Science

Shots - Health News
4:12 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Sand From Fracking Could Pose Lung Disease Risk To Workers

A worker stands on top of a storage bin on July 27, 2011, at a drilling operation in Claysville, Pa. The dust is from powder mixed with water for hydraulic fracturing.
Keith Srakocic AP

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 12:50 pm

When workplace safety expert Eric Esswein got a chance to see fracking in action not too long ago, what he noticed was all the dust.

It was coming off big machines used to haul around huge loads of sand. The sand is a critical part of the hydraulic fracturing method of oil and gas extraction. After workers drill down into rock, they create fractures in that rock by pumping in a mixture of water, chemicals and sand. The sand keeps the cracks propped open so that oil and gas are released.

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The Salt
11:18 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Mapping The Microbes That Flourish On Fruits And Veggies

You call it salad. The bacteria call it home.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 12:06 pm

Deadly microbes like salmonella and E. coli can lurk on the surface of spinach, lettuce and other fresh foods. But many more benign microbes also flourish there, living lives of quiet obscurity, much like the tiny Whos in Dr. Seuss' Whoville. Until now.

Scientists at the University of Colorado have taken what may be the first broad inventory of the microbes that live on strawberries, lettuce, tomatoes and eight other popular fresh foods.

It turns out the invisible communities living on our food vary greatly, depending on the type and whether it's conventional or organic.

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Krulwich Wonders...
11:00 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Six-Legged Critters In Dicey Places: What Science Reporters Do To Get Your Attention

YouTube

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 6:19 pm

We're not as daring as Magellan (who died) or Columbus (who went crazy) or Henry Hudson (who froze), but in our dainty little way, we take astonishing risks. Well, maybe not astonishing. Maybe just embarrassing.

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Science
5:21 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Why A Hoosier State Scientist Is Stuck On Oysters

Jonathan Wilker holds up a group of oysters from a tank in his lab at Purdue University.
Rebecca Davis NPR

Originally published on Sat March 30, 2013 11:53 am

How do oysters attach themselves to rocks? They need a glue, but a glue that can set in a watery environment. In this installment of "Joe's Big Idea," NPR's Joe Palca reports that glue could lead to medical advances.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
5:16 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

'Sponge' Drug Shows Promise For Treating Hepatitis C

Particles of the hepatitis C virus are imaged with an electron microscope.
James Cavallini Science Source

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 12:31 pm

With an estimated 2 million baby boomers infected with hepatitis C, the disease has reached epidemic levels among Americans age 48 to 68.

Doctors can now cure about 70 percent of hepatitis C cases, but the drugs' side effects can be severe. And many Americans are still left with a disease that can cause liver failure and cancer.

So doctors have been desperate for better treatment options.

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