Originally published on Thu March 12, 2015 8:01 pm
Updated at 6:56 p.m. ET
A 475-pound leatherback sea turtle that was rescued from a remote beach in South Carolina was returned to the ocean Thursday, after being found stranded ashore and nursed back to health. It took five people to carry the creature, officials say.
The turtle "immediately responded to treatments" of fluids, vitamins and antibiotics after it was rescued Saturday, says spokeswoman Kate Dittloff of the South Carolina Aquarium.
Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 8:07 pm
Saturn's moon Enceladus is a mystery. From Earth it looks tiny and cold, and yet it's not a dead hunk of rock. Passing spacecraft see trenches and ridges, similar to Earth's, and in 2005 NASA's Cassini mission spotted ice geysers streaming from its south pole.
Many scientists are failing to live up to a 2007 law that requires them to report the results of their clinical trials to a public website, according to a study in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine.
Originally published on Sat March 28, 2015 7:05 pm
It's March, and that means college basketball fans are gearing up for the NCAA tournament. But there's another tournament taking place this month — and animals aren't the mascots, they're the competitors.
"Mammal March Madness" is organized by a team of evolutionary biologists. They choose 65 animal competitors and then imagine the outcome of a series of simulated interspecies battles. Who would win if a kangaroo took on a warthog? Or if an orca fought a polar bear?
When Charles Darwin first taught us how to think about evolution, he also was teaching us to think about time. By allowing natural selection to work over millions of years, what might seem like a divine miracle (the creation of a new kind of animal) became something much more grounded (though equally wondrous).
George Dante fell in love with taxidermy as a young child. His parents took him to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, and he couldn't tear his eyes away from the dioramas in the Hall of African Mammals.
Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 6:27 pm
The Federal Communications Commission approved the policy known as net neutrality by a 3-2 vote at its Thursday meeting, with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler saying the policy will ensure "that no one — whether government or corporate — should control free open access to the Internet."
The Open Internet Order helps to decide an essential question about how the Internet works, requiring service providers to be a neutral gateway instead of handling different types of Internet traffic in different ways — and at different costs.
"Today is a red-letter day," Wheeler said Thursday.
Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 9:06 am
The Voyager spacecraft have revolutionized our understanding of our solar system since their launch in 1977. After decades of sending back data on our planetary neighbors, Voyager 1 and 2 are entering new territory: interstellar space.
In a new book, The Interstellar Age: Inside The Forty-Year Voyager Mission, planetary scientist Jim Bell shares the amazing human stories behind the machines' mission.
Originally published on Sat February 21, 2015 12:02 am
For more than 500 million years, sea creatures have been getting bigger — much bigger as it turns out, according to a study by scientists who say that the evolutionary trend toward larger body size fits with a 19th-century principle known as Cope's rule.
The rule, first posited in the late 1800s by Edward Drinker Cope, "states that evolution tends to increase body size over geologic time in a lineage of populations."
The Arctic cold snap that has gripped much of the U.S. lately may be causing hardship for many, but it's also creating some spectacular ice formations at Niagara Falls. The spectacle is drawing huge crowds on both the Canadian and American side of the border.
The air temperature is so cold that the water and mist coming off the falls is frozen in place. Some of the formations look like massive boulders, others look like long shards of white glass.
Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 2:38 pm
Imagine you walked outside one morning and there was a 30,000-pound cat sitting in your front yard. Imagine that, on the way to work, you walked past a mushroom the size of a house. Imagine that, in the midst of all the mundane, day-to-day things you take for granted, something utterly new — and utterly unexpected — plopped itself into your reality.
Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 12:08 pm
The emperor penguin chases its prey through nearly freezing waters. Once it locates food, usually a fish or squid, it catches the animal in its powerful jaws and devours it.
But after all that work, the penguin can't actually taste the savory flavor of its meal.
Researcher Jianzhi Zhang, a molecular and genomic evolution professor at the University of Michigan, recently examined the emperor penguin's genome. But hesays he couldn't find the bird's genes to taste umami, the savory flavor of meat or fish.
Originally published on Fri February 13, 2015 12:31 pm
What happens when today's high-tech data storage systems become tomorrow's floppy discs?
Google Vice President Vint Cerf is concerned about the answer and its implications for preserving history. Speaking at an annual conference of top American scientists, Cerf described such a loss of important information as a possible "digital Dark Ages."
Originally published on Fri February 13, 2015 4:43 pm
Updated at 4:35 p.m. ET
President Obama called cyberspace the "wild West" and that everyone is looking to the government to be the sheriff. But he said in his address to leaders in the tech industry, that private industry, policy makers and security experts had to do more to stop cyber attacks, the Associated Press reported.
There are so many projects in global health that sometimes it's hard to figure out which ones are the most important.
So Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory set out to list the 50 breakthroughs that would most transform the lives of the poor, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Shashi Buluswar, an author of the study, spoke with Morning Edition's Renee Montagne. Here's a sampling: