These days you can fly to far corners of the world and eat pretty much the same food you can get back home. There's pizza in China and sushi in Ethiopia.
A new scientific study shows that something similar is true of the crops that farmers grow. Increasingly, there's a standard global diet, and the human race is depending more and more on a handful of major crops for much of its food.
Right now, information about the kind of purchases you make, the prescriptions you pay for, the stores and websites you frequent, it's all gathered up by data brokers. That data profile is then bought and sold, and the price is a lot lower than you might think. While your age, income, race, and other factors play a role, the cost of an individual profile is just a fraction of a penny. So what makes the data brokerage industry big business?
Collecting huge amounts of information about all of us and then using supercomputers to sift through, analyze and study it — this is a reality of modern life, and it can be a tremendously powerful thing.
Researchers can use techniques like those to identify genetic markers linked to breast cancer, better understand climate change or figure out how to combat hospital infections.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. March is women's history month and we decided to observe it with a special series - Women in Tech. This month, we'll speak with women trailblazers about the advancements they're making in the tech world. They'll also share how they're mentoring young women and girls in computer science, and trying to get more girls interested in tech early on.
Originally published on Mon March 3, 2014 10:11 am
Drivers will soon be able to control their iPhones by hitting dashboard knobs, tapping a touchscreen or via voice control as part of a system Apple is unveiling to bridge the gap between smartphones and cars.
Called CarPlay, it aims to keep drivers from fumbling with their phones while they're behind the wheel, even as it brings them more options (and potential distractions) in a wider range of apps that drivers can access on the go.
In northern Nevada, a place famous for its wide, open spaces and expansive cattle operations, ranchers are in a bind due to the historic drought.
Much of the state is desert, so when people talk about drought, they're really talking about the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada. It's at barely 20 percent of average.
This is a huge concern for farmers and ranchers like Julie Wolf, because the mountains store the snow that melts and feeds rivers and reservoirs. These bodies of water then allow the desert to bloom with grass and alfalfa for her cattle.
Online competitive gaming is increasingly mirroring the world of professional sports. E-sports are attracting hard-working teams that compete for millions of dollars in prize money.
Generally, gamers wage battles with one another using rapid clicks of a computer mouse. "A lot of it comes down to reflexes, but a lot of [it] is strategy," says David Gorman, a sportscaster for the popular e-sport, Dota 2. "It's very much like chess, except it's in real time. Almost like speed chess."
Now some years ago, road workers in the South American country of Chile discovered something big, really big - whale bones. And not just one or two of them, 40 giant skeletons including those of adult whales cradled together with juveniles. Scientists were called in, including my guest, Nick Pyenson.
Nick is the curator of Fossil Marine Mammals at the Smithsonian. He has to look after these things there. And this past week, he and his colleagues released their most comprehensive review yet of the site in Chile.