Science & Technology

Science & Technology
3:18 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Think Science: Infectious Disease And Antibiotic Resistance

Mention the word “Ebola” and it brings to mind images of quarantines, fever, and hazmat suits. But how much do we have to worry about a widespread outbreak of the deadly disease? And is there an even greater danger lurking that we’ve caused ourselves through overuse of antibiotics? They’re questions on the minds of many thinking folks, and we got some answers from the experts last month as Texas Public Radio's inaugural “Think Science” event. 

About the presentations:

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The Salt
3:17 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Venison As Benison: Food Banks Score From Deer Overpopulation

Ralph Roloff trims meat from a deer donated to the Help Us Stop Hunger program in State Center, Iowa in 2007.
Scott Olson Getty Images

White tailed deer are so common in Washington, D.C., that my kids barely take note, even if I have to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting them.

But the National Park Service says there's a problem beyond the risk of driver-deer collisions, which lead to an estimated $4 billion in damages each year. The overabundance of deer are a threat to native vegetation.

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Business
4:11 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Ireland Softens Under Pressure To Drop Its Corporate 'Duty-Free Zone'

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 11:27 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
4:11 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Mistaken Identities Plague Lab Work With Human Cells

Georgetown's Robert Clark says it's very difficult to say precisely how many experiments have been spoiled by contaminated cell lines.
Phil Humnicky Courtesy of Georgetown University

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 6:55 pm

There's a major flaw in many medical research studies that seems so basic that you'd think scientists would be smart enough to avoid it.

It turns out that cells studied in the laboratory often get mixed up. A researcher who thinks she is studying breast cancer cells might in fact be using melanoma cells.

It's a surprisingly common problem — even in some of the top scientific labs.

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Shots - Health News
2:35 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Nursing Homes Rarely Penalized For Oversedating Patients

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 5:26 pm

Antipsychotic drugs have helped many people with serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. But for older people with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia, they can be deadly. The Food and Drug Administration has given these drugs a black box warning, saying they can increase the risk of heart failure, infections and death. Yet almost 300,000 nursing home residents still get them.

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The Two-Way
8:09 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

NASA Photos Show New Signs Of A Lake On Mars

NASA says "cross-bedding" in the layers of this Martian rock is proof that water moved on Mars, leaving waves or ripples of loose sediment. The image is from a site at Mount Sharp that NASA calls "Whale Rock."
NASA

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 11:41 am

Signs of water currents and sediments are seen in the latest photos NASA's Curiosity rover sent home from Mars, the space agency said Monday. The images suggest "ancient Mars maintained a climate that could have produced long-lasting lakes," NASA says.

In the huge Gale Crater where Curiosity has been exploring, the water and sediment flow might have been massive enough to build a mountain — the 3-mile-high Mount Sharp — NASA researchers say. But they acknowledge that they're still working to solve the mystery of how the mountain formed in a crater.

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All Tech Considered
5:39 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Ransomware: When Hackers Lock Your Files, To Pay Or Not To Pay?

iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 5:21 pm

A lot of computer viruses hide inside your system. Hackers stealing your data go out of their way to operate quietly, stealthily, under the radar.

But there's another kind of attack that makes itself known — on purpose. It sneaks into your network and takes your files, holding them for ransom. It's called ransomware, and, according to cybersecurity experts, this kind of attack is getting more sophisticated.

Stick 'Em Up

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All Tech Considered
4:41 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Inventor Ralph Baer, The 'Father Of Video Games,' Dies At 92

German-American game developer Ralph Baer shows the prototype of the first games console which was invented by him during a press conference on the Games Convention Online in Leipzig, Germany in 2009. Baer died on Saturday. He was 92.
Jens Wolf DPA /Landov

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 11:32 am

Ralph H. Baer, the man widely acknowledged as the "father of home video games" for his pioneering work in electronics and television engineering, died on Saturday at his home in Manchester, N.H. He was 92.

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Remembrances
3:39 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Inventor Ralph Baer Was An American Success Story

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 9:49 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Today, a remembrance for a father of video games. He passed away this past Saturday at the age of 92. NPR's Laura Sydell tells us about an inventor named Ralph Baer.

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Shots - Health News
3:57 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Old And Overmedicated: The Real Drug Problem In Nursing Homes

Antipsychotic drugs aren't necessary in the vast majority of dementia cases, gerontologists say. The pills can be stupefying and greatly raise the risk of falls — and hip fracture.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 6:17 pm

It's one of the worst fears we have for our parents or for ourselves: that we, or they, will end up in a nursing home, drugged into a stupor. And that fear is not entirely unreasonable. Almost 300,000 nursing home residents are currently receiving antipsychotic drugs, usually to suppress the anxiety or aggression that can go with Alzheimer's disease and other dementia.

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