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Updated: 50 min 16 sec ago

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)

Lead Dust From Firearms Can Pose A Silent Health Risk

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 1:51pm

The Department of Defense has increased protections for military personnel from exposure to lead dust. The toxic dust can be a health problem for people using recreational shooting ranges, too.

(Image credit: Herra Kuulapaa Precires/Science Photo Library/Getty Images)

Why Do Children Love Those Fad Toys So?

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 11:25am

Today it's fidget spinners, but soon it will be another little gizmo that children dearly, desperately want. The complicated social dynamics of childhood are one big reason.

(Image credit: Robert Gourley/Flickr)

How Illegal Gold Mining Relates To The Spread Of Malaria

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 3:54am

New social science research shows that there is a correlation between illegal gold mining and the spread of malaria. We explore why this might be the case.

Primitive Human-Like Species Lived More Recently Than Expected

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 5:15pm

The surprising finding suggests that small-brained Homo naledi may have lived at the same times as early humans in South Africa, complicating previous notions about human origins.

(Image credit: Wits University/John Hawks)

Australian Fossils Hint At Where To Search For Life On Mars

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 3:00pm

Scientists say the rocks lend weight to a theory that life on Earth originated, as Darwin wrote, "in some warm little pond" on land, suggesting we should look for it in similar environments on Mars.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Tara Djokic)

'Baby Dragon' Found In China Is The Newest Species Of Dinosaur

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 1:54pm

The Beibeilong was a giant, bird-like dinosaur that lived some 90 million years ago. Scientists say it had massive feathered wings, a bird-like skull and could grow to more than 26 feet long.

(Image credit: Zhao Chuang/Nature Communications)

Magic, Or Math? The Appeal Of Coincidences, And The Reality

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 8:00pm

This week on Hidden Brain: coincidences. Why they're not quite as magical as they seem, and the psychological reasons we can't help but search for meaning in them anyway.

(Image credit: Amy Sancetta/AP)

Is A Stradivarius Violin Easier To Hear? Science Says Nope

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 2:47pm

Old Italian violins like those made by Stradivari are famous for their ability to project their sound. But a study found people in a blind test thought new violins projected better than old ones.

(Image credit: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

Trump's Budget Would Eliminate A Key Funder Of Research On Coastal Pollution

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 1:30pm

The Sea Grant program, which funds research on coastal environments, is slated by White House for elimination in 2018. If it goes, a project that finds leaking septic tanks goes down the drain, too.

(Image credit: Courtesy of University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science)

Secret U.S. Space Plane Lands With A Boom In Florida

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 8:10am

For a secret aircraft, the X-37B wasn't very stealthy about its return to Earth. The space plane was launched in 2015.

(Image credit: Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs)

NASA Has A Spacesuit Shortage

Sun, 05/07/2017 - 7:16am

NASA has only 11 spacesuits in use, and they were designed decades ago. Spacesuit designer Pablo de Leon tells Lulu Garcia-Navarro about how the shortage affects operations in space.

Crayola Gives The People What They Want: A New Blue Crayon

Fri, 05/05/2017 - 11:23am

After Crayola announced it was retiring the yellow crayon Dandelion, the company said its replacement would be blue, but would it be a true blue? No, it's actually an accidental blue.

(Image credit: Patrick Shuck/Crayola)

Why Taste Buds Dull As We Age

Fri, 05/05/2017 - 6:00am

You're born with roughly 9,000 taste buds, and they're very good at regenerating — which is why you can recover the ability to taste just days after burning your tongue. But that changes as we age.

(Image credit: CSA Images/Getty Images)

Denmark Now Has A Wild Wolf Pack Again — For The First Time In 200 Years

Thu, 05/04/2017 - 5:28pm

Citing CCTV footage and DNA samples, two researchers say a female has migrated more than 340 miles from Germany to join a small group of wolves in the Jutland peninsula.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Natural History Museum Aarhus)

5 Things To Watch As GOP Health Bill Moves To The Senate

Thu, 05/04/2017 - 3:42pm

Just three "no" votes by Senate Republicans would likely be enough to sink the GOP health bill. Democrats who lost the battle in the House are still convinced they can win the political war.

(Image credit: Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

Citizen Scientist Challenges Math Behind Red Light Camera Tickets

Thu, 05/04/2017 - 3:33pm

A man in Oregon is challenging the math behind red light camera tickets. Mats Järlström calculates that drivers who end up in an intersection when the light goes yellow can be trapped in a no-win dilemma, particularly if they are making a turn. NPR's Kelly McEvers talks to Aarian Marshall, who wrote about the case for Wired magazine.

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