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Updated: 32 min 44 sec ago

Allan Adams: Can Gravitational Waves Tell Us How The Universe Began?

Fri, 02/09/2018 - 8:26am

In 2015, scientists first detected gravitational waves— ripples in space caused by massive disturbances. Allan Adams says this discovery helps answer some of our biggest questions about the universe.

(Image credit: Bret Hartman/TED)

'Invisibilia': The Otherworldly Alien Hand Syndrome, Animated

Fri, 02/09/2018 - 8:03am

Imagine trying to play the piano or button a shirt, while one hand does something else, entirely of its own volition. Invisibilia explored this phenomenon. More stories are coming in the new season.

(Image credit: Giant Ant for NPR)

New Technology Aims To Take The Sugar Out Of Gelato — Not The Flavor

Fri, 02/09/2018 - 7:00am

The Italian treat requires a certain formula to make it just right, and that means sugar. But as more people try to eat healthy, gelaterias must keep pace. A new machine is a step in that direction.

(Image credit: Irina Marwan/Getty Images)

Major Psychiatric Disorders Have More In Common Than We Thought, Study Finds

Thu, 02/08/2018 - 4:34pm

Understanding the molecular basis of major disorders such as autism, schizophrenia and bipolar is hopeful, because it could help in developing better treatments for them.

(Image credit: Sebastian Kaulitzki/Getty Images/Science Photo Library RF)

How The Launch Of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy Fits Into The Company's Other-Wordly Plans

Thu, 02/08/2018 - 3:28pm

This week SpaceX successfully launched the world's most powerful rocket in decades. NPR's Ari Shapiro speaks with writer Tim Urban about what this rocket will do near term, and how it takes Elon Musk one step closer to his grand vision of a million-person colony on Mars.

All The Rage Of Aquarius: How Astrology Hangs On

Thu, 02/08/2018 - 10:18am

Why does everyone keep talking about Mercury retrograde?

Embracing Winter's Chill Through Snow Artistry

Thu, 02/08/2018 - 9:56am

Simon Beck's large-scale snow images — like the one made earlier this month in Minneapolis — bring extra beauty to this cold winter season, says commentator Barbara J. King.

(Image credit: Great Northern Festival)

Stop Crying! Tear-Free Onions Are Here

Thu, 02/08/2018 - 7:09am

For years, people have been crying about how chopping onions brings on the waterworks. Well, there's finally a tearless onion, but the allium has not quite caught on with the general public yet.

(Image credit: Fuse/Getty Images)

California May Have A Way To Block Trump's Offshore Drilling Push

Thu, 02/08/2018 - 4:03am

In the 1980's California towns used local zoning rules to block offshore oil and gas drilling. State lawmakers are considering a similar strategy to push back against the Trump administration.

(Image credit: Chris Carlson/AP)

How To Pack A Space Telescope

Thu, 02/08/2018 - 4:02am

Operating a telescope in space is a challenge, but so is moving one on Earth. An inside look at how NASA's James Webb Space Telescope moved from Houston to Los Angeles.

(Image credit: Chris Gunn/NASA)

Our Ancestors, Elon Musk, And The First Car In Space

Wed, 02/07/2018 - 10:23am

Musk's successful rocket launch is a step on the ambitious road to Mars; as with our adventurous ancestors, where we might go seems to be limited only by our imagination, says Marcelo Gleiser.

(Image credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Linguists Discover Previously Unidentified Language In Malaysia

Wed, 02/07/2018 - 9:49am

Swedish researchers were studying one rare language in southeast Asia, when they discovered a group of 280 resettled people speaking a different language, never observed or documented before.

(Image credit: Niclas Burenhult/Lund University)

A Banana Grown At Subzero Temps Also Has An Edible Peel

Wed, 02/07/2018 - 7:00am

Banana crops aren't in the best shape, but new varieties could help. Japanese Mongee bananas debuted this winter, bred to be cold-resistant and pesticide-free. Plus: you can eat the peel.

(Image credit: Courtesy of D&T Farm Inc.)

Why #MeToo Happened In 2017

Wed, 02/07/2018 - 3:52am

Why did the #MeToo movement take off recently and not decades ago? The story of a playwright who was publicly accused of sexual misconduct in the 1990s and again in 2017 offers some clues.

Theoretical Physicist Joseph Polchinski Dies At 63

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 3:23pm

Influential physicist Joseph Polchinski has died at 63. Caltech Professor Sean Carroll remembers Polchinski and the significant contributions he made to theoretical physics.

Despite Progress, Cities Struggle With Ambitious Climate Goals

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 3:23pm

Dozens of cities are vowing to cut their carbon emissions and uphold the U.S. commitment to the Paris climate deal. Despite progress, many are falling short of their most ambitious goals.

(Image credit: Dan Boyce for NPR)

SpaceX Prepares To Launch Powerful Falcon Heavy Rocket

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 10:16am

A rocket more powerful than any other flying today is scheduled to launch between 1:30 and 4:00 p.m. ET Tuesday, complete with a cherry red Tesla car on board.

(Image credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

WATCH LIVE: SpaceX Attempts Launch Of Powerful Falcon Heavy Rocket

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 10:16am

The private space company is launching a rocket more powerful than any other in use today — and it'll be bearing a cherry red roadster into an elliptical Earth-Mars orbit. Watch the launch live here.

(Image credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Risky Antipsychotic Drugs Still Overprescribed In Nursing Homes

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 7:51pm

Too many people with dementia are being given sedating drugs to make them easier to handle in understaffed facilities, a new study finds, despite federal warnings to stop the practice.

(Image credit: Bruno Ehrs/Getty Images)

Fossils In Amber May Provide Link Between Ancient Arachnids And Modern Spiders

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 5:46pm

Two teams of researchers are studying tailed spiders captured and preserved about 100 million years ago, which could provide evidence of the species' evolution.

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