Science & Technology

The Salt
3:14 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Cut Your Cake And Keep It (Fresh), Too

Alex Bellos seals up the cake after removing a slice.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 4:53 pm

"The ordinary method of cutting out a wedge is very faulty," wrote Sir Francis Galton, a British mathematician, in a 1906 letter to the journal Nature concerning the scientific principles of cake-cutting.

More than a century later, cake lovers might finally be ready to face this truth.

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Shots - Health News
2:19 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

To Defeat A Deadly Toxin, Disrupt Its Landing Gear

A high-resolution image of the molecular carrier that moves the botulinum toxin from the intestine into the bloodstream. The carrier (silver) creates gaps in the gut lining by grabbing the rope-like molecules (red ribbons) that tether one intestinal cell to the next.
Rongsheng Jin, UC Irvine, and Min Dong, Harvard Medical School

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 6:59 am

Botulinum toxin may be the most poisonous substance on the planet. A mere speck of the stuff can kill a person.

But just what makes the toxin so potent?

Part of the answer lies in the molecules that carry the toxin through the body. These carriers, which are produced along with the toxin by the Clostridium botulinum bacterium, protect the toxin as it travels through the hostile environment of the gastroinstetinal tract, and help it bust through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream.

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The Two-Way
2:04 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

New York Passes Bill To Outlaw Tattooing Pets

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 3:56 pm

If you live in New York, you might want to cancel that appointment to get your dog tattooed: On Wednesday, a bill prohibiting pet tattooing passed the state Legislature. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to ink it.

The soon-to-be-law, which gained bipartisan support and was endorsed by the Humane Society of New York, prohibits "unnecessary body modification" of animals but includes an exemption for piercings or tattoos for the purpose of medical identification.

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The Two-Way
1:38 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Harley-Davidson's New Bike Hums, Instead Of Roaring

Harley-Davidson's new electric motorcycle can hit 60 mph from a standing start in 4 seconds. The company plans to unveil the LiveWire model Monday in New York.
M.L. Johnson AP

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 11:21 am

Don't expect to hear the roar of a gas engine when you see the new motorcycle from Harley-Davidson. That's because it's powered by batteries. The Wisconsin-based company unveiled its new LiveWire bike today, saying it's "time to shape the next generation" of riders.

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Science
1:03 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

How To Become A Neanderthal: Chew Before Thinking

By comparing "Skull 17" from the Sima de los Huesos site with many others found in the same cave, researchers were able to discern the common facial features of the era.
Javier Trueba Madrid Scientific Films

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 9:54 am

Scientists have long puzzled over the origin and evolution of our closest relative, the Neanderthal. Now, researchers say Neanderthals seem to have developed their distinctive jaws and other facial features first, before they evolved to have big brains.

That's according to an analysis of 17 skulls, all taken from one excavation site in a mountain cave in Atapuerca, Spain, known as the Sima de los Huesos — the "pit of bones."

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Iraq
11:13 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Iraq Turmoil: How Extremists Use Social Media To Gain Support

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 1:12 pm

Transcript

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The Two-Way
10:59 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Supreme Court Rules Against Patents For Abstract Ideas

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 12:13 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday that using a computer to implement an abstract idea does not make that invention eligible for a patent.

At issue in the case, Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International: Do software inventions get the same kind of patent protections as other inventions?

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NPR Story
4:14 am
Thu June 19, 2014

With Loyal Customers In Mind, Amazon Unveils Fire Phone

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 6:50 am

At a gala party on Wednesday, Amazon launched its first smartphone. It is distinguished from other phones by the ease with which you can use it to buy things from Amazon.

The Salt
4:37 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Eating Broccoli May Give Harmful Chemicals The Boot

Researchers say eating broccoli sprouts could help protect against the harmful effects of air pollution.
Julie Gibbons/Flickr

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 10:14 am

We get a little suspicious when we hear the claims that it's possible to get rid of the gunk that accumulates in our cells by doing a cleanse with "clean" foods.

But what if some foods actually do help detox the body?

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Business
4:26 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Amazon Raises The Curtain On A Fire Of Its Own

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 6:08 pm

At an unveiling in Seattle, online retail giant Amazon announced its entry into the smartphone market with a new device called "Fire." NPR's Martin Kaste was at the unveiling in Seattle, and he offers his take on the event.

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

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