Health & Science

The Salt
2:43 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Incredibly Shrinking Avocados: Why This Year's Fruit Are So Tiny

We found lots of avocados being sold six or 10 to a $1 bag in the San Francisco area. Some weighed less than 3 ounces.
Alastair Bland for NPR

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 11:40 am

What's thick-skinned and leathery, about the size of an egg, essential for guacamole and sold eight for a dollar?

No, not limes. Hass avocados. This year, anyway. These pear-sized fruits usually weigh half a pound or more. In the summer of 2013, though, hundreds of thousands of trees in Southern California are sagging with the tiniest Hass avocados in local memory — some just the size of a golf ball.

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All Tech Considered
1:46 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

The End Of Buttons: The New Gesture-Control Era

BlackBerry smartphones on a table during a "BlackBerry Brunch" in June in Berlin.
Timur Emek Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 5:58 pm

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Digital Life
11:31 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Can Twitter Boost Literacy?

Despite complaints that Twitter kills language, there's evidence that social media can be used to enhance reading and writing. Guest host Celeste Headlee learns more from Rey Junco, of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.

Health
11:31 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Obamacare Raises Concerns About Doctor Deficit

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 2:24 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, sticklers might complain that social media is actually ruining the English language, but we'll talk to a professor who says just the opposite. He says platforms like Twitter can be used to increase literacy - more in a moment.

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Krulwich Wonders...
9:00 am
Mon August 19, 2013

How One Plus One Became Everything: A Puzzle of Life

Courtesy of Paolo Ceric

It's one of life's great mysteries ...

Four billion years ago, or thereabouts, organic chemicals in the sea somehow spun themselves into little homes, with insides and outsides. We call them cells.

They did this in different ways, but always keeping their insides in, protected from the outside world ...

... surrounded by walls or skins of different types ...

... but letting in essentials, nutrients. Some even learned to eat sunshine, capturing energy ...

... which gave them a pulse of their own ...

... so they could move ...

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Mon August 19, 2013

University Pages: LinkedIn Launches New College Profiles

The new University Pages on LinkedIn show which businesses employ a college's graduates, and the sectors of the economy in which they work.
LinkedIn

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 8:58 am

The professional connections site LinkedIn is launching a new section of its social network Monday: University Pages targets younger users who want to connect with colleges. More than 200 schools now have profile pages, according to LinkedIn. As part of the new effort, the company also dropped its minimum age to 14 in the U.S.

The new college profiles allow prospective students to see how many of a school's graduates are on LinkedIn, as well as a breakdown of the main fields in which they work. The pages also list the top employers of alumni.

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Health Care
4:19 am
Mon August 19, 2013

How To Get 'Young Invincibles' To Sign Up For Obamacare

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 5:52 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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All Tech Considered
2:28 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Hitting The Road Without A Driver

Carnegie Mellon's autonomous car, developed with General Motors, is by all appearances a normal Cadillac SRX crossover — except for the big red button in the middle of the dashboard. In an emergency, the button allows the car to be switched immediately back to standard driving mode.
GM-Carnegie Mellon Autonomous Driving Collaborative Research Lab

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 1:19 pm

The cars we drive have gotten ever more sophisticated. They can just about park themselves; they tell us if we're drifting out of our lane; they can prevent skids. Some even automatically apply the brakes if they sense that a collision is imminent.

Engineers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh are developing a car that can do all of those things and more — it can actually drive itself. Imagine that commute to work.

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Shots - Health News
2:06 am
Mon August 19, 2013

You Ask, We Answer: More Of Your Questions About The Affordable Care Act

From left, Garrett Berntsen, Jennifer Majer and William Shields compare notes at The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C. Twenty-somethings have new choices under Obamacare.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 10:06 am

The Oct. 1 launch of the new health insurance exchanges is now less than two months away, and people are starting to pay attention to the changes these new marketplaces may bring to the nation's health care system.

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The Two-Way
1:29 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Has Voyager 1 Left The Solar System?

This artist rendering provided by NASA shows Voyager 1 at the edge of the solar system.
AP

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 1:52 pm

The Voyager 1 spacecraft launched in 1977 on a mission to Jupiter and Saturn. It kept on going. Today it's billions of miles from Earth, and scientists have been predicting it will soon leave the solar system.

NPR has been on Voyager watch since at least 2003, when longtime science correspondent Richard Harris provided this warning of Voyager's impending departure.

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