2:34pm

Fri January 27, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Heavy Doctors Avoid Heavy Discussions About Weight

iStockphoto.com

Research already demonstrates that physicians are sometimes uncomfortable talking about weight with their obese patients. Now, a new study shows that the doctors' weight makes a difference too.

Physicians who pack on the pounds discuss weight loss less frequently with obese patients than doctors who have normal body mass indexes (18 percent versus 30 percent), according to the report published this week in the medical journal Obesity.

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1:55pm

Fri January 27, 2012
The Two-Way

Why Could Romney's Father Run For President If He Was Born In Mexico?

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 2:29 pm

George Romney, center, with his wife, Lenore, and teenage son Mitt, in 1962.
AP

One of the more dramatic moments in Thursday night's Republican presidential debate was when Mitt Romney said it was "repulsive" of Newt Gingrich to suggest that Romney was the most "anti-immigrant" candidate among the GOP contenders.

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1:53pm

Fri January 27, 2012
The Two-Way

Fitch Downgrades Credit Of 6 E.U. Countries, Including Spain, Italy

Fitch Ratings announced it was cutting the ratings of Italy, Spain, Belgium, Slovenia, and Cyprus.

Italy and Spain, two of the biggest eurozone economies, suffered a two-notch drop. Italy went from A+ to A- and Spain went from A to AA-.

Bloomberg reports:

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1:49pm

Fri January 27, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Dengue Fever Cases Surge Worldwide

Not who you want to meet on your tropical vacation.
USDA AP

If winter has you daydreaming of a vacation to sunny lands, you might want to consider the risk of dengue fever in your plans.

The number of cases of the disease, a severe flu-like illness with excruciating headaches, joint and muscle pain, is soaring, according to an update from the World Health Organization.

Now more than 40 percent of the world's population is at risk — 2.5 billion people, according to the group. In 2010, there were 1.6 million cases in the Americas alone.

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1:00pm

Fri January 27, 2012
Technology

A Mobile Wallet: Cash, Credit, Or... Cell Phone?

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Imagine walking into Jamba Juice for your favorite smoothie fix, and when it's time to pay, instead of pulling out cash or a credit card, you just tap your phone on a reader, and you're ready to go. Better yet, when you tapped your phone to pay it, it also redeems an electronic coupon stored in your phone, so you end up paying even less. Yeah. Well, people in fact can already do this at Jamba Juice using Google Wallet on certain Android phones. You can use it at Macy's, Bloomingdales, Duane Reade.

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1:00pm

Fri January 27, 2012
Art & Design

Ode To Ice

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 1:58 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Time now for our Video Pick of the Week. Flora Lichtman, our multimedia editor is here. Hi, Flora.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Ira.

FLATOW: Good video as always.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

LICHTMAN: Yeah. This one is about something that I encounter every day, and I think of it as little more than a beverage cooler or maybe a nuisance on my commute to work. I'm talking about ice. But it turns out that ice was way more interesting than I knew before (unintelligible)...

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

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1:00pm

Fri January 27, 2012
Space

How 'Space Weather' Affects Planes And Power Grids

This week solar flares sent a huge blast of X-rays and charged particles screaming towards the Earth. Solar astronomer David Hathaway and physicist Doug Biesecker discuss the sun's explosive behavior, and how that 'space weather' affects satellites, airplanes and the electric grid.

1:00pm

Fri January 27, 2012
Medical Treatments

Stem Cell Eye Therapy Shows Promise

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 2:02 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Stem cell therapy, it seems, is always promising, promising to cure diseases or illnesses. And this week, a study using embryonic stem cells has increased the hope of fulfilling some of those promises.

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1:00pm

Fri January 27, 2012
Research News

Magnetic Soap May Help Clean Up Spilled Oil

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 1:41 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. After the Deepwater Horizon spill, BP poured nearly two million gallons of dispersants into the Gulf of Mexico. The goal, of course, is breaking up oil slicks, making them dissolve into ocean waters, sort of like how you squirt dish soap on a greasy frying pan to get the oil to wash away with the water.

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1:00pm

Fri January 27, 2012
Research News

Ancient Skull Holds Clues to Dog Domestication

A 33,000-year-old skull of a "wolf on the way to becoming a dog" was found in a Siberian cave. Evolutionary Biologist Susan Crockford, co-author of a study about the skull in PLoS ONE, discusses why the discovery challenges common beliefs about dog domestication.

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