Science + Technology

Science + Technology
11:57 am
Wed September 24, 2014

After The NIH Funding 'Euphoria' Comes The 'Hangover'

Originally published on Fri September 26, 2014 11:02 am

When Richard Larson co-wrote a scientific paper about the perils of up-and-down funding for the National Institutes of Health, he noted that the research cycled between states of "euphoria," and a "hangover" far greater than you'd expect.

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Science + Technology
1:37 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Massive Volcanic Eruption Is Making Iceland Grow

A plane flies over the Bardarbunga volcano as it spews lava and smoke in southeast Iceland on Sept. 14. The Bardarbunga volcano system has been rocked by hundreds of tremors a day since mid-August, prompting fears the volcano could explode.
Bernard Meric AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 1:29 pm

The tiny, island nation of Iceland is in the middle of a growth spurt. For the past month, the country's Bardarbunga volcano has been churning out lava at a prodigious rate. And the eruption shows no signs of abating.

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Science + Technology
10:07 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Mars Has A New Visitor From Earth

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 7:15 am

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Science + Technology
10:07 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Pondering 'Deep Time' Could Inspire New Ways To View Climate Change

Scientists who work for nuclear waste disposal projects in Finland, Canada and Sweden study an ice sheet in western Greenland.
Courtesy of Vincent F. Ialenti

Originally published on Sun September 21, 2014 11:52 am


Last Sunday, I reflected here in 13.7 on my anthropological fieldwork among Biosphere Assessment (BSA) experts involved with Safety Case projects supporting what might, in the early 2020s, become the world's first operationa

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Science + Technology
8:12 am
Mon September 22, 2014

NASA: MAVEN Spacecraft Safely Circling Mars

Artist concept of MAVEN spacecraft in orbit around Mars.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 10:44 am

NASA's MAVEN spacecraft conducted a 33-minute burn of its six main engines to ease into an orbit around Mars after a nearly yearlong, 442 million-mile voyage from Earth. The probe's mission is to study the red planet's atmosphere.

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Science + Technology
3:32 am
Mon September 22, 2014

The Biology Of Altruism: Good Deeds May Be Rooted In The Brain

Rob Donnelly for NPR

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 10:55 am

Four years ago, Angela Stimpson agreed to donate a kidney to a complete stranger.

"The only thing I knew about my recipient was that she was a female and she lived in Bakersfield, Calif.," Stimpson says.

It was a true act of altruism — Stimpson risked pain and suffering to help another. So why did she do it? It involved major surgery, her donation was anonymous, and she wasn't paid.

"At that time in my life, I was 42 years old. I was single, I had no children," Stimpson says. "I loved my life, but I would often question what my purpose is."

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Science + Technology
5:02 pm
Sun September 21, 2014

Mission To Study Mars' Climate Enters Red Planet's Orbit

In this artist concept provided by NASA, the MAVEN spacecraft approaches Mars on a mission to study its upper atmosphere.
AP

Originally published on Sun September 21, 2014 10:41 pm

This Sunday night, we headed back to Mars: NASA's MAVEN spacecraft fired its six main engines, slowing down enough so it could be captured by the gravity of the red planet and go into orbit.

MAVEN, which stands for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, is a distinctly un-sexy name for a project as cool as a sojourn to Mars. But whatever it's called, the probe is on a mission that should be of interest to everyone who likes living on Earth.

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Science + Technology
9:21 pm
Sat September 20, 2014

Mammoth On The Move: Rare, Nearly-Intact Skeleton Heads To Dallas

Mammuthus columbi, the Columbian mammoth, used to be common in America, but went extinct about 10,000 years ago. The specimen found south of Dallas is estimated to be 20,000 - 40,000 years old.
Illustration by Karen Carr Perot Museum of Nature and Science

For tens of thousands of years, the skeleton of a giant mammoth lay in one place: a gravel pit about 50 miles south of Dallas.

A few months ago, the bones were unearthed — and now they're on the move. Paleontologists are carefully packing them up, preparing them to travel to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, in Dallas.

A Gravel Pit Reveals Its Secret

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Science + Technology
7:40 am
Sat September 20, 2014

Organizers Hope U.N. Climate March Will Be Largest In History

Originally published on Sat September 20, 2014 11:16 am

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Science + Technology
10:57 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Meet The 2014 Winners Of The MacArthur 'Genius Grants'

U.S. cartoonist Alison Bechdel works Sept. 2 in her studio at the castle of Civitella Ranieri, central Italy.
Riccardo De Luca MacArthur Foundation

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 7:54 am

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Science + Technology
10:56 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Multispectral Imaging Could Reveal Secrets Of Martellus Map

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:03 pm

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Science + Technology
10:56 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Is Atheist Awe A Religious Experience?

Falls at Letchworth State Park in New York.
iStockphoto

"Where were you?" my beloved asked as I walked through the door caked in mud and sweat. "I was communing with my gods," I responded — and proceeded to tell her about the exquisite hike I'd had that morning in New York's Letchworth State Park (the Grand Canyon of the East).

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Science + Technology
4:28 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Key Brain Connection Slow To Develop In Kids With ADHD

Maps of connections in the brain are helping researchers better understand attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Courtesy of Chandra Sripada/University of Michigan

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 8:57 am

Scientists analyzing data from a map of connections inside the human brain have gained new insights into the development of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

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Science + Technology
11:40 am
Mon September 15, 2014

European Scientists Choose Site For Rosetta's Comet Touchdown

Closeup of Philae's primary landing Site J, which is located on the "head" of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. The image was taken by Rosetta's OSIRIS narrow-angle camera on Aug. 20.
ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 12:04 pm

After the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft spent a decade just catching up with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, mission controllers have announced the spot where the probe's Philae lander will touch down. It turns out that there are no really good spots to land on a comet.

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Science + Technology
10:28 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Envisioning Landscapes Of Our Very Distant Future

An aerial view of Posiva Oy's prospective nuclear waste repository site in Olkiluoto, Finland.
Posiva Oy

Originally published on Sun September 14, 2014 5:42 pm

A few minutes before my flight to Helsinki touched down, I looked out the window at Finland's flat, snowy, forested landscape. It appeared still and serene.

It was December 2011, and I was moving to Finland to conduct anthropological fieldwork among experts developing what might, in the early 2020s, become the world's first operational geological repository for high-level nuclear waste.

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Science + Technology
7:03 am
Sun September 14, 2014

Howling Babies Drove Prehistoric Warriors Into Battle?

iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 10:26 am

If you have ever seen, or spent time with (or, God forbid, had to live with) a colicky baby, this will make perfect sense to you. It may not make actual sense, but when the baby is crying you don't think very straight.

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Science + Technology
3:06 am
Sat September 13, 2014

Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

Actors in the TV series Star Trek (from left) Leonard Nimoy as Commander Spock, William Shatner as Captain Kirk, DeForest Kelley as Doctor McCoy and James Doohan as Commander Scott.
AP

"European society is very advanced, very civilized. Between holocausts."

The painter Barnett Newman is said to have replied along these lines to a friend who was bemoaning the sorry state of American political life and praising European social democracy.

It's a good joke. It casts light on the whole religion versus science controversy as well.

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Science + Technology
12:51 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

What Makes A Star Starry? Is It Me?

Courtesy of Tyler Nordgen

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 5:55 pm

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Science + Technology
7:31 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Crocodile Meets Godzilla — A Swimming Dino Bigger Than T. Rex

Workers at the National Geographic Museum in Washington grind the rough edges off a life-size replica of a spinosaurus skeleton.
Mike Hettwer National Geographic

Originally published on Thu September 11, 2014 8:54 pm

There once was a place on Earth so overrun with giant, meat-eating predators that even a Tyrannosaurus rex would have been nervous. One predator there was even bigger than T. rex, and scientists now say it's apparently the only aquatic dinosaur ever found.

The swimming monster is called Spinosaurus aegyptiacus. It was 50 feet long — longer than a school bus, and 9 feet longer than the biggest T. rex.

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Science + Technology
3:24 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Is Amazon's Failed Phone A Cautionary Tale?

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos introduces the new Amazon Fire phone June 18 in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Thu September 11, 2014 11:05 am

It's been a big week in the world of gadgets. Apple announced its newest iPhones, the 6 and 6 Plus, and they're bigger than any other before. And on the smaller side, there's an Apple Watch — that does a lot of the same things. Meanwhile, Amazon took a nosedive with its foray into the smartphone marketplace. Here are some questions we had:

Amazon slashed the price of the Fire phone from $199 To 99 cents. Why?

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