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Today โ€” April 20th 2018NPR Research

Bottlenose Dolphins Spotted Off Canada's Pacific Coast For The First Time

By Merrit Kennedy
Bottlenose dolphins typically swim in warmer waters, such as this pair jumping in Honduras.

This was a bizarre sight because this kind of dolphin has never before been spotted in this northern area. They like the warmer waters farther south. About 200 were swimming in the group.

(Image credit: Mike Hill/Getty Images)

  • April 20th 2018 at 02:05
Yesterday โ€” April 19th 2018NPR Research

Gene Therapy For Inherited Blood Disorder Reduced Transfusions

By Rob Stein
Researchers used a gene-carrying virus to fix blood stem cells that were then used to treat patients with beta-thalassemia.

A small study finds promise for using gene therapy to treat patients with beta-thalassemia, a blood condition that can cause severe anemia. The experimental treatment is in early development.

(Image credit: Power and Syred/Science Photo Library/Getty Images)

  • April 18th 2018 at 23:01

Climate Change Is Killing Coral On The Great Barrier Reef

By Merrit Kennedy
There are variations in the appearance of severely bleached corals. Here, the coral displays pink fluorescing tissue signalling heat stress.

The ecosystem has collapsed for 29 percent of the 3,863 reefs in the giant coral reef system, according to new research. Scientists are learning which corals are the "winners" and "losers."

(Image credit: ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies/ Gergely Torda)

  • April 18th 2018 at 22:46
Before yesterdayNPR Research

How People Learned To Recognize Monkey Calls Reveals How We All Make Sense Of Sound

By Jon Hamilton
How do we make sense of all that chatter?

A brain imaging study of grown-ups hints at how children learn that "dog" and "fog" have different meanings, even though they sound so much alike.

(Image credit: Ilana Kohn/Getty Images)

  • April 18th 2018 at 22:04

Swarms Of Tiny Sea Creatures Are Powerful Enough To Mix Oceans, Study Finds

By Rebecca Hersher
Eddies behind an A. salina shrimp swimming

Each night, the organisms gather in a "vertical stampede" to feed at the ocean's surface. Research suggests the columns of swimming animals can create large downward jets that help churn the waters.

(Image credit: Isabel Houghton / J.R. Strickler /courtesy of Stanford / University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)

  • April 18th 2018 at 19:43

How Birds-To-Be Get Oxygen Inside Eggs

By Adam Cole
A chick embryo, sealed inside its egg, must find a way to get oxygen without its mom — and long before it has working lungs.

Unlike humans, bird embryos don't have an oxygen pipeline from their mothers. They develop inside eggs in a nest. Skunk Bear's latest video explains why these pre-hatchlings don't suffocate.

(Image credit: Adam Cole/NPR's Skunk Bear)

  • April 17th 2018 at 11:45

The Super-Hot Pepper That Sent A Man To The ER

By Richard Harris
Carolina Reapers are some of the hottest peppers in the world. So hot, in fact, that for one man, participating in a pepper-eating contestant resulted in a painful, serious "thunderclap headache."

Carolina Reapers are some of the hottest peppers in the world. So hot, in fact, that for one man, participating in a pepper-eating contestant resulted in a painful, serious "thunderclap headache."

(Image credit: Maria Dattola Photography/Getty Images)

  • April 16th 2018 at 10:56

Philadelphians Drink Less Sugary Soda, More Water, After Tax

By Allison Aubrey
Soda for sale at a supermarket in the Port Richmond neighborhood of Philadelphia. A sticker on the shelves tells customers the items are subject to the city

A new study suggests that residents of Philadelphia are 40 percent less likely to drink sweetened beverages daily compared with people in cities that don't have a soda tax in place.

(Image credit: Matt Rourke/AP)

  • April 13th 2018 at 20:06

Magnetic Fields Are A Big Predictor Of A Loggerhead Turtle's Genes

By Merrit Kennedy
Loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings are packed into containers at the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center before being taken to a U.S. Coast Guard vessel for release in Boca Raton, Fla.

You might expect turtles that live near each other or in similar environments would be genetically similar. But new research shows that magnetic fields actually have more to do with genetic likeness.

(Image credit: Wilfredo Lee/AP)

  • April 12th 2018 at 19:43

Really Random Numbers

By Joe Palca

Random numbers are essential for secure cyber communications. But making truly random numbers is harder than it seems. Now scientists have devised a way to make the most random random numbers ever.

  • April 12th 2018 at 11:19

Medical Marijuana's 'Catch-22': Limits On Research Hinder Patient Relief

By Marisa Taylor
Melodie Beckham (left), here with her daughter, Laura, had metastatic lung cancer and chose to stop taking medical marijuana after it failed to relieve her symptoms. She died a few weeks after this photo was taken.

Suffering Americans seek medical marijuana as an alternative to opioids and other powerful pharmaceuticals. Though legal in 29 states, doctors say the lack of strong data make it hard to recommend.

(Image credit: Melissa Bailey/Kaiser Health News)

  • April 7th 2018 at 13:00

Another Place Plastics Are Turning Up: Organic Fertilizer From Food Waste

By Christopher Joyce
A prep cook at a San Francisco restaurant drops fish skin into a food scrap recycling container. Turning food waste into fertilizer is popular in parts of Europe and is catching on in the U.S. But tiny plastics are also making their way into that fertilizer — and into the food chain.

Turning food waste into fertilizer is popular in parts of Europe and is catching on in the U.S. But tiny plastics are also making their way into that fertilizer — and into the food chain.

(Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

  • April 6th 2018 at 20:34

GMO Yeast Mimics Flavors Of Hops, But Will Craft Brewers Bite?

By Alastair Bland
Some beer makers are excited about the possibility of using modified yeast to flavor beer instead of hops, which require a lot of water to grow.

Some beer-brewing scientists have developed a genetically modified yeast that produces the same hoppy aromas and flavors beer drinkers like, without the hops. But some craft brewers are skeptical.

(Image credit: Mint Images/Getty Images/Mint Images RF)

  • April 4th 2018 at 14:00

When Going Gluten-Free Is Not Enough: New Tests Detect Hidden Exposure

By Jill Neimark
A tray of gluten-free pastries. For people with celiac disease, incidental ingestion of gluten can lead to painful symptoms and lasting intestinal damage. Two new studies suggest such exposure may be greater than many realize, even for those following gluten-free diets.

For people with celiac disease, incidental ingestion of gluten can lead to painful symptoms and lasting intestinal damage. Two new studies suggest such exposure may be greater than many realize.

(Image credit: JPM/Getty Images/Image Source)

  • April 3rd 2018 at 14:00

Why Is Your Boss Bad At His Job? It May Be The 'Peter Principle' At Work

By Shankar Vedantam
Not every great employee is a great manager.

Workers with a strong sales record were likely to be promoted into managerial positions, yet they tended to be worse at managerial jobs than those who were low-performing workers.

(Image credit: Camelia Dobrin/Getty Images/Ikon Images)

  • April 3rd 2018 at 11:03

The Scarcity Trap: Why We Keep Digging When We're Stuck In A Hole

By Jennifer Schmidt
Scarcity can make it difficult for us to focus on anything other than the problem right in front of us.

Have you ever noticed that when something important is missing in your life, your brain can only seem to focus on that missing thing? Two researchers have dubbed this phenomenon "scarcity."

(Image credit: Gary Waters /Getty Images/Ikon Images)

  • April 3rd 2018 at 03:00

You May Live Longer By Severely Restricting Calories, Scientists Say

By Patti Neighmond
Cutting back up to 25 percent of your calories per day helps slow your metabolism and reduce free radicals that cause cell damage and aging. But would you want to?

Scientists have long been fascinated with whether dramatically restricting the amount of food we eat can help us live longer. New research suggests it might, but the question is, is it worth it?

(Image credit: VisualField/Getty Images)

  • April 2nd 2018 at 11:00

Failure To Save A Child In Wartime Inspires Wound-Healing Tech

By Jon Hamilton
Kit Parker and his team have developed wound dressings that use incredibly thin fibers to speed healing and reduce scarring.

As a soldier, Kit Parker saw horrific injuries. As a scientist, he led an effort to create high-tech dressings that speed healing and reduce scarring.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Michael Rosnach/Harvard University)

  • April 2nd 2018 at 11:00

The Scarcity Trap: Why We Keep Digging When We're Stuck In A Hole

By Jennifer Schmidt
Scarcity can make it difficult for us to focus on anything other than the problem right in front of us.

Have you ever noticed that when something important is missing in your life, your brain can only seem to focus on that missing thing?Two researchers have dubbed this phenomenon scarcity.

(Image credit: Gary Waters /Getty Images/Ikon Images)

  • April 2nd 2018 at 03:01

Mother Bears Are Staying With Their Cubs Longer, Study Finds

By Rebecca Hersher
A female Scandinavian brown bear with her cub. Mother bears take care of their young for a year longer, likely due to hunting regulations that protect bears with cubs.

In many parts of the world, it is illegal to shoot a brown bear with cubs. The restrictions have made mother bears more likely to spend an extra year with their cubs.

(Image credit: Ilpo Kojola/Nature)

  • March 27th 2018 at 17:00
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