Health & Science

The Salt
2:09 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

How Much Arsenic Is Safe In Apple Juice? FDA Proposes New Rule

The FDA's proposal follows concerns raised by consumer groups about levels of inorganic arsenic, a carcinogen, in apple juice.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 5:19 pm

Here's some news for parents of the sippy-cup crowd: The Food and Drug Administration has proposed a 10 parts-per-billion threshold for levels of inorganic arsenic in apple juice. This is the same level set by the EPA for arsenic in drinking water. Right now, there is no FDA standard for apple juice.

Now, we've told you about the brouhaha over trace levels of arsenic commonly found in apple juice before.

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The Two-Way
1:26 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

5 Stars: A Mosquito's Idea Of A Delicious Human

Many criteria — from blood type to body temperature — can play a role in affecting who attracts mosquitoes.
abadonian iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 1:48 pm

If mosquitoes used Yelp, they might look for their next meal by searching nearby for a heavy-breathing human with Type O blood, sporting a red shirt and more than a smattering of skin bacteria. Preferably either pregnant or holding a beer.

That's some of what we take away from a post today on the Surprising Science blog from the Smithsonian.

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Shots - Health News
11:40 am
Fri July 12, 2013

3-D Casts So Cool That You'll Almost Want To Break A Bone

The waterproof material of the Cortex cast may hold up better in high-stress areas, such as hands.
Courtesy of Jake Evill

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 8:11 am

Anybody who has ever worn a cast knows that it can really cramp your style. You itch. After a while, you stink. At times, it seems like the cast needs even more care than you do. Keep it dry or else!

Other than the addition of garish colors of fiberglass, there hasn't been much innovation in cast technology in what seems like forever. But down in New Zealand, designer Jake Evill is bringing the latest in 3-D printing to orthopedics.

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Krulwich Wonders...
11:31 am
Fri July 12, 2013

The Hardest Thing To Find In The Universe?

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat July 13, 2013 2:06 am

What is rarer than a shooting star?

Rarer than a diamond?

Rarer than any metal, any mineral, so rare that if you scan the entire earth, all six million billion billion kilos or 13,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 pounds of our planet, you would find only one ounce of it?

What is so rare it has never been seen directly, because if you could get enough of it together, it would self-vaporize from its own radioactive heat?

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The Two-Way
11:28 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Russia Reportedly Goes Retro To Keep Kremlin Secrets

A Russian state service in charge of safeguarding Kremlin communications is reportedly looking to purchase an array of old-fashioned typewriters to prevent leaks from computer hardware.
John MacDougall AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 2:00 pm

The Russian agency charged with safeguarding Kremlin communications is said to be opting for a low-tech solution to secure top-secret messages in the wake of the NSA surveillance scandal: typewriters.

Izvestia reports that the Federal Guard Agency, known by the acronym FSO, has placed an order for $15,000 worth of electric typewriters.

Izvestia quotes an unnamed source in Russia:

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The Salt
11:12 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Heavy Rains Send Iowa's Precious Soil Downriver

Soil erosion after five inches or more of rain fell in one hour across portions of Western Iowa in 2013.
USDA Natural Resources Conservation

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 12:33 pm

What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time, the Midwest was heading into one of the worst droughts in decades. Now much of the region is soggy.

But the biggest loser from this year's heavy rains? The land itself.

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All Tech Considered
11:05 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Everything Old Is New Again: The Toilet-Sink Edition

The Latvian sink-urinal sells for about $590.
Ingus Bajars Courtesy of Kaspar Jursons

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 12:52 pm

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All Tech Considered
10:57 am
Fri July 12, 2013

A Quick History Of Accidental Online Purchases By Kids

In little hands, a tech gadget can quickly turn from a toy to a cash register.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 7:59 am

EBay's app is so easy to use, a toddler can do it — and her parents would argue about whether that's a good thing.

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Health
9:09 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Surf's Up for Pathogenic Viruses and Bacteria, Too

A day at the shore can leave beachgoers with more than a sunburn — a gulp of seawater can expose swimmers to disease-causing microbes like norovirus, salmonella, and adenovirus. Marine scientist Rachel Noble and environmental medicine researcher Samuel Dorevitch discuss the risk, and what's being done to limit swimmers' exposure.

Fitness & Nutrition
9:09 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Not-So-Sweet Side Effects of Artificial Sweeteners

People are turning to artificial sweeteners as a lower-calorie alternative to sugar. Writing in Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism, researcher Susan Swithers argues that artificial sweeteners may negatively affect our metabolism and brain — and even lead to weight gain.

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