Health & Science

All Tech Considered
9:19 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Police May Know Exactly Where You Were Last Tuesday

An Arizona Department of Public Safety officer keeps an eye on his dashboard computer as it reads passing car license plates.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 10:06 am

License plate scanners are the dark horse of the surveillance world. They've been around for a decade, but people rarely notice. They don't look much different from closed circuit cameras, perched over busy intersections. Or they're just another device mounted on a passing police car.

But they notice you: A scanner can ID thousands of plates a day. And a new ACLU report says the vast majority of police agencies now use them.

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Business
3:51 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Yahoo's Stock Soars, Sales Remain Flat

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 4:08 am

There's been excitement on Wall Street about a turnaround at Yahoo since Marissa Mayer became head of the company last year. Mayer has completed high profile acquisitions and sought to improve worker morale. Second quarter revenues missed expectations as Yahoo struggled to corral advertising dollars.

Shots - Health News
2:02 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Sickle Cell Anemia Is On The Rise Worldwide

Red blood cells are normally shaped like doughnuts, but sickle cells (purple) are flattened and clump together.
NIH

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 9:45 am

Sickle cell anemia may not be as well-known as, say, malaria, tuberculosis or AIDS. But every year, hundreds of thousands of babies around the world are born with this inherited blood disorder. And the numbers are expected to climb.

The number of sickle cell anemia cases is expected to increase about 30 percent globally by 2050, scientists said Tuesday in the journal PLOS Medicine. Countries in sub-Saharan Africa, where the disease is most common, will be the hardest hit.

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Joe's Big Idea
2:01 am
Wed July 17, 2013

All Charged Up: Engineers Create A Battery Made Of Wood

Wood fibers are coated with carbon nanotubes and then packed into small disks of metal. The sodium ions moving around in the wood fibers create an electric current.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 4:08 am

The big idea behind Joe's Big Idea is to report on interesting inventions and inventors. When I saw the headline "An Environmentally Friendly Battery Made From Wood," on a press release recently, I figured it fit the bill, so went to investigate.

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The Salt
2:00 am
Wed July 17, 2013

In Oregon, The GMO Wheat Mystery Deepens

Wheat grows in a test field at Oregon State University in Corvallis. Some scientists believe that there's a chance that genetically modified wheat found in one farmer's field in May is still in the seed supply.
Natalie Behring Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 3:34 pm

The strange case of genetically engineered wheat on a farm in Oregon remains as mysterious as ever. If anything, it's grown more baffling.

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Parallels
1:59 am
Wed July 17, 2013

In Kenya, Using Tech To Put An 'Invisible' Slum On The Map

The Mathare Valley, shown here in an aerial map, is one of the largest and oldest slums in Nairobi, Kenya. Residents are using hand-held GPS devices to map the area, which comprises 13 villages and is home to nearly 200,000 people.
Courtesy of Muungano Support Trust and Jason Corburn, UC Berkeley

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 7:56 pm

If you were to do a search for the Nairobi city slum of Mathare on Google Maps, you'd find little more than gray spaces between unmarked roads.

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Science
4:23 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Eavesdropping On Nature Gives Clues To Biodiversity

Scientists could use recordings of wildlife to monitor the movements of invasive species like the European starling.
Liz Leyden iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 9:00 pm

Biology professor Mitch Aide uses his ears to learn about the frogs, birds and insects that are all around him. This scientist at the University of Puerto Rico is trying to track how animal populations are affected by a world that's under increasing pressure from human activities.

Aide says, "We would like to have five, 10, 20 years of data of how populations are changing."

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Shots - Health News
4:03 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Cerner Fights For Share In Electronic Medical Records Boom

Pretty servers hold private health data at Cerner.
Courtesy of Cerner Corp.

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 7:00 pm

This is a story about data. Lots and lots of data. And they're not just any data — they're extremely sensitive data.

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Television
4:03 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

McCarthy's Vaccination Stance Complicates Job On 'The View'

Jenny McCarthy, a regular guest host on The View, has been selected as a permanent co-host beginning in September. The appointment has sparked controversy because of McCarthy's anti-vaccination advocacy.
Donna Svennevik ABC via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 7:59 pm

The newest co-host for Barbara Walters' chatfest The View is a vivacious and outspoken model, actor and activist for children, seemingly a perfect person to have at the table of the successful network talk show.

But Jenny McCarthy is also one of the nation's leading skeptics about the safety of vaccines. And in that role, ABC's newest star has stirred consternation.

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The Salt
3:49 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Can Oysters With No Sex Life Repopulate The Chesapeake Bay?

Young oysters live on old oyster shells and slowly mature while forming a complete shell.
Astrid Riecken Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 7:00 pm

The Chesapeake Bay once supplied half the world's oyster market. But pollution, disease and over-harvesting have nearly wiped out the population. It's a dire situation that's united former adversaries to revive the oyster ecosystem and industry.

Scientists and watermen have joined forces to plant underwater farms in the bay with a special oyster bred in a lab. Called triploid oysters, they have been selected for attributes like disease tolerance and fast growth.

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