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Updated: 1 hour 35 min ago

A Skeptic Fact-Checks Yoga's Health Claims And Goes With The Om

Sat, 12/31/2016 - 9:00am

Yoga has been promoted as the cure for many ills, from diabetes to insomnia. Scientific proof is mixed. But this skeptic says if yoga makes climbing the stairs hurt less, that's good enough.

(Image credit: Jenn Liv for NPR)

When Bats Squeak, They Tend To Squabble

Sat, 12/31/2016 - 6:54am

Researchers have found new clues to how bats communicate. And it turns out they tend to argue — a lot. The research could lead to a broader understanding of animal communication.

(Image credit: Alex Mita/AFP/Getty Images)

By Returning To Farming's Roots, He Found His American Dream

Sat, 12/31/2016 - 6:00am

David Fisher's farm is a kind of American Dream. Not the conventional one of upward economic mobility. This is the utopian version, the uncompromising pursuit of a difficult agrarian ideal.

(Image credit: Dan Charles/NPR)

From Psychedelics To Alzheimer's, 2016 Was A Good Year For Brain Science

Sat, 12/31/2016 - 4:00am

A woman with ALS was able to type just by thinking about the letters, and people with cancer found their anxiety and depression erased by a single encounter with magic mushrooms.

(Image credit: Image by Catherine MacBride/Getty Images)

'Panda Grandpa' Pan Pan Dies In China

Fri, 12/30/2016 - 12:45pm

Pan Pan, who died this week at the age of 31, was known as the "panda grandpa": He has some 130 descendants worldwide, accounting for a quarter of the world's captive giant pandas.

(Image credit: AFP/Getty Images)

QUIZ: Test Your Knowledge Of NPR's Tech Stories From 2016

Fri, 12/30/2016 - 10:05am

A bar owner who wants patrons to put away their phones, Internet users tracking down a vandal, a project to analyze hundreds of Rembrandt paintings — can you remember (or guess) what happened?

(Image credit: Ariel Zambelich/NPR)

As A Rough Year Ends, We Turn To The Cosmos For Some Perspective

Fri, 12/30/2016 - 5:00am

As 2016 winds down, we take a moment to contemplate the billions of years that led to 2017 and the billions more yet to come.

(Image credit: ESO/B. Tafreshi (

The Wrong Eating Habits Can Hurt Your Brain, Not Just Your Waistline

Fri, 12/30/2016 - 4:00am

A diet high in saturated fats and sugars can affect the parts of the brain that are important to memory. Diet-linked brain changes can also make people more likely to crave the unhealthful food.

(Image credit: Katherine Streeter for NPR)

Is It Possible To Die Of Grief?

Thu, 12/29/2016 - 4:07pm

Actress Debbie Reynolds died just one day after her daughter Carrie Fisher's sudden death — which has led some to speculate that grief might have been a contributing factor.

(Image credit: Chris Pizzello/AP)

With A Leap Second, 2016 Promises To Linger Just A Little Bit Longer

Thu, 12/29/2016 - 3:40pm

To keep our system of time in sync with Earth's rotation, the world's foremost timekeepers are adding an extra second to 2016. For such a small thing, the leap second has some big implications.

(Image credit: Charles Krupa/AP)

The Lost Ancestral Peanut Of The South Is Revived

Thu, 12/29/2016 - 12:00pm

Brought to America by enslaved West Africans, the Carolina African runner was a defining taste of the antebellum South. Now, from just 40 remaining seeds, it's come back from the brink of extinction.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Brian Ward)

Astronomers Seeking Planet 9 Hope To Soon Catch A Glimpse

Thu, 12/29/2016 - 10:27am

Scientists will search the sky Thursday for an undiscovered planet in the outer solar system — they're pretty sure it's out there, and computer models tell them where to look.

(Image credit: Courtesy of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan)

Where Does Alzheimer's Treatment Go From Here?

Thu, 12/29/2016 - 10:00am

The failure of an experimental drug that targets clumps of protein inside the brains of Alzheimer's patients called into question one of the leading theories about the cause of the dementia.

(Image credit: Dr Cecil H Fox/Science Source/Getty Images)

Senators Ask Trump's EPA Pick To Disclose His Connections To Energy Industry

Wed, 12/28/2016 - 4:17pm

Six Senators sent a letter Scott Pruitt, President-elect Trump's pick to run the EPA. They want lists of donors and details about meetings with Energy lobbyists ahead of his confirmation hearings.

(Image credit: Sue Ogrocki/AP)

Danish Study Links Fish Oil During Pregnancy With Lower Asthma Risk In Kids

Wed, 12/28/2016 - 4:01pm

But that's not the final word, caution pediatricians, including the Danish author. It's one of several recent studies with contradictory findings that suggest the supplements could help or hurt.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Big Battles Over Farm And Food Policies May Be Brewing As Trump Era Begins

Wed, 12/28/2016 - 2:00pm

President-elect Donald Trump hasn't said much about food and farm policy or named his choices for top food-related jobs. But the coming years will likely see profound battles over food and nutrition.

(Image credit: Ryan Anson/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The Stories NPR One Listeners Loved The Most In 2016

Wed, 12/28/2016 - 8:29am

Listeners of our NPR One app rated these 10 stories as the most liked, recommended and shared in 2016.

(Image credit: NPR)

China Announces Its Largest-Ever Seizure Of Trafficked Pangolin Scales

Wed, 12/28/2016 - 7:06am

Pangolins — raccoon-sized animals that resemble artichokes — are the most trafficked mammal in the world. Chinese state media say more than 3 tons of scales were recently seized in Shanghai.

(Image credit: STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Remembering Vera Rubin, Who Made Dark Matter Matter

Tue, 12/27/2016 - 3:08pm

Scientist Vera Rubin made the theory of dark matter a reality and, many say, created modern astrophysics. NPR's Ari Shaprio discusses Rubin's passing with a fellow astrophysicist Risa Weschler.

How Do You Keep From Getting Bored? Researchers Have An Answer

Tue, 12/27/2016 - 4:01am

Social science research suggests that boredom, or satiety, has a lot to do with the mind. When we imagine variety in the future, it turns out we can tolerate a lot more boredom in the present.




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