Science, Technology and Environment

The Salt
12:59 pm
Fri May 15, 2015

Bistro In Vitro: A Virtual Playground To Ponder The Future Of Meat

The bistro imagines the day when will be possible to culture "meat thread" made from long strands of muscle tissue. On a "special knitting machine," meat is thread into a steak.
Submarine Channel/Next Nature Network/Bistro In Vitro

Flowering meat that unfolds when plopped into hot broth, beef "yarn" that can be knitted directly onto your plate and fried nuggets made from the extinct dodo bird are just a few of the menu options at the Bistro In Vitro.

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Goats and Soda
12:24 pm
Fri May 15, 2015

Why We Can Depend On The Kindness Of Strangers

They hunt, they gather, they're equal! An elderly Agta couple in the Philippines was part of the study on how communities are formed.
Sylvain Viguier Courtesy of University College London

Originally published on Fri May 15, 2015 4:48 pm

If this blog were Us magazine, we'd say: Hunter-gatherers, we're just like them.

Because seriously, we are.

Here's the story. Humans today live and work in communities with vast numbers of folks we're not related to.

And we often quite happily cooperate and share knowledge with strangers or mere acquaintances. These exchanges allow us to innovate and develop increasingly complex technologies.

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Goats and Soda
4:04 am
Fri May 15, 2015

What It Takes To Lift Families Out Of Poverty

More than 1 million people in Peru earn less than the equivalent of about $450 each year.
Courtesy of Michael Rizzo/CGAP

Originally published on Sat May 16, 2015 6:50 pm

Eighteen years ago, Dean Karlan was a fresh, bright-eyed graduate student in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He wanted to answer what seemed like a simple question:

"Does global aid work?" Karlan says.

He was reading a bunch of studies on the topic. But none of them actually answered the question. "We were tearing our hair out reading these papers because it was frustrating," he says. "[We] never really felt like the papers were really satisfactory."

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Technology
4:42 pm
Thu May 14, 2015

Amtrak CEO Pledges To Install Speed Control Technology By End Of Year

Originally published on Thu May 14, 2015 8:35 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Technology
4:42 pm
Thu May 14, 2015

Speed Control Technology Could Have Stopped Amtrak Derailment

Originally published on Thu May 14, 2015 8:35 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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All Tech Considered
4:42 pm
Thu May 14, 2015

She's Almost Real: The New Humanoid On Customer Service Duty In Tokyo

Shoppers view and take photographs of humanoid robot "Chihira" at the information reception desk of Mitsukoshi department store in Tokyo.
Chris McGrath Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 15, 2015 3:15 pm

The latest robot sensation in Japan is so lifelike that when she was on the floor of a Tokyo department store recently, she was confused for a human being. The new humanoid's name is Aiko Chihira, and she was working in customer service, clad in a traditional silk kimono.

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The Two-Way
11:40 am
Thu May 14, 2015

Why Do Most Galaxies Die? It's A Case Of Strangulation, Scientists Say

The view of the universe known as the Hubble Deep Field, presented in 1996, shows classical spiral and elliptical shaped galaxies, as well as a variety of other galaxy shapes.
NASA AP

Originally published on Fri May 15, 2015 2:09 pm

Scientists think they may finally be resolving a decades-old cold case as to what is killing galaxies: They're being strangled.

Astronomers have long known that galaxies fall into two main categories — those that spawn new stars (like our own Milky Way) and those that don't.

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The Two-Way
5:50 am
Thu May 14, 2015

Positive Train Control: The Tech That Could've Prevented Amtrak Derailment

Emergency personnel walk near the scene of a deadly train wreck on Wednesday in Philadelphia.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Thu May 14, 2015 1:31 pm

One key safety feature was missing from the stretch of track where an Amtrak passenger train going more than 100 mph derailed and killed seven people.

Investigators say that if positive train control had been installed on that stretch, the technology could have automatically slowed the train and perhaps saved lives.

NPR's David Schaper tells our Newscast unit that Amtrak and other railroads are behind schedule in rolling out the technology.

He filed this report:

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Shots - Health News
2:35 am
Thu May 14, 2015

A Database Of All Things Brainy

The Allen Cell Types Database catalogs all sorts of details about each type of brain cell, including its shape and electrical activity. These cells, taken from the visual area of a mouse brain, are colored according to the patterns of electrical activity they produce.
Courtesy of Allen Institute for Brain Science

Originally published on Thu May 14, 2015 11:15 am

When the brain needs to remember a phone number or learn a new dance step, it creates a circuit by connecting different types of neurons.

Scientists still don't know how many types of neurons there are or exactly what each type does.

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U.S.
2:29 am
Thu May 14, 2015

Police Rethink Tactics Amid New Technologies And Social Pressure

Officers stand watch at the intersection of West North Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue as protesters walk for Freddie Gray in Baltimore in April. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van.
Jabin Botsford The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 14, 2015 8:24 pm

This week in Washington, thousands of sworn officers gathered for National Police Week, an annual commemoration of the lives of officers who've died on the job.

This year it was hard for participants to escape the shadow of the anti-police protests of the past nine months. One of the week's events, a memorial bicycle ride, even was rerouted away from Baltimore, to make sure the nearly 2,000 officers participating in the ride wouldn't become targets.

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