science

Earthquake Safety Measures
12:50 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Life In The Cascadia Subduction Zone

Credit Oregon State University (OSU) Press

Ross Reynolds speaks with Bonnie Henderson about her new book "The Next Tsunami: Living on a Restless Coast."

Just off the coast of Washington and Oregon is a fault line with potential to unleash an earthquake larger than the deadly magnitude 9 Japan quake in 2011 that triggered a tsunami.

Henderson tells the story about how geologists learned of the Cascadia Subduction Zone and how public officials have tried to adopt safety measures.

Spoiler alert: when you hear a siren, walk and keep walking.

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Alternative Healing
10:23 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Experimental Technique Coaxes Muscles Destroyed By War To Regrow

A cross-section of skeletal muscle in this light micrograph shows the individual, parallel muscle fibers (red). These fibers work in concert to power movement.
Thomas Deerinck, NCMIR ScienceSource

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 6:35 am

Ron Strang was on patrol in Afghanistan when a primitive land mine exploded.

"When it went off, it came across the front of my body," Strang says. Though he survived the blast, his left leg was never the same. Shrapnel destroyed most of the muscle on his left thigh. He used to run, swim and hike. But even after he recovered, those days of carefree movement were gone.

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Primordial Response
4:38 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Lab Rats May Be Stressed By Men, Which May Skew Experiments

A worker holds a white rodent at the State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy in Chengdu, China. Researchers at McGill University in Montreal found that mice left alone with a man had increased levels of the hormone corticosterone.
China Photos Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 3:40 pm

During the course of an experiment, students at McGill University in Montreal noticed something odd: Rodents didn't seem to be showing signs of pain if they were handled by male students.

The observation led to an experiment, which led to a finding that when mice are left alone with a man, they had an increase in the hormone corticosterone, which acts like a pain reliever.

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Long-Term Space Effects
2:21 pm
Sun April 27, 2014

Astronaut Twins To Separate For The Sake Of Space Travel

Mark Kelly (left) will stay on Earth while his brother, Scott Kelly, spends a year on the International Space Station. NASA will test how the environments affect them differently.
NBC NewsWire NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 27, 2014 3:23 pm

This month, NASA revealed new details of the plan to send humans to Mars by 2030. It's an elaborate and expensive mission, involving a giant deep-space rocket, and roping an asteroid into the moon's orbit to use as a stepping stone to Mars.

But there are still some serious questions about a manned expedition to Mars. Namely, is it safe? That's where astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly come in. The Kelly brothers are identical twins, and the only siblings ever to both fly in space.

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Gates Foundation
12:38 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Why Bill Gates Fights Diseases Abroad, Not At Home

By ensuring vaccines are invented and distributed, Bill Gates says, his foundation is dramatically reducing the number of childhood deaths in poor countries.
Marie McGrory NPR

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 10:18 am

This week in Seattle, Bill and Melinda Gates are attending a meeting of the minds.

Five hundred of the world's top innovators in global health have gathered for the Global Health Product Development Forum, an annual event in which scientists, engineers, policymakers and activists work to develop new tools for fighting diseases.

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'Cognitive Reserve'
1:26 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Education May Help Insulate The Brain Against Traumatic Injury

Proust and algebra may not sound like brain protection, but higher levels of education correlate with cognitive reserve.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 4:24 am

A little education goes a long way toward ensuring you'll recover from a serious traumatic brain injury. In fact, people with lots of education are seven times more likely than high school dropouts to have no measurable disability a year later.

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Biotech
10:28 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Bionic Bulldogs And Spider Goats: The Future Of Biotech's New Beasts

Artistic interpretation of the future of pets, the Genpet by Adam Brendejs.
Flickr Photo/Adam Brandejs

How is biotechnology changing our pets, our livestock and other wild things? Ross Reynolds talks with Emily Anthes, the author of "Frankenstein’s Cat: Cuddling up to Biotech’s Brave New Beasts," about how biotech will change our pets and livestock.

This interview originally aired on March 14, 2013.

Psychology Of Babies
3:16 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

How Do Babies Perceive Fairness? The Answer Might Surprise You

Credit Flickr Photo/Paolo Marconi (CC BY-NC-ND)

David Hyde talks with Jessica Sommerville, psychology professor at the University of Washington, about her recent study that explores how babies perceive justice.

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Neuroscience
12:25 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Sichuan Pepper's Buzz May Reveal Secrets Of The Nervous System

It's the Sichuan peppercorn in dishes like spicy ma po tofu that makes your mouth buzz. Researchers wanted to know if that buzz is connected to the tingling you feel when your foot falls asleep.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 5:19 am

The Sichuan peppercorn is known to give some Chinese dishes a pleasant tingling feeling.

What's not so pleasant is that pins-and-needles feeling we get when our foot falls asleep — or when people who suffer from paresthesia experience constant tingling in their limbs.

Diana Bautista, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Berkeley, wondered: Could these sensations be connected?

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Midnight Viewing
8:06 am
Mon April 14, 2014

There's A 'Blood Moon' Eclipse Tonight, But Will You Be Able To See It?

This combination of 10 separate images shows the moon during a total lunar eclipse in 2011 from the Spanish Canary Island of Tenerife.
Desiree Martin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 1:30 pm

It's looking like clouds will obscure Monday night's lunar eclipse for nearly all of the U.S. East Coast, but much of the West and Midwest should be able to see it.

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Spinal Cord Regeneration
11:33 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Even A Very Weak Signal From The Brain Might Help Paraplegics

Kent Stephenson, a research participant at the University of Louisville's Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center, has his level of muscle activity and force measured by Katelyn Gurley.
Courtesy of the University of Louisville

Originally published on Sat April 12, 2014 3:47 am

A report that four young men who are paralyzed below the waist were able to move toes, ankles or knees when their lower spine was electrically stimulated was hailed as a breakthrough.

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Space Exploration
2:49 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Mars, Europa Or Enceladus, Where Should NASA Look For Life?

Photo of Europa taken during NASA's Galileo mission.
Credit Courtesy of NASA

Ross Reynolds talks to Alan Boyle, science editor for NBCNews.com, about the recent discovery of water on Saturn's moon Enceladus. Boyle also talks about NASA's proposed mission to Europa and how the agency decides where to focus its space exploration dollars.

Wildlife
4:06 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Northwest Researchers Document Whales Which Set New Breath-Hold Record

Satellite tag being attached to the dorsal fin of a Cuvier's beaked whale. The tagging arrow can be seen in the air as it detaches from the tag.
Erin Falcone Cascadia Research under NOAA permit 16111

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 5:21 pm

Think about how long you can hold your breath and then let this discovery blow your mind.

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Oso Mudslide
3:03 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Geological Circumstances Behind Washington Mudslide

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 12:26 pm

As search efforts intensify around the site of Washington state’s devastating mudslide, geologists are looking into causes of the rapid collapse of the 1,500-foot-wide segment of hillside in Snohomish County that suddenly cut away and crushed the homes and roads below.

The chief culprit appears to have been the glacial composition of the hillside, which is made of silt, clay and soil, and very little rock, which tends to be very loose.

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Author Interview
3:15 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

How Private Funding For Science Is A Dangerous Trend

Philip Mirowski's book, "Science Mart."

David Hyde talks with Philip Mirowski, author of "Science Mart: Privatizing American Science," about why he thinks the move to privately funded science is undermining the quality of the research.

"The types of science that are being done are changing, and the way in which science is being done is changing," Mirowski said. "In fact, the quality of some of the science is being affected by it too."

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