Research Trials
6:44 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Science On Diets Is Low In Essential Information

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 5:46 am

Americans crave information about diets, even as our national weight keeps rising. New studies are highlighting that there is still a lot that we don't know.

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7:03 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Russian Space Experiment On Gecko Sex Goes Awry

A Russian capsule that housed a gecko space-sex experiment. The geckos all died.

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 4:31 pm

Space is a dangerous place. That message resonated again on Monday, when the Russian Federal Space Agency — Roscosmos — announced that a team of experimental geckos tasked with copulating while in orbit did not survive their journey.

"All geckos, unfortunately, died," the space agency said in a terse statement.

Roscosmos is launching an investigation into the exact circumstances surrounding the geckos' deaths, but the mission seemed star-crossed from the start.

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3:24 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Innovate Or Perish: Neil Degrasse Tyson Takes On American Politics

Neil Degrasse Tyson.
Flickr Photo/John Roling (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with astrophysicist Neil Degrasse Tyson about scientific innovation and how partisan bickering in America may be holding it back. Tyson will speak at Seattle's Paramount Theater on September 14 and 15.

Good Reads
2:38 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

A Book Pick To Get You As Obsessed With Ants As Sherman Alexie

Author Sherman Alexie in the KUOW studios.
Credit KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Arwen Nicks gets book recommendations from authors Sherman Alexie and Jess Walter.

Alexie has recently become an unofficial ant expert after reading Mark W. Moffett's "Adventures Among Ants," saying that they are the only other species to go to war.

Walter's pick is a novel by Jenny Offil called "Dept. of Speculation."

2:24 am
Sun August 17, 2014

The Machine That Tried To Scan The Brain — In 1882

Angelo Mosso's "human circulation balance" machine worked like a seesaw to measure blood flow changes to the brain.
Sandrone et al., 2014, Brain

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 9:13 am

Everyone points to the Wright Brothers as the inventors of human flight. But centuries earlier, it was Leonardo da Vinci who imagined human flight, recognizing how birds used concepts like lift and wing shape to glide high above us.

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Research Project
4:05 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Tracking Cells From Well To Diseased

Marcie Sillman talks to Dr. Leroy Hood, president of the Institute for Systems Biology, about the the 100k Wellness Project. The project, which started a year ago, hopes to track what happens at the cellular level when a person goes from well to diseased. 

Bombus occidentalis
8:55 pm
Sun August 10, 2014

Buzzworthy Breeding To Bring Back Bumble Bees

Preparing to inseminate a queen bee.
Megan Asche

Originally published on Mon August 11, 2014 10:20 am

Some scientists are going to great lengths to help the agreeable Western bumble bee make a comeback.

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2:41 pm
Sun August 10, 2014

Doctor Remembered For Dedication To Fighting Deadly Ebola

Dr. Sheik Humar Khan, who died of the disease he was helping to fight, posed for a picture in Kailahun, Sierra Leone, on June 25.
Umaru Fofana Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon August 11, 2014 8:12 am

Doctors and health workers in West Africa are especially vulnerable as they continue to battle to control the spread of Ebola, and dozens of them are dying.

The low for Sierra Leone came with the death of the country's campaigning "Ebola doctor," Dr. Sheik Humar Khan. Khan cared for dozens of patients before testing positive for Ebola and dying of the lethal virus late last month.

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2:46 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Will A Plasma Cloud Be The End Of Civilization?

A close-up of a filament on the sun's surface.
Flickr Photo/NASA Goddard Photo (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with astrophysics professor Adam Frank about what a plasma cloud is, the chances of one hitting Earth and what that means for our civilization. Spoiler: All the answers are scary. 

Biotech News
2:46 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Why Isn't There An Ebola Vaccine Yet?

Ross Reynolds talks to biotech reporter, Luke Timmerman, about what types of treatments biologist are studying for Ebola.

Health News
1:48 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Do You Want To Be Happy? Don't Set Your Expectations Too High

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 9:40 am

Sure, money can't buy you love, but it's hard to imagine that winning rewards won't make us happy.

It does, researchers say, but only if our immediate expectations aren't bigger than the size of the payoff. Disappointment squelches happiness.

"Your happiness increases only if you do better than you expected," says Robb Rutledge, a neuroscientist and senior research associate at University College London. "Just having a bigger salary isn't enough to make you happy."

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1:04 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Play Doesn't End With Childhood: Why Adults Need Recess Too

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 4:29 pm

This week, NPR Ed is focusing on questions about why people play and how play relates to learning.

More and more research suggests that healthy playtime leads to healthy adulthood.

Childhood play is essential for brain development. As we've reported this week, time on the playground may be more important than time in the classroom.

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Cosmic Questions
7:50 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Boil, Burn Or Explode? How You Die In Space

Eddie Toro iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu August 7, 2014 11:19 am

C'mon, admit it. You've wondered. You've mused. You've pondered. At some point in your life — probably after watching a science-fiction movie — you've found yourself asking that all-important question: What happens if you find yourself in space without a spacesuit?

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7:49 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Rosetta Spacecraft Arrives At Comet After 10-Year Chase

Rosetta's OSIRIS narrow-angle camera took this close-up of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on Sunday.
ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 8:53 am

After a decade of travel, the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft arrived at a comet early this morning.

"Ten years we've been waiting in the car to get to scientific Disneyland," ESA's Mark McCaughrean said. "It's a wonderful moment."

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7:47 am
Wed August 6, 2014

How A Fat Grizzly Bear Could Help You Avoid Diabetes

Washington State University is home to the nation's only captive grizzly bear research center.

Originally published on Tue August 5, 2014 5:41 pm

Washington State University’s mascot is the cougar, but the university is also home to the nation’s only captive grizzly bear research center. A new study involving those bears yields insights into possible therapies for human obesity and diabetes.

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