Science & Health

Energy
4:21 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Five Years Into Fracking Boom, One Pa. Town At A Turning Point

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 4:40 pm

The natural gas fracking boom has sped up life in Towanda, Pa. There are positives and negatives to that fact — Towanda's unemployment rate stayed low throughout the recession, but its crime rate jumped, too. And now that natural gas prices have slowed down drilling, Towanda is wondering whether its boom is already turning into a bust.

Environment
12:49 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Florida's Python Problem: Snakes Reshape The Everglades

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 3:01 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

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Books
4:12 pm
Sun January 13, 2013

A 'Beautiful Vision' In Science Forgotten

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 12:48 pm

Emily Dickinson's poem that begins with the line "I died for beauty" inspires the title of a new biography of Dorothy Wrinch, the path-breaking mathematician who faced the kind of tumult that scientific inquiry can inspire.

Few people outside the sciences have heard of Wrinch. In 1929, she became the first woman to receive a doctorate of science from Oxford University. But that only begins her largely unknown story.

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Animals
3:15 pm
Sun January 13, 2013

The Kraken Is Real: Scientist Films First Footage Of A Giant Squid

A giant squid stars in this still image taken from the footage Edie Widder shot. It's the first-ever video of these giant squids, and it'll debut in a Discovery Channel documentary airing in late January.
Edie Widder Discovery Channel

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 6:25 pm

For thousands of years, sailors have told stories of giant squids. In myth and cinema, the kraken was the most terrible of sea monsters. Now, it's been captured — on a soon-to-be-seen video.

Even after decades of searching, giant squids had only been seen in still photographs. Finally, in last July, scientists filmed the first video of a live giant squid swimming some 2,000 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean.

Edie Widder is the ocean researcher who shot the footage, which is slated to be released in a Discovery Channel documentary later this month.

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Krulwich Wonders...
6:33 am
Sat January 12, 2013

Phooey On Flu

A lot of you have had it by now, or are having it or are about to be exposed. This year's flu is called "H3N2" and this week it's doing big business in about 47 states, Chicago and New York. If you've had a flu shot and if you wash your hands several times a day for 20 seconds, (which is the time it takes to hum "Happy Birthday to You" two times through) you might reduce your odds of getting sick.

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Energy
5:21 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Coal Loses Crown As King Of Power Generation

Georgia Power's coal-fired steam-turbine electric generating Plant Bowen in Euharlee, Ga., seen in 2009. The utility is planning on shuttering 15 coal- and oil-fired generating units at its facilities.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 5:31 pm

Just a few years ago, Georgia Power generated nearly three-fourths of its electricity with coal. Last year, for the first time, natural gas edged out coal, and just this week the company announced plans to close 10 coal-fired power generators within the next few years.

"We do recognize this is a historic event for our company. We've never announced this many closings at one time," says Mark Williams, a company spokesperson.

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Energy
3:38 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

After Accidents, U.S. To Review Shell's Drilling In Arctic Ocean

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 5:11 pm

Melissa Block talks with science correspondent Richard Harris about Shell's troubled history in the Arctic.

The Salt
1:13 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

In The Battle Between Health And Taste, Why White Bread Still Wins

White bread, we just can't quit you.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 7:59 am

The tantalizing aroma of freshly baked brioche is hard to resist, while a virtuous loaf of whole wheat often lacks that same allure. Blame it on the ferulic acid.

See, whole-wheat bread contains all parts of the wheat, including the bran, but white bread does not. That bran in the wheat bread contains the aforementioned ferulic acid, which overrides the compounds that give white bread its mouthwatering smell, according to new research.

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Medical Treatments
12:03 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Using Genetics to Target Cancer's Achilles' Heel

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 10:25 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Next up, yet another way that genetics is giving rise to new ways to treat cancer. A few months ago I was at a conference focusing on individualized medicine; that's treating people individually, using medicines that were designed for each person's genetic makeup. It's a new frontier that we'll be talking about more.

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Fitness & Nutrition
12:03 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

The Fallacies Of Fat

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 9:29 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. This isn't going to take you by surprise, but America is fat. One in three adults is obese. For kids, it's one in six. But don't forget the infants. Doctors say there's now an obesity epidemic among six-month-old babies. And if you think you're safe because you're thin, consider that up to 40 percent of thin people have metabolic syndrome, in other words, on the road to type 2 diabetes, even if they can't tell by looking in the mirror.

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