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Updated: 59 min 12 sec ago

Embryo Experiments Reveal Earliest Human Development, But Stir Ethical Debate

Thu, 03/02/2017 - 4:08am

Researchers who study developing human embryos have long limited their experimentation to lab embryos that are no more than 14 days into development. Some scientists are now pushing that boundary.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Gist Croft, Cecilia Pelligrini, Ali Brivanlou)

Sierra Snowpack Smacks California's Drought

Wed, 03/01/2017 - 7:57pm

Despite one of the wettest winters on record, California Gov. Jerry Brown hasn't declared the five-year drought over yet. But the water shortages may to be over.

(Image credit: Rich Pedroncelli/AP)

Birth Control Is Working Better – Or At Least, It's Failing Less

Wed, 03/01/2017 - 6:13pm

Failure rates for the most common forms of contraception are down, but it's not entirely clear whether it's due to education, availability, or other reasons.

(Image credit: Garo/Phanie/Science Source)

This Tiny Patch Of Mold Cost One Lucky Buyer Nearly $15,000

Wed, 03/01/2017 - 5:38pm

On the mold market — which is a thing, apparently — this bit of green is a "holy relic": some of the mold that helped Alexander Fleming discover penicillin. And it sold for big bucks at auction.

(Image credit: Alastair Grant/AP)

Tiny Fossils Could Be Oldest Evidence Of Life On Earth

Wed, 03/01/2017 - 3:39pm

Scientists say they've found the remains of tube- and string-like organisms in Canadian rocks that are at least 3.7 billion years old. But findings like these are always controversial.

(Image credit: Matthew Dodd/University College London)

Warmer Temperatures Signal Early Start To Spring Weather

Wed, 03/01/2017 - 3:31pm

Spring arrived early this year across much of the U.S. NPR's Audie Cornish talks to Jake Weltzin of the U.S. Geological Survey to find out how we know.

Heavy Rainfall Strains One Of California's Most Essential Reservoirs

Wed, 03/01/2017 - 3:31pm

Snow surveyors are measuring the health of the snow pack in the high altitude Sierra Nevada. After years of drought, much of the state is now experiencing one of its wettest years on record.

Some See 'Flat-Fee Primary Care' As A GOP-Friendly Way To Provide Routine Care

Wed, 03/01/2017 - 4:30am

In "direct primary care," a model favored by HHS Secretary Tom Price, patients pay a monthly fee to doctors for basic health care. But does that really provide better value?

(Image credit: Ridofranz/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Trump Orders Review Of Obama-Era Clean Water Rule

Tue, 02/28/2017 - 3:32pm

President Trump takes action to roll back another environmental regulation. The Clean Water Rule extends federal authority over smaller streams and marshes, but farmers, builders and others say it goes too far.

SpaceX Moves To Launch First-Ever Private Mission To The Moon

Tue, 02/28/2017 - 3:32pm

SpaceX claims it will launch the first ever private moon mission in 2018, which would send people to the moon for the first time in 45 years. The announcement may signify the start of a new race to the moon, this time between NASA and the private space industry.

Chicago Leaders Use Cognitive Behavorial Therapy To Combat Violent Crime

Tue, 02/28/2017 - 3:32pm

Chicago is in dire need of solutions for its violent crime. A cognitive behavioral therapy program has been able to help keep teenage boys from acting out on their impulses.

Trump Aims To 'Eliminate' Clean Water Rule

Tue, 02/28/2017 - 2:14pm

The Obama-era "Waters of the United States" rule defines which small bodies of water are subject to U.S. authority. Opponents such as farmers, homebuilders and golf course owners say it goes too far.

(Image credit: Seth Perlman/AP)

In U.K., A Veggie Shortage Inspires Funny Headlines And Serious Thoughts

Tue, 02/28/2017 - 12:25pm

Bad weather in southern Europe caused a brief shortage of veggies in the U.K. Prices went up and people panicked. Now they are thinking harder about where their food comes from.

(Image credit: Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)

Why Are More Young Americans Getting Colon Cancer?

Tue, 02/28/2017 - 9:09am

Data suggests that the rate of colon cancer among people under 50 is on the rise, but there are lots of possible explanations for that. Scientists say teasing out the truth will be tricky.

(Image credit: Scott Camazine/Science Source)

SpaceX Announces Plans To Send Two Customers To The Moon

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 5:13pm

It would be the first time humans have traveled beyond low-Earth orbit since the days of Apollo. The mission would be manned and financed by two private, anonymous customers.

(Image credit: Space X)

What's The Environmental Footprint Of A Loaf Of Bread? Now We Know

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 4:20pm

New research calculates the greenhouse gas emissions involved in making bread, from wheat field to bakery. The vast majority of emissions come from one step in the process: farming.

(Image credit: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

What's The Leading Cause Of Wildfires In The U.S.? Humans

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 2:01pm

More than 8 in 10 fires are started by people. Researchers say humans are not only causing the vast majority of wildfires, they're extending the normal fire season around the U.S. by three months.

(Image credit: MODIS Rapid Response Team/NASA)

Photographer Builds A 'Photo Ark' For 6,500 Animal Species And Counting

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 12:52pm

National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore is on a mission to document every captive animal species in the world. He talks about getting an arctic fox to hold still, and Photoshopping out poop.

(Image credit: Joel Sartore/National Geographic)

Your Name Might Shape Your Face, Researchers Say

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 10:42am

Do you look like a Joy? Genes and culture may make it more likely that names and faces align. But researchers say people also may adjust their expressions to match social expectations of their name.

(Image credit: Courtesy of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology)

A Medicine That Blunts The Buzz Of Alcohol Can Help Drinkers Cut Back

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 3:59am

Naltrexone was approved to treat alcohol disorders more than 20 years ago. But many doctors still don't know that when combined with counseling it can help people resist the urge to drink too much.

(Image credit: Maria Fabrizio for NPR)

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