Science

Shots - Health News
9:10 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Scientists Go Medieval To Solve Ancient Leprosy Puzzle

A woodcut from the 1800s, Healing the Lepers, depicts the common tableau of Jesus healing a leper as his disciples look on.
Images from the History of Medicine

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 1:51 pm

Look through a series of 15th-century woodcuts, and you'll find that the leper is as much an icon of medieval art as the crown or the cross.

Leprosy was so common in Europe during the Middle Ages that it's estimated 1 in 30 people was infected with the bacteria. But by the turn of the 16th century, after the Crusades had swept across Europe, the disease mysteriously disappeared. And it never returned.

This left scientists puzzled. Did the bacteria mutate to become less harmful, or did Europeans become resistant to the germs?

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The Salt
3:00 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Why Bill Gates Is Investing In Chicken-Less Eggs

At left: Beyond Eggs' egg-substitute product, a powder made of pulverized plant-based compounds. Right: Mother Nature's version.
Cody Pickens Beyond Eggs

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 12:34 pm

The egg of the future may not involve a chicken at all. In fact, in the high-tech food lab at Hampton Creek Foods in San Francisco, the chicken-less egg substitute has already been hatched.

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Science
12:46 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

What Bird Flocks And Fish Schools Can Teach Us About The Future

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 3:19 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

We've all seen a flock of birds shift direction instantaneously mid-flight, or a school of fish swirl in what looked like tightly choreographed maneuvers. That's called collective behavior and it fascinated and baffled scientists. Why do they do it? How? Telepathy? Now technology is revolutionizing the way researchers can track, visualize and even create swarms, and what they're finding will make you go wow.

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The Two-Way
12:12 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Chinese Astronauts Dock With Orbiting Space Lab

Chinese astronauts (from left) Wang Yaping, mission commander Nie Haisheng and Zhang Xiaoguang gesture as they prepare to board the Shenzhou-10 spacecraft in Jiuquan, China, on Tuesday.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 12:54 pm

A trio of Chinese astronauts has successfully docked with the Tiangong-1 space laboratory for what's expected to be a total of 15 days in orbit — the longest mission to date for China's burgeoning manned space program.

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Shots - Health News
11:53 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Prevention Pill Cuts HIV Risk For Injecting Drug Users

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says doctors should prescribe Truvada, a once-a-day pill for HIV, to help prevent infections in IV drug users.
Jeff Chiu AP

A once-a-day pill has been proven to lower the risk of getting HIV among needle-using drug addicts, just as it does among heterosexual couples and men who have sex with men.

Among 2,400 injecting drug users in Bangkok, those assigned to take a daily dose of an antiviral drug Viread, or tenofovir generically, had half the risk of getting HIV over a four-year period as those who took a placebo pill. Among those who took tenofovir faithfully, there were 74 percent fewer infections.

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