Science

Shots - Health News
6:16 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Sticky Streamers Of Staph Bacteria May Clog Up Medical Devices

Medical devices with tiny tubes can provide hideouts for bacteria.
pzAxe/iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 6:46 am

Bacteria like to clump together and cling to surfaces, where they secrete bits of molecular debris that grow into a slimy protective coating.

These gooey collections of bacteria are called biofilms, and they can be found everywhere — on moist rocks in streams, inside water treatment plants, and even on your teeth, if you forget to brush.

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The Salt
3:57 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Lone Passenger Pigeon Escapes Pie Pan, Lands In Smithsonian

A male passenger pigeon, illustrated in a book of natural history printed in 1754.
Courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 5:33 pm

"Pigeon: It's what's for dinner."

That might sound strange to us, but it could have been uttered by our great-grandparents. Baked into pot pies, stewed, fried or salted, the passenger pigeon was a staple for many North Americans.

But by 1914, only one was left: Martha.

Named after Martha Washington, she lived a long life at the Cincinnati Zoo until 1914. The bird, now on exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, was a celebrity.

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Science
3:20 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

If They Want To Make Anything, Proteins Must Know How To Fold

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 9:46 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Events unfold. Plots unfold. And this summer, NPR science correspondent Joe Palca has been telling us how science unfolds. It's series we're creatively calling Unfolding Science.

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME SONG)

BLOCK: Today, Joe tells us about large biological molecules called proteins that have to fold and unfold properly to keep us alive.

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Shots - Health News
1:49 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

When Heat Stroke Strikes, Cool First, Transport Later

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo takes a water break during the 2014 World Cup soccer match between Portugal and the U.S. in Manaus, Brazil, on June 22.
Siphiwe Sibeko Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 4:38 pm

The first-ever World Cup water break (taken during the game between Portugal and the United States this week) is a reminder that we all need to take extra precautions when playing in the heat.

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The Salt
9:38 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Chemist With Visual Flair Answers Burning Food Science Questions

Courtesy of Compound Interest

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 2:24 pm

Chemistry teachers don't need to go the way of Breaking Bad's Walter White and make methamphetamine if they're looking for a compelling side gig.

Andy Brunning, a high school chemistry teacher in the U.K., makes beautiful infographics on everyday chemistry on his blog, Compound Interest. Thanks in part to the American Chemical Society, which has turned several of his posts into videos, his clever visuals have been going viral.

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