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Updated: 1 hour 56 min ago

Former Coal Lobbyist On Tap For No. 2 Spot At EPA

Sat, 03/17/2018 - 4:00am

The man hoping to help lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Andrew Wheeler, is a former lobbyist for coal and natural gas companies. As a young EPA lawyer, he worked on hazardous chemical rules.

(Image credit: Alex Edelman/picture-alliance/dpa/AP)

FEMA Drops 'Climate Change' From Its Strategic Plan

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 10:49pm

The agency's strategic planning document does not mention the potential impact of a changing climate on the rising risk of natural hazards.

(Image credit: Cliff Owen/AP)

NASA Study Finds Astronaut's Genes Changed While In Space

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 3:13pm

A study shows that not only do astronaut's genes change in space, but they have the potential to remained changed even months after the astronaut is back on Earth.

Is It Time To Bring Risk Back Into Our Kids' Playgrounds?

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 2:19pm

Are playgrounds in the U.S. too sterile and risk-averse to help our kids thrive? Anthropologist Barbara J. King considers play and child development in evolutionary perspective.

(Image credit: Noah Clayton/Getty Images/Tetra images RF)

Biologists Trace Genetic Roots Of Evolution, One Cell At A Time

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 1:01pm

E.coli bacteria, each cell trapped in a tiny tube, are giving researchers the chance to study the pace and effects of single genetic mutations. Most mutations, the scientists find, aren't harmful.

(Image credit: Kwangshin Kim/Science Source)

How Prepared Is The World For A Major Epidemic?

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 10:06am

Reid Wilson says it's only a matter of time before we find out.

(Image credit: JOHN WESSELS/AFP/Getty Images)

Millions Own Gas And Oil Under Their Land. Here's Why Only Some Strike It Rich.

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 4:01am

Gas and oil companies pay royalties to millions of American landowners. But a growing number accuse energy companies of cheating them out of their fair share.

(Image credit: Marie Cusick/StateImpact Pennsylvania)

How Many Opioid Overdoses Are Suicides?

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 4:00am

Opioid overdoses and related deaths are still climbing, according to U.S. statistics. Teasing out which overdoses are intentional can be hard, but is important for treatment, doctors say.

(Image credit: Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Live High Definition Video From Mars? NASA Is Getting Ready

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 3:14pm

NASA is building a new space-based laser communication that will allow live, high-definition video from Mars and beyond — something that's not possible with standard radio equipment.

(Image credit: JPL-Caltech/Arizona State Univ./Space Systems Loral/Peter Rubin/NASA)

Mourners Honor Stephen Hawking, Whose Mind Blazed Bright

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 11:03am

His mental genius and physical disability made the renowned British physicist a household name. On Wednesday, people around the world grieved Hawking's death.

(Image credit: Asit Kumar/AFP/Getty Images)

The Universe According To Albert Einstein: Relativity

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 10:17am

When Einstein, born 139 years ago on Wednesday, came onto the science scene, physics was in crisis. New ideas were badly needed — it was the perfect moment for a trailblazer, says Marcelo Gleiser.

(Image credit: Bettmann/Bettmann Archive)

Stephen Hawking, Who Awed Both Scientists And The Public, Dies

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 10:59pm

Hawking was a theoretical physicist who changed how scientists think about gravity. He also wrote the best-selling book A Brief History of Time and lent his machine-aided voice to TV shows. He was 76.

(Image credit: Sion Touhig/Getty Images)

An Ode To Insignificance: Buttons, Touchscreens, And Other Dangerous Technologies

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 10:43am

The most successful technologies are so seductive, user-friendly, and so apparently innocuous that we hardly notice them entering our lives, says Jimena Canales. One such technology? The pushbutton.

(Image credit: Jasmin Merdan/Getty Images)

Daniel Kahneman On Misery, Memory, And Our Understanding Of The Mind

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 8:00pm

Economic theory rests on a simple notion about humans: people are rational. But a half century ago, two psychologists shattered these assumptions.

(Image credit: Eric Lee/NPR)

Nerve Agent Found In U.K. Is Rare And Definitely Russian

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 4:18pm

Novichok-class agents were developed in top-secret Russian labs at the end of the Cold War. Experts say only Russia is known to have made them. "They've been a deep, dark secret," says one expert.

(Image credit: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

Do Backyard Chickens Need More Rules?

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 11:10am

Drawn in by fresh eggs, or the possibility of feathered friends, people continue to flock toward backyard chickens. One researcher wonders if local laws are doing enough to keep people and birds safe.

(Image credit: Emma Baker/Getty Images )

This Is Why You Don't See People-Sized Salmon Anymore

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 7:00am

Fishermen used to stand next to Chinooks almost as tall as they are. But a century's worth of dam-building, overfishing, habitat loss and hatcheries has cut the size of the average fish in half.

(Image credit: WikiMedia Commons )

Fishing Boats 'Going Dark' Raise Suspicion Of Illegal Catches, Report Says

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 5:02am

A new report by the international conservation group Oceana highlights several incidents of fishing vessels switching off their Automatic Identification System beacons in no-take fishing areas.

(Image credit: Marcel Mochet/AFP/Getty Images)

Hearts Get 'Younger,' Even At Middle Age, With Exercise

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 4:00am

As early as your mid-40s, especially if you're sedentary, your heart muscle can show signs of aging, losing its youthful elasticity and power. But moderately strenuous exercise can change that.

(Image credit: Maria Fabrizio for NPR)

North Korea's Nuclear Ambitions And Abilities

Sun, 03/11/2018 - 7:16am

NPR's Renee Montagne talks with Siegfried Hecker, a former director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, about North Korea's nuclear program.




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