Science

Shots - Health News
12:04 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

What Killed Him? A 'Verbal Autopsy' Can Answer

An autopsy helps medical students learn human anatomy in Rembrandt's painting The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp from 1632.
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 3:19 pm

One of the few times we hear about autopsies these days is when a celebrity dies. But post-mortem investigations do more than satisfy our curiosity about Whitney Houston or Notorious B.I.G.

Autopsies tell communities why people are dying.

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Around the Nation
4:58 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Is California Up Next For An Oil And Gas Boom?

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 5:05 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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Animals
4:58 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Scientists Mourn Popular Wolf Shot By A Hunter

The Lamar Canyon pack's alpha female (right) was shot and killed by a hunter on Dec. 6.
Courtesy of Doug McLaughlin

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 1:34 pm

The most popular wolf in Yellowstone National Park was shot by a hunter last week, a big blow to scientists and many wildlife enthusiasts who loved following her story.

"She was very recognizable, and she was unique and everybody knew her," says biologist Douglas Smith.

The animal known as 832F had a beautiful gray coat and was the alpha female of the Lamar Canyon pack. Smith has followed this wolf for years but only got to put a tracking collar on her in February.

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
4:55 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Does Science Refute God?

Two teams face off over the motion "Science Refutes God" in an Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.
Samuel LaHoz

Is belief in God rational? Or has science shown the existence of God to be so unlikely as to make belief irrational?

Two physicists, a skeptic and a scholar tried to answer those questions in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate. They faced off two against two (with one physicist on each side) on the motion "Science Refutes God."

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The Salt
4:13 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Seafood Sleuthing Reveals Pervasive Fish Fraud In New York City

Farmed Atlantic salmon was sometimes labeled at "wild salmon," researchers found when the tested seafood sold in New York City.
iStockphoto.com

If you buy fish in New York City, particularly from a small market or restaurant, there's a pretty good chance it won't be the fish it claims to be.

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Krulwich Wonders...
7:28 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Pigeon Interuptus — A Fish That Hunts Pigeons On Land

YouTube

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 3:34 pm

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Shots - Health News
3:37 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

What Porcupines Can Teach Engineers

The barbs on porcupine quills make it easier from them to penetrate the skin.
National Park Service

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 7:04 am

Pulling out a porcupine quill is painful and slow, as many a dog discovers to its dismay after tangling with the big rodent. But those tenacious quills are inspiring efforts to develop better medical devices, including less painful needles.

It turns out that no one had really picked apart why it's so hard to remove a porcupine quill. Barbs, sure. But the barbs not only stick like mad. They also make it much easier for the quill to pierce skin and flesh.

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Shots - Health News
2:04 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

How A Superbug Traveled The World

Clostridium difficile bacteria produce a toxin that damages the intestine and causes severe diarrhea.
Courtesy of David Goudling/Nature Genetics.

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 7:06 am

Just as the name implies, Clostridium difficile is a difficult pathogen to beat. It causes a nasty infection in your gut, and it's often resistant to many antibiotics.

But C. difficile got even more troublesome about 10 years ago when a particularly virulent form of the bug cropped up in hospitals across the U.S and was no longer vulnerable to one of the most common classes of antibiotics.

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Shots - Health News
8:50 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Buzz Off: Bedbugs Unfazed By Ultrasonic Devices

Bedbugs are becoming a common nuisance in many places. But cheap ultrasonic devices advertised as bedbug repellents don't work, scientists say.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 7:04 am

With bedbugs bunking just about everywhere these days, people battling the bloodsucking insects may be tempted to try their hand at driving them away.

But ultrasonic bug zappers, which retail for less than $25, aren't the solution, say entomologists who tested some of the devices.

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