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Desert Plant's Potent Chemical Cocktail Makes Mice Go 'Ptooey'

In the latest example of plants harnessing animals to help them procreate: Spiny mice eat the sweet mignonette's fruit but a chemical cocktail the plant mixes up makes them spit out the seeds intact.
NPR

Can Men And Women Be Friends?

The hosts of WNYC's RelationShow turn to science to try to figure out whether it's really possible for men and women to be just friends.
NPR

A Flicker Of Inspiration Brings Cave Drawings To Life

The Chauvet prehistoric cave paintings in France have always glimmered with a mystery. An article in the June issue of Antiquity suggests that the paintings, dating back 30,000 years, may amount to the first animated cartoons.
NPR

African Land Fertile Ground For Crops And Investors

Some accuse companies buying up land in Africa of dispossessing native farmers and using up scarce resources. But the Rei do Agro farm tries to be a good neighbor in Mozambique while banking on soybean profits.
NPR

Mapping The Microbial Make-Up Of Healthy Humans

Reporting in Nature, Nature Methods, and several PLoS publications, researchers with the Human Microbiome Project write that they have cataloged the genetic identity of many microbes that populate the human body. Computational biologist Curtis Huttenhower discusses the multidisciplinary effort.
NPR

Desktop Diaries: Sylvia Earle

A moray eel, a flock of geese and a shrunken head are just a few of the things found in and around Her Deepness' office. Earle, an explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic, has desks all over the country. A few months ago we stopped by her Oakland home-base for the next installment in our Desktop Diaries series.
NPR

Bacterial Armor Imaged, Down To The Details

Reporting in Nature, an international team of scientists say they've visualized the structure of a protective protein coat that surrounds many bacteria, down to the scale of a single atom. Structural microbiologist Han Remaut, co-author of the study, discusses potential applications of the research.
NPR

How The Morning-After Pill Works

Mitt Romney referred to morning after-pills as 'abortive pills.' The FDA-approved label on Plan B indicates it may prevent fertilized eggs from implanting in a woman's uterus. Dr. Kristina Gemzell-Danielsson, an obstetrics and gynecology professor at Karolinska Institute, discusses the growing scientific evidence to the contrary.

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