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To Save Their Water Supply, Colorado Farmers Taxed Themselves

Sat, 11/18/2017 - 4:43pm

The recent drought in the West forced people to take a hard look at how they use water. In Colorado, some farmers tried an experiment: make their water more expensive without hurting business.

(Image credit: Luke Runyon/KUNC)

Clues In That Mysterious Radioactive Cloud Point Toward Russia

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 10:34am

Western scientists say they may never know the source of the cloud of ruthenium-106 that hovered over Europe last month. But what little data there is suggests a research facility inside Russia.

(Image credit: Sovfoto/UIG via Getty Images)

The Big Idea Behind Big Data

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 10:02am

As we find our way in a world shaped by Big Data, it's not the reams of information we gather but the networks they illuminate that's the newest addition to science's index of things, says Adam Frank.

(Image credit: Matjaz Slanic/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Mileha Soneji: Can Simple Innovations Improve The Lives of Parkinson's Patients?

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 8:19am

When designer Mileha Soneji's uncle got Parkinson's, his quality of life deteriorated rapidly. Mileha couldn't cure her uncle's disease, so she designed simple ways to improve his everyday life.

(Image credit: TEDxDelft)

Amos Winter: How Do You Build An All-Terrain Wheelchair For Under $200?

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 8:19am

In many countries, uneven and unpaved roads make it hard to get around in a standard wheelchair. MIT engineer Amos Winter describes his design for a lever-powered all-terrain wheelchair under $200.

(Image credit: Courtesy of GRIT)

Canadians Root For An Underdog Health Policy Idea From The U.S.

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 4:00am

A center created by the Affordable Care Act to foster innovations in health care is at risk in Donald Trump's U.S. But some Canadian health analysts see it as a model for curbing health care's cost.

(Image credit: Jay Mallin/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Climate Change Ripens Prospects For German Winemakers

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 4:00am

While Spanish and Italian growers worry heat will dry out vines, in Germany, warming has made for better Rieslings. And one scientist says they couldn't be making red wine so good otherwise.

(Image credit: Daniella Cheslow for NPR)

Climate Change Unlocks Possibilities In German Wine Country

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 4:00am

Germany, already feeling the results of climate change, is hosting U.N. climate talks this week. One scientist there said they couldn't be making red wine this good without climate change.

The Largest Digital Camera In The World Takes Shape

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 3:51am

A two-story tall, digital camera is taking shape in California. It will ultimately go on a telescope in Chile where it will survey the sky, looking for things that appear suddenly or change over time.

(Image credit: Joe McNally/Getty Images)

National Zoo Panda Tian Tian Gets Checkup For Weight Loss And Sore Shoulder

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 2:50am

Veterinarians performed laser treatment and acupuncture for what they initially thought was a touch of arthritis in the panda's left shoulder.

(Image credit: Roshan Patel/Smithsonian's National Zoo)

Keystone Pipeline Oil Spill Reported In South Dakota

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 5:29pm

The oil leak occurs just a few days before Nebraska state regulators will decide on the fate of TransCanada's controversial sister project, the Keystone XL Pipeline.

(Image credit: Nati Harnik/AP)

Video: An Interspecies Flying Lesson

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 4:10pm

Gorilla naturalist? Barbara J. King suggests watching this young male gorilla in the Virunga Mountains during his close-up encounter with a baby owl.

(Image credit: YouTube)

Why Did The Passenger Pigeon Go Extinct? The Answer Might Lie In Their Toes

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 1:36pm

Billions of these birds once flew over North America, but the last known passenger pigeon died in 1914. To try to figure out what happened, scientists analyzed DNA from the toes of birds in museums.

(Image credit: Susan Walsh/AP)

As Climate Negotiators Debate Nations' Pledges, Scientists Worry It's Not Enough

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 4:00am

Delegates to the annual international climate meeting held by the U.N. are struggling to forge a unified approach to slowing climate change. Meanwhile, emissions of greenhouse gases keep rising.

(Image credit: Ulrich Baumgarten/Getty Images)

WATCH: The Hurricane Season, As Shown By Salt, Smoke And Dust

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 5:15pm

A NASA visualization uses computer models to show how recent hurricanes shifted salt from the Atlantic, dust from the Sahara and smoke from fires in Portugal and the Pacific Northwest.

(Image credit: NASA)

From Cattle To Capital: How Agriculture Bred Ancient Inequality

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 3:13pm

Archaeologists say early civilizations in North and Central America were more egalitarian than the societies of Eurasia — and they think it's because early Americans didn't have cattle or horses.

(Image credit: Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images)

'Leaf Wonder' In A World Of Changing Forests

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 8:58am

Together, aesthetic awareness and scientific analysis puts us in direct, sensory relationship with the forest and gives us the ability to understand what we see, says author David George Haskell.

(Image credit: Denis Tangney Jr./Getty Images)

Pioneers Of High-Quality Near Beer Are Banking On Non-Drinking Binges

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 7:00am

Even if you're staying sober, sometimes you might just miss the taste of a really good beer. But the market for high-end booze-free brews has gone largely untapped. That's starting to change.

(Image credit: Koen Van Weel/AFP/Getty Images)

Oceans May Host Next Wave Of Renewable Energy

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 4:11am

Researchers say there's huge potential for harnessing ocean waves to create electricity. The Energy Department is backing one effort in Oregon.

(Image credit: Jeff Brady/NPR)

Hurricane Damage To Manufacturers In Puerto Rico Affects Mainland Hospitals, Too

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 4:09am

The island is a major center for drug and medical device manufacturing. After Hurricane Maria, those products, including small IV bags, are running short throughout the U.S.

(Image credit: Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post/Getty Images)

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