Pigging out for even a day causes inflammation in the brains of lab rats, and scientists think this might help explain why it's so hard for people to lose weight. If eating too much inflames human brains, too, then scientists might be able to come up with new ideas for taming obesity.
Three years ago, scientists found plenty of cod in the region but data this season indicates just the opposite. Federal regulators say stocks are at such dangerously low levels, cod fishing might need to be shut down. Fishermen say they don't believe the reports.
Harbor porpoises are showing up in growing numbers under the Golden Gate Bridge. Six decades ago, they were driven away in part by wartime activities and poor water quality; now, researchers are trying to understand why they're returning.
The Kemp's ridley sea turtle, which hopped a ride aboard floating seaweed, made the 4,600 mile journey from the Gulf of Mexico to the shores of Portugal in 2008. Nicknamed Johnny Vasco de Gama, after the Portugese explorer, the now-rehabilitated turtle will be reintroduced into Gulf waters Tuesday.
Some 500 years ago, Leonardo da Vinci noted that branches on trees split with mathematical precision. Recently, physicists studying this phenomenon have discovered it has important implications for the way wind flows around and through trees.
The wise men would be one gift short at the manger — frankincense, one of the gifts given to the baby Jesus, is now in short supply. The trees from which the fragrant resin is produced are declining, and in 15 years, frankincense production could be cut in half.
Damian Scarf at New Zealand's University of Otago reports in the current issue of the journal Science that experiments he conducted with colleagues show that pigeons can learn abstract rules about numbers.
Nuclear power had enjoyed 25 years of relative quiet, but the Fukushima accident reminded people that despite improvements in safety, things can still go horribly wrong. The accident is unlikely to affect U.S. nuclear policy, experts say, but countries like Germany and Japan are looking to alternatives.
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.