Science

The Two-Way
9:35 am
Thu March 21, 2013

It's 'Birds Gone Wild' Out On Australia's Heron Island

On Australia's Heron Island, buff-banded rails like this one have become the avian equivalent of a weed.
Richard Harris NPR

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 10:01 am

NPR Science Correspondent Richard Harris traveled to Australia's Great Barrier Reef to find out how the coral reefs are coping with increased water temperature and increasing ocean acidity, brought about by our burning of fossil fuels. Day 3: Waiting for a boat to the next island, Richard meets some rowdy birds.

Weeds are not a true category of plant. A weed is simply a plant that's growing where a person wishes it weren't.

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The Salt
8:49 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Spring May Have Sprung, But Most Gardens Are Still Slumbering

Want it? You can't have it. At least not yet.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 9:25 am

For vegetable lovers, the start of spring can be a cruel tease, hinting of a feast of just-picked peas and spinach and beets, but delivering instead tired iceberg and romaine shipped from distant climes.

"It's zero here right now," Terry Nennich reported Wednesday morning, the first official day of spring, from Grand Rapids, Minn. So much for spring. Not only was it well below freezing, but the ground remained blanketed by 2 feet of snow.

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Around the Nation
3:53 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Forensic Advances Raise New Questions About Old Convictions

After a forensic dentist used software to correct a distortion in the image a decade later, the original expert witness recanted his testimony.
Courtesy of Jan Stiglitz

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 6:48 pm

Advances in forensic technology are showing that what used to be considered clear-cut proof of guilt may be nothing of the kind. A California case highlights a growing problem facing courts: what to do when an expert witness changes his mind because of better science and technology.

William Richards was convicted of brutally murdering his wife and is serving 25 years to life. The evidence against him was mostly circumstantial and two different juries were unable to reach a verdict. A third trial was aborted because the judge recused himself.

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The Two-Way
9:49 am
Wed March 20, 2013

On Australia's Great Barrier Reef, There's A Turf Battle Raging

Guillermo Diaz-Pulido from Griffith University in Brisbane grows bits of seaweed attached to pieces of coral in tanks at the research facility on Australia's Heron Island.
Richard Harris NPR

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 10:02 am

NPR Science Correspondent Richard Harris traveled to Australia's Great Barrier Reef to find out how the coral reefs are coping with increased water temperature and increasing ocean acidity, brought about by our burning of fossil fuels. Day 2: The good news is life could get better for seaweed.

Picture a coral reef and the first things likely to come to mind are brilliantly colored fish swimming among stout branches of coral. Let your mind wander a bit more and you might imagine some sea turtles, stingrays and sharks.

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The Two-Way
9:44 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Chinese Solar Panel Maker Suntech Goes Bankrupt

Workers at a Suntech plant in Wuxi last month.
Peter Parks AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 1:25 pm

The future doesn't look so bright for China-based Suntech, one of the world's largest makers of solar panels: On Wednesday, it was forced into bankruptcy after missing a $541 million payment to bondholders.

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