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How Do Nature And Nurture Combine To Make Us Who We Are?

Fri, 07/15/2016 - 9:00am

Psychologist Steven Pinker describes how far we've come in understanding how both nature and nurture make us ... us.

How Will 'Cut And Paste' Technology Rewrite Our DNA?

Fri, 07/15/2016 - 9:00am

Biochemist Sam Sternberg describes how recent developments in gene editing technology may help end many diseases and even control our own evolution.

She Offered The Stranger A Glass Of Wine, And That Flipped The Script

Fri, 07/15/2016 - 6:48am

NPR's Alix Spiegel, co-host of the podcast and program Invisibilia, tells the story of a robbery that was halted when a woman decided to respond to the threat in an unexpected way — with kindness.

Where Did Agriculture Begin? Oh Boy, It's Complicated

Fri, 07/15/2016 - 6:00am

Scientists have long assumed that farming began among one group in the Mideast. But a new study suggests a more diverse origin story.

How A Danish Town Helped Young Muslims Turn Away From ISIS

Fri, 07/15/2016 - 2:05am

Muslim youths in Denmark were leaving to join ISIS in Syria, feeling they were being persecuted in Europe. Then the police in Aarhus responded in a completely unexpected way: They apologized.

Zika Epidemic May Have Peaked But Will Threaten U.S. For Years

Thu, 07/14/2016 - 4:44pm

Scientists have evidence that the epidemic in Latin America may have started to subside. But the U.S. isn't out of the woods yet.

Study Explores Links Between Politics And Racial Bias

Thu, 07/14/2016 - 3:28pm

A new study looks at the link between racial bias and the Tea Party. Researchers found that people who looked at images of Barack Obama that were edited to make his skin look darker were more likely to express support for the Tea Party.

A Marine Ecologist On Swimming With Sharks And What 'Jaws' Got Wrong

Thu, 07/14/2016 - 1:36pm

Neil Hammerschlag has looked inside the mouth of a wild tiger shark and lived to tell the tale. He says that sharks pose only a very small risk to people: "Humans are not on the shark's menu."

Early Bedtime For Preschoolers Might Help Reduce Obesity Risk Later

Thu, 07/14/2016 - 12:36pm

Little kids who hit the sack early may be less likely to get overtired and fussy in a way that messes with their sleep cycle, researchers say.

A Mouse Watches Film Noir And Offers Clues To Human Consciousness

Wed, 07/13/2016 - 1:11pm

Researchers in Seattle have created a public observatory for studying the visual circuitry in a mouse's brain. Among the attractions: watching 18,000 neurons respond to Orson Welles' Touch of Evil.

Thirsty? New Study Links Good Hydration To Slimmer Waistlines

Tue, 07/12/2016 - 5:03pm

A new study finds people who are well-hydrated have lower body weights and lower odds of obesity. It adds evidence to the theory that drinking lots of water may help in weight management.

Not In My Landfill: Georgia Residents Fight Plan To Store Toxic Coal Ash

Tue, 07/12/2016 - 3:26pm

In 2014, after disastrous spills and opposition from environmentalists, the Environmental Protection Agency imposed new rules on the storage of coal ash. Now utilities are planning to close down the ponds that hold the toxic ash, but it has to go somewhere. Environmentalists say the safest place for it is in securely lined landfills, such as the municipal landfill in Wayne County, Ga. Locals are fighting the plan, but there's not much they can do.

Red Tape Leaves Some Low-Income Toddlers Without Health Insurance

Tue, 07/12/2016 - 1:51pm

Despite government policies designed to encourage health coverage for these toddlers, many families are thwarted by confusing rules and regulations, advocacy groups say.

Overworked Americans Aren't Taking The Vacation They've Earned

Tue, 07/12/2016 - 12:39pm

And they're not unplugging from email and text messages when they do get away, an NPR poll finds. "So they're taking their stress along with them wherever they go," says a Harvard scientist.

Parents Can Help Reduce Pain And Anxiety From Vaccinations

Tue, 07/12/2016 - 9:44am

There are plenty of proven techniques that can help parents soothe the sting of the needle. And guess what? The parent's attitude can matter more than the actual pain of the shot.

A Computer Binge-Watched TV And Learned To Predict What Happens Next

Tue, 07/12/2016 - 8:50am

Researchers fed a program 600 hours of videos and TV shows to see if it could learn about and predict human interactions — hugs, kisses, high-fives and handshakes. It was right nearly half the time.

Research: Black Judges Are Reversed On Appeal More Than White Judges

Tue, 07/12/2016 - 4:07am

President Obama has tried to diversify the federal judiciary by appointing more black judges. Data show black federal district judges are overturned on appeal 10 percent more often than white judges.

Me, Me, Me: The Rise Of Narcissism In The Age Of The Selfie

Mon, 07/11/2016 - 11:00pm

Shankar talks with psychologist Jean Twenge about narcissism, millennials, and the rise of "me" culture.

Climate Change May Already Be Shifting Clouds Toward The Poles

Mon, 07/11/2016 - 10:01am

Scientists who have been tracking cloud patterns over the past two decades say the shifts they're seeing seem to correlate closely with what's predicted by computer models of Earth's changing climate.

Slice, Dice, Chop Or Julienne: Does The Cut Change The Flavor?

Mon, 07/11/2016 - 6:00am

When it comes to produce, the answer is yes, experts tell us. But the reasons are complicated — and sometimes mysterious even to restaurant critics, chefs and food scientists.

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