At a briefing in Beijing Wednesday, World Health Organization officials called the H7N9 bird flu that's emerged in China one of the "most lethal" flu viruses so far. NPR science correspondent Richard Knox talks about what we know, and the questions that remain about the deadly strain.
Corn production was down last year thanks to drought. This year, conditions are too cold and wet for farmers to plant the crop. Without a break in the clouds pretty soon, there may be another shortage of the crop at harvest time.
Right now, solar panels make electricity. But a team of engineers in California wants to take solar energy one step further. They're trying to create a device that uses sunlight to make a liquid fuel that goes in our gas tanks.
Energy companies are using a drilling technique known as fracking to extract natural gas underground. Many people raise questions about the environmental impact, but there is no doubt fracking has produced lots of natural gas and driven down the price. That has led energy-hungry manufacturers to build plants in fracking hot spots like Texas and Pennsylvania. But even in old factories — far from the drilling or even the pipelines — cheap natural gas is providing a competitive edge.
Ken Caldeira is trying to come up with a big solution to the problem of increasingly acid oceans: antacids for coral reefs. That might keep the reefs from being destroyed by humans' use of fossil fuels. And that's not his only big idea. But even Caldeira admits that his audacious plan could fail.
When you give to WAMU, your tax-deductible membership gift helps make possible award-winning programs such as Morning Edition, All Things Considered, The Diane Rehm Show, The Kojo Nnamdi Show, and other favorites.