Last year's drought wreaked havoc on farmers' fields in much of the Midwest, cutting crop yields and forcing livestock producers to cull their herds. This spring, the rain that farmers needed so badly in 2012 has finally returned. But maybe too much, and at the wrong time.
It's almost the end of April, which is prime time to plant corn. But farmers need a break in the rain so they can get this year's crops in the ground and try to lock in good yields at harvest.
Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 5:59 pm
Scientists can't just agree to disagree. It's not because we are stubborn or ornery (OK, maybe we are). It's because the whole point of science is to establish "public knowledge" — an understanding of the cosmos on which we can all agree. That is why there is trouble brewing at the beginning of the Universe.
There is a number, the Hubble Constant, that's fundamental to the study of the cosmos. The problem is, different folks are finding different values for that number and no one yet knows what that means.
Most research on memory loss in the elderly focuses on dementia, Alzheimer's disease or other brain diseases.
But neuroscientist Emily Rogalski from Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine knew there is great variation in how good memory is in older people. Most have memory loss to varying degrees, but some have strong memories, even well into old age.
Same-sex marriage got huge headlines at the Supreme Court last month, but in the world of science and medicine, the case being argued on Monday is far more important. The lawsuit deals with a truly 21st century issue — whether human genes may be patented.
It's widely known that the world's icecaps are melting. While most people are focused on what we're losing, some have considered what might be gained by the disappearance of all that ice.
In 2008, the U.S. Geological Survey released a report estimating that 13 percent of the world's remaining undiscovered oil and 30 percent of the remaining undiscovered natural gas could be in the Arctic.
A top executive at News Corp. dropped a bombshell this week when he said the company is considering taking Fox's over-the-air network to cable. The announcement follows a court win for a startup company that streams broadcast channels online.
That startup's CEO, arguably the most feared man in television right now, is soft-spoken and rather techy.
Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 11:28 am
The Federal Aviation Administration continues work on its multibillion-dollar upgrade to the nation's air traffic control system, but it may not be enough to stop hackers from taking control of airplanes with a smartphone.
This is not the sound of the ALL THINGS CONSIDERED staff morning meeting.
(SOUNDBITE OF WOBBLE)
BLOCK: It's not Justin Timberlake doing his vocal warm-up. And it's not a celebration of hedge fund managers.
(SOUNDBITE OF WOBBLE)
BLOCK: It is the sound of the wild gelada monkey. And why are we bringing you the sound of the wild gelada monkey? Well, because a new study finds the vocalization of these monkeys could tell us something about the beginning of human speech.
Bitcoin, the digital currency that trades outside the control of central banks and international borders, reached new heights Tuesday, surpassing the $200 mark for the first time. That level comes just five days after bitcoin approached $150, a development that Mt.Gox, the largest exchange service for the currency, deemed to be "epic."
Bitcoin's rise has been sharp. It was only two months ago that exchange rates put a single bitcoin's value at around $20.
In recent months, more than 1,000 starving baby sea lions have been found on Southern California beaches, from Santa Barbara to San Diego. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has just declared the crisis an "unusual mortality event."
On a recent early morning, Peter Wallerstein is on the job on a beach near Marina del Rey, Calif. His white truck is a familiar sight along this coastline. Next to him, a small blond dog named Pumpkin rides shotgun.
Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 11:18 am
The U.S. is embracing wind energy, with wind turbines making up half of the new electricity added to the power grid last year. But a smattering of people who live near the turbines say they're a nuisance — and making them ill.
By the time today's K-12 students grow up, the challenges posed by climate change are expected to be severe and sweeping. Now, for the first time, new nationwide science standards due out soon will recommend that U.S. public school students learn about the climatic shift taking place.
Mark McCaffrey of the National Center for Science Education says the lessons will fill a big gap.