Health & Science

Science
3:23 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Scientists Fear Ecological Disaster In Nicaragua's Planned Canal

A channel big enough to handle global shipping would require deep dredging throughout Lake Nicaragua, the largest source of fresh water in Central America.
Esteban Felix AP

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 7:02 pm

Scientists are raising the alarm about the possible environmental consequences of a huge shipping canal that could cut across Nicaragua, from the Pacific to the Atlantic.

The government of this Central American nation has signed a deal with a Chinese company that is planning to build a maritime shortcut that would compete with the Panama Canal. Construction could begin next year — yet there's no official route for the canal and no assessment of its potential impacts on the environment.

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Business
3:23 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

What's Up With Facebook's Big Acquisition?

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 7:02 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Yesterday, Facebook bought a little startup for a lot of money, $19 billion in cash and stock. It's hard to fathom a price tag that big. Half the companies in the S&P 500 aren't worth that much. But a look at who exactly is using the application called WhatsApp may explain the value that Facebook sees in it. Here's more from Aarti Shahani of member station KQED in San Francisco.

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All Tech Considered
3:21 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Deep Learning: Teaching Computers To Tell Things Apart

Cat Or Dog? Sure, you can easily tell the difference. But a machine may not be able to guess on the first try.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 8:03 pm

WhatsApp may be Facebook's latest prize, but it's not the company's most ambitious investment. In recent months, the social networking giant has begun funding something potentially far more revolutionary: artificial intelligence.

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Shots - Health News
12:26 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Flu Strikes Younger Adults Hard This Year

Fredy DeLeon gets a flu shot at a Walgreens pharmacy in Concord, Calif., in January.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 1:42 pm

This year's flu season is hitting younger and middle-aged adults unusually hard, federal health officials say.

More than 60 percent of flu patients who ended up in the hospital this year have been between the ages of 18 and 64. The proportion of young people among the hospitalized is much higher than usual, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Only about 35 percent of flu patients who were hospitalized in the previous three years fell into that age group, the CDC says.

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Shots - Health News
11:41 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Tiny Iron Particles Help Find Cancer Without Using Risky Radiation

CT scans are valuable for finding cancers, but deliver a lot of radiation in the process. That's an especially big concern for children.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 9:20 am

Full body CT scans can save lives by helping detect cancer early. But the scans use high doses of radiation to create their detailed images, which means they also increase patients' risk of developing cancer later on in life.

Children and teenagers are at greatest risk, because they tend to live long enough to develop secondary cancers. And their growing tissues may be more susceptible to radiation.

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All Tech Considered
11:23 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Why Facebook Thinks WhatsApp Is Worth $19 Billion

Facebook announced it acquired WhatsApp late Wednesday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 12:19 pm

Facebook's purchase of messaging service WhatsApp — at a price tag of up to $19 billion — is its largest acquisition yet. To put things in perspective, the social giant tried to purchase Snapchat for a fraction of that cost — $3 billion. And it successfully bought Instagram for $1 billion.

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The Two-Way
10:59 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Data Breach At University Of Maryland Exposes 309,000 Records

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 11:35 am

The University of Maryland said one of its databases was the "victim of a sophisticated computer security attack" that exposed the personal information of more than 300,000 faculty, staff, students and others who were issued an ID at their College Park and Shady Grove campuses.

"I am truly sorry," Wallace D. Loh, the university president said in a statement. "Computer and data security are a very high priority of our University."

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Shots - Health News
9:58 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Online Doctor Ratings About As Useful As Those For Restaurants

Would a doctor dressing neatly affect your rating?
iStockphoto.com

If you're looking to go out for dinner, see a movie or plunk down big bucks on a new TV, chances are you'll look online for help with the decision.

Lots of people are now checking out potential doctors that way, too. Online ratings are becoming part of how many Americans shop for a physician, according to a study in the latest issue of JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association.

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The Two-Way
9:52 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Nebraska To Appeal Ruling That Blocks Keystone Pipeline In State

TransCanada President and CEO Russ Girling comments on the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline route through Nebraska during a January 2013 news conference in Calgary, Alberta.
Todd Korol Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 10:43 am

The company in charge of the Keystone XL extension said Thursday that it is considering its next move now that a Nebraska judge has struck down a law that allowed the pipeline to be routed through that state.

"We are disappointed and disagree with the decision of the Nebraska district court and will now analyze the judgment and decide what next steps may be taken," TransCanada Corp. said in a statement. "Nebraska's attorney general has filed an appeal."

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Business
5:10 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Facebook To Buy WhatsApp Message Service

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 9:56 am

Facebook is buying an instant messaging service called WhatsApp for an eye-popping $19 billion. It's the latest salvo in an arms race by Silicon Valley giants to stockpile mobile technology.

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