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Yesterday โ€” November 16th 2018NPR Science

Ingrid Fetell Lee: How Can We Design More Joy Into Our Surroundings?

Ingrid Fetell Lee on the TED stage.

Ingrid Fetell Lee discovered that certain elements--like bright color, abundance, round shapes--are universally joyful. She says designing more joyful spaces can actually change how we feel and act.

(Image credit: Ryan Lash/TED)

  • November 16th 2018 at 15:20

David Baron: Why Should You Experience A Total Solar Eclipse?

A total solar eclipse.

The moment David Baron saw his first total solar eclipse in 1998, he was hooked. He's spent the last 20 years chasing them across the globe—all for a few minutes of joy, wonder and awe.

(Image credit: David Baron)

  • November 16th 2018 at 15:20

Bringing Up Baby

By Shankar Vedantam
Moms, babies and music - promo version (16x9).

This week we focus on the behavior of the youngest members of the human race. We try to translate the mysterious language of babies. And we ask, when should we step back and just let our children be?

(Image credit: Fabio Consoli for NPR)

  • November 15th 2018 at 23:10
Before yesterdayNPR Science

Buzz, Buzz: Bitter Tasters Like Coffee Better

By Joe Palca
People who are sensitive to the bitterness of caffeine tend to drink more coffee than others, while people sensitive to bitter flavors like quinine drink less coffee, according to a new study.

A genetic analysis of samples taken from a large UK health database suggest that people who are more sensitive than their peers to the bitter taste of caffeine tend to drink more coffee — not less.

(Image credit: Dimitri Otis/Getty Images)

  • November 15th 2018 at 15:00

Startup Offers To Sequence Your Genome Free Of Charge, Then Let You Profit From It

By Richard Harris
"Everything is private information, stored on your computer or a computer you designate," says George Church, genetics professor at Harvard Medical School, about the approach of Nebula Genomics.

A full genome sequence costs about $1,000. But Nebula Genomics expects that companies and researchers would defray the cost in exchange for key medical information about the person involved.

(Image credit: Craig Barritt/Getty Images for The New Yorker)

  • November 15th 2018 at 15:00

Maybe Neanderthals Weren't Quite So Nasty And Brutish

By Merrit Kennedy
Neanderthals are believed to have relied on dangerous close range hunting techniques, using non-projectile weapons like the thrusting spears depicted in this artist

New research finds they sustained skull injuries at about the same rate as early modern humans. "I definitely think that it's evidence these guys were not beating each other up," one expert says.

(Image credit: Gleiver Prieto & Katerina Harvati)

  • November 14th 2018 at 21:44

Houston Got Hammered By Hurricane Harvey โ€” And Its Buildings Are Partly To Blame

By Rebecca Hersher
Downtown Houston flooded by rain from Hurricane Harvey on Aug. 29, 2017. The buildings in the region exacerbated rainfall from the storm, according to a new study.

The city itself — skyscrapers, homes and factories — snagged the moist air of Hurricane Harvey and caused more rain to fall. Two new studies detail how humans are making hurricane flooding worse.

(Image credit: David J. Phillip/AP)

  • November 14th 2018 at 19:01

Watch The Leonid Meteor Shower This Weekend

By Ruben Kimmelman
This bright meteor was seen in the sky above Wrightwood, Calif., during the Leonid meteor storm of 1966. Storms are more intense than showers, but every year Leonid meteors streak across the night sky in November.

Hopefully you don't have anything planned between late Saturday night and 3 a.m. Sunday, because with a clear calendar and clear skies, you should be able to catch a glimpse of a few meteors.

(Image credit: NASA/Getty Images)

  • November 13th 2018 at 23:27

"The New Abnormal": Wildfires And Climate Change

Human activity is making wildfires more frequent and more severe.

(Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

  • November 13th 2018 at 16:06

California Wildfires Now Deadliest On Record

The wildfires in California have matched the deadliest on record. And the president weighed in on Twitter about the cause of the fire. There is no reason for these massive,

(Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

  • November 12th 2018 at 17:06

Firearms And Dementia: How Do You Convince A Loved One To Give Up Their Guns?

By Melissa Block
Helping a spouse or parent who has dementia steer clear of hazards can include ridding the home of all guns.

It's estimated that nearly half of all Americans over 65 own a gun or live with someone who does. And 7 million in the U.S. have dementia, a number that's expected to double within two decades.

(Image credit: Nicole Xu for NPR)

  • November 13th 2018 at 13:15

How Can Schools Better Persuade Students To Show Up For Class?

By Shankar Vedantam
Full front view of an old student desk on white; copy space

Many schools give attendance awards to motivate students. A study found students who were awarded for perfect attendance went on to have more absences than their peers who weren't given the award.

(Image credit: shorrocks/Getty Images)

  • November 13th 2018 at 11:06

Say Au Revoir To That Hunk Of Metal In France That Has Defined The Kilogram

By Nell Greenfieldboyce
Forged in 1879 and sanctioned by the General Conference on Weights and Measures at its first meeting, Le Grand K, the international prototype of the kilogram, has been kept under lock and key in a vault outside Paris.

A small cylinder called Le Grand K has defined the kilogram for more than a hundred years. But if a scratch ever rendered it lighter, the definition of the kilo literally shifted. Time for a change.

(Image credit: BIPM)

  • November 13th 2018 at 11:06

Commercial Satellites Reveal North Korean Missile Base

By Geoff Brumfiel
North Korean rockets, such as these shown drilling near Pyongyang on March 7, 2017, launch from mobile trucks.

The previously undisclosed base contains networks of tunnels used to hide and fuel mobile missiles. Intelligence agencies believe there are some 20 similar bases scattered throughout North Korea.

(Image credit: KCNA via Reuters)

  • November 12th 2018 at 23:23

Megafires More Frequent Because Of Climate Change And Forest Management

By Christopher Joyce
Chris and Nancy Brown embrace Monday while looking over the remains of their burned residence after the Camp Fire tore through the region in Paradise, Calif. Dozens of people have been killed in the latest fires to hit the state.

Dry weather and strong winds mean that what would have been small blazes in the past are now monster fires. And more people live in harm's way.

(Image credit: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

  • November 12th 2018 at 22:21

Counting The Bugs And Bacteria, You're 'Never Home Alone' (And That's OK)

By Terry Gross
Humans would do better to accept many of the life forms that share our space, than to scrub them all away, says ecologist Rob Dunn.

Ecologist Rob Dunn's new book describes the tiny life forms, helpful and risky, that live in different parts of the home, including on floors and in water faucets, basements and heating systems.

(Image credit: Basic Books )

  • November 12th 2018 at 20:11

Sourdough Hands: How Bakers And Bread Are A Microbial Match

By Lindsay Patterson
"Our data suggests that something about baking seems to be changing the hands of the people who do the baking," says ecologist Rob Dunn.

In Robert Dunn's new book, Never Home Alone, he explores our symbiotic relationship with food: Not only do we impact the bacteria in our food, but the microbes in our food imprint our bodies.

(Image credit: Rick Gayle/Getty Images)

  • November 12th 2018 at 17:37

Retailers Plan To Clear Deadly Paint Removers From Shelves, As EPA Delays Ban

By Rebecca Hersher
Protestors holding pictures of people who died from use of paint removers, including Drew Wynne, protest outside a Portland, Maine, Lowe

A chemical in common paint removal products is implicated in more than 50 deaths. Even though a federal ban has been delayed, some major retailers are voluntarily taking the products off shelves.

(Image credit: Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

  • November 12th 2018 at 10:59

Science Policy In Congress

NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro speaks with Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson, Democrat of Texas, to discuss what the midterm results mean for the House science committee.

  • November 11th 2018 at 13:45

Vitamin D And Fish Oil Supplements Mostly Disappoint In Long-Awaited Research Results

By Patti Neighmond
Taking fish oil supplements to prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer may not be effective, a new study suggests.

After years of debate, a major government funded study failed to find any overall benefit of taking widely used supplements to protect against heart disease or cancer.

(Image credit: Cathy Scola/Getty Images)

  • November 10th 2018 at 21:01
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