Expect Exotic Cloud Cover

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 6:18 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In recent years, scientists have discovered around a thousand planets orbiting other distant stars, including some called super-Earths. These planets are bigger than our rocky hole but smaller than any of our solar system's gas giants. Not much is known about these mysterious worlds.

NPR is Nell Greenfieldboyce reports on new evidence that one super-Earth is shrouded in clouds.

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4:23pm

Thu January 2, 2014
Energy

Move Over Electric Car, Auto Companies To Make Hydrogen Vehicles

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 10:56 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. Toyota, Honda, Hyundai recently announced that they're planning to build hydrogen-powered cars in the next few years. These cars could rival all electric and plug-ins as cleaner alternatives to gasoline-powered cars. NPR's Richard Harris took a drive in a hydrogen car to learn about the advantages and drawbacks of the technology.

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2:31pm

Thu January 2, 2014
Shots - Health News

How Language Seems To Shape One's View Of The World

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 8:05 am

"It's on the left," he says. "No, it's southeast of here," she says.
iStockphoto

Lera Boroditsky once did a simple experiment: She asked people to close their eyes and point southeast. A room of distinguished professors in the U.S. pointed in almost every possible direction, whereas 5-year-old Australian aboriginal girls always got it right.

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