science

Marketing Health
2:59 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Are You Buying Pseudoscience At The Grocery Store?

Flickr Photo/greggavedon.com (CC BY-NC-ND)

David Hyde talks with freelance journalist Michael Schulson about his Daily Beast article, "Whole Foods: America's Temple of Pseudoscience."

History
2:44 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Can The Mammoth Walk Amongst Us Again?

Mammoth fossil at the Sam Noble Natural Museum in Oklahoma.
Flickr Photo/Ted of DGAR (CC BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with Harvard geneticist George Church about reviving extinct species.

Rather than trying to clone mammoths, scientists are taking their DNA and analyzing them in hopes of producing an Asian elephant that looks and behaves just like its extinct ancestor.

Psychology
3:56 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

How Well Do We Understand How Others Think?

Nicholas Epley's book "Mindwise."

Ross Reynolds speaks with University of Chicago psychologist Nicholas Epley about his new book "Mindwise: How We Understand What Others Think, Believe, Feel and Want." Epley's research suggests we have insight into what others are thinking but only up to a point.

Space
12:03 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

'Planet Bonanza' Indeed: NASA Unveils 715 New Worlds

This artist rendering provided by NASA, shows Kepler-11, a sunlike star around which six planets orbit.
AP

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 1:47 pm

The job of NASA's Kepler mission is to peek at the far reaches of space in the hopes of finding potentially habitable planets. The space agency announced a stunning success, saying that Kepler had identified 715 new planets that orbit 305 stars. The discovery boosts the number of verified planets by around 70 percent.

"Four of the planets are about twice the size of Earth and orbit in their star's so-called habitable zone," NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce reports for our Newscast unit, "where temperatures might be suitable for liquid water."

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Fossil Discovery
9:22 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Killers Were Tiny, Victims Were Huge At Chile's Whale Graveyard

The fossilized remains of a whale that washed up on a shore in what's now Chile more than 5 million years ago.
Vince Rossi Smithsonian Institution

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 9:16 am

Since construction workers discovered dozens of fossils along a highway in Chile in 2011, one question has preoccupied researchers:

What killed the whales, seals and other creatures that ended up there more than 5 million years ago?

Writing in Proceedings of The Royal Society B, scientists from the Smithsonian Institution and universities in the U.S. and Chile say the culprits were among the smallest possible killers: "Algal toxins."

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Prescription Approval
2:41 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Journey Of A Drug: The Long, Hard, Expensive Process Of A New Treatment

Flickr Photo/Erin DeMay (CC BY-NC-ND)

From Seattle’s South Lake Union to larger areas like Bothell, biotechnology is a ubiquitous part of the local economy. But moving a drug from research to testing, to market, to patients is an arduous undertaking.

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Brain Development
12:35 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Orphans' Lonely Beginnings Reveal How Parents Shape A Child's Brain

In the Institute for the Unsalvageable in Sighetu Marmatiei, Romania, shown here in 1992, children were left in cribs for days on end.
Tom Szalay

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 9:07 am

Parents do a lot more than make sure a child has food and shelter, researchers say. They play a critical role in brain development.

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EarthFix Reports
10:41 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Volcanic Eruptions Could Be More Rare Than You Think

Researchers may soon be able to better predict when a volcano will erupt because of findings that show magma under the surface may not be as hot as previously thought.
Eric Klemetti, Denison University

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 1:00 am

Right before a volcano erupts, molten rock, known as magma, is moving around underneath the surface. New research suggests this liquid magma is very rare. That’s an important finding for researchers trying to predict when a volcano may erupt.

Geologists from University of Califonia, Davis, and Oregon State University studied Mount Hood and have found that magma is often too cold to move around so much. And cold, here, is a relative term.

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Breast Cancer Awareness
2:35 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Stop Getting Mammograms? Not So Fast!

Flickr Photo/Kristie Wells (CC BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with Dr. Julie Gralow, medical oncologist at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, about a new study on mammograms.

Technology
3:43 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

How Good Ideas Spread: A New Social Science Based On Big Data

Alex “Sandy” Pentland's book "Social Physics."

David Hyde talks with Alex “Sandy” Pentland, a professor and data scientist at MIT, about his new book "Social Physics: How Good Ideas Spread — The Lessons From A New Science."

Health
4:06 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Diseases That 'Spill' From Animals To Humans

David Quammen's book "Spillover."

Steve Scher talks with author David Quammen about his book "Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic."

Health
4:11 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

How Crunching Big Data Could Save Our Lives

Daniela Witten, assistant professor of biostatistics at the University of Washington.
Courtesy of Daniela Witten

Marcie Sillman speaks with Daniela Witten, assistant professor of biostatistics at the University of Washington, about why she is teaching machines to read the data inside human bodies. 

Health
4:03 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Science Check: Don't Trust Everything You Read

Not all science is solid, says columnist George Johnson.
Flickr Photo/International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center

Steve Scher talks with New York Times' Raw Data columnist George Johnson about the trouble of irreproducible studies.

Science
12:30 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Contagious Cancer In Dogs Leaves Prehistoric Paw Prints

The sexually transmitted cancer is common in street dogs around the world.
Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 9:36 am

Our four-legged friends suffer from many of the same cancers that we do. But one type of dog tumor acts like no other: It's contagious.

The tumor spreads from one pooch to another when the dogs have sex or even just touch or lick each other.

"It's a common disease in street dogs all around the world," says geneticist Elizabeth Murchison at the University of Cambridge. "People in the U.S. and U.K. haven't heard of it because it's found mostly in free-roaming dogs in developing countries."

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Science
12:27 am
Thu January 16, 2014

An Old Tree Doesn't Get Taller, But Bulks Up Like A Bodybuilder

The world's biggest trees, such as this large Scots pine in Spain's Sierra de Baza range, are also the world's fastest-growing trees, according to an analysis of 403 tree species spanning six continents.
Asier Herrero Nature

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 6:12 am

Like other animals and many living things, we humans grow when we're young and then stop growing once we mature. But trees, it turns out, are an exception to this general rule. In fact, scientists have discovered that trees grow faster the older they get.

Once trees reach a certain height, they do stop getting taller. So many foresters figured that tree growth — and girth — also slowed with age.

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