Science

Joe's Big Idea
2:39 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Wanna Play? Computer Gamers Help Push Frontier Of Brain Research

This image represents a chunk, or "cube," of brain. Each different color represents a different neuron, and the goal of the EyeWire game is to figure out how these tangled neurons connect to each other. Players look at a slice from this cube and try to identify the boundaries of each cell. It isn't easy, and it takes practice. You can try it for yourself at eyewire.org.
EyeWire

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 2:39 pm

People can get pretty addicted to computer games. By some estimates, residents of planet Earth spend 3 billion hours per week playing them. Now some scientists are hoping to make use of all that human capital and harness it for a good cause.

Right now I'm at the novice level of a game called EyeWire, trying to color in a nerve cell in a cartoon drawing of a slice of tissue. EyeWire is designed to solve a real science problem — it aims to chart the billions of nerve connections in the brain.

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Medical Treatments
3:43 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Mississippi Toddler Could Be First Child Cured Of HIV

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 4:34 pm

A child born with HIV has been cured of the virus, researchers say. Audie Cornish talks to Richard Knox about what was different about this child among the millions who've been treated in the past and what it means for the prospect of an HIV cure in adults.

Animals
3:43 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Kentucky City Fights Migratory Bird Invasion With Air Cannons, Lasers

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 4:34 pm

Audie Cornish talks with Geoff LaBaron, an ornithologist with National Audubon Society, about a strange blackbird invasion in the town of Hopkinsville, Ky.

Krulwich Wonders...
11:49 am
Mon March 4, 2013

How To Produce A Billion Flowers On The Very Same Day

Robert Krulwich NPR

Before we get to today's topic (flower blooming), let's take a Sloth Break. I know this isn't usual, but hey, I think everybody should see this adorable baby sloth named Matty giving his human caretaker, Claire, a flower. If you've already seen it, jump ahead to my essay. But if you haven't? Well, your day is about to get a wee bit lovelier.

OK, I just had to. Now we can start.

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Shots - Health News
10:19 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Mouse Study Sheds Light On Why Some Cancer Vaccines Fail

A simple switch of ingredients made a big difference in how mice responded to experimental cancer vaccines.
Andrei Tchernov iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 1:31 pm

In the quest for better cancer medicines, vaccines that treat rather than prevent disease are getting lots of attention.

More than 90 clinical trials have tested therapeutic vaccines in cancer patients, but the results have been a mixed bag.

A recent study in mice suggests that changing a traditional ingredient in the vaccines could make a big difference.

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