The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives managed to overcome their differences on a less contentious issue this week. Both acted in a bipartisan fashion this week to approve bills calling on the government to create a science laureate position. He or she would promote science in the same way a poet laureate promotes poetry. Host Scott Simon talks to Cal Tech Astronomy professor Mike Brown about the proposal.
Microscopic bugs called cheese mites are responsible for the distinctive rind and flavor of the bright orange French cheese Mimolette. But now, the FDA has blocked more than a ton of Mimolette from entering the country, because the agency says the mites left on it make it unfit for consumption.
Since 1958, researchers have been measuring the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at the Mauna Loa Observatory. The remote outpost has just reported a carbon dioxide level of 400 parts per million — the highest it has climbed in the modern age.
To test a common theory about the cause of autism, researchers recently studied how kids with autism process moving images. They found that the kids saw simple movements twice as fast as their typically developing peers.
The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has crossed the "psychological threshold" of 400 parts per million. That number is one of the clearest measures of how humans are changing the planet by burning fossil fuels.
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