Science & Technology

Shots - Health News
12:43 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Costlier Digital Mammograms May Not Be Better For Older Women

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 1:07 pm

Medicare spending on breast cancer screening for women age 65 and older has jumped nearly 50 percent in recent years. But the rise in price was not associated with an improvement in the early detection of breast cancer.

Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine found that Medicare spending on breast cancer screening rose from $666 million in the years 2001-2002 to $962 million in the years 2008-2009.

So why the big increases in costs?

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Shots - Health News
12:03 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

With Help From Extinct Humans, Tibetans Adapted To High Altitude

A mother and daughter herd their yaks along a highway on the Tibetan plateau.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 4:15 pm

At an altitude of nearly 3 miles, the Tibetan plateau is an extreme place to live. It's cold, it's hard to grow food, and there's about 40 percent less oxygen in the air than there is at sea level.

Somehow, though, native Tibetans are adapted to it. Their bodies — and their blood in particular — work differently than those of people used to lower altitudes. The Tibetans' advantage might be thanks to an ancient inheritance.

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The Two-Way
10:41 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Google Glass Faces A Ban In British Movie Theaters

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 1:03 pm

Just one week after Google Glass went on sale in the U.K., fears of piracy have led to calls to ban the eyewear from being worn in movie theaters.

Criticism of the Google device, which can allow those wearing it to record what they see, has come from the powerful Cinema Exhibitors' Association, which as the BBC reports "has no power to enforce a ban, but instead makes recommendations to most of the country's cinema industry."

From London, Ari Shapiro reports:

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Shots - Health News
10:37 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Easy Method For Making Stem Cells Was Too Good To Be True

The heart beats in a mouse embryo grown with stem cells made from blood. Now the research that claimed a simple acid solution could be used to create those cells has been retracted.
Courtesy of Haruko Obokata

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 10:14 am

A prestigious scientific journal Wednesday took the unusual step of retracting some high-profile research that had generated international excitement about stem cell research.

The British scientific journal Nature retracted two papers published in January by scientists at the Riken research institute in Japan and at Harvard Medical School that claimed that they could create stem cells simply by dipping skin and blood cells into acid.

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The Two-Way
10:19 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Oh, Pooh: Bear Cub Gets Head Stuck In Cookie Jar

A bear cub that had to be rescued from a tree after getting its head stuck in a cookie jar is shown in a handout photo from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 11:25 am

Blame it on the animal crackers. A plastic jar of the treats was too enticing for a young bear in New Jersey, which got its head irretrievably wedged in the container. When people approached it to help, the 28-pound bear cub got scared — and climbed 40 feet up a tree, where it became stuck.

The incident happened in Ringwood, a small New Jersey town that's situated among forests and parkland. Workers from the state Environmental Protection Department and other local agencies got the cub safely back down and cut the jar off its head — but not before taking a photo of its plight.

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The Salt
9:32 am
Wed July 2, 2014

'Frobot' Creator: Taking Frozen Yogurt Where It's Never Been Before

Mallika Padmanabhan (left) and Joshua Margolin order frozen yogurt from the Frobot in Washington, D.C.
Nicholas St. Fleur/NPR

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 4:32 pm

There has been a lot of talk of disrupting the food system lately. Bill Gates, among others, has said the way we produce meat is hugely inefficient — and is crying for Silicon Valley-style disruption. That's why he's investing in chicken-less eggs.

But frozen yogurt?

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Krulwich Wonders...
6:03 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Watch It Swallow An Entire Tree In Seconds

Research News
4:05 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Living 63 Feet Underwater Helps Cousteau Team Conduct Experiments

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 1:03 pm

Fabien Cousteau and a crew of scientists and explorers have spent the past 31 days underwater in the Aquarius Reef Base off the coast of Florida. David Greene talks to Cousteau about the experience.

Shots - Health News
2:49 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Targeting Overweight Workers With Wellness Programs Can Backfire

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 1:08 pm

Employers say obesity is a top health concern for their workers. But health is a sensitive and personal issue. Some employees say these wellness initiatives can go too far.

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The Salt
4:40 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Breeding Battle Threatens Key Source Of California Strawberries

Originally published on Sun July 6, 2014 10:48 pm

In California, a legal skirmish has erupted over strawberries — or rather, over strawberry breeding.

To be absolutely precise, the battle is about strawberry breeding at the University of California, Davis. This is more important than it might sound. More than half of all strawberries in the supermarket trace their ancestry to breeding plots at UC Davis.

The strawberry breeders at UC Davis, who've led that program for decades, are leaving the university to carry on their work at a new private company.

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