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Updated: 53 min 15 sec ago

QUIZ: Test Your Knowledge Of NPR's Tech Stories From 2016

Fri, 12/30/2016 - 10:05am

A bar owner who wants patrons to put away their phones, Internet users tracking down a vandal, a project to analyze hundreds of Rembrandt paintings — can you remember (or guess) what happened?

(Image credit: Ariel Zambelich/NPR)

As A Rough Year Ends, We Turn To The Cosmos For Some Perspective

Fri, 12/30/2016 - 5:00am

As 2016 winds down, we take a moment to contemplate the billions of years that led to 2017 and the billions more yet to come.

(Image credit: ESO/B. Tafreshi (

The Wrong Eating Habits Can Hurt Your Brain, Not Just Your Waistline

Fri, 12/30/2016 - 4:00am

A diet high in saturated fats and sugars can affect the parts of the brain that are important to memory. Diet-linked brain changes can also make people more likely to crave the unhealthful food.

(Image credit: Katherine Streeter for NPR)

Is It Possible To Die Of Grief?

Thu, 12/29/2016 - 4:07pm

Actress Debbie Reynolds died just one day after her daughter Carrie Fisher's sudden death — which has led some to speculate that grief might have been a contributing factor.

(Image credit: Chris Pizzello/AP)

With A Leap Second, 2016 Promises To Linger Just A Little Bit Longer

Thu, 12/29/2016 - 3:40pm

To keep our system of time in sync with Earth's rotation, the world's foremost timekeepers are adding an extra second to 2016. For such a small thing, the leap second has some big implications.

(Image credit: Charles Krupa/AP)

The Lost Ancestral Peanut Of The South Is Revived

Thu, 12/29/2016 - 12:00pm

Brought to America by enslaved West Africans, the Carolina African runner was a defining taste of the antebellum South. Now, from just 40 remaining seeds, it's come back from the brink of extinction.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Brian Ward)

Astronomers Seeking Planet 9 Hope To Soon Catch A Glimpse

Thu, 12/29/2016 - 10:27am

Scientists will search the sky Thursday for an undiscovered planet in the outer solar system — they're pretty sure it's out there, and computer models tell them where to look.

(Image credit: Courtesy of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan)

Where Does Alzheimer's Treatment Go From Here?

Thu, 12/29/2016 - 10:00am

The failure of an experimental drug that targets clumps of protein inside the brains of Alzheimer's patients called into question one of the leading theories about the cause of the dementia.

(Image credit: Dr Cecil H Fox/Science Source/Getty Images)

Senators Ask Trump's EPA Pick To Disclose His Connections To Energy Industry

Wed, 12/28/2016 - 4:17pm

Six Senators sent a letter Scott Pruitt, President-elect Trump's pick to run the EPA. They want lists of donors and details about meetings with Energy lobbyists ahead of his confirmation hearings.

(Image credit: Sue Ogrocki/AP)

Danish Study Links Fish Oil During Pregnancy With Lower Asthma Risk In Kids

Wed, 12/28/2016 - 4:01pm

But that's not the final word, caution pediatricians, including the Danish author. It's one of several recent studies with contradictory findings that suggest the supplements could help or hurt.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Big Battles Over Farm And Food Policies May Be Brewing As Trump Era Begins

Wed, 12/28/2016 - 2:00pm

President-elect Donald Trump hasn't said much about food and farm policy or named his choices for top food-related jobs. But the coming years will likely see profound battles over food and nutrition.

(Image credit: Ryan Anson/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The Stories NPR One Listeners Loved The Most In 2016

Wed, 12/28/2016 - 8:29am

Listeners of our NPR One app rated these 10 stories as the most liked, recommended and shared in 2016.

(Image credit: NPR)

China Announces Its Largest-Ever Seizure Of Trafficked Pangolin Scales

Wed, 12/28/2016 - 7:06am

Pangolins — raccoon-sized animals that resemble artichokes — are the most trafficked mammal in the world. Chinese state media say more than 3 tons of scales were recently seized in Shanghai.

(Image credit: STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Remembering Vera Rubin, Who Made Dark Matter Matter

Tue, 12/27/2016 - 3:08pm

Scientist Vera Rubin made the theory of dark matter a reality and, many say, created modern astrophysics. NPR's Ari Shaprio discusses Rubin's passing with a fellow astrophysicist Risa Weschler.

How Do You Keep From Getting Bored? Researchers Have An Answer

Tue, 12/27/2016 - 4:01am

Social science research suggests that boredom, or satiety, has a lot to do with the mind. When we imagine variety in the future, it turns out we can tolerate a lot more boredom in the present.

Early Alzheimer's Gene Spells Tragedy For Patients, Opportunity For Science

Tue, 12/27/2016 - 4:00am

Researchers are studying families from the U.S. and Mexico for clues about how a form of Alzheimer's develops in young people. Insights might help with the more common form of the disease in old age.

(Image credit: Heidi de Marco/Kaiser Health News)

Vera Rubin, Who Confirmed Existence Of Dark Matter, Dies At 88

Mon, 12/26/2016 - 5:15pm

The astrophysicist's groundbreaking research on spiral galaxies provided evidence of invisible dark matter. She was a pioneer in an era when women were excluded from many astronomy programs.

(Image credit: Carnegie Institution)

Feeling Less Than Grateful? Some People Are Just Wired That Way

Mon, 12/26/2016 - 4:00am

Gratitude is linked to better physical and mental health. But some people are wired in a way that that they place less value on it. And quickie exercises to boost gratefulness may not pay off.

(Image credit: Simone Golob/Getty Images)

A Dying Man's Wish To Donate His Organs Gets Complicated

Mon, 12/26/2016 - 3:30am

Dying in America doesn't always go the way we plan. One terminally ill man's hope to be disconnected from his respirator and donate his organs was almost thwarted, despite his best laid plans.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Christine Gatti)

Global Warming Is Reshaping The Wine-Making World

Sun, 12/25/2016 - 4:00pm

Countries that used to be too cold to produce wine are now able to do so, in part due to global warming. Lee Hannah of Conservation International discusses how this could affect conservation efforts.




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