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Updated: 1 hour 11 min ago

A Day's A Day The World Around — But Shorter On Saturn

Sat, 03/28/2015 - 6:38am

Researchers have finally determined the length of a day on the ringed planet (gas shrouds any landmarks, so it was tough). Precision matters: A faster spin influences the speed of surface winds.

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Birder Finds Panama Packed With Species, But No Harpy Eagles

Sat, 03/28/2015 - 6:38am

There are more species of birds in Panama than all of North America. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Ray Brown, host of the radio program Talkin' Birds, who just returned from the country.

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Calif. Governor Can't Make It Rain, But Can Make Relief Money Pour

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 4:57pm

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed his sweeping $1.1 billion emergency drought relief bill Friday. It funds water infrastructure improvements like flood control and aid for farmworkers.

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Is There Any Way To Screen Pilots For Suicidal Tendencies?

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 8:27am

There are questionnaires that aim to identify people at risk of killing themselves. But the tests are flawed — and it's not at all clear they'd be effective in assessing the mental state of pilots.

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What Can Bonobos Teach Us About Play?

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 7:52am

Primatologist Isabel Behncke explains how bonobos learn by constantly playing. She says play isn't frivolous; it appears to be a critical way to solve problems and avoid conflict.

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How Can Playing A Game Make You More Empathetic?

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 7:52am

Why is it so hard to feel empathy for strangers? Because we're stressed by them, says neuroscientist Jeff Mogil. His research suggests one way to reduce that stress: play Rock Band together.

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How Can Video Games Improve Our Real Lives?

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 7:52am

When Jane McGonigal was bedridden after a concussion, she gave herself a prescription: play a game. She says games helped her get better; and for many of us, virtual games can improve our real lives.

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NASA To Study A Twin In Space And His Brother On Earth

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 3:43am

During astronaut Scott Kelly's year in space, scientists will compare his physiology with that of his twin brother, Mark, to study the effect of prolonged space flight on the human body.

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Official Report: Nuclear Waste Accident Caused By Wrong Cat Litter

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 5:40pm

An official investigation into an accident last February at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant has concluded that cat litter is the culprit. Organic material in the litter caused a drum to burst.

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Big Shelves Of Antarctic Ice Melting Faster Than Scientists Thought

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 4:32pm

The shrinking of ice at the ocean's edge in the West Antarctic has increased by 70 percent over the past decade, an analysis of satellite images suggests.

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Critic Faults Alcoholics Anonymous For Lack Of Evidence

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 2:38pm

Writer Gabrielle Glaser challenges the usefulness of Alcoholics Anonymous in April's issue of The Atlantic. The program's tenets aren't based in science, she says, and other options may work better.

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Is Colorado Primed To Become The Silicon Valley Of Agriculture?

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 2:29pm

Colorado's food and ag industries have been growing two to four times faster than the state's economy overall. Economists are getting ever more hopeful about cornering the market on ag innovation.

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Ebola Is Not Mutating As Fast As Scientists Feared

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 2:21pm

Many people have worried that Ebola could evolve into a more deadly virus — or start spreading through the air. A study published Thursday alleviates these concerns.

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A Single Gene May Decide Why Some People Get So Sick With The Flu

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 1:06pm

A single genetic mutation might decide who ends up in bed with the sniffles and who heads to the hospital, because it shuts down immune system molecules called interferons.

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'Super Termite' Could Be Even More Destructive Than Parent Species

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 4:08pm

In South Florida, the world's two most destructive termite species could be mating because of climate change. Researchers say if the hybrids colonize, they could pose an even greater economic threat.

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Mosquitoes Can Smell Inside Your Blood

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 3:15pm

When malaria parasites infect blood, they manufacture odor molecules that smell sweet to mosquitoes, scientists report. So how do these odors get from the bloodstream to the insects?

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University And Biotech Firm Team Up On Colorblindness Therapy

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 3:14pm

Six years ago, husband-and-wife scientists used gene therapy to cure colorblindness in monkeys. Now they're trying to make it work for the millions of people with faulty color vision.

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Scientists Discover A New Form Of Ice — It's Square

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 1:01pm

Researchers were surprised by what they found when they sandwiched a drop of water between two layers of an unusual two-dimensional material called graphene.

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Meet The Cool Beans Designed To Beat Climate Change

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 12:04pm

Researchers in Colombia have created new types of beans that can withstand high heat. Many of these "heat-beater" beans resulted from a unique marriage, 20 years ago, of tradition and technology.

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Affordable Care Act Makes This Tax Season Painful For Many

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 7:29am

Figuring out the penalty for not signing up for health insurance is just one complication. Tax filers who made more money last year than they anticipated may have to pay back some of their subsidy.

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