Science & Technology

The Salt
3:21 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Save The Escargot! Snail-Devouring Predator Rears Its Head In France

A specimen of Platydemus manokwari collected in a greenhouse at Caen in Normandy. You can see its white pharynx protruding from the underside, ingesting soft tissues of a specimen of the Mediterranean snail.
Pierre Gros/PeerJ

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 6:06 pm

Oh, no, not the escargot!

A vicious little worm with an appetite for snails has made its European debut. And that has some scientists worried about the future of France's famed mollusk appetizer.

The New Guinea flatworm (Platydemus manokwari) is the lone worm on the Global Invasive Species Database's list of 100 of the world's most dangerous invaders. And last November, it was discovered in a greenhouse in Caen, Normandy.

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All Tech Considered
3:12 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Evolved Science: Crowds Can Catalog Bugs Faster

Notes From Nature allows volunteers to digitally catalog thousands of scientific specimens, like this insect from the Calbug project.
Screengrab NotesFromNature.org

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 6:55 pm

The next evolution of science is not happening in a lab, but in a basement in a rural Florida county. Thanks to online crowdsourcing, thousands of non-scientists can visit a site called Notes From Nature and lend a hand to university researchers cataloging their collections, from bark to bugs.

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Humans
3:12 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Genetic Sequencing May Not Be Ready To Become Routine

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 5:51 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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Asia
3:12 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Three Years From Meltdown, Japanese Nuclear Plant Still Struggles

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 5:51 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Three years ago today, a massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan killed thousands of people. It also triggered the meltdown of reactors at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The cleanup is ongoing and has been problematic, with power failures and leaks of contaminated water. And the technical difficulties involved in closing the facility are compounded by serious labor issues.

NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Foreign language spoken)

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The Two-Way
2:36 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Bitcoin Exchange Mt. Gox Files For Bankruptcy In U.S.

Weeks after its financial troubles forced it to file for bankruptcy protection in Japan, Mt. Gox has obtained similar protection in the U.S. The Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange suffered a collapse after a reported theft of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Mt. Gox had been the most active bitcoin exchange before it announced the loss of hundreds of thousands of units of the cryptocurrency in an attack by hackers. The company said its own bitcoins were stolen along with those of customers.

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Parallels
2:08 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Norway Takes The Lead In Electric Cars (With Generous Subsidies)

Jonette Øyen with her Nissan Leaf outside the National Archives in Norway, where she works. Next month Norway is expected to become the first country where one in every 100 cars is purely electric.
Sidsel Overgaard NPR

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 5:51 pm

When Jonette Øyen bought her first electric car, it turned heads. "Now nobody turns around!" she says with a laugh.

Sometime in April, Norway is expected to become the first country where one in every 100 cars is purely electric. One percent may not sound like a huge figure, but in the U.S., the equivalent number would be something close to .07 percent.

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SXSW 2014
1:56 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

SXSW Puts Spotlight On Latinos In Tech

The first ever Latinos in Tech event, which took place on March 6, 2014, was founded by the Kapor Center and Esquivel McCarson Consulting. (Kety Esquivel/Esquivel McCarson Consulting)

The interactive section of South by Southwest (SXSW) wraps up today, and for the first time it included three days of panels and discussions specifically focused on the integration of Latinos in tech.

The sessions were designed to make Latinos feel more comfortable in a field where they are underrepresented.

We hear a report from Veronica Zaragovia of KUT that for some Latinos, the results were less than satisfying.

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The Salt
12:48 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

For A Faster-Aged Bourbon, You Need The Motion Of The Ocean

Jefferson's Ocean bourbon is aged on the high seas, a technique that takes advantage of basic physical chemistry. The bottles sell for $200 a piece.
Courtesy of OCEARCH

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 9:48 am

From its earliest days as America's homegrown whiskey elixir, Kentucky bourbon has been traveling on boats.

In fact, boats were a key reason why Kentucky became the king of bourbon. In the late 1700s, trade depended on waterways, and distillers in the state had a big advantage: the Ohio River. They'd load their barrels onto flatboats on the Ohio, which flowed into the Mississippi, taking their golden liquor as far down as New Orleans.

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The Two-Way
10:58 am
Tue March 11, 2014

NASA Offers $35,000 For Help In Tracking Asteroids

For helping to find asteroids, NASA has set up a contest with cash awards. In 2012, the agency said that "more potentially hazardous asteroids, or PHAs, are closely aligned with the plane of our solar system than previous models suggested."
NASA

Cash prizes await "citizen scientists" who can improve algorithms that help NASA find and identify asteroids in our solar system, the agency says. A contest to find more asteroids begins next week, in what NASA calls an attempt to crowdsource innovation.

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#NPRWIT: Women In Tech
10:39 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Investing In Women Entrepreneurs

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 11:50 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We're going to start the program today by returning to our series of conversations about and with women in tech. All this month, which happens to be Women's History Month, we're hearing from innovators from around the world as they tweet a day in their lives using the hashtag #NPRWIT. We're also speaking with trailblazers about new ideas they're bringing to tech and how they're encouraging more women and girls to enter the field.

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