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Updated: 1 hour 33 min ago

Tragic Love Triangle Is Sad For Lonely Rare Snail, Still Good For Science

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 4:09pm

A garden snail with a rare genetic condition can't mate with normal snails; scientists launch an international search for a mate; two possible mates are found. But they mate with each other instead.

(Image credit: Angus Davison, University of Nottingham)

Orangutan Moms Are The Primate Champs Of Breast-Feeding

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 1:49pm

Orangutans breast-feed up to nine years, longer than any other primate. That may help offspring survive food shortages. But humans may have gained a survival advantage from weaning earlier.

(Image credit: Tim Laman/Science Advances)

Total Failure: When The Space Shuttle Didn't Come Home

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 11:12am

In Part 1 of the series Total Failure, a former NASA official recalls the disastrous mission of the space shuttle Columbia in 2003 and how the accident changed his life forever.

(Image credit: Isabel Seliger for NPR)

Advice For Your Dinner Party Stories: Keep It Familiar

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 4:02am

There's a difference between the stories we tell and the stories we like to hear. New social science research finds most of us like to listen to stories about familiar things.

Tyrannosaurus Rex's Bite Force Measured 8,000 Pounds, Scientists Say

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 4:02am

"That's like setting three small cars on top of the jaws of a T. rex — that's basically what was pushing down," a researcher says. Humans bite with a measly 200 pounds of force.

(Image credit: Scientific Reports)

Struggling Nuclear Industry Lobbies State Governments For Help

Tue, 05/16/2017 - 3:30pm

The nuclear industry is struggling with aging plants and competition from cheaper natural gas. Now, touting itself as another form of "clean" energy, it's lobbying state lawmakers for help.

An Experiment Helps Heroin Users Test Their Street Drugs For Fentanyl

Tue, 05/16/2017 - 2:58pm

Some people on heroin die because the drug was laced with something much stronger — like fentanyl. A few needle exchange programs give users test strips to check their drug's content before injecting.

(Image credit: Mary Harris/WNYC)

GOP Health Bill Penalizes Patients Who Let Insurance Lapse

Tue, 05/16/2017 - 4:30am

In some states, a break in health coverage of more than 63 days would let insurers charge premiums of any price for a year — putting health insurance out of reach for many sick people, analysts say.

(Image credit: Portra Images/Getty Images)

The Fox And The Hedgehog: The Triumphs And Perils Of Going Big

Mon, 05/15/2017 - 8:00pm

The parable of the fox and the hedgehog tells us that there are some who are guided by one big idea. That's the story of Don Laub, a surgeon whose single-mindedness was his triumph, and his downfall.

(Image credit: Renee Klahr)

Millions Of Pieces Of Plastic Are Piling Up On An Otherwise Pristine Pacific Island

Mon, 05/15/2017 - 2:01pm

Researchers found more than 17 tons of plastic debris on an uninhabited South Pacific island. It's some 3,000 miles from the nearest big city, but ocean currents bring a steady supply of trash.

(Image credit: Jennifer Lavers/University of Tasmania)

How To Give Vegan 'Ice Cream' That Creamy Taste, Minus The Milk

Mon, 05/15/2017 - 10:29am

From avocado to almonds, vegan frozen desserts abound today. But replicating the complex choreography of water, protein, fat and sugar that milk usually takes care of is a challenge.

(Image credit: Courtesy of NadaMoo!)

Yawning May Promote Social Bonding Even Between Dogs And Humans

Mon, 05/15/2017 - 3:37am

Bears do it, bats do it. So do dogs and humans. They all yawn. It's a common behavior, but why is a bit of a mystery. Researchers think yawning may perk up the brain and help with social bonding.

(Image credit: iStockphoto)

Racial and Ethnic Disparities Persist in Sudden Infant Deaths

Sun, 05/14/2017 - 11:05pm

Babies in Native American and Alaska Native families are at higher risk of sudden unexplained infant death, despite years of effort to reduce the toll. African-American families also face higher risk.

(Image credit: Andy Feltham / EyeEm/Getty Images/EyeEm)

PHOTOS: 17 Mummies Unearthed In Egypt

Sun, 05/14/2017 - 3:25pm

Archaeologists announced the discovery of 17 mummies in central Egypt, believed to be from Egypt's Greco-Roman period. The country is hoping the find will boost tourism.

(Image credit: Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images)

Scientists Raise Concern By Wanting To Create Synthetic Human Genomes

Sun, 05/14/2017 - 6:52am

In New York, hundreds of scientists discussed a highly ambitious and controversial project. They want to create synthetic genetic codes for all kinds of creatures — including the human genetic code.

A Mother Finds Joy In Helping A Child Navigate Their Shared Traits

Sun, 05/14/2017 - 4:00am

An unexpectedly rich reward of motherhood is the chance to show your child how to deal with traits passed down from you. A third-generation perfectionist and her daughter compare notes on Mr. P.

(Image credit: Maria Fabrizio for NPR)

The Power Of Genes, And The Line Between Biology And Destiny

Fri, 05/12/2017 - 1:26pm

Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee says genetics play a significant role in identity, temperament, sexual orientation and disease risk — but that environment also matters. Originally broadcast May 15, 2016.

Heroin Epidemic Is Driving A Spike In Hepatitis C Cases, CDC Says

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 5:37pm

From 2010 to 2015, the number of new infections leaped nearly 300 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And researchers appear confident of the cause.

(Image credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Disappearing Montana Glaciers A 'Bellwether' Of Melting To Come?

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 1:46pm

Glaciers there are "an early indicator of the kinds of changes that are going to occur elsewhere," a scientist says. Since 1966, the glaciers in Glacier National Park shrunk an average of 39 percent.

(Image credit: USGS)

Tesla Begins Taking Orders For Its Solar Energy Roof Tile Systems

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 10:51am

The company offers an "infinity" warranty on its tiles that integrate solar power into roof coverings. Tesla has published a web tool that can estimate costs and savings.

(Image credit: AP)

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