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Mars Rover Will Look For Building Blocks Of Life

On Sunday night, a six-wheeled rover the size of a subcompact car will land on Mars. We preview the mission, from the remarkable landing system to the kind of science the rover will do during its mission.
NPR

Spending The Holidays At A Toxic Waste Site

To avoid the crowds at Niagara Falls, why not sail the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, or ogle oil refineries in Port Arthur, Texas? In Visit Sunny Chernobyl: And Other Adventures In The World's Most Polluted Places, Andrew Blackwell describes traveling to the world's most contaminated destinations.
NPR

Making Movies That Zoom Into Foreign Worlds

Photographer Roman Vishniac, perhaps most famous for documenting Jewish communities in Eastern Europe, was also a pioneer of cinemicroscopy — filming through a microscope. Flora Lichtman looks back at Vishniac's science cinema and talks to Dutch photographer Wim van Egmond about how he makes his award-winning images and videos of microorganisms.
NPR

Tech Giants Gear Up For Patent Battle

A court battle between Apple and Samsung is underway in California, with each side arguing over intricate patent and trademark claims covering how the companies' phones and tablets work, look, and feel. Robin Feldman, professor at the UC Hastings College of the Law, explains some of the key issues in the court case and how it might affect the technology industry.
NPR

One Doc's Prescription For Hassle-Free Healthcare

Dr. Jay Parkinson envisions a future of more efficient, hassle-free healthcare--and it starts online. He says he and his colleagues at the New York City-based healthcare start-up Sherpaa can solve 70 percent of patients' problems via email, eliminating a trip to the doctor's office.
NPR

Planning For 'Curiosity' On Mars

If all goes according to plan, the Mars Science Laboratory rover, nicknamed 'Curiosity,' will touch down on the red planet this weekend following what NASA has called 'seven minutes of terror' during the descent. NPR science correspondent Joe Palca and John Grunsfeld, head of NASA's Science Directorate, give a preview of the mission and talk about what scientists hope to learn from the latest ambassador to Mars.
NPR

Changing Views About A Changing Climate

What is the role of humans in climate change? "Call me a converted skeptic," physicist Richard Muller wrote in an Op-Ed in the New York Times this week, describing his analysis of data from the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project. Though Muller was once a notable skeptic regarding studies connecting human activity to climate change, he has now concluded that "humans are almost entirely the cause" of global warming.

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