Science & Health

All sciences, health & medical news

Nearly 15 years after her first space launch, NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson has now spent more time off-planet than any other American, at more than 534 days. Whitson, 57, is a biochemist who has twice commanded the International Space Station.

Voices From The March For Science

Apr 23, 2017

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UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: (Chanting) Hey, hey, ho, ho, science is the way to go.

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Cassini Spacecraft Heads To Saturn

Apr 23, 2017

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The 700 cows on Brett Reinford's dairy farm are making more than just milk.

Each day, the girls are producing 7,000 gallons of manure. And that smells exactly like you'd imagine. "We had gotten complaints from neighbors in the past that had said, 'Hey, it stinks too much. Can you do something about it?' " Reinford says.

So he looked around for a solution and landed on a device called a digester. A digester tamps down the smell a bit, but, more importantly, it takes all that cow poop and converts it to electricity.

Attendees from across the country descended on the nation's capital to speak up for science.

The March for Science unfolded on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, and in multiple cities around the world. Coinciding with Earth Day, the event drew researchers, educators and scientifically-minded people.

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It's Earth Day, and across the country and around the world, there are demonstrations taking place in the name of science. Organizers say there were events in more than 600 cities and towns around the world.

Back in 2010, science writer Rebecca Skloot published a book that sounded like science fiction — except it was real. Skloot told the story of how a tissue sample from a young African-American woman in Baltimore, taken without her knowledge or consent, went on to become "immortal." Her cells contributed to scientific breakthroughs across disciplines and around the world, and they even went up with some of the first space missions.

Updated at 1:25 p.m. ET

Enthusiasts say their March for Science on Saturday in communities around the world is intended to "support science for the public good."

The main event is happening in Washington, D.C., but satellite marches are planned in all 50 states, and at least 610 marches have been registered on the March for Science website across the world on all continents except Antarctica.

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Just thinking about the impacts of a shifting climate is making some people feel anxious and overwhelmed. A support group in Utah is helping people cope, and the idea has drawn interest in other states.

In a split level outside Salt Lake City, eight people gather for a weekly meeting. The group, called Good Grief, has members ranging from millennials to grandparents.

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The foods we choose to put on our plates — or toss away – could have more of an ecological impact than many of us realize.

On Earth Day, here are some ways to consider how our diet impacts the planet.

Waste not, want not

You've heard the numbers on food waste. More than 30 percent of available food is tossed each year in America. It's enough to fill Chicago's 1,450-foot-tall Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower) 44 times over.

Not all of April's showers are soggy and flower-inducing. Late April is also the season of the Lyrids, the second of the year's established meteor showers. So get thee to the rooftops and wide open fields: The shower peaks tonight.

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Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Digital Industrial Revolution.

About Maurice Conti's TED Talk

Futurist Maurice Conti says we've entered a new era where machines and humans partner to do what neither can do alone. He calls it the "Augmented Age."

About Maurice Conti

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Digital Industrial Revolution.

About Marco Annunziata's TED Talk

GE's Chief Economist Marco Annunziata is optimistic about "the marriage of minds and machines" — provided we manage it the right way.

About Marco Annunziata

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Digital Industrial Revolution.

About Erik Brynjolfsson's TED Talk

MIT Professor Erik Brynjolfsson sees a bright future where machines serve as powerful tools and partners. But he says we can only shape this future if we keep up with the pace of innovation.

About Erik Brynjolfsson

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Digital Industrial Revolution.

About Jeremy Howard's TED Talk

Data Scientist Jeremy Howard has studied machine learning for 25 years. He says artificial intelligence can help achieve amazing things. But he warns the impact on jobs may cause a great deal of social instability.

About Jeremy Howard

Is It Safe To Eat Moldy Bread?

Apr 21, 2017

Like politics and music, the question of whether to eat moldy food can divide families, with relatives' admonishments reverberating in one's head for years.

"Every time I throw out moldy bread, I can still hear my dad lecturing me: 'That's perfectly good! Just cut that part off! It's penicillin!' " says Shawna Iwaniuk, a graphic designer in Alberta, Canada. "But ... I just can't."

So, who's right? Is the furry green stuff a death knell for a baguette, or just a minor setback?

For food safety experts, the answer is clear: Moldy bread is bad news.

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We usually turn to NPR blogger Adam Frank to explore ideas about outer space. Today, he has this commentary on the messy business of politics and how it's affecting the climate.

Animals, especially mammals, need oxygen to keep their bodies and brains humming along.

But leave it to the African naked mole-rat to buck that trend. The rodents are bizarre in just about every way. They're hairless, ground-dwelling and cold-blooded despite being mammals. Now, scientists report in the journal Science that the animals are capable of surviving oxygen deprivation.

In case you ever find yourself hurtling into space, know this: When the little stuffed dog starts to float, that's when you've reached Earth's orbit.

People with a brain injury or dementia often struggle to remember simple things, like names or places. In research published Thursday in the journal Current Biology, scientists have shown it may be possible to improve this sort of memory using tiny pulses of electricity — if they're properly timed.

A typical person's ability to remember things tends to vary a lot, says Michael Kahana, who directs the computational memory lab at the University of Pennsylvania.

Nearly 1.5 million Americans were treated for addiction to prescription opioids or heroin in 2015, according to federal estimates, and when those people get seriously hurt or need surgery, it's often not clear, even to many doctors, how to safely manage their pain. For some former addicts, what begins as pain relief ends in tragedy.

Decades ago, scientists surgically attached pairs of rats to each other and noticed that old rats tended to live longer if they shared a bloodstream with young rats.

It was the beginning of a peculiar and ambitious scientific endeavor to understand how certain materials from young bodies, when transplanted into older ones, can sometimes improve or rejuvenate them.

With the approval this month of two drugs to treat hepatitis C in children, these often overlooked victims of the opioid epidemic now have a better chance at a cure. Kids may actually have an easier time than adults getting approved for the treatment, according to some health policy specialists.

Updated at 11:15 a.m. ET

A resupply rocket took off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Tuesday, and anyone with a computer, smartphone or virtual reality headset can experience it as if they were right on the launch pad.

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