Science

vaccination
2:18 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Local baby is first to die from whooping cough; new tips for pregnant moms

Nurses Fatima Guillen, left, and Fran Wendt, right, give Kimberly Magdeleno, 4, a Tdap whooping cough booster shot, as she is held by her mother, Claudia Solorio, Thursday, May 3, 2012, at a health clinic in Tacoma.
AP

The whooping cough epidemic in Washington is nearly over – but not soon enough for a baby in King County. The newborn was Washington’s first fatality this year, despite a near-record number of infections.

"The baby had gone home, and we believe it was exposed to someone with unrecognized pertussis, got infected, and then developed complications and died," says Jeff Duchin, chief of epidemiology for Public Health Seattle & King County.

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pedestrian safety
3:34 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Are you reading this while walking? Study reveals risks

“When you cross in front of a vehicle and you are not looking at the drivers eyes, and not looking at the next lane over, you are at serious risk of an injury,” says Dr. Beth Ebel.
Keith Seinfeld KPLU

Walking is becoming more hazardous, with the spread of smart-phones. And it’s not just because drivers are distracted.

Pedestrians who are texting or reading messages are four times more likely to do something dangerous than other pedestrians, according to researchers who looked at 20 of Seattle’s busiest intersections.

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NPR science
4:21 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Recreating the universe in the lab

ESO's ALMA project. Another way is to watch what happens when tiny particles are smashed together in "labs" such as the LHC at CERN." href="/post/recreating-universe-lab" class="noexit lightbox">
One way we make sense of the cosmos is to study what's in it, objects like this brown dwarf (artist's impression) observed by the ESO's ALMA project. Another way is to watch what happens when tiny particles are smashed together in "labs" such as the LHC at CERN.
M. Kornmesser ALMA/ESO/NAOJ/NRAO

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 8:38 am

The study of cosmology, the branch of the physical sciences that investigates the universe and its properties, presents quite a practical challenge: contrary to most other sciences, where different samples can be probed and analyzed directly, it's impossible to experiment with different universes in the lab.

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NPR Science
4:19 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

New NASA images show the Earth's electric light show

Northern Africa
Suomi NPP Satellite NASA Earth Observatory

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 6:44 am

"The night is nowhere as dark as we might think."

That's the word from Mitch Goldberg, program scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association's Joint Polar Satellite System. Together with NASA, scientists have unveiled a new composite, cloud-free image of our planet at night.

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UW Science
4:02 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Why it took more than 80 years to identify the world's oldest dinosaur

Artist rendering of Nyasasaurus parringtoni, either the earliest dinosaur or the closest dinosaur relative yet discovered. Nyasasaurus parringtoni was up to 10 feet long, weighed perhaps 135 pounds .
Mark Witton ©Natural History Museum, London

A researcher at the University of Washington says he’s identified the oldest dinosaur ever – pushing back the emergence of dinosaurs by millions of years.

The fossilized bones were discovered back in the 1930s, in Tanzania, in a major find that included a vast collection of specimens. They were gathering dust at the Natural History Museum, London, until the scientist who had custody passed away. 

Longest unpublished dissertation ever?

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NPR science
8:52 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

NASA Scientists 'Very Careful' With New Mars Data

This photo, taken by NASA's Curiosity rover, shows Mars' Gale Crater, where the rover has taken samples for chemical analysis. Scientists believe that at some point in the very distant past, there was a riverbed here.
AP

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 3:22 pm

NASA is finally receiving data on Martian soil samples from Curiosity, its rover currently traversing the red planet. The results from the soil samples hint at something exciting, but rover scientists are making very sure not to raise expectations.

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Science
10:05 am
Fri November 30, 2012

Scientists solve mystery of the mounds under Hood Canal

Mystery mounds were definitely not caused by whales.
The Associated Press

Washington scientists guessed that mysterious mounds hundreds of feet below the surface of Hood Canal were deposited by Ice Age glaciers or built up by natural gas seeps or geothermal vents.

After taking a closer look with a remote control camera they have another theory.

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Health
3:17 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Seattle bucks the national trend on HIV rates

“When you go to see your doctor, he or she should test you at least once over the course of the time they are providing you medical care, just as a routine,” a public health official says.
Alex Alonso Flickr

A resurgence of AIDS among young men nationally is raising alarm bells – but not in the King County area.  Local health officials say outreach efforts here could be a model for how the rest of the country can keep the AIDS epidemic under control. 

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NPR Science
11:12 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Space probe finds ice in Mercury's craters

Researchers say they have identified traces of ice in craters on Mercury, seen here in this Oct. 8, 2008, image from the Messenger spacecraft.
NASA

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 2:37 pm

Mercury is not the first planet to come to mind if you were searching for ice in the solar system. After all, the surface temperature across most of the planet is hot enough to melt lead.

But at the poles on Mercury it's a different story. Almost no sun reaches the poles, and as a result, temperatures can drop to less than -100 degrees Fahrenheit. Now, three papers in the journal Science suggest there really is ice at the bottom of craters near the poles on Mercury.

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Science
10:47 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Central Washington University hopes to replace dead chimps

Veterinarians and pathologists at the UW Primate Center performed an autopsy on Monday on Dar, pictured here earlier in his life at CWU. Photo courtesy of Friends of Washoe

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 2:46 pm

The director of a chimpanzee institute at Central Washington University says she feels urgency to bring in new animals. The education and research program in Ellensburg is now down to two aging chimps after the weekend death of another ape known for his sign language abilities.

The chimpanzee named "Dar" was 36 years old when he died unexpectedly on Saturday of unknown causes. Autopsy results are expected later this week.

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NPR Science
10:38 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Sean Carroll tells a story of humanity in the hunt for the Higgs Boson

Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 8:13 am

Now that the election is over its time to address that one burning question still haunting us all. You know the one I am talking about: What exactly is the Higgs Boson?

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Health and History
5:29 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

How to talk health during T-Day

If you’re looking for a conversation starter this Thanksgiving, the country’s top public health doctor has a suggestion – find out about your family’s health history.

Talking about diseases might not be your family's ideal topic for a holiday – but US Surgeon General Regina Benjamin says one approach is to start very general.

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Health & Science
3:11 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

When fetuses yawn in the womb

Could that be a yawn? An ultrasound scan catches an opened-mouth fetus.
Courtesy of A Little Insight 3D 4D Ultrasound.

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 2:03 pm

Why people yawn is a mystery. But yawning starts in the womb.

Past studies have used ultrasound images to show fetuses yawning, but some scientists have argued that real yawns were getting confused with fetuses simply opening their mouths.

So Nadja Reissland, a researcher at the University of Durham in the United Kingdom, used a more detailed ultrasound technique to get images of fetal faces that could distinguish a true yawn from just an open mouth.

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NPR science
6:29 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Big News From Mars? Rover Scientists Mum For Now

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity dug up five scoops of sand from a patch nicknamed "Rocknest." A suite of instruments called SAM analyzed Martian soil samples, but the findings have not yet been released.
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 1:11 pm

Scientists working on NASA's six-wheeled rover on Mars have a problem. But it's a good problem.

They have some exciting new results from one of the rover's instruments. On the one hand, they'd like to tell everybody what they found, but on the other, they have to wait because they want to make sure their results are not just some fluke or error in their instrument.

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NPR tech news
10:49 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Embracing your inner robot: A singular vision of the future

"Child-robot with Biomimetic Body" (or CB2) at Osaka University in Japan in 2009, where the android was slowly developing social skills by interacting with humans and watching their facial expressions, mimicking a mother-baby relationship.
Yoshikazu Tsuno AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 2:13 pm

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