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12:33 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Electric Fans May Do More Harm Than Good In A Heat Wave

Researchers say that when temperatures rise above 95 degrees, a fan might make you even hotter, and maybe even sick.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat July 14, 2012 11:26 am

Assuming you can't spend a heat wave bobbing up and down in some cool body of water, the next best option is to hunker down inside with air blowing on you, right?

Preferably it's from an air conditioner set on arctic chill.

But if there's no AC, then an electric fan would be the next best thing, wouldn't you think?

Well, it turns out health experts aren't so sure about electric fans. And they say using one in a really brutal heat wave can sometimes do more harm than good.

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Health
12:32 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Myths And Tips On Keeping Your Cool This Summer

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. If you're out shooting hoops this summer or you're going for a jog, you know it won't be long before you're sopping wet and, you know, it's really sweaty out there. And where's all that sweat coming from? Your body's water supply, of course. You have to replenish those fluids if you sweat a lot. But it's not as simple as the old eight-glasses-a-day mantra. How much should you really drink? Too much water, you can die, as has happened to marathon runners who chugged too much water during the race.

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Research News
12:25 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

What Happens When Scientists Get It Wrong?

Reporting in Science, two teams of scientists say they were unable to replicate the results of a 2010 study claiming to have found 'alien life' on Earth--a bacterium that could build its DNA using arsenic. Science journalist Carl Zimmer talks about how the controversy played out online, and how science corrects itself.

Environment
12:19 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Climate Change Ups Odds Of Heat Waves, Drought

Reporting in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, researchers write that extreme heat waves, such as the one last year in Texas, are 20 times more likely today than they were in the 1960s. NOAA climatologist Tom Peterson discusses what future climate change may bring.

Science
12:16 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

The Nuts And Bolts Of High-Speed Rail

California lawmakers gave the green light to the first phase of construction of high-speed rail in the state. Does this mean that America is on track for faster, sleeker trains? What potential speed bumps still lie ahead? Railroad engineer Christopher Barkan discusses the costs, benefits and state of the technology.

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