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Updated: 1 hour 36 min ago

Gas Taxes May Go Up Around The Country As States Seek To Plug Budget Holes

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 4:00am

This year could see a wave of state tax hikes on gasoline and diesel. Oklahoma is one of about a dozen states seriously considering increases.

(Image credit: Sue Ogrocki/AP)

California Nail Salons Start To Invest In Worker Safety

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 3:35am

A statewide collaborative of nail salons now has 120 members; all have made ventilation upgrades and switched from toxic products to safer ones. Will clients be willing to pay extra to help workers?

(Image credit: Jenny Gold/Kaiser Health News)

We Asked People What They Know About Obamacare. See If You Know The Answers.

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 1:55am

A new NPR/Ipsos poll shows many Americans don't know details about the Affordable Care Act. And only 1-in-7 favor repealing the law altogether without a replacement.

(Image credit: Alyson Hurt and Katie Park/NPR)

New 'Skywalker' Ape Species Will Need Jedi Powers To Survive

Wed, 01/11/2017 - 4:55pm

Scientists named a new species of gibbon ape after Star Wars rebel character Luke Skywalker. Like similar species that live in China and Myanmar, the so-called skywalker hoolock gibbon is endangered.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Peng-Fei Fan)

Powerful Storms Make Dent In California's Historic Drought

Wed, 01/11/2017 - 3:29pm

A week of powerful storms on the West Coast is helping to put a dent in California's historic drought, yet state officials are warning they are by no means a drought buster.

Fitness Trackers Aim To Improve The Health And Happiness of Zoo Elephants

Wed, 01/11/2017 - 3:52am

OK, so they're not using Fitbits. But zoos across America are using software to minutely track the activity, behavior and physiology of captive elephants, and using that data to improve zoo life.

(Image credit: Courtesy of the Fresno Chaffee Zoo)

52 Million-Year-Old Tomatillo Fossils Rewrite Veggie History

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 4:52pm

Potatoes, tomatoes and bell peppers belong to the nightshade family. Newly discovered fossils in Patagonia suggest that family started much earlier than believed, perhaps when dinosaurs roamed.

(Image credit: Peter Wilf, Penn State University)

Warmer Oceans Could Boost The Toxins In Your Shellfish Dinner

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 6:00am

A new study finds a link between warming waters and a dangerous neurotoxin that builds up in species like Dungeness crab, clams and mussels — and harms us if we eat them.

(Image credit: Eric Risberg/AP)

Travel To The Moon With David Bowie (360° Video)

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 5:00am

See panoramic views of a trip to the moon in Skunk Bear's latest video. It's a journey that spans David Bowie's long career - and his greatest hits serve as the soundtrack.

(Image credit: Photo Illustration by NPR's Skunk Bear/David Bowie Image by Ron Fraizer)

Humans Worry About Self-Driving Cars. Maybe It Should Be The Reverse

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 4:16am

Self-driving cars will perform rationally. For example: stop when someone is in their way. Research suggests humans will take advantage, and step into an intersection when they know they shouldn't.

Scientists Predict Star Collision Visible To The Naked Eye In 2022

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 4:55pm

If it happens, it would be the first time such an event was predicted by scientists. They say two stars in the constellation Cygnus will eventually merge and explode.

(Image credit: NASA/IPAC/MSX )

Bears That Inspired 'Adorable' Korean Paralympic Mascot Live In Caged Captivity

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 4:00am

The 2018 Paralympic mascot is the Asiatic black bear, a symbol of Korean folklore. But behind the caricature, South Korea has a troubled relationship with the bears, farming them for their bile.

(Image credit: Elise Hu/NPR)

Bears That Inspired 'Adorable' Korean Paralympic Mascot Live In Caged Captivity

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 4:00am

The 2018 Paralympic mascot is the Asiatic black bear, a symbol of Korean folklore. But behind the caricature, South Korea has a troubled relationship with the bears, farming them for their bile.

(Image credit: Elise Hu/NPR)

SeaWorld's Orca Tilikum, Subject Of 'Blackfish' Documentary, Dies

Sun, 01/08/2017 - 7:35am

The death of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau has been the catalyst for major changes in how the theme park handles its killer whales. The whale responsible for Brancheau's death, has died in Orlando.

How English Came To Be The Dominant Language In Science Publications

Sun, 01/08/2017 - 7:35am

New research suggests that scientific publications may be overlooked in non-English speaking countries. NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro talks about the issue with Princeton Professor Michael Gordin.

Dead Pitches: The Curse Of The Christmas Tree Bugs

Sun, 01/08/2017 - 7:35am

Some stories don't make it past Weekend Edition's editorial meeting, but others are worth a second look. Before hitting air, producer Ollie Dearden brought his holiday horror story to an entomologist.

'What Doesn't Kill Us' ... Invites Practical Medical Benefits

Sun, 01/08/2017 - 7:35am

Author Scott Carney talks about his new book, "What Doesn't Kill Us." Looking at case studies, Carney investigates how the body uses its environment to build resistance to normally extreme conditions.

I'm Fasting For Science: Will It Help Tame My Multiple Sclerosis?

Sun, 01/08/2017 - 5:00am

I like to eat, often and a lot. But when I heard about a medical study looking at whether fasting might tame the painful symptoms of MS, I was all in. Then I ate that 7 a.m. bagel.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Lopestagram/Instagram)

Students Zap Their Brains For a Boost, For Better Or Worse

Sat, 01/07/2017 - 8:01am

Stimulating the brain with electrical currents is exploratory technology. But people are making and buying devices that do that for use at home — and interest rises around exam time.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Robin Azzam)

Scientists Work To Bring Back Once-Thriving American Chestnut Tree

Sat, 01/07/2017 - 7:08am

The American chestnut tree used to make up a quarter of the forests in the eastern U.S., but disease decimated these trees in the last century. Now there's an effort to restore the American chestnut.

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