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Researchers Gather Health Data For 'All Of Us'

Sun, 12/31/2017 - 7:12am

Federal researchers are collecting blood samples from 1 million Americans as part of an effort called "precision medicine." But some critics worry that the path ahead is expensive and unclear.

(Image credit: Richard Harris/NPR)

2017 Was The Year Of Extreme Weather

Sat, 12/30/2017 - 7:02am

This year will go down in history for its extreme weather. Researchers have now definitively attributed three major extreme weather events to climate change.

Board Games To Fight Bias

Sat, 12/30/2017 - 7:02am

Can a game help reduce a person's racial and ethnic biases? One researcher says yes. But how long the effect will last is an open question.

No 'Easy Answer' To Growing Number Of Stray Dogs In The U.S., Advocate Says

Fri, 12/29/2017 - 1:52pm

Author Peter Zheutlin says the number of stray dogs in the U.S. has "cascaded out of control." He makes the case for why people should adopt abandoned dogs.

(Image credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The 10 Most Popular 'Fresh Air' Interviews Of 2017

Fri, 12/29/2017 - 11:42am

In 2017, Fresh Air marked 30 years as a nationally syndicated, daily radio program by doing what it does best: more in-depth interviews.

(Image credit: John Poole/NPR)

Precision Medical Treatments Have A Quality Control Problem

Fri, 12/29/2017 - 10:55am

The goal is to customize treatments for cancer and other diseases to a patient's own biology. But something as simple as failing to take care of tissue samples en route to the lab can derail that.

(Image credit: David Silverman/Getty Images)

How Pirates Of The Caribbean Hijacked America's Metric System

Thu, 12/28/2017 - 11:34am

In 1793, French scientist Joseph Dombey boarded a ship bound for the United States carrying with him a standard kilogram weight. Thanks to pirates, he and the weight never arrived.

(Image credit: NIST Museum)

How Pirates Of The Caribbean Hijacked America's Metric System

Thu, 12/28/2017 - 11:34am

In 1793, French scientist Joseph Dombey boarded a ship bound for the United States carrying with him a standard kilogram weight. Thanks to pirates, he and the weight never arrived.

(Image credit: NIST Museum)

Size (And Sound) Matters When It Comes To Bubbles In Your Sparkling Wine

Thu, 12/28/2017 - 10:17am

Scientists at the University of Texas listened to the bubbles in a champagne and a sparkling wine and found that the more expensive product had smaller, busier bubbles.

(Image credit: Viktoria Rodriguez/Getty Images/EyeEm)

Home For The Holidays? Get Off The Couch!

Wed, 12/27/2017 - 4:01am

If you sit too much during middle age — at work and at home — your ability to exercise or even walk in late decades is at risk, research hints. And, of course, your risk of heart disease climbs, too.

(Image credit: Lily Padula for NPR)

After Maria, One Of The World's Best Bioluminescent Bays Slowly Begins To Glow Again

Wed, 12/27/2017 - 3:58am

Hurricane Maria wreaked havoc on Vieques, an island eight miles off the coast of Puerto Rico. Its bioluminescent bay, a lifeline for its vital tourism industry, is starting to show signs of recovery.

(Image credit: Ricardo Arduengo for NPR)

The Haunting Effects Of Going Days Without Sleep

Wed, 12/27/2017 - 3:58am

Decades ago, Randy Gardner stayed awake for 11 days. He broke a record in the process, but the teenage stunt has come back to haunt him. At 71, he offers wisdom about staying up past your bedtime.

After Harvey, Texans Are Preparing For Future With Raised Homes, Private Flood Gates

Tue, 12/26/2017 - 3:34pm

Houston, the nation's fourth largest city, is planning to remake itself into a more flood-proof metropolis after Hurricane Harvey hit the region hard. But Texas still doesn't have the money it wants to do that, let alone detailed plans on how to spend it. Some Texans simply aren't waiting; they're forging ahead on their own.

As Corals Wither Around The World, Scientists Try IVF

Tue, 12/26/2017 - 3:34pm

Battered by climate change and pollution, coral reefs are dying off. But in Guam, one group of scientists are trying to revive these tiny animals — with the coral equivalent of IVF.

(Image credit: Albert Kok/Wikimedia Commons)

What Does A Newly Born Pacific Island Say About Life On Mars?

Tue, 12/26/2017 - 5:01am

Take five minutes of your day, watch this amazing video of the birth of a new island in Tonga, and let its story and science knock you to the floor, says astrophysicist Adam Frank.

(Image credit: sorincolac/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

North Korea Designed A Nuke. So Did This Truck Driver

Tue, 12/26/2017 - 4:05am

It took decades, but John Coster-Mullen has pieced together specs for America's first nuclear bombs. Some believe his odyssey says something about North Korea's rapid nuclear progress.

(Image credit: Meredith Rizzo/NPR)

Race To Eradicate Guinea Worm And Polio Experienced Roadblocks In 2017

Mon, 12/25/2017 - 3:36pm

This year, the world came tantalizingly close to wiping out two human diseases: Guinea worm and polio. But right at the finish line, both eradication projects have run into surprising roadblocks.

Three Months After Irma, The State Of Barbuda

Sat, 12/23/2017 - 4:37pm

In early September, Hurricane Irma cut a path of destruction across the Atlantic. Barbuda is among the string of tiny islands in the Caribbean that suffered some of the worst damage. Freelance journalist Anika Kentish provides a sense of how Barbuda is doing.

The New Normal? Scientists Say The Fire Season Is Getting Longer And More Destructive

Sat, 12/23/2017 - 4:37pm

This year looks to go down as the worst year on record for wildfires in California. NPR's Ray Suarez discusses with UCLA professor Glen Macdonald about what we can expect moving forward.

SpaceX Rocket Launch Lights Up The California Sky, Freaks Out Some Residents

Sat, 12/23/2017 - 3:42pm

The rocket carrying 10 satellites into low-earth orbit sparked alarm among some fearing a UFO. The Los Angeles Fire Department was prompted to release a statement about the "mysterious light."

(Image credit: Javier Mendoza/AP)

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