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Down The Gullet: A Guided Tour Of Your Guts

In Gulp. Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, science writer Mary Roach takes a journey through the gut, from the secret healing powers of saliva to the taxonomy of poop. Along the trip, she serves up odd medical anecdotes, such as the story of William Beaumont, an eccentric surgeon who once ate chicken from another man's stomach.
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Monitoring the Monarchs

Last month monarch butterflies began an annual northward journey from their overwintering habitat in Mexico. Monarch expert Lincoln Brower discusses the dwindling monarch populations, and explains how habitat loss in Mexico and a decline in milkweed plant numbers in the U.S. may be harming the familiar orange and black fliers.
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Poring Over the Science of Coffee

Brewing coffee is a neverending science project, according to barista Sam Penix, owner of Everyman Espresso in New York City. Grind-size, brew method, coffee beans (which are really seeds), water temperature can all affect the flavors that end up in your cup. Harold McGee, author of On Food and Cooking, explains some of the chemistry of coffee.
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Looking To Nature For Antibiotic Inspirations

Bacteriophages, viruses that infect bacterial cells, employ an arsenal of chemical weapons. Microbiologist Vincent Fischetti of Rockefeller University describes using tricks learned from the phage in developing new antibiotics that may be effective even where others fail.
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Red Meat's Heart Risk Goes Beyond The Fat

Reporting in Nature Medicine, researchers write that a chemical in red meat, L-carnitine, may up the risk of heart disease in people and mice--but only in frequent red-meat eaters. Study author Stanley Hazen of the Cleveland Clinic explains how diet changes the gut's bacterial flora, and how that can affect heart health.
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In NASA's Budget: Plans To 'Shrink-Wrap' An Asteroid

There's $78 million of the agency's nearly $18 billion budget set aside for a program to capture a 500-ton asteroid in space and drag it back to orbit around the moon. And by 2021, astronauts could be visiting that asteroid to study it up close and gather samples.
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A Legal Twist In The Effort To Ban Cameras From Livestock Plants

Legislation introduced in several states would require anyone who records evidence of animal abuse to turn it over to authorities within a set period of time. But animal rights activists aren't welcoming these measures: They see the bills as veiled attempts to stifle long-term undercover investigations that can prove a pattern of abuse.
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Leading Man's Chin: Universally Hot Or Not?

A prominent male chin, thought to be a marker for virility, is one of the characteristics that's part of the so-called universal facial attractiveness hypothesis. But a look at chins from around the world raises doubts.
NPR

How Much Does It Hurt? Let's Scan Your Brain

Researchers say they can measure how much pain someone is experiencing and even watch as prescription painkillers relieve it. The scanning technique could help doctors treat pain better, but the work is also fraught with questions about how the technology could interfere with the relationship between doctors and patients.

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