Science

Food
5:30 am
Mon August 13, 2012

Trial 'mini-grocery' brings fresh food to poor neighborhoods

Stockbox Grocery plans to greet you with a produce display like this one.
Stockbox

You might have trouble finding any attractive vegetables or fruits if you shop in the wrong stores. It’s especially challenging in poor neighborhoods, where mini-marts packed with beer, cigarettes and junk food may be all you can find.

One solution to be tested in Seattle this month will be in the form of a healthy corner store. Call it a mini-grocery.

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Mars landing
11:21 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Solved: Mars rover snapped pic of rocket stage crash

These views taken by the Hazard-Avoidance cameras on NASA's Curiosity rover show evidence for an impact plume created when the rover's sky crane fell to the Martian surface.
NASA

PASADENA, Calif. — The mysterious Mars photo has been solved.

A NASA engineer said Friday he's pretty sure a Curiosity rover camera caught the rocket stage crashing in the distance after it landed in Gale Crater Sunday night.

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NPR tech news
8:57 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Yes, There's Probably A Medical App For That

With thousands of medical apps available for download, patients and physicians can instantly keep visual records of wounds and look up symptoms.
Benjamin Morris NPR

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 6:46 am

How many calories have I consumed this week? How well did I sleep last night?

What about this thing on my leg — is it infected? What does an ECG for ventricular tachycardia look like again?

Yes, you guessed it. There is an app for that.

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Twitter diversions
11:19 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Following the lighter side of life on Mars with @SarcasticRover on Twitter

This Picasso-like self portrait of NASA's Curiosity rover was taken by its Navigation cameras, located on the now-upright mast. The camera snapped pictures 360-degrees around the rover, while pointing down at the rover deck, up and straight ahead.
NASA

The Mars rover Curiosity has landed ... on Mars! And it's having a pretty lonely but humorous time of it, according to the rover's mock Twitter feed

SarcasticRover: "HEY EVERYONE! Hope you kids have fun writing shitty memes on my HI-RES PICS! After all, THAT'S WHAT I'M HERE FOR!"

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NPR Science
7:54 am
Wed August 8, 2012

A Clear And Present Danger: How Glass Kills Birds

Experts say glass buildings kill millions of birds every year. Scientists at Powdermill Avian Research Center are studying ways to help prevent this. Here, a volunteer tags a black hooded warbler in Rector, Pa., in May.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 9:05 am

First of a two-part series. Read Part 2.

Modern architecture loves glass. Glass makes interiors brighter and adds sparkle to cityscapes. But glass also kills millions of birds every year when they collide with windows. Biologists say as more glass buildings go up, more birds are dying.

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Puget Sound orcas
1:53 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Newborn orca calf reported in Puget Sound

The new calf, believed to have been born on Monday, is the first offspring of 11-year-old J37.
Center for Whale Research

BREMERTON, Wash. — A newborn orca calf has been reported off the west side of San Juan Island in the Puget Sound.

The Center for Whale Research reports the new calf was first spotted midday Monday among the adults of J pod, one of three killer whale pods that frequent Puget Sound.

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The Two-Way
4:18 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

NASA Releases First Full-Resolution Photographs From Mars Curiosity

This image taken by NASA's Curiosity shows what lies ahead for the rover — its main science target, Mount Sharp.
NASA's Curiosity

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 5:44 pm

The Mars rover Curiosity safely landed on the Red Planet and NASA has received its first dispatches: A stunning full resolution look at Mount Sharp and a dramatic low-resolution video of its landing.

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Cancer
8:17 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Figuring out which cancer treatments work

Seattle’s a hub for cancer research, and usually that means scientists are looking for cures or new treatments. Now a new project will try to tell us if those treatments are worth the price-tag.

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npr science
6:24 am
Mon August 6, 2012

An Anthropologist Walks Into A Bar And Asks, 'Why Is This Joke Funny?'

Amateur comedian Robert Lynch takes the mic at the Metropolitan Room in New York City on July 21. Lynch is also an evolutionary anthropologist who is studying what laughter reveals about us.
Melanie Burford for NPR

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 1:26 pm

It's Saturday night at the Metropolitan Room, a comedy club in New York City. Host Jimmy Failla is warming up the crowd.

"Where you guys from?" he asks one group in the audience. "Boston? Home of the Red Sox. Personally, we'd prefer you rooted for the Taliban!"

There are 50 or 60 people in the audience, sipping cocktails. Failla has a system. He asks people where they're from. Most are locals. He then hits them with something they can relate to.

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npr science
11:38 pm
Sun August 5, 2012

Life on Mars? Try one of Saturn's moons instead

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 3:46 pm

One of the things the Mars rover will look for is organic molecules that could at least indicate whether there was once life on the Red Planet. But if searching for life in outer space is the goal, many scientists now say we might have better luck elsewhere — specifically one of Saturn's moons, Enceladus.

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NPR science
10:46 pm
Sun August 5, 2012

Mars Rover Pulls Off High-Wire Landing

An artist's rendering shows a rocket-powered descent stage lowering the one-ton Curiosity rover to the Mars surface.
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 3:26 am

The best place to stand in the entire solar system at 1:14 a.m. ET Monday was about 150 million miles away, at the bottom of Gale Crater near the equator of the Red Planet.

Looking west around mid-afternoon local time, a Martian bystander would have seen a rocket-powered alien spacecraft approach and then hover about 60 feet over the rock-strewn plain between the crater walls and the towering slopes of nearby Mount Sharp.

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NPR science
9:02 am
Sun August 5, 2012

Scientists look to Martian rocks for history of life

Mmm, nice rock! This rover's looking for secrets to the history of life on Mars.
Photo Illustration Courtesy NASA

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 8:41 am

NASA has sent rovers to explore Mars before. But three words explain what makes this latest mission to Mars so different: location, location, location.

The rover Curiosity is slated to land late Sunday in Gale Crater, near the base of a 3-mile-high mountain with layers like the Grand Canyon. Scientists think those rocks could harbor secrets about the history of water — and life — on the Red Planet.

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Mars landing
7:25 am
Sat August 4, 2012

Red Planet, Green Thumb: How A NASA Scientist Engineers His Garden

Limoncello in the making.
Rachael Porter NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 8:10 am

Most mornings, space engineer Adam Steltzner wakes up at about 3 a.m., and before he can coax his tired body back to sleep, his mind takes over. And he starts to worry.

Eventually Steltzner gives up on sleep and heads into his garden where, just as first light reveals the sky, all that thinking can turn into doing. And finally, a little peace.

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NPR science
8:02 am
Fri August 3, 2012

Crazy smart: When a rocker designs a Mars lander

NASA engineer Adam Steltzner led the team that designed a crazy new approach to landing on Mars.
Rachael Porter for NPR

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 3:43 pm

It's called the seven minutes of terror. In just seven minutes, NASA's latest mission to Mars, a new six-wheeled rover called Curiosity, must go from 13,000 mph as it enters the Martian atmosphere to a dead stop on the surface.

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health insurance
11:42 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Breast pumps for free, under new health law provisions

Many hospitals offer the Medela breast pump for rental

Breastfeeding is already a civil right in Seattle, and now it’s getting financial support everywhere. Under new health rules taking effect today, as part of President Obama’s health law, women will get a number of new "preventive" services covered for free (no co-pays). 

The most talked-about new benefit has been contraceptives – and how some Catholic groups prefer not to pay for birth control. 

But seven other provisions now must be covered by nearly all health insurance plans. One of them is breastfeeding supplies and counseling. 

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