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Updated: 41 min 47 sec ago

In A Lab Store Room, An Unsettling Surprise: Lost Vials Of Smallpox

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 3:40pm

Scientists at the National Institutes of Health made an unpleasant discovery as they cleaned out an old laboratory: The lab contained vials of the smallpox virus, previously unknown to authorities.

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Plants Know The Rhythm Of The Caterpillar's Creep

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 3:12pm

According to new research, plants can actually hear the sounds of insects chewing. A University of Missouri study is the first work to report that plants can recognize the sound of a predator through the vibrations of their leaves. To learn more, Robert Siegel speaks with Heidi Appel, senior research scientist in the Bond Life Sciences Center at the University of Missouri.

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Will This Tech Tool Help Manage Older People's Health? Ask Dad

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 2:43pm

There's a growing market in technology to address health problems in older people. But young techies don't always know what their clients really need and want. Enter the focus group of Dad.

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What It Takes To Make A Decent Cup Of Coffee In Space

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 1:42pm

Italian engineers say they've finally come up with a way to brew espresso on the ISS so astronauts can ditch the instant coffee. We asked: What's so hard about making coffee in space? Answer: A lot.

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Globe-Trotting GMO Bananas Arrive For Their First Test In Iowa

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 9:34am

A new banana enhanced with vitamin A is intended to address diet deficiencies in Uganda. But if the past history of "biofortified" crops is prologue, it faces a tough road ahead.

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Can't Stand Meetings? Try Taking Away The Chairs

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 6:03am

Those who stood at meetings said the felt their colleagues were more open to their ideas, less territorial, and overall, did better collaborative work, researchers found.

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Some Parole Requirements Could Be Increasing The Crime Rate

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 4:01am

Prisoners who are released invariably make it back to the areas where they came from. Does this have a positive or negative effect on crime? Research triggered by Hurricane Katrina offers insight.

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The Secret History Behind The Science Of Stress

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 3:07pm

The tobacco industry played an influential role in the funding and popularization of stress research. A vast document archive details the relationships between cigarette makers and key scientists.

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Raw Milk Producers Aim To Regulate Themselves

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 2:17am

To create accountability and transparency, some raw milk producers are coming up with guidelines for testing and safety. But federal agencies say all raw milk is still risky to consume.

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NPR Listeners Show A Keen Ear For Temperature

Sun, 07/06/2014 - 4:05pm

NPR conducted an online poll asking listeners if they could hear the difference between cold and hot water simply by listening to the sound of the water being poured. Most listeners were spot-on.

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Study Shows Penguins Endangered By Waning Antarctic Ice

Sun, 07/06/2014 - 6:53am

A new study argues emperor penguins should be classified as an endangered species because of shrinking ice. NPR's Linda Wertheimer speaks with scientist Hal Caswell, who co-authored the study.

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Tell Me, Wave, Where Did You Come From? Who Made You?

Sun, 07/06/2014 - 6:03am

Richard Feynman, one of the greatest science teachers ever, asks a wave to tell him a story.

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What Does Cold Sound Like?

Sat, 07/05/2014 - 2:30pm

A new study found that 96 percent of people can hear the difference between hot and cold liquids being poured. Are you among them? Test your skills by listening to these audio clips.

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Dance of Human Evolution Was Herky-Jerky, Fossils Suggest

Fri, 07/04/2014 - 2:36am

Maybe it was messier than we thought, some scientists now say. Big brains, long legs, and long childhoods may have evolved piecemeal in different spots, in response to frequent swings in climate.

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Study: Surge In Okla. Quakes Can Be Traced To Drilling Operations

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 3:09pm

StateImpact Oklahoma's Joe Wertz reports on a new study that links a "swarm" of earthquakes to four specific, high-volume oil and gas industry disposal wells. It's one of several reports that show oil and gas activity could be causing a rise in earthquake activity.

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Surrounded By Digital Distractions, We Can't Even Stop To Think

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 1:31pm

A study on the wandering mind had a simple request: Just think. But many participants couldn't sit still for very long, and they even were willing to shock themselves to avoid doing nothing.

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20 Thoughts On Facebook's News Feed Experiment Apology

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 5:37pm

A scientific study that manipulated the news feeds of Facebook users has sparked a lot of negative feelings toward the company. A top executive apologized. Now, NPR's Shankar Vedantam weighs in.

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Can We Predict Which Teens Are Likely To Binge Drink? Maybe

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 4:06pm

We know some people are more at risk for abusing alcohol than others. Now scientists say they're getting closer to predicting which teenagers are most at risk.

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Costlier Digital Mammograms May Not Be Better For Older Women

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 12:43pm

Digital mammograms are sharper and aid diagnosis, radiologists say. But these scans aren't significantly better than film scans in finding tumors in older women, a study finds. And they cost more.

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With Help From Extinct Humans, Tibetans Adapted To High Altitude

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 12:03pm

When it comes to living at extreme altitudes, Tibetans may have gotten a leg up from Denisovans, a species of archaic humans that lived about 50,000 years ago.

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