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.
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."
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."
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.
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.
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."
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.