Science

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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Krulwich Wonders...
7:38 am
Mon December 10, 2012

How About A Little Drive, Hmm? (A Horror Story)

mandatory.com

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 5:12 pm

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Science
3:26 pm
Sun December 9, 2012

Forget Extinct: The Brontosaurus Never Even Existed

This photograph from 1934 shows the Carnegie Museum's Apatosaurus skeleton on the right — wearing the wrong skull.
Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Originally published on Sun December 9, 2012 6:09 pm

It may have something to do with all those Brontosaurus burgers everyone's favorite modern stone-age family ate, but when you think of a giant dinosaur with a tiny head and long, swooping tail, the Brontosaurus is probably what you're seeing in your mind.

Well hold on: Scientifically speaking, there's no such thing as a Brontosaurus.

Even if you knew that, you may not know how the fictional dinosaur came to star in the prehistoric landscape of popular imagination for so long.

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Environment
4:17 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

At Doha Climate Talks, Modest Results At Best

Delegates attend the last day of the U.N. climate talks in Doha, Qatar, on Friday. U.N. climate negotiators locked horns on the final day of talks in Doha to halt the march of global warming, deeply divided on extending the greenhouse gas-curbing Kyoto Protocol and funding for poor countries.
Karim Jaafar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 10:50 pm

United Nations climate talks ran into overtime on Friday night, as diplomats pressed for whatever small advantage they could achieve.

As usual, the talks, which are being held in Doha, Qatar, involve closely interwoven issues. They include the usual wrangling over money, as well as early efforts in a multiyear process that is supposed to result in a new climate treaty.

Part of that involves finding a graceful way to phase out the Kyoto treaty, which has not proved to be a successful strategy for dealing with a warming planet.

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Energy
3:37 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Conflicts, Errors Revealed In Positive Fracking Study

Originally published on Sat December 8, 2012 5:52 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A University of Texas study that says hydraulic natural gas fracturing is safe has been withdrawn, and its author has retired and left the university. From Dallas, NPR's Wade Goodwyn has the story.

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NPR Story
11:00 am
Fri December 7, 2012

(for scifri) Unlocking A Lake's Bacterial Secrets, Beneath 20 Meters Of Ice

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 12:03 pm

What does life truly need to survive? Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Alison Murray and colleagues describe a community of unusual bacteria that survive under 20 meters of ice in the dark, salty, sub-freezing waters of Lake Vida, Antarctica.

NPR Story
11:00 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Blue Whale Barrel Roll Caught On Camera

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: We're ending this hour into the sea, Ira. Could you tell?

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Ooh, yeah. I like it.

LICHTMAN: The noise you're hearing comes from a blue whale; that's an animal that can reach 90 feet in length, which is longer than a tennis court. Biologist...

JEREMY GOLDBOGEN: Hands down, these are largest animals of all time. And so one of the questions we're interested in is how do they sustain such an extreme body mass and why don't we see anything bigger than a blue whale?

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NPR Story
11:00 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Curiosity 2.0? NASA Announces New Mars Rover Plans

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 12:03 pm

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Up next, more spacey news.

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

All right.

All right. Can't get enough?

Mm-hmm.

LICHTMAN: Earlier this week, NASA announced plans to launch another rover to Mars in the year 2020. And there's some buzz, there's some speculation that this one could have a wheel up on Curiosity. Maybe it wouldn't just analyze samples there but could shift them back to Earth.

FLATOW: You know, I've heard that before.

LICHTMAN: Don't be downer, Ira.

(LAUGHTER)

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NPR Story
11:00 am
Fri December 7, 2012

'Escape Fire' Exposes Flaws Of American Healthcare

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 12:03 pm

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Flora Lichtman.

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

And I'm Ira Flatow. Last week on the show, we talked about the Affordable Care Act - you know, Obamacare - and how it gave millions more Americans access to health care.

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