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Volkswagen CEO Resigns Amid Emissions Cheating Scandal

Wed, 09/23/2015 - 3:37pm

Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn abruptly resigned Wednesday, a few days after the company admitted it had rigged its diesel engine cars to pass emissions tests. The company faces multiple investigations and possibly billions of dollars in fines.

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Don't Toss That Sour Milk! And Other Tips To Cut Kitchen Food Waste

Wed, 09/23/2015 - 11:14am

The typical American family tosses out some $1,500 of food yearly. From smarter fridge packing to sauteing soggy lettuce, a new book is full of tips to rescue edibles from landing in the trash.

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Making College More Affordable, One Text At A Time

Wed, 09/23/2015 - 7:04am

White House research shows text and email-based interventions have measurable impacts on staying in school and paying back loans.

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Sage Grouse Does Not Need Protection, U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service Says

Tue, 09/22/2015 - 3:31pm

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Tuesday the greater sage grouse does not need protections under the Endangered Species Act. The move is being celebrated by Western states and industry stakeholders because they say a listing would cost them billions of dollars in economic activity. But some environmental groups say the bird should be listed as endangered, and they plan to file lawsuits.

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The Cost Of Interruptions: They Waste More Time Than You Think

Tue, 09/22/2015 - 3:31pm

Interruptions are ubiquitous and annoying. Studies indicate that getting interrupted is also costly — it can take a long while for people who have been distracted to settle back into tasks. Now, new research explores whether there is a cure.

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Volkswagen Says 11 Million Cars Worldwide Have Emissions Cheating Software

Tue, 09/22/2015 - 3:31pm

Volkswagen faces a growing scandal over how it used software to dodge clean air rules for diesel vehicles. The Justice Department has opened a criminal probe and large financial penalties are sure to follow. Volkswagen also has another big problem on its hands: customer who feel they've been deceived.

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Wherever You Go, Your Personal Cloud Of Microbes Follows

Tue, 09/22/2015 - 7:38am

You're not just shedding germs on every surface you touch. Research suggests you're actually walking around in an airborne plume of bacteria and other microscopic organisms that's unique to you.

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The Hidden Brain: How Miscommunications Happen

Tue, 09/22/2015 - 4:11am

Most people assume they will be better understood by close friends or their partners than by strangers. Most people are wrong.

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To Curb Pain Without Opioids, Oregon Looks To Alternative Treatments

Tue, 09/22/2015 - 4:11am

Acupuncture and massage haven't been proven to ease pain better than drugs — and may cost more. But Oregon hopes these sorts of alternatives to pills will reduce the societal costs of opioid abuse.

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Trying To Change, Or Changing The Subject? How Feedback Gets Derailed

Mon, 09/21/2015 - 11:08pm

The first episode of Hidden Brain explores switchtracking: a common pattern in conversations you'll be accusing your partner of in no time! Plus speedy science, a cup of tea and a song from Adam Cole.

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Center For Public Integrity Details Dangers Of Paint Stripper Solvent

Mon, 09/21/2015 - 4:03pm

NPR's Ari Shapiro talks to Jamie Smith Hopkins of the Center for Public Integrity about a solvent found in common paint strippers that can trigger heart attacks and asphyxiation, causing rapid death.

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Citizen Adventurers Sample Seawater To Count Tiny Pieces Of Plastic

Sun, 09/20/2015 - 6:42am

Plastic pollution in the sea doesn't just mean bottles and bags. Citizen scientists around the world are helping researchers assess the impact of tiny, often invisible particles called microplastics.

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Sleepless Fruit Flies Could Hold The Secret To Curing Insomnia

Sun, 09/20/2015 - 6:42am

Research on fruit flies with insomnia is revealing the pathways in the brain that can cause people to have trouble sleeping. This story originally aired on Sept. 18 on Morning Edition.

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Quiz: Are You Smarter Than A South African High School Student?

Sun, 09/20/2015 - 6:03am

So you think you know a lot about world affairs? Like, um, what kind of animal did that American dentist shoot? See how you do on the annual Interschool quiz for South Africa's youth.

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As Alzheimer's Symptoms Worsen, Hard Conversations About How To Die

Sat, 09/19/2015 - 4:02pm

Six years after he was diagnosed with both cancer and Alzheimer's, Greg O'Brien is beginning to talk to his doctor, and to his family, about his "exit strategy" for the final years of his life.

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Seattle Otter Treated For Asthma After Exposure To Wildfire Smoke

Sat, 09/19/2015 - 7:11am

It's not just humans that have been affected by wildfires this year. An otter called Mishka is being treated for asthma after being exposed to smoke by fires near Seattle.

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EPA Says Volkswagen Dodged Clean Air Rules With Emissions Software

Fri, 09/18/2015 - 3:31pm

The Environmental Protection Agency is accusing Volkswagen of intentionally dodging clean air rules on nearly half a million vehicles in the U.S. The EPA says Volkswagen installed software called a "defeat device" that only runs full pollution controls during official emissions testing. Under normal driving conditions, the vehicles emit nitrogen oxides at up to 40 times allowable levels, according to the EPA.

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Volkswagen Used 'Defeat Device' To Skirt Emissions Rules, EPA Says

Fri, 09/18/2015 - 11:53am

The agency says some 480,000 diesel-powered Volkswagens have sophisticated software that detects emissions testing — and "turns full emissions controls on only during the test."

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British Scientists Seek Permission To Edit DNA In Human Embryos

Fri, 09/18/2015 - 10:44am

After Chinese scientists announced in April that they had edited the genes in human embryos, many researchers said it shouldn't be done. Scientists in London say they want to do it for research only.

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The 2015 Ig Nobels: Studies That Make You Go 'Huh?'

Fri, 09/18/2015 - 9:32am

This year's prizes honored, among others, the brave researcher who subjected himself to 200 bee stings to determine where it was most painful.

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