October 30, 2006 Climate change could trigger a global economic recession, says a new report from the British government. The study concludes that it would cost less to take strong action against climate change than react to the changes as they unfold.
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October 11, 2006 A new study concludes that 650,000 Iraqis have died as a consequence of the war. That's 2.5 percent of the nation's population. The study is based on a sampling method that has drawn some criticism, though critics say more conventional methods of tallying deaths underestimate the toll.
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October 11, 2006 A new study by public health researchers at Johns Hopkins University estimates that 655,000 Iraqi civilians have died as a result of the U.S.-led invasion and occupation -- the highest casualty rate reported so far.
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October 10, 2006 Scientists are trying to determine whether the North Korean explosion on Monday was in fact caused by a nuclear bomb. The blast generated seismic signals heard around the world. But that alone does not prove the blast was nuclear.
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October 7, 2006 Theories about the origins of the universe abound. The field of cosmology regularly shifts between favored explanations of our beginnings. The changes come as theories evolve and observations of the universe grow ever-more detailed.
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October 7, 2006 This year's Nobel Prize in physics went to two men who studied the afterglow of the Big Bang. Earlier this year, two very serious and well-respected physicists suggested that the afterglow should be probed even more carefully -- to see if it contains a message from a creator.
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October 5, 2006 The Antarctic B-15 iceberg broke into pieces in October 2005, but scientists didn't know what caused the ice shift. But two researchers recently discovered the ice shift originated 13,000 km away – in Alaska.
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October 4, 2006 American Roger Kornberg will receive the Nobel Prize in chemistry for his groundbreaking research on DNA transcription. For Kornberg, winning the Nobel is a family affair. His father won a Nobel in 1959 for his own work on DNA.
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October 4, 2006 This year's Nobel Prize in chemistry goes to a biologist. Roger Kornberg at Stanford University is being honored for figuring out the details of how our cells read DNA. He's not the first in his family to win a Nobel Prize. His father, Arthur Kornberg, won in 1959.
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September 22, 2006 A controversial new research paper in Science magazine says Hurricanes Katrina and Rita helped build new coastal wetlands. The report concludes that big storms -- rather than rivers -- are the main source of new material for the marshlands that help protect the coast.
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September 12, 2006 Every young scientist dreams of doing an experiment that changes the world. A remarkable biologist at Princeton University has done just that. Bonnie Bassler's discovery about how bacteria talk to one another has led to a whole new field of research -- and maybe someday drugs that would be effective against all bacteria.
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September 8, 2006 A faulty fuel tank sensor forces NASA to reschedule the launch of the space shuttle Atlantis again. The space agency now hopes to send the spacecraft up on Saturday morning. It will be the fourth attempt to send Atlantis up for a construction mission at the international space station.
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September 7, 2006 There's a news item running on the wires about a young woman who fell into a vegetative state following a traumatic brain injury. She shows no outward signs of consciousness, but researchers were curious to know whether brain scanners would pick up any activity. So they talked to her. Among other things, they asked her to imagine walking through her house. As she did that, her brain scans looked similar to those of healthy volunteers. Now, this is simply an anecdote. This 23-year-old woman doesn't really tell us anything about anybody else in a vegetative state. Science magazine, which is publishing the finding, also published a commentary warning people not to leap to broader conclusions about brain activity in people in this state. (No responsible physician would suggest that the physically atrophied brain of Terry Schiavo could have responded in this way)...
September 7, 2006 NASA not only keeps America's aerospace contractors in business, the space agency does a wonderful job supplying material for NPR newscasts. Whenever a shuttle launch is approaching, you can count on frequent reports about whether or not the shuttle will fly. We learn about frost ramps, faulty fuel cell sensors, weather forecasts and all sorts of other minutiae. This is all irrelevant in the greater scheme of things, of course. After all, shuttle flights are ostensibly made to support the space station, and the main purpose of the space station is to be completed so it can be phased out and superseded by something more visionary. My colleague Nell Boyce has been camped out at the Kennedy Space Center once again this week, waiting for the shuttle Atlantis to be launched. She tells me there's now a joke running around the space center. Some folks are now calling Atlantis the penguin. Why? Because it's black and white and flightless...
September 7, 2006 Anne Garrels has a knack for being at the right place at the right time. Today she was in the Iraqi parliament when the session erupted in chaos. Members had to be led out by armed guards. This seems to be a more realistic view of what's happening in Iraq than the purported handover of military control from the U.S. to the Iraqi government. In reality, our correspondents say the U.S. military has not been relieved of its duties at all. You can hear about both those developments on All Things Considered tonight. And since Iraq is not a winning political topic these days for the White House, we'll be hearing more about the "war on terrorism." In addition to another presidential speech on the topic today, Capitol Hill is buzzing with discussions of torture policies, eavesdropping policies and similar topics that, among other things, could provide rhetorical ammunition for the November 7 election...
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