Science and Technology

Krulwich Wonders...
1:26 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Jupiter's Dot And Mine. Why Life Is Unfair

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 10:58 am

When I was 9, my dad drew this picture of me. You will notice something on my left cheek — a little brown spot.

That's a mole. The doctor called it "a birthmark." My mom called it "a beauty mark." I was born with it. Having grown up before supermodel Cindy Crawford became famous, I was not familiar with the allure of beauty marks and, anyway, I'm a guy. My mom said it was hardly noticeable. I didn't believe her.

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Shots - Health News
1:16 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Experimental Malaria Vaccine Blocks The Bad Guy's Exit

Red blood cells infected with the Plasmodium falciparum parasite. Plasmodium is the parasite that triggers malaria in people.
Gary D. Gaugler Science Source

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 5:46 pm

For the first time in decades, researchers trying to develop a vaccine for malaria have discovered a new target they can use to attack this deadly and common parasite.

Finding a target for attack is a far cry from having a vaccine. And the history of malaria vaccines is littered with hopeful ideas that didn't pan out. Still, researchers in the field welcome this fresh approach.

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All Tech Considered
6:22 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Storm Shelter App Helps Pinpoint People Amid Tornado's Rubble

After a tornado leveled Moore, Okla., last year, firefighter Shonn Neidel (left) developed an app that helps first responders locate storm shelters under the wreckage.
Courtesy of Shonn Neidel

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 1:24 pm

After a devastating tornado rolled through Moore, Okla., last May, firefighters were scrambling to pull people out of storm shelters. Actually finding those shelters, though, was difficult. Landmarks had been swept away, and the town's emergency dispatcher was overwhelmed with calls.

"Yes, we're at 604 South Classen. There's people down," one caller said. "We're stuck under rubble. ... Please hurry."

Shonn Neidel was one of the firefighters rushing to rescue people that day, and he quickly saw a problem.

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Environment
4:05 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Scientists Discover Carbon Cycle Is Out Of Whack

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 8:39 am

Scientists who track carbon say the way it cycles from the atmosphere back to earth and into plants and animals has apparently changed. It could be the whole planetary carbon treadmill is speeding up.

Planet Money
4:05 am
Thu May 22, 2014

On The Internet, A Penny Is Nothing To Sneeze At

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 8:18 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Our Planet Money team this week is taking a look at the lowly penny. People discard pennies in bowls by cash registers. They walk by them on the street without a thought of picking them up. In fact, a lot of us don't even pick them up when we drop them. NPR's David Kestenbaum reports that there is one place where people think pennies could really cause some change.

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The Two-Way
6:04 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Snake Species That Went Missing For 78 Years Is Found

The Clarion nightsnake's coloration makes it difficult to see in its black lava habitat.
Courtesy of the Smithsonian

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 1:02 pm

A species of snake that was thought to have gone missing for nearly 80 years — or never to have existed in the first place — has been found.

The Clarion nightsnake, named for the island it inhabits off Mexico's Pacific coast, had been identified only once, back in 1936 by naturalist William Beebe.

He brought a specimen back to the American Museum of Natural History in New York, but scientists questioned whether it was a distinct species.

Double-checking wasn't easy. The volcanic island of Clarion is accessible only by military escort.

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All Tech Considered
5:11 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

For Automakers, Internet-Connected Cars Are A Balancing Act

General Motors says its OnStar 4G LTE connection will allow cars to act as a mobile Internet hub.
General Motors

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 8:21 pm

The Internet is coming to your car. Later this year, General Motors will put Internet connectivity directly into its vehicles. It's the largest auto company to do so.

Of course, safety advocates have some concerns about more distractions for drivers.

The promise of technology is always the same one — that it's going to make our life easier. But anyone who's tried to make a hands-free call in the car knows that's not always true. A task as simple as asking your device to call your mom can be an exasperating experience.

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Commentary
3:10 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

The Universe Cares About How Fast You — Yes, You — Travel

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 8:36 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

We've been getting occasional light advice from NPR blogger and physicist Adam Frank. His mantra more or less is: Make friends with science and it will transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. Today, Adam's thoughts about how your speed affects the way you experience life. Or as he would prefer to say: your velocity.

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All Tech Considered
2:05 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

A Camera Designed To Take And Send GIFs (Bring Your Own Cat)

The OTTO will sell for $199.
Courtesy of Next Thing Co.

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The Two-Way
12:23 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Saying It Was Hacked, EBay Urges Users To Change Passwords

Hackers broke into a database containing customer information, auction site eBay said Wednesday. The company is based in San Jose, Calif.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 7:20 pm

Online marketplace eBay says it was the target of a cyberattack in which hackers accessed a database of its encrypted passwords. The auction site says no financial data were revealed — but it's urging its users to update the passwords on their accounts.

EBay says that it hasn't seen any sign of fraudulent activity since the problem was first detected "about two weeks ago." It also said that it stores financial data and customer records in different places and that accounts of its direct-payment subsidiary, PayPal, were not affected by the data breach.

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