Science

Goats and Soda
9:20 am
Mon July 28, 2014

How Protecting Wildlife Helps Stop Child Labor And Slavery

A child grabs sleep after a long day of labor in a struggling West African fishery.
Courtesy of Jessica Pociask, WANT Expeditions

When scientists talk about the destruction of rain forests or the acidification of oceans, we often hear about the tragic loss of plants and animals.

But ecologists at the University of California, Berkeley, say there's also a human tragedy that frequently goes unnoticed: As fish and fauna are wiped out, more children around the world are forced to work. And more people are forced into indentured servitude, scientists wrote Thursday in the journal Science.

Read more
The Salt
5:00 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Rust Devastates Guatemala's Prime Coffee Crop And Its Farmers

A worker dries coffee beans at a coffee plantation in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala, in February 2013.
Moises Castillo AP

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 11:29 am

Outside the northern Guatemalan town of Olopa, near the Honduran border, farmer Edwin Fernando Diaz Viera stands in the middle of his tiny coffee field. He says it was his lifelong dream to own a farm here. The area is renowned for producing some of the world's richest Arabica, the smooth-tasting beans beloved by specialty coffee brewers.

"My farm was beautiful, it was big," he says.

But then, a plant fungus called coffee rust, or roya in Spanish, hit his crop.

"Coffee rust appeared and wiped out everything," he says.

Read more
Science
5:00 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Shifts In Habitat May Threaten Ruddy Shorebird's Survival

Guided by biologists, volunteers briefly catch, band and release some of Delaware's visiting red knots each spring to monitor the health of the species.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 6:09 am

An intrepid bird called the red knot migrates from the southern tip of South America to the Arctic and back every year. But changes in climate along its route are putting this ultramarathoner at risk.

Read more
Shots - Health News
5:00 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Why We Think Ignorance Is Bliss, Even When It Hurts Our Health

Lucinda Schreiber for NPR

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 10:40 am

Medical tests are rarely a pleasant experience, especially if you're worried that something could be seriously wrong. That's true even though we know that regular screenings and tests often help doctors catch issues early.

Read more
Animals
6:12 pm
Sun July 27, 2014

How Do You Lose A Half-Million Birds?

Dense flocks of martins like this filled the skies above Lake Murray, S.C., for more than two decades. This year, their traditional roost site is empty.
Adam Cole

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 3:38 am

In late July and August, something remarkable happens in the air above Lake Murray in South Carolina. Around sunset, hundreds of thousands of purple martins come streaming toward the center of the lake from every direction, swirling together in a massive flock that darkens the sky. After an hour or so, they settle down on Bomb Island in the center of the lake.

Read more

Pages