Science & Health

The Picture Show
2:32 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

This Milk Production Was Brought To You By A Robot

Photographer Freya Najade journeys into the weird sci-fi world of Europe's agricultural production. In one cow-milking facility she visited, "two people are needed to milk twice a day 300 cows," she writes.
Freya Najade

We all have an inkling of how our food is grown these days, but increasingly we don't really know what it looks like. You'd probably recognize a tomato plant or a cornfield — but these photos offer a perspective that a lot of us haven't seen.

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NPR Story
11:00 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Book Challenges Kids With Science-Based Mysteries

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 12:03 pm

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

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NPR Story
11:00 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Chef Jack Bishop on 'The Science of Good Cooking'

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 12:03 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY; I'm Ira Flatow. Chefs are like, a little bit like golfers: They're always looking for tips to improve their game. So as you prepare for the last big party of 2012 or the first one of 2013, we have some gastronomical tips to improve your cooking and baking skills and the reasons behind why they actually work.

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NPR Story
11:00 am
Fri December 28, 2012

The Renaissance Man Who Got It All Wrong

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 12:03 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY; I'm Ira Flatow. You've heard of Leonardo, Michelangelo, Galileo, Newton, maybe even Pascal and Hooke, all Renaissance men who, between them, innovated in painting, sculpture, physics, math, chemistry, astronomy, architecture, philosophy, the list goes on. But how about Athanasius Kircher? Yeah, have you heard of him? Not ringing - no bells are ringing?

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NPR Story
11:00 am
Fri December 28, 2012

'Consider the Fork' Chronicles Evolution of Eating

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 12:03 pm

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IRA FLATOW, HOST:

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NPR Story
11:00 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Making Resolutions That Stick

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 12:03 pm

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IRA FLATOW, HOST:

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NPR Story
11:00 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Get The Most Bang From Your Bubbly

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 12:03 pm

In time for New Year's Eve, Science Friday examines the chemical reactions that transpire in fluted glassware. Ira Flatow and Richard Zare, a chemist at Stanford University, pore over the science of bubbles — from how to keep that open champagne fizzy (forget the cork) to why beer tastes better from a glass rather than a bottle.

The Salt
8:56 am
Fri December 28, 2012

An Evolutionary Whodunit: How Did Humans Develop Lactose Tolerance?

Thousands of years ago, a mutation in the human genome allowed many adults to digest lactose and drink milk.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 11:41 am

Got milk? Ancient European farmers who made cheese thousands of years ago certainly had it. But at that time, they lacked a genetic mutation that would have allowed them to digest raw milk's dominant sugar, lactose, after childhood.

Today, however, 35 percent of the global population — mostly people with European ancestry — can digest lactose in adulthood without a hitch.

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Research News
3:20 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Birds Hang Around Mistletoe For More Than A Kiss

Researchers in Australia found that when they removed mistletoe from large sections of forests, vast numbers of birds left.
BSIP UIG via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 8:40 pm

For the Druids, mistletoe was sacred. For us, it's a cute ornament and maybe an excuse to steal a kiss. And of course it's a Christmas tradition.

But for a forest, mistletoe might be much more important. It's a parasite, shows up on tree branches and looks like an out-of-place evergreen bush hanging in the air.

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U.S.
2:31 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

An Abundance Of Extreme Weather Has Many On Edge

A parking lot full of yellow taxis is flooded as a result of Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 30 in Hoboken, N.J.
Charles Sykes AP

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 8:40 pm

Opinion polls show 2012's extreme weather — producing wildfires, floods and drought — has more people making a connection with climate change. For Marti Andrews in southern New Jersey, a turning point was the summer's hurricane-like derecho.

"I don't want to say I freaked out about it, but holy crap, it scared me," she says. It packed winds up to 90 miles per hour and nonstop lightning, which Andrews says looked like some wild disco display in the sky.

"I've never seen anything like that," she says. "I sat there on the couch thinking, 'Oh my God, we're all gonna die!' "

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