Science

  • Trash, much of it believed to be debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami, litters the beach on Montague Island, Alaska, on Jan. 26.
    Annie Feidt for NPR
    10:51am Feb 06, 2013
    World News World News National Science Environment

    Tsunami Debris On Alaska's Shores Like 'Standing In Landfill'

    Wreckage believed to be from the 2011 Japanese tsunami is washing up thousands of miles away in Alaska. The debris isn't just unsightly — it poses environmental worries for the landscape and animals. One conservationist says the problem may be worse than the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
  • Health researchers say the proportion of people in their late 40s to 60s with diabetes, hypertension or obesity has increased over the past two decades.
    iStockphoto.com
    10:40am Feb 06, 2013
    National National Science Health & Safety

    Aging Poorly: Another Act Of Baby Boomer Rebellion

    Many of them have cut out smoking, and rates of heart attack and emphysema have declined. But baby boomers are burdened with diabetes, hypertension and many other chronic conditions. Researchers say too little exercise and a rise in obesity threaten baby boomers' golden years.
  • 2:29pm Feb 04, 2013
    Science Science

    Scientists Discover Dung Beetles Use The Milky Way For GPS

    A team of scientists has discovered that dung beetles climb on dung balls and dance around in circles before taking off. This dance is not one of joy, however — the insects are checking out the sky to get their bearings. Melissa Block and Audie Cornish have more.
  • The reactor room at Babcock & Wilcox's prototype reactor outside Lynchburg, Va. The reactor vessel is behind the orange curtain.
    Ben Bradford / WFAE
    12:15pm Feb 04, 2013
    National National Science

    Are Mini-Reactors The Future Of Nuclear Power?

    The prefabricated nuclear reactors, which would be small enough to build in a factory and ship on trucks, would generate about one-tenth the power of a typical nuclear power plant. It's potentially a growth opportunity for American industry, but critics say the reactors carry a host of safety, security, environmental and economic concerns.
  • 1:49pm Feb 01, 2013
    Science Science

    Preserving Science News In An Online World

    How can journalists and bloggers avoid some of the pitfalls of communicating science in an online world? Should a website's comments section be moderated, or removed altogether? How has social media changed the blogosphere? A panel of experts joins Ira Flatow to discuss.
  • 1:03pm Feb 01, 2013
    Science Science

    How Owls Turn Heads

    A mystery of the animal kingdom: how do owls turn their heads 270 degrees without damaging their blood vessels? At last an answer, published this week in Science. Fabian de Kok-Mercado and Philippe Gailloud dissected and x-rayed owls to discover how the birds do the twist.
  • 1:03pm Feb 01, 2013
    Science Science

    Dung Beetles Use Cosmic GPS to Find Their Way

    When the sun goes down, dung beetles rely on a galactic source--light from the Milky Way--to navigate, according to a recent report in Current Biology. Study co-author Eric Warrant, of Lund University in Sweden, explains how dung beetles see the starry night sky.
  • The eye of Hurricane Earl in the Atlantic Ocean, seen from a NASA research aircraft on Aug. 30, 2010. This flight through the eyewall caught Earl just as it was intensifying from a Category 2 to a Category 4 hurricane. Researchers collected air samples on
    Jane Peterson / NASA
    8:36am Jan 29, 2013
    Science Science Environment

    Bird, Plane, Bacteria? Microbes Thrive In Storm Clouds

    Microbes can thrive in extreme environments, from inside fiery volcanoes to down on the bottom of the ocean. Now scientists have found a surprising number of them living in storm clouds tens of thousands of feet above the Earth. And those airborne microbes could play a role in global climate.