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Today โ€” April 20th 2018NPR Science

Major Earthquake On Bay Area Fault Could Kill 800 People, USGS Predicts

By Samantha Raphelson
A sign notifying people they are standing on the Hayward Fault stands at the children

The U.S. Geological Survey simulated a 7.0 magnitude earthquake on the Hayward fault near Oakland, Calif., and found that such a quake could kill hundreds and cause more than $100 billion in damage.

(Image credit: Ben Margot/AP)

  • April 20th 2018 at 16:36

For One Fine-Dining Chef, Cutting Food Waste Saves The Planet And The Bottom Line

By Maria Godoy
Tim Ma prepares a duck confit salad at his restaurant, Kyirisan, in Washington, D.C. Ma says being mindful about reducing food waste is an integral part of his philosophy in the kitchen — not just for environmental reasons but also for profitability.

After nearly going bankrupt, chef Tim Ma cut costs by cooking creatively with every last bit of ingredients. Some dishes born of frugality have become favorites at his acclaimed D.C. restaurant.

(Image credit: Becky Harlan/NPR)

  • April 20th 2018 at 14:00

How Pokemon Inspired A Citizen Science Project To Monitor Tiny Streams

By Rae Ellen Bichell
In the fall of 2017, left, Stream Tracker volunteer John Hammond found this creek near Fort Collins, Colo., to be dry. A year later, it was flowing again.

How do we accurately forecast the amount of water that will be available any given year? It's not easy. But some Colorado scientists think they're onto a possible solution — inspired by Pokemon.

(Image credit: Kira Puntenney-Desmond/Colorado State University)

  • April 20th 2018 at 11:06

8 Years After Deepwater Horizon Explosion, Is Another Disaster Waiting To Happen?

By Jie Jenny Zou
West Delta 105 E is an oil-producing platform located a dozen miles off the Louisiana coast in the Gulf of Mexico. A 2014 explosion on the lower deck killed Jerrel "Bubba" Hancock.

Eight years after the deadly Deepwater Horizon explosion, a safety watchdog aims to prevent another disaster. But it faces multiple challenges, and a shift in focus under the Trump administration.

(Image credit: Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement)

  • April 20th 2018 at 11:00

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

New Study Says Ancient Humans Hunted Big Mammals To Extinction

By Christopher Joyce
An illustration from 1870 shows Prehistoric men using wooden clubs and stone axe to fend off an attacks by a large cave bear. The cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) was a species of bear that lived in Europe during the Pleistocene and became extinct at the beginning of the Last Glacial Maximum, about 27,500 years ago. Mammoths can be seen in the background.

As humans spread around the globe, other big mammals vanished. Researchers believe it's because they were tasty.

(Image credit: British Library/Science Source)

  • April 19th 2018 at 22:31

Novelist Richard Powers Finds New Stories Deep In Old Growth Forests

By Lynn Neary
Novelist Richard Powers moved to Tennessee after first visiting the Smoky Mountains — shown above, at sunset — for research.

In The Overstory, Powers explores how humans can revere ancient trees with "the same kind of sanctity that we reserve exclusively for ourselves."

(Image credit: NPS)

  • April 19th 2018 at 22:31
Yesterday โ€” April 19th 2018NPR Science

To Curb Ocean Pollution, U.K. May Ban Plastic Straws, Stirrers And Cotton Swabs

By Laurel Wamsley
Scourge of the ocean.

Prime Minister Theresa May called plastic waste "one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world." The government said it will work with industry to develop alternatives.

(Image credit: Thn Rocn Khosit Rath Phachr Sukh / EyeEm/Getty Images/EyeEm)

  • April 19th 2018 at 20:31

After Alert On Russian Hacks, Bigger Push To Protect Power Grid

By Marie Cusick
In the control room of PJM Interconnection, employees monitor a power grid that stretches across the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic.

Homeland Security and the FBI have blamed Russia for a series of cyberattacks on U.S. power plants. The industry is stepping up efforts to protect the electric grid.

(Image credit: PJM Interconnection)

  • April 19th 2018 at 13:29

Rwandan Reconciliation Through Radio Soap Opera

By Shankar Vedantam
The idea behind "Musekeweya," or "New Dawn," is to do the opposite of what the government

In the ruins of the recently-ended Rwandan civil war, a team of radio performers attempted to unite Hutus and Tutsis through a soap opera.

(Image credit: Stephanie Aglietti/AFP/Getty Images)

  • April 19th 2018 at 11:00

SpaceX Launches NASA Satellite To Search For Alien Worlds

By Camila Domonoske
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket transporting the TESS satellite lifts off at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Wednesday. The satellite will scan nearly the entire sky for alien worlds.

TESS — short for Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite — will spend two years searching for planets near bright, nearby stars.

(Image credit: John Raoux/AP)

  • April 19th 2018 at 00:29

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 Science

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

As Climate Costs Grow, Some See A Moneymaking Opportunity

By Christopher Joyce
The Thomas Fire advanced toward Santa Barbara County on Dec. 10, 2017, in Carpinteria, Calif.

Extreme weather cost Americans over $300 billion last year. Scientists say climate change will bring more of that. Entrepreneurs and businesses see a new market in gauging risk.

(Image credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

  • April 17th 2018 at 22:25

Welcome, 'Little One': Critically Endangered Gorilla Born At National Zoo

By Merrit Kennedy
Moke, a western lowland gorilla, was born on Sunday to great delight at the Smithsonian

He's named "Moke," which is a Lingala word meaning "little one." He's the first of his kind to be born at the National Zoo in nine years, perfect and wrinkly and clinging to his mother.

(Image credit: Roshan Patel/Smithsonian's National Zoo )

  • April 17th 2018 at 18:31

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

EPA Takes Toxic Site Flooded By Harvey Off Special Cleanup List

By Rebecca Hersher
Floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey ripped apart fences and flooded Interstate 10 east of Houston last year. The San Jacinto Waste Pits Superfund site is on the other side of the road.

The EPA says the San Jacinto Waste Pits near Houston no longer needs Scott Pruitt's personal attention due to progress on a remediation plan. But the site is still years away from being cleaned up.

(Image credit: Rebecca Hersher/NPR)

  • April 16th 2018 at 23:31

The Renewable Energy Movement Ramps Up In Red States

Where might you find a city that uses only renewable energy? Try Texas.

(Image credit: Photo by Drew Anthony Smith for Smithsonian magazine)

  • April 16th 2018 at 16:06
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