Science & Technology

The Two-Way
4:41 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Is There A Better Way To Track Aircraft During Flight?

Adm. Mohd Amdan Kurish of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency Admiral, left, checks radar during a search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane off Tok Bali Beach in Kelantan, Malaysia, on Sunday.
Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency AP

In a story yesterday [Monday] about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, David Ison, assistant professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, had this to say:

"In this day and age, having no ability to pinpoint these aircraft is really not acceptable. We have technology to make it happen. We really need to do something ... so we can prevent the loss of aircraft."

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Shots - Health News
4:16 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Obesity Linked To Lower Grades Among Teen Girls

In a British study of nearly 6,000 students, obesity — or perhaps dealing with the stigma associated with obesity — seemed to reduce academic performance.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 7:23 am

Childhood obesity has made it to the forefront of public health issues, both in the United Kingdom and in the United States.

Now researchers at the Universities of Dundee, Strathclyde, Georgia and Bristol say that not only does obesity affect a child's overall health, but it may also lead to poorer school performance among teenage girls. Among boys, the link is less apparent.

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Shots - Health News
4:13 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Whole Genome Scans Aren't Quite Ready For Your Doctor's Office

Interpreting the results from a genome scan takes a lot of people time. And the databases used to interpret the results aren't infallible.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 3:08 pm

For more than a decade scientists have been saying that a genomic revolution will transform medicine, making it possible to scan all of a person's DNA to predict risk and customize medical care.

Well, we've got the machines. Where's the revolution?

Getting closer, say researchers at Stanford University, who tested the technology on 12 people. But not quite ready for every doctor's office.

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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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