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3 Big Moments From Space In 2015

Sat, 12/26/2015 - 7:25am

From photos of far-flung Pluto to space lettuce, it's been an exciting year for developments in space. NPR Science Correspondent Geoff Brumfiel shares three highlights with host Linda Wertheimer.

The Biggest Threats To Birds And How You Can Help

Sat, 12/26/2015 - 7:21am

It's not easy being a bird. There are windows, cell towers, wind farms, habitat destruction and especially cats. NPR's Linda Wertheimer speaks with Talkin' Birds host Ray Brown about avian dangers.

Tree Counter Is Astonished By How Many Trees There Are

Sat, 12/26/2015 - 7:21am

How many trees are there in the world? Some scientists are working on a new estimate.

Is This Snowy Wonderland Or The World Inside A Petri Dish?

Fri, 12/25/2015 - 4:26am

Artist Rogan Brown peers into the invisible worlds of microbes, then uses their forms as the inspiration for large paper sculptures that seem at once familiar and profoundly alien.

Massive Methane Gas Leak Displaces Thousands In Los Angeles County

Thu, 12/24/2015 - 3:16pm

A major methane leak from a Los Angeles County natural gas storage field is spewing huge amounts of the potent climate change chemical into the air. Nearly 2,000 elementary students whose schools are nearby will have to enter different schools by mid-year. Low flying aircraft have been instructed to steer clear, and about 3,000 families have sought relocation. Several lawsuits have been filed on behalf of residents who say they've been harmed. Neither efforts to capture the leaking gas nor to seal off the damaged well have been successful.

Machines, Lost In Translation: The Dream Of Universal Understanding

Thu, 12/24/2015 - 11:54am

Will there ever be a universal translator? Scientists have pursued one for decades (and some say we're close) but the challenge is as tremendous as teaching a computer to think like a human.

How Do Successful People's Sleep Patterns Compare To The Average American?

Thu, 12/24/2015 - 10:32am

Successful people get more sleep than you might expect. Are their sleep patterns giving them a leg-up on the average American?

Our Parasites And Vermin Reveal Secrets Of Human History

Thu, 12/24/2015 - 10:12am

The mites that live on our faces may help reveal where our ancestors came from. And it wouldn't be the first time that creepy crawlies have revealed something more than skin deep about the human past.

Despite Energy Savings, Consumers In Vermont Remain Cautious

Wed, 12/23/2015 - 3:07pm

Average gasoline prices fell below $2 a gallon this week. That means U.S. consumers saved more than $100 billion this year at the gas pump, or about $550 per licensed driver. At the same time, falling natural gas prices — combined with warm temperatures in much of the country — will mean big savings on heating bills. But consumers don't seem to be spending more yet. Why? In Vermont, at least, people are worried about warm days hurting tourism.

Hip-Hop Vocab: The Lexicon Is In The Lyrics

Wed, 12/23/2015 - 3:07pm

College student Austin Martin has created a website that uses rap lyrics to teach vocabulary to middle and high school students.

Millet: How A Trendy Ancient Grain Turned Nomads Into Farmers

Wed, 12/23/2015 - 10:21am

Hardy, nutritious and gluten-free, millet has become an "it" grain in recent years. Research reveals our ancestors relied on it: Millet was central to the rise of agriculture and farming communities.

FDA Approval Could Turn A Free Drug For A Rare Disease Pricey

Wed, 12/23/2015 - 3:53am

Jacobus Pharmaceutical freely gives its experimental drug to patients with a rare disease. Now a rival wants FDA approval to sell its own version — and expects to charge at least $37,500 per year.

NASA Suspends Next Mars Mission

Tue, 12/22/2015 - 5:57pm

The decision will mean a significant delay in the project, called InSight, because the orbits of the Earth and Mars are aligned in a way that makes a launch possible only every 26 months.

Meteorologists In Remote Areas Launch Balloons To Collect Weather Data

Tue, 12/22/2015 - 3:18pm

Twice a day, like clockwork, people release balloons around the world at the same time. These balloons are scientific tools, and the people releasing them are meteorologists.

SpaceX Successfully Lands Rocket After Launching It Into Space

Tue, 12/22/2015 - 3:18pm

SpaceX, the commercial aerospace company, pulled off a major feat Monday night. After pushing satellites towards orbit, the rocket's booster separated, and safely landed back on earth.

Minority Teens May Need An Extra Vitamin D Boost

Tue, 12/22/2015 - 11:28am

It's hard for anyone to get enough of the sunshine vitamin in the wintry North, and dark-skinned teens may be especially prone to a deficiency, doctors find. A weekly supplement can help.

How Emotional Responses To Terrorism Shape Attitudes Toward Policies

Tue, 12/22/2015 - 4:06am

Scientists have been studying reactions to terrorist events, and how those reactions shape public policy. They found emotional response to terror attacks is often out of proportion to actual risk.

As Aging Brain's Internal Clock Fades, A New Timekeeper May Kick In

Tue, 12/22/2015 - 4:03am

Everyone has a set of genes that keeps the body on a 24-hour rhythm. As we get older, though, the main clock can malfunction. Researchers say a backup clock may try to compensate.

SpaceX Rocket Successfully Lands After Launching Satellites

Tue, 12/22/2015 - 2:00am

It's the first launch since a Falcon 9 rocket exploded in June, and the first recovery of a spent booster for SpaceX. Previous attempts were close but ended in failure.

Explaining The Celestial Logistics Of The Winter Solstice

Mon, 12/21/2015 - 3:19pm

Why doesn't the winter solstice have the earliest sunset of the year? NPR's Ari Shapiro explores that and other fun celestial news with NPR blogger Adam Frank.




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