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Each day, Talk of the Nation combines the award-winning resources of NPR News with the vital participation of listeners. The result is a spirited and productive exchange of knowledge and insight that delves deeply into the news and ideas of the day.

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Science
11:35 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Look, Listen, Taste

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

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Environment
11:19 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Climate Change Ups Odds Of Heat Waves, Drought

Reporting in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, researchers write that extreme heat waves, such as the one last year in Texas, are 20 times more likely today than they were in the 1960s. NOAA climatologist Tom Peterson discusses what future climate change may bring.

Science
11:16 am
Fri July 13, 2012

The Nuts And Bolts Of High-Speed Rail

California lawmakers gave the green light to the first phase of construction of high-speed rail in the state. Does this mean that America is on track for faster, sleeker trains? What potential speed bumps still lie ahead? Railroad engineer Christopher Barkan discusses the costs, benefits and state of the technology.

Health
11:12 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Tumors Evade Treatment With Help From Neighboring Cells

What makes some types of cancer resistant to drugs? Reporting in Nature, researchers write that cancer cells may be dodging treatment with help from seemingly innocent bystanders. Cancer researcher Todd Golub discusses how a tumor's microenvironment may affect its behavior.

Health
11:05 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Silk Stretches Drugs' Shelf Life To New Lengths

Researchers have found a fridge-free way to store vaccines and antibiotics. Biomedical engineer David Kaplan, senior author of the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, discusses how heat-sensitive drugs wrapped in silk stay effective for months at high temperatures.

NPR Story
10:58 am
Fri July 13, 2012

What Happens When Scientists Get It Wrong?

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 11:25 am

Reporting in Science, two teams of scientists say they were unable to replicate the results of a 2010 study claiming to have found 'alien life' on Earth--a bacterium that could build its DNA using arsenic. Science journalist Carl Zimmer talks about how the controversy played out online, and how science corrects itself.

NPR Story
10:58 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Myths And Tips On Keeping Your Cool This Summer

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 11:32 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. If you're out shooting hoops this summer or you're going for a jog, you know it won't be long before you're sopping wet and, you know, it's really sweaty out there. And where's all that sweat coming from? Your body's water supply, of course. You have to replenish those fluids if you sweat a lot. But it's not as simple as the old eight-glasses-a-day mantra. How much should you really drink? Too much water, you can die, as has happened to marathon runners who chugged too much water during the race.

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Around the Nation
12:15 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

What The Penn State University Report Reveals

Originally published on Thu July 12, 2012 2:46 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Shocking and callous disregard for victims, repeatedly concealed critical facts, failure to protect the children created a dangerous situation for unsuspecting boys lured and victimized repeatedly.

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Environment
12:11 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

Finding Common Ground In Environmental Debates

Originally published on Thu July 12, 2012 2:51 pm

Conversations about the environment can often be polarizing. Jonathan Foley, director of the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment, says that rather than rehash the same old debates, environmental issues need to be reframed.

NPR Story
12:06 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

Writer Puts Expendable 'Redshirts' In The Spotlight

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 10:08 am

Fans of Star Trek long ago noted that anonymous security officers who accompanied the show's stars rarely survived the experience. Shortly after being beamed down, they would be vaporized, stomped or eaten for dramatic effect. It's a plot device so common that these expendable crewmen became known collectively as redshirts.

In his novel Redshirts, science fiction writer John Scalzi follows Andrew Dahl, a similarly expendable ensign as he sorts out this life-expectancy issue.

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