Science & Health

Environment
5:37 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Deep In Canadian Lakes, Signs Of Tar Sands Pollution

The Shell Oil Jackpine open pit mine uses trucks that are 3 stories tall, weigh 1 million pounds and cost $7 million each. There is explosive growth in the oil field areas around Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada.
The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 5:43 pm

Canadian researchers have used the mud at the bottom of lakes like a time machine to show that tar sands oil production in Alberta, Canada, is polluting remote regional lakes as far as 50 miles from the operations.

An increasingly large share of U.S. oil comes from Canada's tar sands. There are environmental consequences of this development, but until recently, Canadian regional and federal governments left it to the industry to monitor these effects.

Read more
NPR Story
3:32 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

2012 Smashes Record For Hottest Year In The Lower 48

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 5:37 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

It's official, federal scientists say 2012 was the hottest year on record for the Lower 48 States. In fact, the average shattered the previous record set in 1998.

Here's NPR science correspondent Richard Harris.

Read more
Krulwich Wonders...
11:07 am
Tue January 8, 2013

'No, Thank You': The Mysterious Transformation Of 50-Year-Olds

Courtesy of Harry Dent

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 11:08 am

Harry Dent, a financial newsletter writer, has been looking at the Census data, and he's uncovered something odd about American adults. When we turn 50, we dramatically change our clothes-buying habits. It's not gradual; gradual is what we'd expect. Instead, the change is drastic.

You can see it with men's shirts. In our early 50s, American men are at the top of our shirt buying game (either buying more shirts than at any other time in our lives, or maybe we're buying more expensively). Then watch what happens:

Read more
Energy
1:38 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Drilling Rig's Thick Hull Helps Prevent Oil Spill

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 5:06 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The Shell oil drilling rig that ran aground off Alaska last week is now anchored in a quiet harbor so divers can assess the damage. Wildlife officials say they have seen no evidence of a spill from the vessel, which was carrying tanks of diesel fuel. But the accident does raise questions about Shell's plans to drill for oil in the remote and fragile ecosystem of the Arctic.

NPR's Richard Harris reports.

Read more
The Salt
4:07 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

The $1.76 Million Tuna: Great For Publicity, Bad For The Species

Sushi chain owner Kiyoshi Kimura poses with a bluefin tuna in front of his Sushi Zanmai restaurant in Tokyo on Saturday. He paid more than $1.7 million for the fish.
Shuji Kajiyama AP

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 4:52 pm

It's become an annual tradition: bidding up an outrageous price for a Pacific bluefin tuna during the first auction of the new year at Toyko's Tsukiji fish market.

And on Saturday, a bluefin tuna big enough to serve up about 10,000 pieces of sushi fetched a mind-boggling price: $1.76 million. That's about three times as much as last year's tuna and equates to about $3,600 per pound for the 489-pound fish.

Read more
Space
3:40 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

In The Market For A Very Large Garage? Call NASA.

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 5:19 pm

NASA is facing a conundrum of large proportions; shuttle-sized, in fact. Now that the shuttle program has ended, NASA is no longer using shuttle facilities and equipment. That includes everything from a launch pad to space in the building where rockets were assembled. So NASA is conducting a secret auction. Orlando Sentinel staff writer Scott Powers explains what NASA is selling, why, and who the buyers might be.

Science
12:33 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Negative Temperatures That Are Hotter Than The Sun

Scientists have cooled potassium gas to one billionth of a degree below absolute zero. But in the quantum world, that's actually hotter than the Sun. It's hotter, even, than infinity degrees Kelvin. Vladan Vuletić, a quantum physicist at MIT, talks about this 'Bizarro World' temperature.

Shots - Health News
12:18 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

As Norovirus Rages, A Robot Named 'Vomiting Larry' Gets His Closeup

Vomiting Larry doing what he does best.
U.K. Health and Safety Laboratory

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 10:06 am

The lab robot affectionately called "Vomiting Larry" has gone viral. His image and videoed vomiting for science are all over the Web.

Read more
NPR Story
9:50 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Science Looked Good In 2012

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 11:23 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

And now joining us is Flora Lichtman. Hi, Flora.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Ira.

FLATOW: Multimedia editor with our Video Pick of the Week, and it's topical, of course.

Read more
NPR Story
9:50 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Cold-Water Fish Break The Ice With Antifreeze

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 12:33 pm

Cold-water fish, snow-dwelling bugs and some grasses have evolved natural antifreeze proteins to avoid turning to ice cubes. Peter Davies, a biologist at Queen's University in Ontario, discusses how these antifreeze substances work, and their applications for human problems--like keeping the ice out of ice cream.

Pages