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Science at NPR

Saturday, Oct 20

15

A Climate Scientist On 'Slaying The Climate Dragon'

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Kate Marvel, a climate scientist at Columbia University and NASA, talks to NPR's Scott Simon about her fairy tale on climate change and reads passages from the story.

Transferring An Organ From An HIV-Positive Donor

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Surgeons in South Africa transplanted part of a liver from an HIV-positive mother to her uninfected daughter — a medical first. Scott Simon talks to Dr. Harriet Etheredge, a medical bioethicist.

Friday, Oct 19

21

A Slow Trip To A Hot Planet: Spacecraft Launches For Mission To Mercury

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The European Space Agency's BepiColombo will take seven years to reach the innermost planet in our solar system, where temperatures at the surface can reach 800 degrees Fahrenheit.

Thursday, Oct 18

20

Scientists Learn To Hear The 'Songs' Of Ice Shelves

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Scientists have found a new way to analyze the structural integrity of ice shelves at the end of the world, through the songs the winds sing on top of them.

17

Grandma Was Right: Sunshine Helps Kill Germs Indoors

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All kinds of bacteria live with us indoors, and some can make us sick. A new study shows that rooms exposed to light had about half the live bacteria found in rooms that were kept in darkness.

15

Bye-Bye, Beer? Brewers Say They've Got A Plan On Climate Change

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A scientific paper published this week predicts climate change will send beer prices skyrocketing and drastically reduce the barley crop. It got tons of media attention. But is beer really doomed?

13

What Do You Get A Nobel Prize Winner? It's Hard To Find A Perfect Gift

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The University of Missouri was deciding how to honor George Smith, who shared the 2018 Nobel in chemistry. Some schools designate parking spots but Smith bikes. He now has his own spot in a bike rack.

12

Geological Teams Try To Determine The Future Of Storm-Affected Communities

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Researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey are on the ground in Florida looking for the high water marks of Hurricane Michael. FEMA uses these maps to determine who is eligible for what kind of aid.

EPA Boasts Of Reduced Greenhouse Gases, Even As Trump Questions Climate Science

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U.S. production of heat-trapping greenhouse gases fell 2.7 percent last year. But larger cuts will be needed to address climate change.

Wednesday, Oct 17

23

Not Just For Cows Anymore: New Cottonseed Is Safe For People To Eat

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Cottonseed is full of protein but toxic to humans and most animals. The USDA has approved a genetically engineered cotton with edible seeds. They could eventually feed chickens, fish — or even people.

20

Geologists Question 'Evidence Of Ancient Life' In 3.7 Billion-Year-Old Rocks

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A new analysis of what were initially thought to be microbial fossils in Greenland suggests they might instead just be mineral structures created when ancient tectonic forces squeezed stone.

18

Distrust Of Health Care System May Keep Black Men Away From Prostate Cancer Research

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Black men are hit hardest by prostate cancer, but they are underrepresented in research. Researchers held focus groups in three states to understand why.

12

Survey Finds Widespread 'Moral Distress' Among Veterinarians

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Most of the 800 veterinarians surveyed feel ethical qualms when pet owners ask them to euthanize animals that could be treated, or when owners ask to keep pets alive who will suffer needlessly.

Tuesday, Oct 16

22

Excavation Of Lithuania's Great Synagogue Highlights A 'Painful Page' From History

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The synagogue is "very important," says an archaeologist, "not only for Jews but all people living in Lithuania." Just 3,000 Jews are left in the capital, compared to some 70,000 before World War II.

After Paul Allen Co-Founded Microsoft, He Changed Brain Science Forever

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In 2003, Paul Allen created an institute to figure out how the human brain works. That institute has already made contributions that may turn out to be part of his greatest legacy.

19

Beer Prices Could Double Because Of Climate Change, Study Says

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The price of a six-pack in the U.S. could rise by $1 to $8 because of drought and heat. As one of the researchers says, it's "another way climate change will suck."

17

'Brief Answers To The Big Questions' Is Stephen Hawking's Parting Gift To Humanity

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The physicist's posthumous book highlights his belief in the rationality of nature and on our ability to uncover its secrets — and a faith in science's ability to solve humanity's biggest problems.

15

Coffee Rust Threatens Latin American Crop; 150 Years Ago, It Wiped Out An Empire

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The fungus, which has no cure, is destroying harvests in Latin America. In the 1800s, it devastated Sri Lanka's powerhouse coffee industry. And scientists say it's only a question of time.

12

After Journalist Disappears, Companies Reconsider Saudi Investment

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U.S. executives are pulling out of an investment conference scheduled to take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, next week — as controversy swirls around the disappearance of a missing Saudi journalist.

2 Towns: Guess Which 1 Is Liberal And Which Is Conservative

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If being liberal and conservative is about political views, how come the labels describe other things? A social scientist says some part of people's leanings come from an unlikely source: their DNA.

11

Getting Back What You Lost — Rebuilding In A Wildfire Zone

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In northern California, homes are being rebuilt in the same area that burned to the ground in last year's Tubbs Fire. Despite the risk, a severe housing shortage in the area is forcing tough choices.

Monday, Oct 15

23

Critic Of Federal Public Lands Management To Join Department Of The Interior

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The Department of the Interior has chosen a prominent property rights attorney in Wyoming as their new deputy solicitor. Its a controversial appointment for environmental groups.

If Your Medical Information Becomes A Moneymaker, Could You Get A Cut?

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Sometimes discoveries derived from patients' medical data become the foundation of new profit-making companies. A fledgling industry wants to help patients get a cut of the cash.

Colorado's Anti-Fracking Measure Would Keep Wells Farther Away From Homes And Schools

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A ballot measure would keep new oil and gas wells 2,500 feet away from homes and schools, the strictest setback in the nation. The oil and gas industry says that threatens its very existence.

Sunday, Oct 14

16

Old-Growth Forests May Help Songbirds Cope With Warming Climate

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Songbirds have been in decline for decades, and it's becoming clear that climate change is a factor. Scientists are finding that old-growth forests may help the birds cope with rising temperatures.

15

Last Year, The Flu Put Him In A Coma. This Year He's Getting The Shot

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When 39-year-old Charlie Hinderliter got the flu last winter, he ended up in a medically induced coma and spent 58 days hospitalized. Serious, even fatal, complications can hit patients of any age.

'Sperm Donor' Families: 45 Children And Counting

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NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro speaks with Kianni Arroyo, whose biological father is donor #2757 and a popular choice in the sperm bank world. Arroyo is looking to connect with all of her half siblings.

'The Ravenmaster' Is Definitely (There) For The Birds

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Legend says that if the ravens ever leave the Tower of London, England will fall. Luckily, ravenmaster Chris Skaife is there to care for them, and he's got a new book about these extraordinary birds.

When In Drought: States Take On Urgent Negotiations To Avoid Colorado River Crisis

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After years of sustained drought, water managers along the Colorado River system are renegotiating water cutbacks to seven Western states, hoping to avoid more drastic shortages in the future.

Saturday, Oct 13

16

Good News For 'Green' Brews: Consumers Say They'll Pay More For Sustainable Beer

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More than 1,000 U.S. beer drinkers surveyed say they would pay about $1.30 more for a six-pack of beer if it was produced at a brewery that invests in water conservation or solar power.