Science

The Two-Way
2:38 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Scientists Keep A Careful Eye On The World Cup Ball

A close up of the Brazuca ball in NASA's Ames Fluid Mechanics Laboratory. Smoke highlighted by lasers visualizes air flow around the ball.
NASA's Ames Research Center

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 7:45 am

While many millions are enjoying the drama of the World Cup, a handful of scientists are keeping their eyes very closely on the ball.

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Commentary
4:42 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Seeking the Solstice: Kick Off Your Summer of Cosmic Sunsets

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 6:12 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. Here in the Northern hemisphere, summer officially begins this weekend. The summer solstice is Saturday. Other than warm weather and school letting out, what really marks this moment are sunsets, as NPR blogger Adam Frank explains.

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The Salt
2:53 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Cut Your Cake And Keep It (Fresh), Too

Alex Bellos seals up the cake after removing a slice.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 4:53 pm

"The ordinary method of cutting out a wedge is very faulty," wrote Sir Francis Galton, a British mathematician, in a 1906 letter to the journal Nature concerning the scientific principles of cake-cutting.

More than a century later, cake lovers might finally be ready to face this truth.

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Shots - Health News
2:17 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

To Defeat A Deadly Toxin, Disrupt Its Landing Gear

A high-resolution image of the molecular carrier that moves the botulinum toxin from the intestine into the bloodstream. The carrier (silver) creates gaps in the gut lining by grabbing the rope-like molecules (red ribbons) that tether one intestinal cell to the next.
Rongsheng Jin, UC Irvine, and Min Dong, Harvard Medical School

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 6:59 am

Botulinum toxin may be the most poisonous substance on the planet. A mere speck of the stuff can kill a person.

But just what makes the toxin so potent?

Part of the answer lies in the molecules that carry the toxin through the body. These carriers, which are produced along with the toxin by the Clostridium botulinum bacterium, protect the toxin as it travels through the hostile environment of the gastroinstetinal tract, and help it bust through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream.

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The Two-Way
2:04 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

New York Passes Bill To Outlaw Tattooing Pets

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 3:56 pm

If you live in New York, you might want to cancel that appointment to get your dog tattooed: On Wednesday, a bill prohibiting pet tattooing passed the state Legislature. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to ink it.

The soon-to-be-law, which gained bipartisan support and was endorsed by the Humane Society of New York, prohibits "unnecessary body modification" of animals but includes an exemption for piercings or tattoos for the purpose of medical identification.

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