science

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

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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."

Personal Identity
10:21 am
Thu March 20, 2014

‘The Science Of Self’ With Jennifer Ouellette

Jennifer Ouellette's book, "Me, Myself, and Why."

What defines us? What determines our identity?

Jennifer Ouellette explores how eye color, likes and dislikes, and even hatred of cilantro construct our individual identities. She underwent personality tests and genome sequencing to determine the slight variations that set us all apart.

Ouellette is a blogger for "Scientific American" and the author of “Me, Myself, and Why: Searching for the Science of Self.” She spoke at Town Hall on February 25, 2014.

Cocoa Flavanol
3:26 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Researchers Studying A 'Chocolate Pill' To Help Prevent Heart Disease

A new study is researching the health benefits in a cocoa flavanol pill - but will that take the fun out of eating chocolate?
Flickr Photo/Boz Bros

Marcie Sillman checks in with Garnet Andersen, director of Public Health Services at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, about a new project to encapsulate the cocoa flavanol from chocolate and study its benefits on post-menopausal women.

Science & Technology
2:44 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

A Tour Of The Intellectual Ventures Lab In Bellevue

Pablos Holman is an inventor and futurist at Intellectual Ventures. Behind him are boxes of mosquitoes destined to be targets for the laser mosquito zapper.
KUOW Photo/Ross Reynolds

Ross Reynolds goes on a tour of the Intellectual Ventures Laboratory in Bellevue with inventor and futurist Pablos Holman.

Holman's team projects include a laser that can quickly detect if a person has malaria, a cooler that can keep vaccines from going bad and the high tech kitchen — more like a science lab actually — used to produce Nathan Myrhvold's 51 pound, multi-volume "Modernist Cuisine" books.

Crowdsourced Data
8:53 am
Tue March 11, 2014

NASA Offers $35,000 For Help In Tracking Asteroids

For helping to find asteroids, NASA has set up a contest with cash awards. In 2012, the agency said that "more potentially hazardous asteroids, or PHAs, are closely aligned with the plane of our solar system than previous models suggested."
NASA

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 8:58 am

Cash prizes await "citizen scientists" who can improve algorithms that help NASA find and identify asteroids in our solar system, the agency says. A contest to find more asteroids begins next week, in what NASA calls an attempt to crowdsource innovation.

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Mud Room
10:05 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Why Do Earthworms Love To Come Out In The Rain?

Some experts think earthworms surface after the rain because a moist surface makes an easier commute.
Credit Flickr Photo/Allan Henderson (CC By 2.0)

This week when I’ve asked my kids about their school day, their answers have been all about worms. Their recess playgrounds have been lively with earthworms surfacing, as they typically do during a rainy week like we had. When I was a kid, they told us worms surfaced so they wouldn't drown.

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Army Investigation
8:53 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Dated Methods Mean Slow Return For Fallen Soldiers — Or None At All

Elyse Butler for NPR

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 7:20 am

The agency charged with bringing home and identifying American war dead is slow, inefficient and stymied by outdated methods, according to a joint investigation by NPR and ProPublica.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Author Interviews
3:09 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Neanderthal Man: How All Humans Are Africans

Svante Pääbo's book "Neanderthal Man."

David Hyde talks with author Svante Pääbo about his book "Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes" and what it means to be part-Neanderthal.

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."

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