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China's Jade Rabbit Rover May Be Doomed On The Moon

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 3:23pm

Chinese officials recently announced the rover was experiencing mechanical difficulties, and now observers believe its done for. But the thirst for more moon missions may be spreading in China.

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Entrepreneurs Looking For 'Windfall' Cash In On Climate Change

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 12:57pm

A new book explores the ways melting Arctic ice yield new shipping channels, new oil and gas resources — and potential profits. Journalist McKenzie Funk delves into the "booming business of global warming" in Windfall.

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Stricter Autism Criteria Unlikely to Reduce Services For Kids

Mon, 01/27/2014 - 1:59pm

Researchers say changes rolled out last May are likely to have a bigger effect on government statistics than on the care of the nation's children. Still, advocates worry that narrower definitions could lead to a loss of coverage for some children.

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You'd Think We'd Have Baby-Making All Figured Out, But No

Mon, 01/27/2014 - 12:30pm

Many women don't know when they're most likely to get pregnant each month, and some think certain positions will boost the odds, a survey finds. There are also big gaps in knowledge about risk factors for infertility and birth defects.

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Soil, Weedkillers And GMOs: When Numbers Don't Tell The Whole Story

Mon, 01/27/2014 - 11:08am

Numbers don't lie, but they can sometimes tell a misleading story. Three times in the last week, we came across farm statistics that painted a picture not quite backed up by facts on the ground.

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Soil, Weedkillers And GMOs: When Numbers Don't Tell The Whole Story

Mon, 01/27/2014 - 11:08am

Numbers don't lie, but they can sometimes tell a misleading story. Three times in the last week, we came across farm statistics that painted a picture not quite backed up by facts on the ground.

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Grand Canyon May Be Older (And Younger) Than You Think

Mon, 01/27/2014 - 2:34am

About 6 million years ago, a new mineral analysis suggests, a mighty river zigzagging across the Colorado plateau may have found its way into older gorges, greatly enlarging them to create the West's most spectacular canyon. Still, some geologists aren't sold.

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A Reading Teacher Who Lost The Ability To Read

Sun, 01/26/2014 - 4:00pm

After a reading specialist at a kindergarten outside Chicago had a stroke, she could no longer read. She began to use her skills as a teacher to teach herself how to recognize words again.

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Mars Rover Turns 3-Month Mission Into Decade Of Exploration

Sun, 01/26/2014 - 7:00am

Opportunity, NASA's Mars Rover, landed on Mars on Jan. 24, 2004. It was supposed to be a three-month mission, but 10 years later the rover is still investigating the red planet and sending data and images back to NASA. Jim Bell, an astronomer at Arizona State University, talks with NPR's Rachel Martin about Opportunity's decade on Mars.

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Pig Virus Continues To Spread, Raising Fears Of Pricier Bacon

Sun, 01/26/2014 - 4:06am

Porcine epidemic diarrhea, or PED, virus has killed about 1 million baby pigs in the U.S. since April. Its effect on the pork industry is small so far, but analysts say it could send pork prices rising if it isn't controlled.

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Antarctic Discovery: A Massive Valley Under The Ice

Sat, 01/25/2014 - 3:00pm

Researchers have discovered an ancient valley deeper than the Grand Canyon under West Antarctica. The finding is both a window into the continent's past and a forecast of how the ice might change in a future global climate.

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New Study Shakes Up Science On Midwest Quake Zone

Fri, 01/24/2014 - 4:59pm

The fault that sparked a series of magnitude-7 earthquakes in 1811-12 had been thought dead, but the latest research suggests the region is still alive and kicking.

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Not Gone, Just Sleeping: Earthquakes May Reawaken In Midwest

Fri, 01/24/2014 - 3:00pm

Not dead yet! That's the news from the New Madrid fault line in the Midwest. For years geologists thought it was winding down seismic activity, but a new study says it's not. Melissa Block talks with seismologist Susan Hough of the U.S. Geological Survey, who co-authored the study.

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Tickety-Tock — An Even More Accurate Atomic Clock

Fri, 01/24/2014 - 3:00pm

Scientists have unveiled an atomic clock that sets new records in timekeeping — it could run 5 billion years without gaining or losing a second. That sort of precision is not trivial, researchers say. Clocks have ripple effects for all kinds of technology, from cell phones to GPS and more.

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Can Mom's Pregnancy Diet Rewire Baby's Brain For Obesity?

Fri, 01/24/2014 - 1:22pm

Expectant moms are eating for two, but that isn't a license to indulge. A convincing body of research suggests that what happens in utero can set the stage for obesity. And a new study in mice suggests one way that poor maternal diet might play role: by rewiring a part of the brain that regulates appetite.

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Does Mom's Pregnancy Diet Rewire Baby's Brain For Obesity?

Fri, 01/24/2014 - 1:22pm

Expectant moms are eating for two, but that isn't a license to indulge. A convincing body of research suggests that what happens in utero can set the stage for obesity. And a new study in mice suggests one way that poor maternal diet might play role: by rewiring a part of the brain that regulates appetite.

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Drinking Water Not Tested For Tens Of Thousands Of Chemicals

Fri, 01/24/2014 - 4:00am

The fact that a second contaminant in West Virginia's drinking water eluded detection for nearly two weeks — despite intense testing of the water — reveals an important truth about how companies test drinking water: In most cases, they only find the contaminants they're looking for.

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Water Companies Can't Monitor All Chemicals, There's Too Many

Fri, 01/24/2014 - 4:00am

Nearly two weeks after a chemical spill contaminated drinking water in West Virginia, the company involved revealed that it had spilled a second chemical too. Fortunately, officials don't think there was any added risk to the public. The fact that a second contaminant eluded detection reveals an important truth about drinking water supplies and how they're tested for contaminants.

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Contagious Cancer In Dogs Leaves Prehistoric Paw Prints

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 2:31pm

Dogs can catch a strange type of cancer through sex. Now scientists have decoded the DNA of the tumor and found that the cancer cells are a living fossil of an ancient dog that lived thousands of years ago. This cancer doesn't affect people, but the findings may offer insights into how tumors fool the human immune system.

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Weekly Innovation: A Radiation Detector In Your Smartphone

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 10:05am

Scientists at the Idaho National Laboratory created and tested an Android app that could allow your smartphone to detect gamma radiation. They say the technology could be used as radiation detectors by first responders.

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