Health & Science

Research News
4:22 am
Thu April 17, 2014

The Origins Of The Domesticated Chili Pepper

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 6:41 am

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Researchers believe they've discovered the origin of another pepper: The domesticated chili pepper, now the most widely grown spice crop in the world.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The birthplace of the world's favorite spice is a fertile valley in East Central Mexico, between Oaxaca and Veracruz, not in the northeastern part of the country as previously thought.

MCEVERS: The Sacramento Bee reports the project conducted at the University of California, Davis was pretty complex. They used archaeology, genetics...

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NPR Story
4:07 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Does Business Innovation Depend On A CEO's Age?

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 6:41 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

One of the keys to success for a company or even a country is the ability to innovate, to create new ideas and products that change how people work, live and behave. And there's now new research suggesting that innovation could depend on the age of the people in charge. Of course innovation is just one measure of success. NPR's social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam has returned to join us. Shankar, good morning to you.

SHANKAR VEDANTAM, BYLINE: Hi, David.

GREENE: So what's this new research about?

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The Salt
2:30 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Plant Breeders Release First 'Open Source Seeds'

Backers of the new Open Source Seed Initiative will pass out 29 new varieties of 14 different crops, including broccoli, carrots and kale, on Thursday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 9:29 am

A group of scientists and food activists is launching a campaign Thursday to change the rules that govern seeds. They're releasing 29 new varieties of crops under a new "open source pledge" that's intended to safeguard the ability of farmers, gardeners and plant breeders to share those seeds freely.

It's inspired by the example of open source software, which is freely available for anyone to use but cannot legally be converted into anyone's proprietary product.

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Shots - Health News
2:29 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Polio Hits Equatorial Guinea, Threatens Central Africa

A child receives a polio vaccine Sunday in Kano, Nigeria. The country is the primary source of the virus in Africa but appears to be making progress against the disease; the current outbreak in Cameroon that has spread to Equatorial Guinea came by way of Chad, not Nigeria.
Sunday Alamba AP

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 6:41 am

Health officials are worried.

After being free of polio for nearly 15 years, Equatorial Guinea has reported two cases of the disease.

The children paralyzed are in two distant parts of the country. So the virus may have spread widely across the small nation.

The outbreak is dangerous, in part, because Equatorial Guinea has the worst polio vaccination rate in the world: 39 percent. Even Somalia, teetering on the brink of anarchy, vaccinates 47 percent of its children.

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The Salt
2:25 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Sichuan Pepper's Buzz May Reveal Secrets Of The Nervous System

It's the Sichuan peppercorn in dishes like spicy ma po tofu that makes your mouth buzz. Researchers wanted to know if that buzz is connected to the tingling you feel when your foot falls asleep.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 7:19 am

The Sichuan peppercorn is known to give some Chinese dishes a pleasant tingling feeling.

What's not so pleasant is that pins-and-needles feeling we get when our foot falls asleep — or when people who suffer from paresthesia experience constant tingling in their limbs.

Diana Bautista, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Berkeley, wondered: Could these sensations be connected?

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