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Updated: 29 min 1 sec ago

Were Carbs A Brain Food For Our Ancient Ancestors?

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 5:19pm

Once ancient humans learned to cook, starchy foods could have given them a calorie bump that fueled the evolution of the human brain, British researchers argue in a new paper.

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U.S. Grants Patent For Free-Standing Space Elevator Tower

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 3:56pm

A Canadian company called Thoth Technology has patented a space elevator. The tower would rise some 12 miles into the sky, with a runway or launch pad on top.

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Papal Encyclical On Climate Change Puts Coal Country Catholics In Tough Spot

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 3:20pm

Pope Francis' encyclical on the environment is getting a thorough reading in Wyoming, which is the country's top coal-producing state. The letter presents a moral framework for approaching issues such as global climate change, but it's a difficult subject for Catholics in coal country.

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Can You Teach A Computer To 'Feel' Suspense?

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 2:21pm

Scientists want to make computers into better storytellers, but to do that they have to teach the machines a tricky element: suspense. Now researchers believe they've taken a big step forward.

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Decoding Nature: Identifying Sounds A Horned Owl Makes

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 4:10am

A listener responded to our invitation to send recordings of backyard wildlife with one of these spooky bird sounds. An expert at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology helped solve the mystery.

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'Play This Video Game And Call Me In The Morning'

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 3:42am

Developers at Akili are working on a game they hope might one day be prescribed to treat mental health conditions like ADHD and depression. But, first, they must get past the FDA.

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Scientists Discover 15th Convex Pentagon Able To Tile A Plane

Fri, 08/14/2015 - 3:29pm

NPR's Robert Siegel speaks with Julie Rehmeyer, a contributing editor at Discover magazine, about a newly discovered pentagon.

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With Discovery, 3 Scientists Chip Away At An Unsolvable Math Problem

Fri, 08/14/2015 - 1:13pm

For decades, we have known of only 14 convex pentagons that can do something called "tiling the plane." Now there is a 15th shape, but mathematicians are still far from knowing exactly how many exist.

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Newly Discovered Exoplanet Provides Glimpse Into Jupiter's Past

Fri, 08/14/2015 - 12:10pm

Scientists using the ground-based Gemini Planet Imager found a very young "Super Jupiter" about 100 light years away.

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What Does It Take To Produce Nuclear Fusion — In Your Garage?

Fri, 08/14/2015 - 8:48am

Taylor Wilson is a self-taught nuclear physicist who sees every obstacle as a challenge. He describes how — at age 14 — he built a working nuclear fusion reactor in his garage.

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Engineers Make Narcotics With Yeast. Is Home-Brewed Heroin Next?

Fri, 08/14/2015 - 4:10am

The yeast produce only tiny amounts of the drug. But eventually, the technology could lead to better painkillers and other medicines. Drug officials worry the microbes could fall into the wrong hands.

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Genetically Modified Yeast Yields Narcotics, Raises Regulation Questions

Fri, 08/14/2015 - 4:10am

Scientist have genetically engineered yeast to make powerful opioid drugs. They did this to make it easier and cheaper to make pain killers. The advance raises concern about home-brewed narcotics.

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Katrina's Emotional Legacy Includes Pain, Grief And Resilience

Fri, 08/14/2015 - 3:43am

Ten years after the storm some residents have found healing — in the arts, family and new opportunities. Others suffer lingering grief and other difficulties they trace to Katrina.

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Titanium Rings Tough To Crack In Emergencies

Thu, 08/13/2015 - 5:33pm

The patient's ring was stuck, his finger dangerously swollen. Doctors tried everything to remove it — and finally hit upon a solution they hope will help other people.

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Forecasters Predict Powerful El Nino To Bring Rain To The Dry West

Thu, 08/13/2015 - 3:16pm

Forecasters say it is highly likely an El Nino weather system in the Northern Hemisphere will last until the spring of next year. The El Nino could bring much needed rain to the drought-stricken West.

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You Don't Need To Go Low-Carb To Burn Body Fat, Study Says

Thu, 08/13/2015 - 1:48pm

Popular advice suggests a low-carb diet is necessary to trigger the body to shed fat. But a rigorous new study finds low-fat diets also spark body-fat loss. The key is to pick a diet you'll stick to.

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Chatty Marmosets Have Something To Say About Vocal Learning

Thu, 08/13/2015 - 1:06pm

Scientists have found that marmosets have the capability to learn calls from their parents. Studying the small monkeys may provide insights into developmental disorders in humans, like autism.

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Drones Increase Heart Rates Of Wild Bears. Too Much Stress?

Thu, 08/13/2015 - 11:02am

Scientists studying animals in their natural habitats can now just send in a drone with a camera, rather than trudging through rough terrain. But a new study finds that the drones don't go unnoticed.

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Matchmakers Are Happier Than Non-Matchmakers, Research Shows

Thu, 08/13/2015 - 4:24am

Why do people like play matchmaker? New research finds that matchmaking produces happiness and, the more unlikely the match, the greater the happiness for the matchmaker.

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Listening To Whale Migration Reveals A Sea Of Noise Pollution, Too

Thu, 08/13/2015 - 4:16am

Christopher Clark, an engineer turned whale biologist, wired the world's oceans with hydrophones. Whales sing as they migrate, he learned. And the ship sounds clouding the ocean can deeply interfere.

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