science

The Salt
7:41 am
Thu July 12, 2012

Nightly Glass Of Wine May Protect Boomer Women's Bones

Cheers! Moderate drinking might slow age-related bone loss in women.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 9:00 am

It's well-known that exercise is good for our bones, even as we age, but how about that nightly glass of wine?

A new study of women in their 50s and early 60s finds that moderate alcohol consumption may help prevent bone loss. The women in the study consumed about 1 1/2 drinks per day.

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AIDS: A Turning Point
2:06 am
Thu July 12, 2012

'Treatment As Prevention' Rises As Cry In HIV Fight

While Kenya Jackson (right) is on his thrice-weekly dialysis treatment, community health worker Greg Jules talks to him about taking his medication.
Richard Knox NPR

Originally published on Thu July 12, 2012 11:21 am

AIDS researchers, policymakers and advocates are increasingly convinced that treating HIV is one of the best ways of preventing its spread.

The rallying cry is "treatment as prevention," and it's the overarching theme of this month's International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C.

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Around the Nation
2:05 am
Thu July 12, 2012

Waste Not, Want Not: Town To Tap Sewers For Energy

Brainerd Public Utilities' Scott Sjolund at a sewer site. Sewers around the city were monitored to gauge the amount of potential energy flowing through the system.
Conrad Wilson for NPR

Originally published on Thu July 12, 2012 11:21 am

Most Americans use electricity, gas or oil to heat and cool their homes. But the small city of Brainerd, Minn., is turning to something a bit less conventional: the sewer.

As it turns out, a sewer — the place where a city's hot showers, dishwashing water and organic matter end up — is a pretty warm place. That heat can generate energy — meaning a city's sewer system can hold tremendous potential for heating and cooling.

It's just that unexpected energy source that Brainerd hopes to exploit.

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The Salt
2:58 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Cranberry Juice For Urinary Tract Infections? It Really Can Help

Cranberry Antioxidant Punch
Maggie Starbard NPR

Native Americans and Pilgrims were onto something when they turned to cranberries as an infection fighter. American settlers believed the bitter food could stave off scurvy. But there's more than just Vitamin C in this indigenous berry.

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Science & Health
11:44 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Sugarcane disease new to Louisiana found

The LSU AgCenter says a sugarcane fungus new to Louisiana has been identified in two fields. It's called orange rust.

Plant pathologist Jeff Hoy says sugarcane experts had expected the wind-borne fungus earlier since it was first identified in the United States five years ago in Florida.

Researchers and extension agents are checking other fields to see if they are infected.

Orange rust is native to Asia.

The Two-Way
1:33 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

PHOTO: A New Panoramic View Of Mars

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity took this panoramic view of the planet between Dec. 2011 and May.
NASA

NASA has released a new, stunning panoramic image of Mars. The scene is stitched from 817 images taken by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity from Dec. 2011 to May.

To do the image justice, you have to download the hi-resolution version, but be warned it's close to 14 MB.

Here's how NASA describes the scene:

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Summer Science
2:30 am
Tue July 3, 2012

When Ice Cream Attacks: The Mystery Of Brain Freeze

NPR interns (from left) Angela Wong and Kevin Uhrmacher participate in an experiment to induce brain freeze.
Benjamin Morris NPR

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 1:12 pm

If it hasn't happened to you, count yourself as lucky. For many people, eating ice cream or drinking an icy drink too fast can produce a really painful headache. It usually hits in the front of the brain, behind the forehead.

The technical name for this phenomenon is cold-stimulus headache, but people also refer to it as "ice cream headache" or "brain freeze."

The good news is that brain freeze is easy to prevent — just eat more slowly. The other bit of good news is these headaches don't last very long — a minute at the outside.

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Dead Zone Forecast
11:31 am
Fri June 22, 2012

2 Very Different Forecasts for Gulf Dead Zone

Scientists from Louisiana and Michigan have very different predictions for the size of this year's "dead zone" of low-oxygen in the Gulf of Mexico. It will be the smallest in nearly a quarter century at just under 1,200 square miles — or five times that size. 

Summer Science
4:08 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Summer Science: The Perfectly Toasted Marshmallow

Joe Palca's perfectly toasted marshmallow.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 7:18 am

It's the epic quest of campers everywhere: How do you get the perfectly toasted marshmallow? In our inaugural installment of NPR's Summer Science series, we gave some guidance on the first key ingredient: how to build the campfire. (Later this summer, we'll attempt to answer the vexing question of how to stave off brain freeze.)

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Summer Science
1:42 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Summer Science: How To Build A Campfire

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 10:10 am

Summer living is supposed to be easy — school is out, the days are long, the traffic eases. But it's not all inner tubes and lemonade: Summer can throw us some curveballs, too. How can I avoid sunburn? What can I do to stave off that brain freeze? Why do my s'mores always burn?

Fear not; NPR is here to help. As part of our new Summer Science series, we'll turn to science to tackle these vexing questions, starting with how to build the perfect campfire.

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