Science & Health

Shots - Health News
1:56 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Scientists Probe Puppy Love

A direct, friendly gaze seems to help cement the bond of affection between people and their pooches.
Dan Perez/Flickr

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 4:28 pm

It's a question that bedevils dog owners the world over: "Is she staring at me because she loves me? Or because she wants another biscuit?"

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Shots - Health News
12:05 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Men Strive To Give More To Charity When The Fundraiser Is Cute

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 4:28 pm

We donate to charities for lots of reasons: because we're generally magnanimous people, because we care deeply about certain issues or because it's the only way to get Meg to stop talking about the plight of the endangered proboscis monkey.

And for men, there may be another force at play: a subconscious desire to impress the ladies.

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NPR Story
4:06 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Students' Work Ethic Affected By Peer Groups, Desire To Be Popular

Originally published on Sat April 18, 2015 11:17 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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The Salt
2:51 am
Thu April 16, 2015

How Almonds Became A Scapegoat For California's Drought

Originally published on Sat April 18, 2015 11:17 am

You may have heard by now that it takes one gallon of water to produce just one almond. And those are considered fighting words in drought-stricken California, which produces 80 percent of the world's supply of the tasty and nutritious nut.

So when almond grower Daniel Bays hears that, he just shakes his head.

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Shots - Health News
2:49 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Tylenol Might Dull Emotional Pain, Too

Paul Taylor Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 26, 2015 11:17 pm

A common pain medication might make you go from "so cute!" to "so what?" when you look at a photo of a kitten. And it might make you less sensitive to horrifying things, too. It's acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol. Researchers say the drug might be taking the edge off emotions — not just pain.

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The Salt
6:14 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Nut So Fast, Kind Bars: FDA Smacks Snacks On Health Claims

According to the Food and Drug Administration, there were four flavors of Kind bar that were misbranded when the agency reviewed them in August 2014.
Ryan Kellman NPR

Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 3:30 pm

If you're deciding between a candy bar and a fruit-and-nut bar, and health is top of mind, the best choice seems obvious.

But when it comes to companies actually labeling their products "healthy," the Food and Drug Administration is showing it won't pull any punches. In a letter dated March 17 that was released this week, the agency called out the snack food company Kind for violating labeling rules by putting the word "healthy" on the packaging for some of its bars.

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The Two-Way
4:08 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

New Discovery Of World's Oldest Stone Tools

This undated image provided by the journal, Nature, shows an archaeological site, near Lake Turkana in Kenya.
Rhonda L. Quinn/Nature AP

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 9:35 am

Scientists working in East Africa say they've unearthed the oldest stone tools ever found. They were apparently made 500,000 years before the human lineage evolved.

A team led by Sonia Harmand from Stony Brook University in New York found the tools in Kenya, near Lake Turkana. It's an area that's yielded numerous fossils and tools from early humans.

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Shots - Health News
4:04 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Why Knuckles Crack

NPR intern Poncie Rutsch takes a crack at making a big sound.
Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 8:39 pm

Scientists think they may have solved an old question about the cracking of knuckles: Why does it make that sound?

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Shots - Health News
2:21 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Personalizing Cancer Treatment With Genetic Tests Can Be Tricky

Sequencing the genes of a cancer cell turns up lots of genetic mutations — but some of them are harmless. The goal is to figure out which mutations are the troublemakers.
Kevin Curtis Science Source

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 5:52 pm

It's becoming routine for cancer doctors to order a detailed genetic test of a patient's tumor to help guide treatment, but often those results are ambiguous. Researchers writing in Science Translational Medicine Wednesday say there's a way to make these expensive tests more useful.

Here's the issue: These genomic tests scan hundreds or even thousands of genes looking for mutations that cause or promote cancer growth. In the process, they uncover many mutations that scientists simply don't know how to interpret — some may be harmless.

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The Two-Way
12:28 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

U.S. Predicted To Be Net Energy Exporter In Next Decade; First Time Since 1950s

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 5:13 pm

The U.S. will reach a new balance in energy trade "sometime between 2020 and 2030," says the Energy Information Administration, which predicts the U.S. could become a net energy exporter in the near future.

The federal agency's prediction cites a rise in domestic natural gas production and changes in energy demands. If it happens, the shift would end a streak of more than 50 years in which the U.S. has been a net importer of energy.

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Shots - Health News
11:21 am
Wed April 15, 2015

Some Doctors Still Dismiss Parents' Concerns About Autism

Some doctors aren't up to date on how to assess autism symptoms in very young children.
iStockphoto

Most children with autism get diagnosed around age 5, when they start school. But signs of the developmental disorder may be seen as early as 1 year old.

Yet even if a parent notices problems making eye contact or other early signs of autism, some doctors still dismiss those concerns, a study finds, saying the child will "grow out of it." That can delay diagnosis and a child's access to therapy.

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Science
4:20 am
Wed April 15, 2015

Fun With Physics: Finding The Speed Of Light With Peeps

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 11:31 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Salt
2:42 am
Wed April 15, 2015

The Space Station Gets A Coffee Bar

ESA/NASA

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 1:14 pm

In space, all they have is instant.

"For an instant coffee, it's an excellent instant coffee," says Vickie Kloeris, who manages the space station's food supply for NASA. Astronauts are allotted up to three freeze-dried cups (pouches, actually) a day, and Kloeris says it's "extremely popular."

But, she adds, "Can it compete with brewed espresso? No."

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Shots - Health News
2:45 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

No Rest For Your Sleeping Brain

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 3:28 pm

There's new evidence that the brain's activity during sleep isn't random. And the findings could help explain why the brain consumes so much energy even when it appears to be resting.

"There is something that's going on in a very structured manner during rest and during sleep," says Stanford neurologist Dr. Josef Parvizi, "and that will, of course, require energy consumption."

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NPR Ed
11:00 am
Tue April 14, 2015

If Walls Could Talk: What Lead Is Doing To Our Students

Peeling lead paint in a New York City apartment. Many buildings built before 1960 still have high amounts of lead.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 1:04 pm

Every child's ability to succeed in school is influenced by lots of external factors: teacher quality, parenting, poverty, geography, to name a few. But far less attention has been paid to the power of a child's bedroom walls. Or, rather, the paint that's on them and the lead that may be in that paint.

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