Science & Technology

Medical Treatments
12:35 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Building a Liver From Stem Cells

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 12:54 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

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Health
11:03 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Can White Blood Cells Spread Cancer?

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 12:55 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. White blood cells are part of our body's defense system. Their job is to attack invaders, and one of the first white blood cells sent out is the neutrophil. These neutrophils put out a trap to capture and destroy the invaders. But here's where it gets interesting, because in a new study, researchers say they have shown that these nets might actually activate and spread the cancer cells. It's the exact opposite of what you want. But there may be a way to counteract this problem.

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The Salt
10:16 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Farming Got Hip In Iran Some 12,000 Years Ago, Ancient Seeds Reveal

An ancient wild barley sample recovered from Chogha Golan, Iran.
Courtesy of TISARP/Science

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 10:46 am

Archaeologists digging in the foothills of Iran's Zagros Mountains have discovered the remains of a Stone Age farming community. It turns out that people living there were growing plants like barley, peas and lentils as early as 12,000 years ago.

The findings offer a rare snapshot of a time when humans first started experimenting with farming. They also show that Iran was an important player in the origin of agriculture.

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All Tech Considered
8:20 am
Fri July 5, 2013

At Tech-Free Camps, People Pay Hundreds To Unplug

Camp Grounded is located in Northern California.
Courtesy of Scott Sporleder

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 11:17 am

The overwhelming and endless stream of electronic alerts and messages on our computers, phones and tablets is driving demand for a new kind of summer camp for adults. "Technology-free" camps that force their campers to surrender their gadgets, wallets and that nagging "fear of missing out" — FOMO — are booking up fast.

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Science
3:43 pm
Thu July 4, 2013

Exploding The Mystery Of Blue Fireworks

Originally published on Thu July 4, 2013 8:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

If you're watching fireworks tonight, here's how you can tell you're looking at a top-shelf display and not some cut-rate carnival sideshow. Look for the blue fireworks. Are they true blue, not pale or purple or mauve?

The color blue has been the Holy Grail for pyrotechnics experts since fireworks were invented more than a millennium ago. It's by far the hardest color to produce. But why? For that, we turn to John Conkling. He's technical director of the American Pyrotechnics Association. John Conkling, welcome.

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Business
4:03 am
Thu July 4, 2013

SoftBank Moves Closer To 78 Percent Stake In Sprint

Originally published on Thu July 4, 2013 8:48 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And the Federal Communications Commission has apparently approved a deal giving the Japanese telecom giant SoftBank a controlling stake in SprintNextel, which is the third-largest wireless operator in the U.S. Experts say SoftBank's industry clout should help Sprint become a more robust competitor. NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.

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Remembrances
3:01 am
Thu July 4, 2013

Douglas Engelbart Dies At 88, Invented Computer Mouse

Originally published on Thu July 4, 2013 8:48 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And a remembrance, now. The, a computer visionary best known for inventing the mouse has died. As NPR's Laura Sydell reports, the mouse was just one small piece of what Douglas Engelbart contributed to the development of personal computers.

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Science & Technology
5:05 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Pubs Serving Up Pints And Prostate Cancer Awareness

All 16 of the Flying Saucer pubs across the country, including San Antonio, have begun a month-long fundraising for prostate cancer awareness and early detection. The money raised will go to Pints for Prostates, a nonprofit that began in 2008 by a prostate cancer survivor.

"Anytime you're dealing with something cancer-oriented, awareness and early detection is very key," said Sam Wynne, Flying Saucer’s beer director and certified cicerone -- a beer and food pairing expert.

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Shots - Health News
3:52 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Scientists Grow A Simple, Human Liver In A Petri Dish

"Liver buds" grow in petri dishes. The rudimentary organs are about 5 mm wide, or half the height of a classic Lego block.
Courtesy of Takanori Takebe/Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine

Originally published on Thu July 4, 2013 8:48 am

Japanese scientists have cracked open a freaky new chapter in the sci-fi-meets-stem-cells era. A group in Yokohama reported it has grown a primitive liver in a petri dish using a person's skin cells.

The organ isn't complete. It's missing a few parts. And it will be years --maybe decades — before the technique reaches clinics.

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Environment
3:47 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Film Rankles Environmentalists By Advocating Nuclear Power

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 6:25 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

In a new documentary, filmmaker Robert Stone explores this paradox. Why do so many environmentalists concerned about climate change reject the most abundant source of low-carbon energy, nuclear power? The film, "Pandora's Promise," follows five people who changed their anti-nuclear stance in light of climate change.

NPR's Richard Harris has our story.

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