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Headed To Mars? Watch Out For Cosmic Rays

The dose of radiation an astronaut would experience on a trip to Mars is higher than the annual limit set for workers at nuclear power plants. But Mars enthusiasts say the radiation threat isn't high enough to cancel the trip.
NPR

Smelted In Space? Ancient Iron Beads Linked To Meteorite

Since its discovery in 1911, an Egyptian iron bead has sparked debate over how it was produced — made around 3,300 BC, it predates the region's first known iron smelting by thousands of years. Now researchers say the iron was made in space, and delivered to Earth via meteorite.
NPR

GMO Wheat Found In Oregon Field. How Did It Get There?

An Oregon farmer discovered the genetically engineered wheat growing in his field about a month ago. Nobody knows how it got there, how widely it has spread, or whether it has been in fields harvested for food. GMO wheat is not approved for sale in the U.S.
NPR

Breathing Easier: How Houston Is Working To Clean Up Its Air

Intensely smoggy days are striking less often thanks to better technology that pinpoints problems, and laws that have prompted fixes. Still, scientists say they haven't yet tracked down all the sources of the pollution fouling the region's air.
NPR

How OxyContin's Pain Relief Built 'A World Of Hurt'

New York Times reporter Barry Meier's new e-book explores opiate painkillers and the consequences that come with long-term use. He focuses in particular on OxyContin, how it came to be prescribed for chronic pain, what the consequences have been, and how it became a street drug.
NPR

Cooking With Cicadas: No Weirder Than Eating Cheese?

We know, eating bugs sounds strange, but 2 billion people already do it — and the U.N. has made the case for insects as a key protein source. For U.S. East Coasters, the coming of the 17-year cicadas provides an opportunity to cook with bugs. If you want to try your hand at it, there's a cookbook to guide your way.
NPR

Scientists Discover Rip Van Winkle Of The Plant World

Nothing lives forever, but bryophytes come close. Scientists have found a kind of plant in the Canadian Arctic that started growing again after being buried under a glacier for 400 years.
NPR

Wal-Mart To Pay $81 Million For Hazardous Waste Dumping

The retail giant pleaded guilty to improperly disposing of toxic pollutants in California and Missouri in the period 2003 to 2005.

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