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Updated: 58 min 41 sec ago

Scientists Develop App To Turn Smartphones Into Cosmic Ray Detectors

Tue, 08/18/2015 - 3:29pm

If scientists can convince people to use the app, they hope it will help them solve a cosmic mystery. This story originally aired on March 27, 2015 on All Things Considered.

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EPA Announces New Regulations On Methane Emissions

Tue, 08/18/2015 - 3:29pm

The Environmental Protection Agency is aiming to cut methane emissions by 40 to 45 percent over the next 10 years. The new regulations are expected to regulate emissions from natural gas wells.

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Can Reusable Bags At The Grocery Store Change What People Buy?

Tue, 08/18/2015 - 4:22am

Consumers who prefer reusable bags tend to buy more organic food. Researchers say that makes sense, given that the bags suggest a concern for the environment. But they also buy more junk food.

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Medicare Says Doctors Should Get Paid To Discuss End-Of-Life Issues

Tue, 08/18/2015 - 3:48am

After a six-year delay, Medicare proposes to reimburse doctors who hold end-of-life discussions with Medicare patients. The federal program is now soliciting public comments on the idea.

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Were Carbs A Brain Food For Our Ancient Ancestors?

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 5:19pm

Once ancient humans learned to cook, starchy foods could have given them a calorie bump that fueled the evolution of the human brain, British researchers argue in a new paper.

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U.S. Grants Patent For Free-Standing Space Elevator Tower

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 3:56pm

A Canadian company called Thoth Technology has patented a space elevator. The tower would rise some 12 miles into the sky, with a runway or launch pad on top.

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Papal Encyclical On Climate Change Puts Coal Country Catholics In Tough Spot

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 3:20pm

Pope Francis' encyclical on the environment is getting a thorough reading in Wyoming, which is the country's top coal-producing state. The letter presents a moral framework for approaching issues such as global climate change, but it's a difficult subject for Catholics in coal country.

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Can You Teach A Computer To 'Feel' Suspense?

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 2:21pm

Scientists want to make computers into better storytellers, but to do that they have to teach the machines a tricky element: suspense. Now researchers believe they've taken a big step forward.

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Decoding Nature: Identifying Sounds A Horned Owl Makes

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 4:10am

A listener responded to our invitation to send recordings of backyard wildlife with one of these spooky bird sounds. An expert at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology helped solve the mystery.

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'Play This Video Game And Call Me In The Morning'

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 3:42am

Developers at Akili are working on a game they hope might one day be prescribed to treat mental health conditions like ADHD and depression. But, first, they must get past the FDA.

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Scientists Discover 15th Convex Pentagon Able To Tile A Plane

Fri, 08/14/2015 - 3:29pm

NPR's Robert Siegel speaks with Julie Rehmeyer, a contributing editor at Discover magazine, about a newly discovered pentagon.

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With Discovery, 3 Scientists Chip Away At An Unsolvable Math Problem

Fri, 08/14/2015 - 1:13pm

For decades, we have known of only 14 convex pentagons that can do something called "tiling the plane." Now there is a 15th shape, but mathematicians are still far from knowing exactly how many exist.

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Newly Discovered Exoplanet Provides Glimpse Into Jupiter's Past

Fri, 08/14/2015 - 12:10pm

Scientists using the ground-based Gemini Planet Imager found a very young "Super Jupiter" about 100 light years away.

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What Does It Take To Produce Nuclear Fusion — In Your Garage?

Fri, 08/14/2015 - 8:48am

Taylor Wilson is a self-taught nuclear physicist who sees every obstacle as a challenge. He describes how — at age 14 — he built a working nuclear fusion reactor in his garage.

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Engineers Make Narcotics With Yeast. Is Home-Brewed Heroin Next?

Fri, 08/14/2015 - 4:10am

The yeast produce only tiny amounts of the drug. But eventually, the technology could lead to better painkillers and other medicines. Drug officials worry the microbes could fall into the wrong hands.

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Genetically Modified Yeast Yields Narcotics, Raises Regulation Questions

Fri, 08/14/2015 - 4:10am

Scientist have genetically engineered yeast to make powerful opioid drugs. They did this to make it easier and cheaper to make pain killers. The advance raises concern about home-brewed narcotics.

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Katrina's Emotional Legacy Includes Pain, Grief And Resilience

Fri, 08/14/2015 - 3:43am

Ten years after the storm some residents have found healing — in the arts, family and new opportunities. Others suffer lingering grief and other difficulties they trace to Katrina.

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Titanium Rings Tough To Crack In Emergencies

Thu, 08/13/2015 - 5:33pm

The patient's ring was stuck, his finger dangerously swollen. Doctors tried everything to remove it — and finally hit upon a solution they hope will help other people.

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Forecasters Predict Powerful El Nino To Bring Rain To The Dry West

Thu, 08/13/2015 - 3:16pm

Forecasters say it is highly likely an El Nino weather system in the Northern Hemisphere will last until the spring of next year. The El Nino could bring much needed rain to the drought-stricken West.

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You Don't Need To Go Low-Carb To Burn Body Fat, Study Says

Thu, 08/13/2015 - 1:48pm

Popular advice suggests a low-carb diet is necessary to trigger the body to shed fat. But a rigorous new study finds low-fat diets also spark body-fat loss. The key is to pick a diet you'll stick to.

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