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Updated: 14 min 17 sec ago

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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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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How A Little Chill In The Air Could Help You Lose Weight

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 3:34pm

Researchers in the Netherlands suggest that something as simple as lowering temperatures in the office or at home can help people burn calories as they keep their body temperatures steady. Chilling out to shed pounds works best in combination with diet and exercise.

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A Growth Factor Heals The Damage To A Preemie's Brain — In Mice

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 3:00pm

Scientists have shown that damage to the brain's "white matter" is responsible for many of the developmental problems that very premature infants often face. Now researchers have also demonstrated that it's possible to prevent that sort of damage in mice.

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Ancient And Vulnerable: 25 Percent Of Sharks And Rays Risk Extinction

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 2:45am

"People know about the global trade in shark fins, but few know that some of the most valuable fins ... used in shark fin soup come from the shark-like rays — species like sawfishes and wedgefishes and guitarfishes," says Sonja Fordham, who contributed to a new analysis of the fisheries.

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After Hibernation, Rosetta Seeks Its Stone

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 3:00pm

The Rosetta spacecraft has awakened. It was put in hibernation for 31 months while its orbit took it nearly half a million miles from the sun, too far for its solar arrays to keep the spacecraft operational. But now it's close enough, and European Space Agency mission managers will start preparing for Rosetta's rendezvous with a comet later this year.

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Whole Foods Bans Produce Grown With Sludge. But Who Wins?

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 2:52pm

Whole Foods recently decided it would not buy produce from farmers who used treated sewage sludge, also known as biosolids, on their fields. But scientists say this is a mistake — the material is safe and benefits the environment in lots of different ways.

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Whole Foods Bans Produce Grown With Sludge. But Who Wins?

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 2:52pm

Whole Foods recently decided it would not buy produce from farmers who used treated sewage sludge, also known as biosolids, on their fields. But scientists say this is a mistake — the material is safe and benefits the environment in lots of different ways.

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