Science & Health

All sciences, health & medical news

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Women who have high-risk pregnancies or complications in childbirth are up to eight times more likely to have heart disease later in life, statistics suggest. But many mothers — and their doctors — are unaware of the danger.

Emerging research shows heart disease is a long-term threat for women who develop diabetes or high blood pressure during pregnancy, for example. Also at higher risk: mothers whose babies were born too small or too soon.

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OK, to some dad news now and new research about parenting toddlers. A study published in the journal Behavioral Neuroscience suggests that fathers' brains respond differently to their daughters than to their sons. NPR's Patti Neighmond reports.

Scientists are about to get an up-close and personal look at the planet Jupiter's most famous landmark, the Great Red Spot.

NASA's Juno spacecraft will be directly over the spot shortly after 10 p.m. ET Monday, July 10, about 5,600 miles above the gas giant's cloud tops. That's closer than any spacecraft has been before.

The spot is actually a giant storm that has been blowing on Jupiter for centuries. It's huge, larger than Earth in diameter.

The Call-In: Physician-Assisted Dying

Jul 9, 2017

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Young Black Girls Face 'Adultification'

Jul 9, 2017

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Thirty miles off the shore of Port Douglas, Australia, tourists jump into the water of the outer reef. On their dive, they see giant clams, sea turtles and a rainbow of tropical fish, all swimming above brightly colored coral.

On a boat, marine biologist Lorna Howlett quizzes the tourists in the sunshine. "How many people out there saw a coral highlighter-yellow?" she asks, eliciting a show of hands. "What about highlighter-blue? Yeah? Anyone see some hot pinks?"

The G20 Summit ended in Hamburg with affirmation to pursue the Paris climate accord by leaders of the world's strongest economies, minus President Trump.

"The leaders of the other G20 members state that the Paris Agreement is irreversible," reads a declaration adopted on the final day of meetings Saturday, by a group that includes Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China, and which some are now calling the "G19," at least when it comes to the question of climate change.

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There's a fight brewing over who can fish for red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico, and for how long. And it's serious politics.

Recreational anglers pushed the Trump administration to intervene after the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration set the shortest recreational snapper season on record – just three days in June. The result was a deal between the Commerce Department and Gulf states to extend the season.

Updated at 5:39 pm ET July 7: Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, an obstetrician-gynecologist who has served as the top health official in Georgia for the past six years, has been appointed director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday.

Victoria LaBarre was climbing out of a canyon and into a bright, vast, seemingly lifeless landscape when she started to experience an astronaut's nightmare.

"Suddenly," she said, "I couldn't breathe."

An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.8 startled many people out of their sleep in western Montana early Thursday. The shallow quake was felt for hundreds of miles from its epicenter southeast of Lincoln, including in parts of neighboring states and in Canada.

"We have no reports of injuries due to the earthquake at this time," member station Montana Public Radio reports. "Shockwaves are still being felt with decreasing intensity in parts of western Montana."

When Kelly Barrales-Saylor was a new mom, she got a lot of children's books as gifts. Most were simple books about shapes, colors and letters. There were none about science — or math.

"My editorial brain lit up and said there must be a need for this," says Barrales-Saylor, who works as an editor for a publishing company outside Chicago.

Halfway across the world, Chris Ferrie was similarly unsatisfied.

When reading to his kids, Ferrie noticed that most books used animals to introduce new words. In today's world, that just didn't make sense to him.

Two weeks ago, in a remarkable move, the State Plant Board of Arkansas voted to ban the sale and use of a weedkiller called dicamba. It took that action after a wave of complaints about dicamba drifting into neighboring fields and damaging other crops, especially soybeans.

That ban is still waiting to go into force. It requires approval from a committee of the state legislature, which will meet on Friday.

If you're one of those rare individuals defined as a "top performer" in your field, you might do well to watch your back. That's according to new research highlighted in Scientific American.

Coworkers of top performers – think Bill Gates or LeBron James, researchers say – pay a "social penalty" for their excellence. Colleagues are more likely to try to damage the reputations of stars and otherwise undermine their efforts.

For nearly five centuries, Huey Tzompantli, a tower of skulls from the victims of Aztec ritual sacrifice, has remained little more than an intriguing rumor.

But a dig by archeologists in Mexico that began two years ago appears to have unearthed the site of the legendary remains — at least 650 skulls — that was first described in 1521 in an account by Andres de Tapia, a Spanish soldier who accompanied the conquistador Hernan Cortes.

An appeals court in Washington, D.C., has blocked an attempt by the Environmental Protection Agency to delay Obama-era methane regulations, rejecting claims by the EPA that the oil and gas industry wasn't allowed to comment on the rules.

The agency could choose to rewrite the rules, but it overstepped in trying to delay them for years, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit decided.

Science relies on the careful collection and analysis of facts. Science also benefits from human judgment, but that intuition isn't necessarily reliable. A study finds that scientists did a poor job forecasting whether a successful experiment would work on a second try.

That matters, because scientists can waste a lot of time if they read the results from another lab and eagerly chase after bum leads.

Residents in a suburb of Siberia's capital, Novosibirsk, like to say the world's smartest street runs through their leafy community.

The broad avenue that cuts through the taiga, or Siberian woodland, is named after Mikhail Lavrentyev, a mathematician who established the Soviet Union's version of Silicon Valley here during the Cold War.

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You've heard the stereotypes - firstborn children are spoiled, middle kids get ignored, and the youngest kids act out because they crave attention. Well, new research shows that birth order really does matter.

Natural disasters in the United States may cause an increase in poverty and a widening economic gap between rich and poor, according to a new study published in Scientific American.

The magazine looks at events in the United States from 1920 to 2010 and finds that major natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods and hurricanes resulted on average in a 1-percentage-point increase in poverty in affected areas.

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Twenty years ago Tuesday, a plucky little probe named Pathfinder landed at Ares Vallis on the surface of Mars.

It didn't land in the traditional way, with retrorockets firing until it reached the surface. No, Pathfinder bounced down to its landing site, cushioned by giant air bags. It was a novel approach, and the successful maneuver paved the way for a similar system used by the twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity in 2003.

The asteroid that hit Earth 66 million years ago spelled disaster for the dinosaurs.

But scientists say they've found one silver lining to the mass extinction — turns out, it was really good for frogs.

The resilient animals date back some 200 million years. And in the aftermath of the extinction event, they survived and thrived, taking advantage of an ecological vacuum other animals left behind.

The world's best-known living physicist, Stephen Hawking, says that President Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris climate change accord could lead humanity to a tipping point, "turning the Earth into Venus."

The Cambridge professor and renowned cosmologist made the remarks in an interview with the BBC that aired Sunday.

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