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Updated: 44 min 40 sec ago

Fist Bumps Pass Along Fewer Germs Than Handshakes

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 1:16pm

That strong, sturdy handshake your grandpa taught you isn't the cleanest way to greet someone, scientists say. So should doctors and nurses in hospitals start bumping fist?

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This Albino Redwood Tree Isn't Dead — But It Came Close

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 3:09pm

An extremely rare, albino hermaphroditic redwood tree was in danger of being sent to the chipper because it was growing too close to the path of a new railroad line in Cotati, Calif. But thanks to local outcry from arborists and the community, the tree is getting a second chance at life.

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To Stop Cheating, Nuclear Officers Ditch The Grades

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 12:19pm

A switch to pass-fail grading is curbing the "perfection" culture among U.S. nuclear missile forces. Critics of the old way say striving to be perfect invited cheating by those who launch the nukes.

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With Men's Y Chromosome, Size Really May Not Matter

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 11:41am

The string of genes that make a man a man used to be much bigger, and some geneticists say it may be wasting away. Back off, others say. Y has been stable — and crucial — for millennia.

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Where The Birds Are Is Not Where You'd Think

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 11:19am

Birds are everywhere, but the greatest concentration of different birds — the "Bird mecca" of America – is not in our great parks, not in our forests, not where you'd suppose. Not at all.

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How Protecting Wildlife Helps Stop Child Labor And Slavery

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 8:20am

Food in supermarkets is increasingly connected to child labor and trafficking. Many laws aimed at ending these abuses overlook a key source of the problem: The rapid decline of fish and fauna.

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Rust Devastates Guatemala's Prime Coffee Crop And Its Farmers

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 3:57am

Central American coffee farmers are facing off against a deadly fungus that has wiped out thousands of acres of crops. Coffee companies like Starbucks are pooling money to support them in the fight.

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Shifts In Habitat May Threaten Ruddy Shorebird's Survival

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 3:42am

To withstand their 9,300-mile migration, red knots feast on eggs from horseshoe crabs each spring in Delaware Bay. Scientists worry many crabs are starting to lay eggs before the birds can get there.

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Why We Think Ignorance Is Bliss, Even When It Hurts Our Health

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 3:40am

People sometimes avoid information because they're afraid of bad news. But this "information aversion" can lead people to avoid medical tests that could save their lives.

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How Do You Lose Half A Million Birds?

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 5:12pm

For the last 25 years, a giant flock of purple martins has gathered in Lake Murray, S.C. in late July. This year, they didn't show up.

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Sorry, Lucy: The Myth Of The Misused Brain Is 100 Percent False

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 4:02pm

The new Scarlett Johannson movie, Lucy, is based on the idea that most people only use only 10 percent of their brains. As it turns out, that idea is completely untrue — but it's oddly persistent.

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How Our Story About A Child's Science Experiment Sparked Controversy

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 9:33am

A researcher has complained that coverage in NPR and other outlets ignores his work and gives undue credit to a sixth-grader's project. But that sixth grader did make an original contribution.

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Learning To Read May Take Longer Than We Thought

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 8:08am

A Dartmouth study suggests that fifth-graders are still "learning to read," not just "reading to learn."

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Close Encounters Of The Radio Kind? Mystery Bursts Baffle Astronomers

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 7:13am

Two large radio telescopes have detected very brief, powerful bursts of radio waves, and so far, scientists have no idea what's causing them.

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Forget The Fishing Boat: Alaskans Scoop Up Salmon With Dipnets

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 7:09am

Salmon fishing on a scenic river in Alaska isn't always about hooking a big fish in the remote wilderness. Sometimes, it's about standing shoulder-to-shoulder in the water to fill up your freezer.

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If Dogs Feel Jealousy, It May Run Deeper In Us Than We'd Thought

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 3:15pm

Dr. Christine Harris co-authored a study that examined whether dogs exhibit jealous behavior, hoping to see if jealousy is an emotion unique to humans. Audie Cornish asks Harris: Does it take complex cognitions to trigger the emotion?

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The Weird, Underappreciated World Of Plastic Packaging

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 4:26pm

So much of the food we eat these days is encased in plastic. And behind it is a whole lot of research and innovation. We dive into some of the materials that keep food fresh and portable.

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Zoo In Argentina Says 'Sad Bear' Too Old To Go To Canada

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 12:01pm

The plight of the nearly 30-year-old polar bear, who lost his enclosure mate two years ago, has attracted attention from well-wishers the world over who want him moved.

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Globe-Trotting Virus Hides Inside People's Gut Bacteria

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 10:32am

Scientists have discovered what may be the most common virus in people worldwide. The tiny critter doesn't make us sick but may be involved in obesity and diabetes.

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As Millions Of People Fast For Ramadan, Does The Economy Suffer?

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 5:01am

New research examines the effects of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month during which millions of people around the world go without food all day. Does religious practice affect economic growth?

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