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Yesterday โ€” March 22nd 2019NPR Science

What Makes People Heed A Weather Warning โ€” Or Not?

By Rebecca Ellis
Artwork by Christina Chung.

One social scientist says it's how people interpret these warnings that matters and that "we need to get out there and do a better job of understanding their perspective."

(Image credit: Christina Chung for NPR)

  • March 22nd 2019 at 21:01
Before yesterdayNPR Science

Trying To Do Good

By Shankar Vedantam
Image of two hands on a blue background. One hand is passing a plant with red flowers to the other hand.

We know our actions affect those around us. But how do we know whether our impact is positive? This week on Hidden Brain, what it means to do good in the world.

(Image credit: Hanna Barczyk for NPR)

  • March 21st 2019 at 22:00

Human Genomics Research Has A Diversity Problem

By Jonathan Lambert
Genomic research tends to rely on genetic data from white study subjects: 78 percent of all individuals included in genomic studies of disease were of European descent.

Studies on the genetics of human diseases have focused largely on people of European descent. Researchers say this lack of diversity is bad science and exacerbates health inequities.

(Image credit: Mint Images/Getty Images)

  • March 21st 2019 at 16:22

Fentanyl-Linked Deaths: The U.S. Opioid Epidemic's Third Wave Begins

By Martha Bebinger
Authorities intercepted a woman using this drug kit in preparation for shooting up a mix of heroin and fentanyl inside a Walmart bathroom last month in Manchester, N.H. Fentanyl offers a particularly potent high but also can shut down breathing in under a minute.

Overdose deaths involving fentanyl are rising — up 113 percent on average each year from 2013 to 2016. Dealers are adding cheap fentanyl to the illicit drug supply, and some users get it accidentally.

(Image credit: Salwan Georges/Washington Post/Getty Images)

  • March 21st 2019 at 05:02

Statisticians' Call To Arms: Reject Significance And Embrace Uncertainty!

By Richard Harris
Statisticians say it may not be wise to put all your eggs in the significance basket.

Scientists and statisticians are putting forth a bold idea: ban the very concept of "statistical significance." A bit more humility would be in order to account for the ambiguity in the world.

(Image credit: intraprese/Getty Images)

  • March 20th 2019 at 19:02

Tracee Ellis Ross Teams Up For Time's Up With Her Aunt, Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee

The Hollywood movement is now expanding into healthcare equity.

(Image credit: Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Hollywood Reporter)

  • March 14th 2019 at 16:06

In 'Horizon,' Considering All That Is Connected

By Genevieve Valentine
Horizon, by Barry Lopez

Barry Lopez's new book is a biography and a portrait of some of the world's most delicate places, but at heart it's a contemplation of the belief that the way forward is compassionately, and together.

(Image credit: Deckle Edge)

  • March 20th 2019 at 14:34

U.S. Mathematician Becomes First Woman To Win Abel Prize, 'Math's Nobel'

By Bill Chappell

"I find that I am bored with anything I understand," Karen Uhlenbeck once said. That sentiment is part of why she won what many call the Nobel of mathematics Tuesday.

  • March 19th 2019 at 20:21

Aspiring Doctors Seek Advanced Training In Addiction Medicine

By Will Stone
Dr. Hillary Tamar, who

Once a tiny specialty that drew mostly psychiatrists, addiction medicine is expanding its accredited training to include residents from specialties like family medicine who see it as a calling.

(Image credit: Jackie Hai/KJZZ)

  • March 19th 2019 at 19:12

Sex, Empathy, Jealousy: How Emotions And Behavior Of Other Primates Mirror Our Own

By Terry Gross
A chimpanzee hugs her newborn at Burgers

Primatologist Frans de Waal believes that the way humans experience emotion is not unique: "That's a spectrum of behavior that we have, and the same thing is true for many other species."

(Image credit: AFP/Getty Images)

  • March 19th 2019 at 18:44

Marcelo Gleiser Wins Templeton Prize For Quest To Confront 'Mystery Of Who We Are'

By Colin Dwyer
Marcelo Gleiser, 60, won the 2019 Templeton Prize for his work seeking the common ground between science and spirituality.

The prestigious award comes with nearly $1.5 million in winnings. The physicist, who teaches at Dartmouth and has written for NPR, says he's driven by the "many questions we still have no clue about."

(Image credit: Eli Burakian/Dartmouth College)

  • March 19th 2019 at 11:00

Massive U.S. Machines That Hunt For Ripples In Space-Time Just Got An Upgrade

By Nell Greenfieldboyce
The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory is made up of two detectors, this one in Livingston, La., and one near Hanford, Wash. The detectors use giant arms in the shape of an "L" to measure tiny ripples in the fabric of the universe.

The twin sites in the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory are about to go back online. New hardware should make them able to sense more colliding black holes and other cosmic events.

(Image credit: Caltech/MIT/LIGO Lab)

  • March 19th 2019 at 10:03

Misophonia: When Life's Noises Drive You Mad

By April Fulton
For people with a rare condition known as misophonia, certain sounds like slurping, chewing, tapping and clicking can elicit intense feelings of rage or panic.

Some people experience intense rage or fear when they hear the sound of people chewing, spitting, or throat-clearing. Turns out they may have a rare condition known as misophonia.

(Image credit: Photo illustration by Meredith Rizzo/NPR)

  • March 18th 2019 at 10:08

Cannabis 101 At The University Of Connecticut

By Patrick Skahill
Marijuana plants grow in a marijuana cultivation facility on July 6, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

With expanding markets for hemp and marijuana, some students believe that taking the class could help their careers. "I'm definitely interested in the plant and where it can go," Madison Blake said.

(Image credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

  • March 16th 2019 at 18:59

Researchers Who Study Mass Shootings Say Perpetrators Often Idolize And Copy Others

The man who claimed responsibility for the mass shooting in New Zealand posted a lengthy statement online before the attack. Researchers who study mass killings say perpetrators often idolize and copy others.

  • March 15th 2019 at 22:28

Adam Spencer: Why Are Monster Prime Numbers Important?

By NPR/TED Staff
Adam Spencer on the TED stage.

Adam Spencer is fascinated by prime numbers. These seemingly simple numbers can be found in monster sizes—the latest being almost 25 million digits long.

(Image credit: James Duncan Davidson/TED)

  • March 15th 2019 at 15:11

Eddie Woo: How Can Math Help Us Understand The Complexity Of The Universe?

By NPR/TED Staff
Eddie Woo on the TED stage.

The world is full of recurring patterns based on math. Math teacher Eddie Woo explains why human beings are naturally drawn to patterns and how we can use math to engage with our complex world.

(Image credit: Vincenzo Amato/TEDxSyd)

  • March 15th 2019 at 15:11

Counting Other People's Blessings

By Shankar Vedantam
Envy is a useful tool for social comparison. But sometimes, it can lead us to wicked places.

Envy is one of the most unpleasant of all human emotions. This week, we explore an emotion that can inspire us to become better people — or to commit unspeakable acts.

(Image credit: Steve Scott/Getty Images/Ikon Images)

  • March 15th 2019 at 14:26

Did Cooking Really Give Us The F-Word?

By Dan Charles
A biomechanical model of producing an "f" sound with an overbite (left) compared with an edge-to-edge bite (right). Some linguists are arguing that the advent of softer food thousands of years ago led to changes in biting patterns and, eventually, to more frequent use of sounds like "f" and "v" in human languages.

Some linguists are arguing that the advent of softer food thousands of years ago led to changes in biting patterns and, eventually, to more frequent use of sounds like "f" and "v" in human languages.

(Image credit: Scott Moisik)

  • March 14th 2019 at 19:08

Scientists Call For Global Moratorium On Creating Gene-Edited Babies

By Rob Stein
There was an uproar in 2018 when a scientist in China, He Jiankui, announced that he had successfully used CRISPR to edit the genes of twin girls when they were embryos. Prominent scientists hope to stop further attempts at germline editing, at least for now.

An international group of 18 prominent scientists and bioethicists is calling for countries around the world to impose a moratorium on the creation of babies whose genes have been altered in the lab.

(Image credit: Mark Schiefelbein/AP)

  • March 13th 2019 at 19:01
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