Science & Health

Michel Martin, Going There
4:01 am
Tue July 14, 2015

From Fishing With Mom To Becoming A Top Fisheries Official

Mamie Parker, a fish and wildlife biologist with a doctorate in ecology, remembers a janitor at work once telling her: "No African-American woman has been in here except to clean this office."
Emily Bogle NPR

Originally published on Fri July 17, 2015 8:47 am

Mamie Parker, a former assistant director of fisheries and habitat conservation at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, was the first African-American to head a regional office for that agency. But when she started out in the field, she says, she "did not see anyone that looked like me doing this type of work."

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All Tech Considered
2:49 pm
Mon July 13, 2015

#RaceOnTech: How An Early Love Of Math Led Her To The Role Of CEO

Dr. Lisa Dyson is the CEO of Kiverdi, a next-generation sustainable oil company that converts CO2 and waste carbon gases into oils using biotechnology.
Maurice Dean Courtesy of Lisa Dyson

Originally published on Fri July 17, 2015 9:03 am

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The Two-Way
1:48 pm
Mon July 13, 2015

Planet Or Not, Icy Pluto To Finally Get Its Day In The Sun

Technicians prepped the New Horizons spacecraft on Nov. 4, 2005, at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Fired into space in 2006, the probe is scheduled to finally get close to Pluto on Tuesday.
John Raoux AP

Originally published on Mon July 13, 2015 7:30 pm

Alice Bowman oversees daily operations for NASA's mission to Pluto. Her language is peppered with technical terms — like "astronomical units" and "aim points."

But there's one piece of scientific nomenclature you won't hear coming from Bowman's lips: dwarf planet.

"Pluto is a planet," she says. "And that's the way I will always think of it."

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Shots - Health News
4:24 am
Mon July 13, 2015

Should More Women Give Birth Outside The Hospital?

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Mon July 13, 2015 11:48 am

A recent recommendation from doctors in the United Kingdom raised eyebrows in the United States: The British National Health Service says healthy women with straightforward pregnancies are better off staying out of the hospital to deliver their babies.

That's heresy, obstetrician Dr. Neel Shah first thought. In the United States, 99 percent of babies are born in hospitals.

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Research News
4:24 am
Mon July 13, 2015

Now You See It, Some Day You Won't: Scientists Get Closer To Invisibility

Originally published on Wed July 15, 2015 10:21 pm

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

I'm Renee Montagne and - David - David, are you there?

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
7:11 am
Sat July 11, 2015

Trying To Remember Multiple Things May Be The Best Way To Forget Them

Leigh Wells Ikon Images/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 13, 2015 1:35 pm

Our days are full of things to remember, and they don't always arrive in an orderly fashion. Perhaps you begin your commute home and remember that you need to pick up milk. But then immediately, another to-do springs to mind: You never called back your friend last week. You may try to hold both in your head, but in the end the milk, the phone call or both still sometimes fall away, forgotten.

A new scientific model of forgetting is taking shape, which suggests keeping multiple memories or tasks in mind simultaneously can actually erode them.

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Animals
6:45 am
Sat July 11, 2015

For This Tarantula-Killing Wasp, Dinner's A Meal Best Served Living

Meal time for one species probably means sleepless nights for others.
Debbie Hall Flickr

Originally published on Sat July 11, 2015 9:38 am

It's been wet in Texas this year — exceptionally wet, as a matter of fact. With record amounts of rain, Texas is more than a little hot, green and rife with happy insects.

Take the tarantula hawk, for example. In case you've never heard of it, it's a wasp that's so big, and so nasty, that it attacks tarantulas — who happen to be quite big and nasty themselves.

So, what does a happy tarantula hawk look like? Ben Hutchins, an invertebrate biologist with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, takes NPR's Wade Goodwyn through all the gruesome wasp-on-tarantula details.

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Music
6:45 am
Sat July 11, 2015

Classical Composers' Feathered Influences

Originally published on Sat July 11, 2015 9:38 am

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

Transcript

WADE GOODWYN, HOST:

Time now for some "Talkin' Birds."

(SOUNDBITE OF RADIO SHOW, "TALKIN' BIRDS")

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: It's a bird show. I like that. I love birds.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Ray Brown's Talkin' Birds.

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Goats and Soda
6:01 pm
Fri July 10, 2015

Cholera Vaccine Protects Whole Community, Even Unvaccinated

A family receives treatment for cholera at a clinic run by Doctors Without Borders in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in October 2011, a year after the overwhelming outbreak began.
Ramon Espinosa AP

It's about the size of an "energy shot." You take it just like a shot of whiskey — bottoms up.

But this little ounce-and-a-half of liquid is more potent than caffeine or alcohol.

It's a cheap, oral vaccine against cholera. It could prevent deadly outbreaks, like the current one in Haiti that has killed nearly 10,000 people.

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The Salt
4:48 pm
Thu July 9, 2015

Buzz Kill For Bumblebees: Climate Change Is Shrinking Their Range

A bumblebee collects pollen from a flower. New evidence suggests climate change has left bumblebees with a shrinking range of places to live.
Yuri Kadobnovy AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 10, 2015 1:54 pm

There's new evidence that wild bees, some of nature's most industrious pollinators of wildflowers and crops, are getting squeezed by our planet's changing climate.

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Science
4:11 pm
Thu July 9, 2015

Study Finds Most Ants In A Colony Are Slackers

Originally published on Thu July 9, 2015 5:26 pm

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

Pop Culture
3:31 pm
Thu July 9, 2015

Tom Selleck Accused Of Stealing Water For California Ranch

Originally published on Fri July 10, 2015 2:03 pm

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

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Now we bring you the story of an investigation. Cue the "Magnum, P.I." music...

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MAGNUM, P.I. THEME")

MCEVERS: ...Because yes, this involves the famously mustachioed star of the '80s series, Tom Selleck.

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Goats and Soda
3:23 pm
Thu July 9, 2015

From Pygmy Hunting Songs To Taylor Swift, What Makes Music Universal

Even if you don't speak their language, you can likely communicate with these musicians through song and dance: Men from Papua New Guinea; Wiz Khalifa at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards; and Japanese dancers at the Daihanya Festival in Kagoshima City.
Ness Kerton/AFP/Getty Images; Ethan Miller/AFP/Getty Images; iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu July 30, 2015 1:29 pm

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Science
3:48 pm
Wed July 8, 2015

Scientists Discover One Of The Oldest Horned Dinosaurs

Life reconstruction of Wendiceratops pinhorn.
Danielle Dufault/PLOS ONE

Originally published on Wed July 8, 2015 5:34 pm

Scientists have found a "new" horned dinosaur that lived about 79 million years ago — and they say the discovery helps them understand the early evolution of the family that includes Triceratops.

The new dinosaur, which was named Wendiceratops pinhornensis after a famous fossil hunter who discovered the bone bed in Canada where these fossils were buried, is one of the oldest known horned dinosaurs.

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Shots - Health News
1:09 pm
Wed July 8, 2015

Genetic Tweaks Are Restoring Hearing In Animals, Raising Hopes For People

Originally published on Fri July 10, 2015 7:02 am

Researchers have taken another step toward reversing deafness using gene therapy.

The latest success involves mice with an inherited form of deafness, a team reports Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine. And a similar approach is already being tried in people with hearing loss caused by damage to cells in the inner ear.

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