Science

Risk And Reason
5:58 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Pop Quiz: 20 Percent Chance Of Rain. Do You Need An Umbrella?

Will it rain or not? How you interpret the forecast could mean the difference between getting soaked or staying safe.
Maria Pavlova iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 6:04 pm

This week, All Things Considered is exploring how people interpret probability. What does it mean to us, for example, when a doctor says an operation has a 70 percent chance of success?

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Animals
4:14 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Thousands Of Migrating Birds Take Their Layover In A Texas Parking Lot

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 6:18 pm

For one month every summer, hundreds of thousands of purple martins stop by an abandoned shopping mall parking lot in Austin, Texas, on their way to the Amazon Basin. Reporter Luke Quinton visited this year's roosting and offers a glimpse of the phenomenon.

Goats and Soda
3:31 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Don't Pop That Bubble Wrap! Scientists Turn Trash Into Test Tubes

Clear and clean, bubble wrap is well-suited to serve as an array of tiny test tubes. Here a dye solution is injected into the bubbles to measure the hemoglobin concentration in blood.
American Chemical Society

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 5:47 pm

Hate to burst your bubble, glass lab gear. But plastic bubble wrap also works pretty well at running science experiments.

Scientists at Harvard University have figured out a way to use these petite pouches as an inexpensive alternate to glass test tubes and culture dishes. They even ran glucose tests on artificial urine and anemia tests on blood, all with the samples sitting inside bubble wrap.

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Krulwich Wonders...
1:55 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

What's Better Than A Total Eclipse Of The Sun? Check This

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 2:54 pm

Any eclipse is worth seeing. A total eclipse — where the moon completely blots out the sun, where day turns to night, where solar flares ring the moon's shadow like a crown of flame — that's the eclipse everybody wants to see, the alpha eclipse that eclipses all the other eclipses. Everybody knows this (me included), until I saw this ...

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Mental Health
5:25 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Son's Mental Illness Prompts Billionaire's Big Donation To Psychiatric Research

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 4:43 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

A billionaire businessman today is making the largest ever donation toward psychiatric research. Ted Stanley is giving $650 million to the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. The money will fund efforts to find and treat the genetic underpinnings of mental illness. From member station WBUR in Boston, Curt Nickisch reports Stanley's gift was motivated by a family experience.

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