Science

Men's health
4:47 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Prostate cancer surgery shows no benefit for many men

Surgery for prostate cancer shouldn't be an automatic choice, a new study says.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 3:03 pm

Finally, the results from a decades-long study that compared surgery for prostate cancer to careful monitoring have been published.

Overall, the researchers found no difference in rates of death from any cause, including prostate cancer, among men who had their prostates surgically removed compared to those who didn't.

Preliminary results were released more than a year ago.

The newly published conclusion:

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NPR Science
10:34 am
Tue July 17, 2012

U.S. lab breaks laser record, delivering 500-trillion-watt beam

The preamplifiers of the National Ignition Facility are the first step in increasing the energy of laser beams as they make their way toward the target chamber.
National Ignition Facility

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 11:32 am

The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has produced a record-breaking laser beam at its National Ignition Facility. The lab's system of 192 beams produced more than 500 trillion watts and 1.85 megajoules of laser light onto a 2-millimeter in diameter target.

And we know, those numbers sound like gibberish. But the laboratory puts it in every-day terms:

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NPR Science
11:17 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

With funding gone, last undersea lab could surface

Researchers Sylvia Earle (left) and Mark Patterson are trying to raise funds to save the Aquarius Reef Base.
Greg Allen NPR

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 9:25 am

While you're enjoying your coffee this morning, half a dozen scientists are already at work. They're not sitting at desks, however, but a few miles off the Florida Keys, 60 feet down on the ocean bottom.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:02 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Electric Fans May Do More Harm Than Good In A Heat Wave

Researchers say that when temperatures rise above 95 degrees, a fan might make you even hotter, and maybe even sick.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat July 14, 2012 9:26 am

Assuming you can't spend a heat wave bobbing up and down in some cool body of water, the next best option is to hunker down inside with air blowing on you, right?

Preferably it's from an air conditioner set on arctic chill.

But if there's no AC, then an electric fan would be the next best thing, wouldn't you think?

Well, it turns out health experts aren't so sure about electric fans. And they say using one in a really brutal heat wave can sometimes do more harm than good.

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biotech and life sciences
12:41 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

Health technology has jobs, but walks on shifting sands

The Seattle area biotech and medical device industry is not likely to produce any companies as big as Microsoft or Amazon. But smaller companies, with strange names, keep popping up—like Etubics, Numera, Obenomics, and NanoString.

And, apparently, this sector is adding jobs.

That’s the word at the annual Life Science Innovation Northwest conference, in Seattle this week.

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Health
8:26 am
Thu July 12, 2012

Nightly glass of wine may protect boomer women's bones

Cheers! Moderate drinking might slow age-related bone loss in women.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 7:00 am

It's well-known that exercise is good for our bones, even as we age, but how about that nightly glass of wine?

A new study of women in their 50s and early 60s finds that moderate alcohol consumption may help prevent bone loss. The women in the study consumed about 1 1/2 drinks per day.

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Health
12:49 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

Scientist names new species of parasite after Bob Marley

Male gnathiids.
Ann Marie Coile Arkansas State University

Originally published on Thu July 12, 2012 1:00 pm

We're not quite sure what to make of it. Is it an honor? Is it an insult?

Either way, a biologist and a fan of Bob Marley has decided to name a new species in honor of the Jamaican singer.

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addiction
1:11 am
Wed July 11, 2012

Prescription drug abuse continues decline, but heroin is rising

Not as many people are dying from prescription drug overdoses in Washington – but heroin abuse appears to be spiking higher. Those figures come from an annual report on drug abuse in the state.

Heroin abuse peaked in the 1990s. Since then, it's been a problem primarily for aging drug-addicts. But Caleb Banta-Green of the UW’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute says it's making a comeback among younger people:

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NPR Science
7:41 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Listen: You Can Hear The Northern Lights, Researchers Say

The northern lights over Tromsoe, northern Norway, on Jan. 24, 2012.
Rune Stoltz Bertinussen AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 8:21 am

It sounds to us like someone's banging on a pipe. Others think it's like a clap.

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global health
6:25 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Melinda Gates claims pushing birth control isn't controversial

“We've made it controversial in the United States, and it doesn't need to be," Melinda Gates said on the Colbert Report.

Melinda Gates is promoting access to contraceptives around the world, and urging everyone to believe it's not a controversial step.

She's co-hosting a global summit on Wednesday in London, along with the British government.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation hopes to overcome religious and cultural resistance by saying birth control is simply one option that women want.

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disease, diet and ethnicity
1:35 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Despite healthy image, Japanese-Americans' diabetes risk higher

Diabetes is on the rise, especially among ethnic minorities. Hispanics and blacks are nearly twice as likely as whites to die of diabetes, and the rate is even higher for and Native Americans. Even Japanese Americans, despite their healthier image, have a higher than average risk of diabetes.

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NPR Science
9:29 am
Wed July 4, 2012

New subatomic particle may be physics' 'missing link'

This graphic depicts a proton-proton collision from the search for the Higgs boson particle.
CERN AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 4:51 am

Scientists have discovered a new subatomic particle with profound implications for understanding our universe. On Wednesday, they announced they've found a particle believed to be the long-awaited Higgs boson. Nicknamed the "God particle," it represents the final piece in a theory that explains the basic nature of our universe.

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Science
3:24 am
Wed July 4, 2012

Video: 'We've got the Higgs,' UW and CERN scientist declares

Screen grab from the video of Gordon Watts, University of Washington physics professor who helped announce to the world that the 'God particle' has likely been found.

In this video, shot just after results of the Large Hadron Collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research or CERN were announced, University of Washington physics scientist Gordon Watts declares – "We've got the Higgs."

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Search for the God Particle
12:01 am
Wed July 4, 2012

CERN finds Higgs-like (God) particle; UW scientists, up late, celebrate discovery

Gordon Watts, a physics professor at UW, shared the news of the likely discovery of the Higgs boson announced in the evidence presented by CERN tonight.
Jake Ellison KPLU

A University of Washington physics professor with connection to the experiments at the CERN Large Hadron Collider said a Higgs-like particle has been discovered.

"We have discovered something ... and quite frankly I can't see how it can be anything other than the Higgs but  we need scientific proof to close that door," said Gordon Watts, a physics professor at UW, at a tavern-based seminar tonight in lower Queen Anne with nearly 150 colleagues and science aficionados. "We just do not have the data yet to determine what the flavor of Higgs it is that we see.

"I am positive. My gut tells me that is what this is."

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NPR diversions
1:04 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Sure it's sunny there, but great white sharks seen off Atlantic, Pacific beaches

It's eerie when thinking of "Jaws" which is about a killer great white shark off Long Island, New York (although the film was shot in Massachusetts) around the Fourth of July.
The Associated Press

Maybe you're planning your summer vacation and want something totally impractical to worry about (just to keep your mind off of real problems ... like money, say). And, we've still got more than a month to go to Discovery Channel's 'Shark Week', but ...

Great white sharks have been seen off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass; and on e off the coast near San Diego.

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