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Computers May Someday Beat Chefs At Creating Flavors We Crave

An IBM computer that analyzes flavor molecules and develops recipes is on the way in five years, scientists say. They are hoping to find not only novel and tasty flavor combinations, but ones that will appeal to us without adding to our waistlines.
NPR

Texas Man Takes Last Stand Against Keystone XL Pipeline

The Keystone pipeline is supposed to carry tar sands oil from Canada to Texas — a route that runs right through David Daniel's land. To try to save his woods from bulldozers, Daniel built tree houses 80 feet in the air and protesters climbed up into them.
NPR

The Science Behind Santa's Christmas Eve Journey

With billions of children to visit in just one night, how does Santa make it to every house? And how does he fit down the chimney — assuming your house has one. Astrophysicist Neil De Grasse Tyson talks to David Greene about the science of Santa.
NPR

Forget Fracking: 2012 Was A Powerful Year For Renewables

The boom in fossil fuels hasn't undermined the growth of renewable energy sources. Tax incentives boosted the wind and solar industries this year, but 2013 might blow for wind.
NPR

With Growth Of 'Hacker Scouting,' More Kids Learn To Tinker

With the rise of the do-it-yourself movement, more groups are springing up to encourage kids to link crafts and science. Modeled on more traditional Scouting groups, kids and their parents meet up in tool-filled "hacker spaces" to build electronics and get creative.
NPR

Killer's DNA Won't Explain His Crime

Sandy Hook and other mass killings have left people wondering how someone could engage in such behavior. Scientists say that genes can indeed predispose a person to mental illness or violence. But genetic variants alone can't explain why someone commits mass murder.
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Lee Sandlin: "Storm Kings: The Untold Story Of America's First Tornado Chasers"

The United States sees an average of 1,000 tornadoes a year. The history and the latest research on American twisters.

NPR

Future Fibers May Be Spun From Slime

The hagfish or "slime eel" shoots out slime containing silk-like fibers of remarkable strength. Douglas Fudge, a biologist at the University of Guelph, says it could be a good substitute for today's synthetic fibers--it's 10 times stronger than nylon, for example--and bacteria can be trained to make it.
NPR

Could Life Exist on Newfound Alien Planet?

In a paper to be published in Astronomy & Astrophysics, researchers identified five possible planets around the star Tau Ceti. One of these alien worlds is within the star's habitable zone. Study co-author Steven Vogt discusses whether life could exist on the planet.

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