Science & Health

All sciences, health & medical news

Cambodia needs energy. Almost half of this Southeast Asian country is without electricity. Work will soon be completed on the country's largest hydropower project to date, the Sesan 2 dam, on the Sesan River, a tributary of the Mekong River near the border with Laos.

The dam is an $800 million joint Chinese-Cambodian venture from a company called Hydro Power Lower Sesan 2 Co. Ltd. When it's finished, two nearby villages, Srekor and Kbal Romeas, will be underwater.

David Thomas and I met when we were about 5 years old. We celebrated his 26th birthday last weekend, marking roughly two decades of friendship. Once, while walking down the street, a man looked at us and said, "Ain't it Harold and Kumar!" He was almost certainly making light of our race, but perhaps he also saw how comfortable we were with each other. The comparison fits in more ways than one since David is my oldest and closest friend.

Dan Fabbio was 25 and working on a master's degree in music education when he stopped being able to hear music in stereo. Music no longer felt the same to him.

An Aug. 14, 1932, headline in the The New York Times read: "Eclipse to be best until August 21, 2017."

Sometimes scientists get it so right.

But not always. Sometimes science goes wrong, and with terrible consequences.

This is the topic of Paul A. Offit's very important book Pandora's Lab: Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong, just published in April.

Consider this tale detailed in the book:

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Hardwired.

About Moshe Szyf's TED Talk

Many think genetic makeup is fixed from the moment we're born. But Moshe Szyf says this understanding is incomplete because our experiences and environment have the power to change our basic biology.

About Moshe Szyf

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Hardwired.

About Nadine Burke Harris's TED Talk

Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris found an unsettling trend when examining patients at her clinic: trauma. She found that adversity can change a child's biology and result in severe health outcomes.

About Nadine Burke Harris

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Hardwired.

About Robert Sapolsky's TED Talk

Neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky says nearly all aspects of human behavior are explained by biology: from developments millions of years in the past to microscopic reactions happening in the present.

About Robert Sapolsky

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Hardwired.

About Brian Little's TED Talk

Are you introverted or extroverted? It depends. When it comes to personality, psychologist Brian Little says we can actually act against our biology — especially if we pursue a "core life project."

About Brian Little

After A Suicide, Sibling Survivors Are Often Overlooked

Aug 25, 2017

When Taylor Porco's brother, Jordan, died by suicide during his freshman year of college in February 2011, people told her to be strong for her parents, who were incapacitated by their grief. Hardly anyone seemed to notice that Porco, only 14 at the time, was suffering and suicidal.

"I was really depressed and in such extreme pain. Nothing, literally, mattered to me after he died. All I wanted was my brother back. I never loved someone as much as I loved him," she says.

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Twenty-five years ago today, we were monitoring one of the strongest hurricanes to ever make landfall in the U.S.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

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It's not just what you say that matters. It's how you say it.

Take the phrase, "Here's Johnny." When Ed McMahon used it to introduce Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show, the words were an enthusiastic greeting. But in The Shining, Jack Nicholson used the same two words to convey murderous intent.

Instead of enforcing limits on fishing, wildlife officials in Washington state are doing just the opposite – they're asking the public to catch as many fish as they can, regardless of size. Atlantic salmon, that is.

This has been quite a space week for Americans.

After Monday's stunning solar eclipse, Wednesday night PBS will air its two-hour documentary film about the two Voyager missions, launched 40 years ago. The Farthest: Voyager In Space, celebrates a technological and intellectual achievement rarely matched in history. Two small, nuclear-powered spacecraft have traveled farther than any other man-made machine and have forever changed our views of the solar system — and our place in it.

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OK. It's August, so here's a safe bet.

GREG SPOTTS: Well, I suspect that if you live on an asphalt street in Oklahoma, in the summer afternoon, it's pretty darn hot on your street.

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The developer behind the Dakota Access Pipeline, which for months drew thousands of protesters, has sued Greenpeace and several other environmental groups for their role in delaying the pipeline's construction.

The push for renewable energy in the U.S. often focuses on well-established sources of electricity: solar, wind and hydropower. Off the coast of California, a team of researchers is working on what they hope will become an energy source of the future — macroalgae, otherwise known as kelp.

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California's record drought is officially over. But all over the states, trees are still dying. They've been badly weakened by years without water. From member station KPCC, Emily Guerin has a story of a community living in a dead forest.

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With guest host Stephen Henderson.

Our decisions about what to eat are driven by much more than hunger. Social trends, agricultural science and multimillion-dollar industries can make certain vegetables hip or carbs passé, while concerns for overall health sit on the sidelines.

Editor's note Aug. 23: This page has been updated to correct and clarify some things reported about AdhereTech. Scroll down to the "corrections" box at the bottom of this page for details about what has been changed.

What if I told you there was a way to use technology to save an estimated $100 billion to $300 billion dollars a year in health care spending in the U.S.? That's the estimated cost incurred because people don't take the medications they're prescribed.

The horror of recent events was a wake-up call for many Americans about the rise of American groups dedicated to the tenets of fascism.

To get a sense of how severe the opioid crisis is in the U.S., you can look at the number of fatal overdoses — more than 33,000 in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That means, on average, 91 people are dying after overdosing on opioids each day. And for every fatal overdose, there are believed to be roughly 30 nonfatal overdoses.

Less than an hour after the Great American Eclipse completed its coast-to-coast show on Monday, people's fascination with the sun and the moon quickly turned to concern about their eyes.

We're hoping all you Shots readers heeded our words of caution and wore eclipse glasses or enjoyed the show indirectly.

Eclipses are among the most predictable events on the planet. This one was known about for many decades before it crossed the U.S. earlier Monday.

Accordingly, people had been planning eclipse road trips for weeks in advance. They piled into planes and cars and made their way to the 70-mile-wide swath of land where the total eclipse would be visible. They checked online calculators, which told them the time of totality down to the second.

The Environmental Defense Fund opened an office near Walmart's headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., 10 years ago. It was part of a carefully plotted strategy to persuade the giant retailer that going green could be good for business. If it worked, it certainly could be good for the planet — Walmart's revenues are bigger than the entire economy of most countries.

"We really saw that working with companies could be transformative at a scale that was pretty unmatched," says Suzy Friedman, a senior director at EDF.

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And now another moment from today's total eclipse of the sun. Here are Carlyn (ph), Steven (ph) and 3-year-old Grace Meyer (ph) in Russellville, Ky.

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KEVIN BUNCH: Hello, this is Kevin Bunch (ph). I was in Lebanon, Tenn., for the eclipse, came down here to get married.

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NPR listeners are sharing their stories of the eclipse today.

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And now another moment from the eclipse.

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