Science

Shots - Health News
11:24 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Patent Medicines Get A Belated Chemical Checkup

Dr. Sawen's Magic Nervine Pills contained calcium, iron, copper and potassium. Despite advertising claiming they were free of lead and mercury, both elements were found in the pills.
Courtesy of Mark Benvenuto

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 8:04 am

The patent medicines sold in days gone by may, contrary to the name, not have had real government patents. But that didn't stop their makers from claiming the concoctions could cure ailments ranging from indigestion to jaundice and fever.

Now, researchers have put some of these old elixirs and pills in the Henry Ford Museum's large collection of patent medicines to a modern test. They found a mix of potentially harmful metals like lead and mercury along with benign ingredients, including calcium and iron.

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The Salt
11:19 am
Wed April 10, 2013

A Battle Over Antibiotics In Organic Apple And Pear Farming

Originally published on Sun April 14, 2013 10:31 am

Note: We've updated the headline on this post for the sake of clarity. To be clear, it's the apple and pear tree blossoms that get sprayed with antibiotics, not the fruit itself.

Apples and especially pears are vulnerable to a nasty bacterial infection called fire blight that, left unchecked, can spread quickly, killing fruit trees and sometimes devastating whole orchards.

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Shots - Health News
4:28 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Genetically Modified Rat Is Promising Model For Alzheimer's

Scientists hope a new genetically modified rat will help them find Alzheimer's drugs that work on humans.
Ryumin Alexander ITAR-TASS/Landov

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 6:34 pm

A rat with some human genes could provide a better way to test Alzheimer's drugs.

The genetically modified rat is the first rodent model to exhibit the full range of brain changes found in Alzheimer's, researchers report in The Journal of Neuroscience.

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Environment
4:28 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Energy Secretary Nominee Dodges Question On Gas Exports

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 6:34 pm

A U.S. Senate committee held a confirmation hearing for Ernest Moniz on Tuesday, who has been nominated to be the U.S. Energy Secretary. Moniz says he will retire from MIT, where he's a professor of physics and energy systems. He would advocate for the Obama administration's "all of the above" energy strategy, which calls for continued fossil fuels development and supports nuclear energy, wind and solar.

Animals
4:28 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Monkey Calls Could Offer Clues For Origin Of Human Speech

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 6:34 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is not the sound of the ALL THINGS CONSIDERED staff morning meeting.

(SOUNDBITE OF WOBBLE)

BLOCK: It's not Justin Timberlake doing his vocal warm-up. And it's not a celebration of hedge fund managers.

(SOUNDBITE OF WOBBLE)

BLOCK: It is the sound of the wild gelada monkey. And why are we bringing you the sound of the wild gelada monkey? Well, because a new study finds the vocalization of these monkeys could tell us something about the beginning of human speech.

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