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Updated: 18 min 37 sec ago

Veteran Space Shuttle Astronaut Steven Nagel Dies At 67

Sat, 08/23/2014 - 12:42pm

The Air Force colonel was among the first group selected by NASA to train for the space shuttle program. He went on to fly four missions, two as commander.

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Antarctic Lakes, Rivers, Wetlands, All Under A Kilometer Of Ice

Sat, 08/23/2014 - 6:32am

Biologists have discovered what may be the largest unexplored ecosystem on earth, and it's all hidden under the Antarctic ice sheet. NPR's Scott Simon talks to the lead scientist, Brent Christner.

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In Search Of Alien Life? Seek Out The Smog

Fri, 08/22/2014 - 3:06pm

One of the worst byproducts of our industrial society is air pollution. It's a global problem that humans have yet to get under control. One scientist thinks we might not be alone, though. Alien civilizations may be polluting their worlds, and that pollution might be one way to detect them.

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California Trees Nailed As The Source Of Mystery Infections

Fri, 08/22/2014 - 2:32pm

Nobody knew how people in Southern California were getting infected with the life-threatening fungus C. gattii. A 13-year-old helped figure out the source: three types of trees.

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Scientists Searching For Alien Air Pollution

Fri, 08/22/2014 - 11:12am

Looking for extraterrestrial smog may be a good way to search for alien intelligence, according to a Harvard researcher.

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The Dread Factor: Why Ebola And 'Contagion' Scare Us So Much

Fri, 08/22/2014 - 2:31am

Even just the word Ebola is kind of terrifying. Why? Hollywood has a lot to do with it. But Ebola outbreaks also have all the ingredients for what one psychologist calls the "dread factor."

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When Venus Was Filled With Venusians — 50 Billion Of Them

Thu, 08/21/2014 - 11:49am

Look up at the night sky and ask, "Anybody there?" Then consider this answer (from the 1830s): There are 22 trillion individuals in our solar system.

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California Drought Has Wild Salmon Competing With Almonds For Water

Thu, 08/21/2014 - 11:47am

Thousands of Chinook salmon are struggling to survive in the Klamath River, where waters are running dangerously low and warm. Cold reservoir water is instead going to farms in the Central Valley.

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Sea Lions And Seals Likely Spread Tuberculosis To Ancient Peruvians

Thu, 08/21/2014 - 9:24am

By analyzing the DNA found in 1,000-year-old mummies, scientists found evidence that sea mammals were the first to bring tuberculosis to the Americas.

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An Unstoppable Killer: New Research Suggests Cancer Can't Be Eradicated

Thu, 08/21/2014 - 6:09am

A new study finds cancer affects even simple, ancient multicellular organisms — which means the disease and the deaths it causes may simply be a part of life.

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No. 1 Most Expensive Coffee Comes From Elephant's No. 2

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 4:48pm

A coffee entrepreneur claims his brew is different — and better — than the trendy civet poop coffee. And it starts with the idea that elephants, unlike humans or civets, are herbivores.

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EPA Wades Into Water Fight With Farmers

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 3:13pm

The EPA wants to "clarify" the scope of its oversight of water under the Clean Water Act. Big farm groups like the American Farm Bureau Federation call this a power grab that would place every ditch and mud puddle under federal regulation, forcing farmers to get permits for small trenches around the farm.

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Why Vegetables Get Freakish In The Land Of The Midnight Sun

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 1:57pm

Long summer days in Alaska help cabbages, turnips and other vegetables grow to gargantuan sizes. These "giants" are celebrated at the annual state fair, which kicks off on Thursday.

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What Kids' Drawings Say About Their Future Thinking Skills

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 8:23am

There's a link between how children draw at age 4 and how well they perform on intelligence tests at age 14, researchers say.

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If You're Born In The Sky, What's Your Nationality? An Airplane Puzzler

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 6:03am

Suppose two Chinese parents get on an Australian airplane and, while flying over U.S. territory, they have a baby on the plane. Can that baby be an American citizen?

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Ebola In The Skies? How The Virus Made It To West Africa

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 4:14pm

The type of Ebola erupting in West Africa is closely related to one found 2,500 miles away — the distance between Boston and San Francisco. How did the virus spread so far without anyone noticing?

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Mental Health Cops Help Reweave Social Safety Net In San Antonio

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 2:34am

Across the U.S., jails hold many more people with serious mental illness than state hospitals do. San Antonio is reweaving its safety net for the mentally ill — and saving $10 million annually.

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Experimental Vaccine For Chikungunya Passes First Test

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 6:12pm

Using a new technology, scientists have created a vaccine for an emerging mosquito-borne virus. The vaccine was safe and produced some degree of immunity in a preliminary study.

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Often On The Move, Restless Elephants Are Tough To Count — And Keep Safe

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 3:16pm

A recent study tried to pin down just how many elephants have been killed by poachers. It's a lot — enough to eventually eliminate the species — but pinning down an exact death toll is difficult. The reason elephants are so hard to protect is the same that makes them so hard to count: They roam — exceptionally far.

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At The Nano Level, Wrinkles Aren't Always A No-No

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 3:16pm

What happens when you add folds to materials that are only a few atoms thick? Several scientists set out to find the answer — and discovered that these nano-wrinkles can be quite useful.

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