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Updated: 1 hour 15 min ago

Coronations, Coups, And Keeping Up With The Kardashians

Mon, 01/16/2017 - 11:00pm

It's in our nature to idolize the rich and famous. But this week on Hidden Brain, we explore the other side of our nature: the part of us that wants to see the rich and powerful fall from grace.

(Image credit: D Dipasupil/WireImage)

How Chickens Shifted From Sacred To Diet Staple

Mon, 01/16/2017 - 4:16pm

For the last three years, researchers in the United Kingdom have been studying the lowly chicken, and they say there's much more to the ubiquitous bird than many people realize.

Gene Cernan, Last Man To Walk On The Moon, Dies At 82

Mon, 01/16/2017 - 2:49pm

Cernan flew in space three times, took the second American spacewalk, and was just as thrilled to walk on the moon as if he had been the first to do it.

(Image credit: NASA)

Researchers Unravel Strange And Contradictory Feelings About Power

Mon, 01/16/2017 - 3:58am

It's inauguration season in Washington, D.C. Many of us revel in the pomp and circumstance — yet we have another side to our psychology that enjoys seeing the powerful fall from grace.

When The Brain Scrambles Names, It's Because You Love Them

Mon, 01/16/2017 - 3:42am

If your mom had to run though the name of everyone in the family, including the dog, before hitting yours, it's probably because you're all in a mental folder labeled "loved ones."

(Image credit: Alex Reynolds/NPR)

An Ice Shelf Is Cracking In Antarctica, But Not For The Reason You Think

Mon, 01/16/2017 - 3:41am

Antarctica's Larsen C ice shelf is about to lose an iceberg the size of Delaware. Scientists gathering in the U.K. are scratching their heads about why it's cracking off.

(Image credit: John Sonntag/NASA)

Bountiful Beach Buffet: Fresh Seaweed Is Making Waves Among Foragers

Sun, 01/15/2017 - 6:00am

Ocean algae is plentiful and grows rapidly, and most of it is safe to eat. People have been harvesting seaweed for thousands of years, but now it's become so popular, you can even take a class.

(Image credit: Joy Lanzendorfer for NPR)

Watch Live: SpaceX Successfully Launches Falcon 9 Rocket, Months After Blast

Sat, 01/14/2017 - 11:31am

The private space company's Falcon 9 rocket is bearing 10 satellites into orbit. SpaceX's launch came months after a blast wrecked its most recent test.

(Image credit: NASA/NASA via Getty Images)

Spider Silk Is Stronger Than Steel — And Now It Can Be Made In A Lab

Sat, 01/14/2017 - 7:02am

Swedish scientist Dr. Anna Rising was among a team of researchers to discover how to synthesize artificial spider silk. She says they hope to use the strong silk in medical applications and textiles.

Miniaturized Nuclear Power Plant? U.S. Reviewing Proposed Design

Fri, 01/13/2017 - 2:05pm

A company has submitted a design for what it describes as a "modular" nuclear power plant — a radical departure from other nuclear plants. Each module would be small enough to fit on a flat-bed truck.

(Image credit: NuScale )

Is There A Limit To How Many Friends We Can Have?

Fri, 01/13/2017 - 7:46am

Anthropologist Robin Dunbar believes the evolutionary structure of social networks limits us to 150 meaningful relationships at a time — even with the rise of social media.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Robin Dunbar)

What Happens When Hackers Hijack Our Smart Devices?

Fri, 01/13/2017 - 7:46am

Computer scientist Avi Rubin says all our smart devices — cars, phones, even fitness trackers — can be hacked. He warns that our network of connected technology puts us at risk for cyberattacks.

(Image credit: Chris Suspect/TED)

Can We Improve Our Transportation Network Using...Biology?

Fri, 01/13/2017 - 7:46am

Wanis Kabbaj wants traffic to flow smoothly and efficiently, like the blood in our veins. He says driverless cars may be the solution to today's highway gridlock.

(Image credit: Video still courtesy TED)

How Do Trees Collaborate?

Fri, 01/13/2017 - 7:46am

Ecologist Suzanne Simard shares how she discovered that trees use underground fungi networks to communicate and share resources, uprooting the idea that nature constantly competes for survival.

(Image credit: Courtesy Suzanne Simard)

Marijuana's Health Effects? Top Scientists Weigh In

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 4:50pm

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine sorted through 10,000 studies to determine the good and bad health effects of marijuana. Tight drug restrictions impede research, they say.

(Image credit: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

As Rains Soak California, Farmers Test How To Store Water Underground

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 2:01pm

After years of drought, California is getting drenched with rains. Some scientists and farmers are testing a way to capture that water by filling the state's depleted groundwater aquifers.

(Image credit: Joe Proudman/Joe Proudman / Courtesy of UC Davis)

Scientists Have Twisted Molecules Into The Tightest Knot Ever

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 1:06pm

This new knot has eight crossings, far more than previous molecular knots. The "rope" is very short — just 192 atoms long, or 500 times smaller than a red blood cell.

(Image credit: Stuart Jantzen/Biocinematics.com/Science)

New Gene-Editing Techniques Hold the Promise Of Altering The Fundamentals Of Life

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 12:28pm

New Yorker writer Michael Specter discusses emerging biotechnologies that will make it possible to remove disease and change the characteristics of life by rewriting the genetic code in cells.

Flipping A Switch In The Brain Turns Lab Rodents Into Killer Mice

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 11:14am

When scientists activate hunting circuits in the brains of genetically modified mice, the animals attack insects and even bottle caps as prey. It gives clues to the evolution of hunting in humans.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Ivan de Araujo/Cell Press)

Menopause Mystery: Why Do Female Killer Whales Experience The Change Of Life?

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 11:02am

Killer whales are one of only three species known to have menopause. Researchers are looking at the conflict and cooperation between older and younger female whales to understand why.

(Image credit: Mark Malleson/Center for Whale Research/AP)

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