Science & Health

All sciences, health & medical news

In the time of smartphones, checking a horoscope might seem as quaint as making a call. But technology has a new generation looking to the sky charts.

Mercury retrograde trends on Twitter. YouTubers analyze the stars. And hip publications keep astrologers on contract.

Much of the U.S. remains firmly in the grip of winter, even as the sports-enthused world prepares to cheer on athletes in snow-and-ice-centered events at the Winter Olympics.

Stop Crying! Tear-Free Onions Are Here

Feb 8, 2018

Using onions to explain away crying is a familiar gag. On The Brady Bunch, housekeeper Alice answers the phone and cries as the caller tells her a sad story. After hanging up she says, "Darn onions," holding up the offending allium. And Rowlf the Dog sang on The Muppet Show, "I never harmed an onion. So why should they make me cry?"

More than a dozen states oppose the Trump administration's proposal to open up nearly the entire U.S. coastline to offshore oil leasing. Federal officials will get public feedback on the plan in Sacramento on Thursday. The Interior Department says it takes local concerns into account — as happened in a recent controversial move with Florida — but states have no direct say, since the leasing would take place in federally controlled waters.

As complicated as it as to launch and operate a telescope in space, it's almost as complex to move a space telescope around here on Earth.

On Tuesday, Elon Musk's SpaceX successfully launched its most ambitious rocket to date, the Falcon Heavy.

This is a transformative spacecraft, a behemoth that essentially straps three Falcon 9 rocket cores together. At 224-feet tall, it's smaller than NASA's giant Saturn V (363 feet) — but it is the largest privately built spacecraft to date. The Falcon Heavy is capable of lifting 70 tons of payload to low-Earth orbit and almost 30 tons to a geostationary transfer orbit.

Linguists working in the Malay Peninsula have identified a language, now called Jedek, that had not previously been recognized outside of the small group of people who speak it.

The newly documented language is spoken by some 280 people, part of a community that once foraged along the Pergau River. The Jedek speakers now live in resettlement area in northern Malaysia.

A Japanese farm introduced a new crop this winter: an organic banana with a peel that's thin enough to eat. In a nod to this appealing outer covering, Setsuzo Tanaka, the banana's inventor, has named his creation the Mongee ("mon-gay") banana — which means "incredible banana" in Japanese.

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On the 40th floor of a new Denver skyscraper, overseeing workers in hard hats and orange vests, construction manager Michael Bjes touts some of the measures that will make this building energy efficient: Energy Star appliances, LED lights, "water efficient toilet fixtures throughout the entire building."

A study published Monday by Human Rights Watch finds that about 179,000 nursing home residents are being given antipsychotic drugs, even though they don't have schizophrenia or other serious mental illnesses that those drugs are designed to treat.

Researchers have found a link between today's eight-legged spiders and an ancient group of arachnids that also possessed tails, according to two studies published in the latest issue of Nature Ecology & Evolution.

About 100,000 Americans have sickle cell disease (formerly known as sickle cell anemia). Most of them are black. And many of them have faced challenges from the health care industry in getting their condition addressed.

Abigail Marsh is an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at Georgetown University and author of the book The Fear Factor: How One Emotion Connects Altruists, Psychopaths, and Everyone In-Between. You can follow her on Twitter: @aa_marsh.


Individualism is that rugged frontier quality that reflects a mix of independence, valuing free expression, and eschewing close family ties relative to more distant relationships.

An outbreak of Legionnaires' disease that killed 12 people and sickened at least 87 in Flint, Mich., in 2014 and 2015 was caused by low chlorine levels in the municipal water system, scientists have confirmed. It's the most detailed evidence yet linking the bacterial disease to the city's broader water crisis.

The world of artificial intelligence has exploded in recent years. Computers armed with AI do everything from drive cars to pick movies you'll probably like. Some have warned we're putting too much trust in computers that appear to do wondrous things.

But what exactly do people mean when they talk about artificial intelligence?

A rocket more powerful than any other flying today is scheduled to blast off Tuesday for the first time, if all goes well.

To age well, we must eat well. There has been a lot of evidence that heart-healthy diets help protect the brain.

The latest good news: A study recently published in Neurology finds that healthy seniors who had daily helpings of leafy green vegetables — such as spinach, kale and collard greens — had a slower rate of cognitive decline, compared to those who tended to eat little or no greens.

The Trump administration has reversed a key policy for protecting migrating birds. Officials say a century-old federal law is outdated and poses a burden for utilities and energy companies.

Editor's note: An unedited Web version of this story that had been inadvertently published has been removed.

Three and a half hours east of Los Angeles lies the Salton Sea, a manmade oasis in the heart of the Mojave Desert. It was created in 1905, when a canal broke and the Colorado River flooded the desert for more than a year. The Sea became a tourist hotspot in the 1950's, perfect for swimming, boating, and kayaking. But now, people are coming here looking for something else.

Health care in the U.S. Virgin Islands remains in a critical state, five months after Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria pummeled the region.

The only hospital on St. Thomas, the Schneider Regional Medical Center, serves some 55,000 residents between the islands of St. Thomas and St. John. Schneider's facilities suffered major structural damage, forcing a decrease in its range of services, mass transfers of its patients, staff departures and significant losses in revenue. Only about one-third of the beds are currently available for patient care.

Updated 8:38 a.m. ET

A White House official confirms with NPR that Kathleen Hartnett White's controversial nomination to head the Council on Environmental Quality is being withdrawn.

Humans have wanted to go to Mars for a long time. NASA says it wants to send people there by the 2030s, while private companies like SpaceX have proposed building colonies on the Red Planet.

There are, of course, a lot of kinks that have to be worked out for us to get there. One of them is living in an enclosed space with a few other people for months on end.

Humans have suffered from migraines for millennia. Yet, despite decades of research, there isn't a drug on the market today that prevents them by targeting the underlying cause. All of that could change in a few months when the Food and Drug Administration is expected to announce its decision about new therapies that have the potential to turn migraine treatment on its head.

The president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, Wayne Pacelle, has resigned effective immediately, the nonprofit group announced Friday.

Here's a reminder that while you are out in the world buying groceries, picking up dry cleaning or catching up on The Crown, NASA's Mars rover Curiosity is on the red planet doing work.

By raining down laser pulses on some 770 square miles of dense forest in northern Guatemala, archaeologists have discovered 60,000 Maya structures that make up full sprawling cities.

And the new technology provides them with an unprecedented view into how the ancient civilization worked, revealing almost industrial agricultural infrastructure and new insights into Maya warfare.

On a blustery winter day, Dr. Don Milton and his undergraduate research assistants, Louie Gold and Amara Fox, are recruiting students for his new study on how the flu — and other viruses — spread.

As incentives, they have vouchers for the school convenience store and free hot chocolate.

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