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NPR Topics: Research News
Apr 24, 2024

A woman with failing kidneys receives genetically modified pig organs
Surgeons transplanted a kidney and thymus gland from a gene-edited pig into a 54-year-old woman in an attempt to extend her life. It's the latest experimental use of animal organs in humans.

NPR Topics: Research News
Apr 23, 2024

Animals are stressed during eclipses. But not for the reason you think
NPR's Juana Summers talks with biologist Adam Hartstone-Rose about his study into why animals are so stressed out during an eclipse.

NPR Topics: Research News
Apr 22, 2024

Oncologists' meetings with drug reps don't help cancer patients live longer
Drug company reps commonly visit doctors to talk about new medications. A team of economists wanted to know if that helps patients live longer. They found that for cancer patients, the answer is no.

NPR Topics: Research News
Apr 21, 2024

Genes play a very small role in determining left-handedness, research finds
NPR's Ayesha Rascoe speaks with Clyde Francks, a geneticist in the Netherlands, about the latest research into what makes people left or right-handed.

NPR Topics: Research News
Apr 19, 2024

Which scientists get mentioned in the news? Mostly ones with Anglo names, says study
A new study finds that in news stories about scientific research, U.S. media were less likely to mention a scientist if they had an East Asian or African name, as compared to one with an Anglo name.

NPR Topics: Research News
Apr 19, 2024

An 11-year-old unearthed fossils of the largest known marine reptile
When the dinosaurs walked the Earth, massive marine reptiles swam. Among them, a species of Ichthyosaur that measured over 80 feet long. Today, we look into how a chance discovery by a father-daughter duo of fossil hunters furthered paleontologist's understanding of the "giant fish lizard of the Severn." Currently, it is the largest marine reptile known to scientists.

Read more about this specimen in the study published in the journal PLOS One.

Have another ancient animal or scientific revelation you want us to cover? Email us at shortwave@npr.org — we might talk about it on a future episode!

NPR Topics: Research News
Apr 18, 2024

How old is the coffee bean? Researchers investigate
Your coffee beans may have roots that stretch back 600,000 years — according to a new study.

NPR Topics: Research News
Apr 18, 2024

COMIC: Our sun was born with thousands of other stars. Where did they all go?
Our sun was born in a cosmic cradle with thousands of other stars. Astrophysicists say they want to find these siblings in order to help answer the question: Are we alone out there?

NPR Topics: Research News
Apr 12, 2024

An artificial womb could build a bridge to health for premature babies
Artificial wombs could someday save babies born very prematurely. Even though the experimental technology is still in animal tests, there are mounting questions about its eventual use with humans.

NPR Topics: Research News
Apr 09, 2024

In the womb, a brother's hormones can shape a sister's future
When siblings share a womb, sex hormones from a male fetus can cause lasting changes in a female littermate. This effect exists for all kinds of mammals — perhaps humans too.

NPR Topics: Research News
Apr 05, 2024

The "barcodes" powering these tiny songbirds' memories may also help human memory
Tiny, black-capped chickadees have big memories. They stash food in hundreds to thousands of locations in the wild - and then come back to these stashes when other food sources are low. Now, researchers at Columbia University's Zuckerman Institute think neural activity that works like a barcode may be to thank for this impressive feat — and that it might be a clue for how memories work across species.

Curious about other animal behavior mysteries? Email us at shortwave@npr.org.

NPR Topics: Research News
Apr 04, 2024

This week in science: Clever chickadees, smiling robots and haiku's most popular bugs
NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with Regina Barber and Rachel Carlson of Short Wave about chickadees with awesome memories, grinning robots, and the bugs most commonly found in haiku.

NPR Topics: Research News
Apr 03, 2024

Scientists study brains to understand the joy that's felt when caring for siblings
For our series The Science of Siblings, we hear how researchers have found out that caring for siblings can make people happier.

NPR Topics: Research News
Mar 30, 2024

Negative leap second: Climate change delays unusual step for time standard
We're nearing a year when a negative leap second could be needed to shave time — an unprecedented step that would have unpredictable effects, a new study says.

NPR Topics: Research News
Mar 30, 2024

Climate change is delaying world clocks' need for a 'negative leap second'
We're nearing a year when a negative leap second could be needed to shave time — an unprecedented step that would have unpredictable effects, a new study says.

NPR Topics: Research News
Mar 29, 2024

California students find ancient sloth fossil
Last spring, some elementary school students in Santa Cruz found an exposed bone in a creek bed, which turned out to be an ancient fossil - it just went on display.

NPR Topics: Research News
Mar 29, 2024

Once lost to science, these "uncharismatic" animals are having their moment
Historic numbers of animals across the globe have become endangered or pushed to extinction. But some of these species sit in limbo — not definitively extinct yet missing from the scientific record. Rediscovering a "lost" species is not easy. It can require trips to remote areas and canvassing a large area in search of only a handful of animals. But new technology and stronger partnerships with local communities have helped these hidden, "uncharismatic" creatures come to light.

Have other scientific gray areas you want us to cover in a future episode? Email us at shortwave@npr.org!

NPR Topics: Research News
Mar 28, 2024

The Colorado River rarely reaches the sea. Here's why
More than half of the Colorado River's water is used to grow crops, primarily livestock feed, a new study finds. The river and its users are facing tough decisions as the climate warms.

NPR Topics: Research News
Mar 23, 2024

Over 4,400 preserved human brains have been discovered across the world, study finds
NPR's Scott Simon speaks to Oxford University scientist Alexandra Morton-Hayward about how some brains are preserved thousands of years after a person's death.

NPR Topics: Research News
Mar 22, 2024

Most animals don't go through menopause. So why do these whales?
Across the animal kingdom, menopause is something of an evolutionary blip. We humans are one of the few animals to experience it. But Sam Ellis, a researcher in animal behavior, argues that this isn't so surprising. "The best way to propagate your genes is to get as many offspring as possible into the next generation," says Ellis. "The best way to do that is almost always to reproduce your whole life."

So how did menopause evolve? The answer may lie in whales. Ellis and his team at the University of Exeter recently published a study in the journal Nature that studies the evolution of menopause in the undersea animals most known for it. What they uncovered may even help explain menopause in humans.

Curious about other animal behavior mysteries? Email us at shortwave@npr.org.

NPR Topics: Research News
Mar 21, 2024

This week in science: whale menopause, bird rest stops and a speech-generating patch
NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with Emily Kwong and Margaret Cirino about whale menopause, songbird rest stops along migratory routes, and a device that allows people with voice disorders to speak.

NPR Topics: Research News
Mar 20, 2024

Scientists studied how cicadas pee. Their insights could shed light on fluid dynamics
Cicadas, and the way they urinate, offer a 'perfect' lab for understanding fluid dynamics at very small scales, researchers say

NPR Topics: Research News
Mar 18, 2024

More studies challenge the idea that Havana syndrome comes from foreign adversaries
Two new government studies found no unusual pattern of injury or illness in people with the mysterious cluster of symptoms known as Havana syndrome.

NPR Topics: Research News
Mar 18, 2024

In Havana syndrome patients, NIH scientists find no physical trace of harm
The mysterious ailments that became known as Havana syndrome left no physical evidence of injury or disease, according to two government studies.

NPR Topics: Research News
Mar 16, 2024

This medieval astrolabe has both Arabic and Hebrew markings. Here's what it means
This discovery sheds new light on the rich history of scholarship and intellectual exchange between Muslims, Jews and Christians during a time of Muslim rule in medieval Spain.

NPR Topics: Research News
Mar 13, 2024

Oil and gas companies emit more climate-warming methane than EPA reports
Oil and gas drillers are releasing more climate-warming methane than the government estimates, a new study shows.

NPR Topics: Research News
Mar 13, 2024

This often-overlooked sea creature may be quietly protecting the planet's coral reefs
The pickle-shaped bottom feeders may reduce the amount of microbes on the seafloor that could potentially sicken coral, scientists suggest

NPR Topics: Research News
Mar 13, 2024

The lowly sea cucumber may be helping to protect coral reefs against disease
The pickle-shaped bottom feeders may reduce the amount of microbes on the seafloor that could potentially sicken coral, scientists suggest

NPR Topics: Research News
Mar 13, 2024

What we know about long COVID — from brain fog to physical fatigue
"Long COVID has affected every part of my life," said Virginia resident Rachel Beale said at a recent Senate hearing. "I wake up every day feeling tired, nauseous and dizzy. I immediately start planning when I can lay down again."

Beale is far from alone. Many of her experiences have been echoed by others dealing with long COVID. It's a constellation of debilitating symptoms that range from brain fog and intense physical fatigue to depression and anxiety.

But there's new, promising research that sheds light onto some symptoms. NPR health correspondent Will Stone talks with Short Wave host Regina G. Barber about the state of long COVID research — what we know, what we don't and when we can expect treatments or even cures for it.

Have more COVID questions you want us to cover? Email us at shortwave@npr.org — we'd love to hear from you.

NPR Topics: Research News
Mar 08, 2024

Domestic violence may leave telltale damage in the brain. Scientists want to find it
Traumatic brain injuries from intimate partner violence are common, and potentially more severe than those seen in sports.

NPR Topics: Research News
Mar 08, 2024

The "shocking" tactic electric fish use to collectively sense the world
Neuroscientist Nathan Sawtell has spent a lot of time studying the electric elephantnose fish. These fish send and decipher weak electric signals, which Sawtell hopes will eventually help neuroscientists better understand how the brain filters sensory information about the outside world. As Sawtell has studied these electric critters, he's had a lingering question: why do they always seem to organize themselves in a particular orientation. At first, he couldn't figure out why, but a new study released this week in Nature may have an answer: the fish are creating an electrical network larger than any field a single fish can muster alone, and providing collective knowledge about potential dangers in the surrounding water.

Want to hear us cover more animal news? Email the show at shortwave@npr.org to let us know!

Listen to Short Wave on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.

NPR Topics: Research News
Mar 06, 2024

Meet the public health researchers trying to rein in America's gun violence crisis
After the 1996 Dickey Amendment halted federal spending on gun violence research, a small group of academics pressed on, with little money or support. Now a new generation is taking up the charge.

NPR Topics: Research News
Mar 06, 2024

The Voyager 1 spacecraft has a big glitch. Now, NASA must figure out how to fix it
The Voyager 1 space probe is the farthest human-made object in space. It launched in 1977 with a golden record on board that carried assorted sounds of our home planet: greetings in many different languages, dogs barking, and the sound of two people kissing, to name but a few examples. The idea with this record was that someday, Voyager 1 might be our emissary to alien life - an audible time capsule of Earth's beings. Since its launch, it also managed to complete missions to Jupiter and Saturn. In 2012, it crossed into interstellar space.

But a few months ago, the probe encountered a problem. "It's an elderly spacecraft," says NPR science correspondent Nell Greenfieldboyce, "and it had some kind of electronic stroke." Greenfieldboyce talks to Short Wave Host Regina G. Barber about the precarious status of Voyager 1 - the glitch threatening its mission, and the increasingly risky measures NASA is taking to try and restore it.

What interstellar adventure should we cover next? Email the show at shortwave@npr.org.

NPR Topics: Research News
Mar 05, 2024

Researchers start studying traumatic brain injury from domestic violence
Researchers may one day be able to identify biomarkers that could indicate when a patient's brain is showing signs of assault, even when they themselves are unable or too afraid to report it.

NPR Topics: Research News
Mar 05, 2024

A dance contest let this grad student share his research and celebrates his identity
Science magazine's annual contest "Dance Your PhD" invites grad students to present their research through dance. This year's winner, Weliton Menário Costa, showcased his work on kangaroo behavior.

NPR Topics: Research News
Mar 01, 2024

Scientists have new details on an Antarctic glacier crucial to future sea level rise
NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with glaciologist Ted Scambos about the conclusion of a multi-year study of Antarctica's Thwaites Glacier, the "plug" holding back a formidable amount of ice.

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 25, 2024

By accident, scientists found an underwater 'megastructure' from the Stone Age
Scientists have found what they say could be one of the oldest Stone Age megastructures in Europe: a giant stone wall on the floor of the Baltic Sea. They've dubbed it the "Blinkerwall."

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 24, 2024

The decimal point was in use 150 years before previously thought, research shows
NPR's Scott Simon talks to math historian Glen Van Brummelen about his finding that the decimal point appeared in the 1440s, earlier than thought.

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 23, 2024

Study provides most detailed analysis yet of how baleen whales produce sound
Scientists have long struggled to study how whales produce sound. A new paper in the journal Nature paints the most complete picture yet of how baleen whales produce their iconic, haunting calls.

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 23, 2024

Clues to a better understanding of chronic fatigue syndrome emerge from a major study
After seven years of research, the findings shed light on the long-neglected illness. Scientists say the results could lead to future trials for potential treatments.

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 23, 2024

Clues to a better understanding of chronic fatigue syndrome emerge from major study
After seven years of research, the findings shed light on the long-neglected illness. Scientists say the results could lead to future trials for potential treatments.

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 22, 2024

Scientists scanning the seafloor discover a long-lost Stone Age 'megastructure'
The more than half mile long wall, called the Blinkerwall, was likely used by Stone Age hunter-gatherers to herd reindeer toward a shooting blind.

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 21, 2024

An ambitious NIH study has brought new attention to chronic fatigue syndrome
Long COVID has brought new attention to how complex chronic illnesses can develop in the aftermath of a viral infection. Prior research may help forward clinical trials to test possible treatments.

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 21, 2024

In light of the solar maximum, a look at the biggest solar storm in recorded history
We are at the height of the Sun's activity in its eleven year cycle, known to astronomers as the solar maximum. This means that over the next several months there's going to be a lot of solar activity. It's got us thinking back to 1859. That's when astronomer Richard Carrington was studying the Sun when he witnessed the most intense geomagnetic storm recorded in history. The storm, triggered by a giant solar flare, sent brilliant auroral displays across the globe causing electrical sparking and fires in telegraph stations. This encore episode, Regina talks to solar physicist Dr. Samaiyah Farid about what's now known as the Carrington event and about what may happen the next time a massive solar storm hits Earth.

Want to hear us cover other parts of the solar system? Email the show at shortwave@npr.org to let us know!

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 19, 2024

One woolly mammoth's journey at the end of the Ice Age
Lately, paleoecologist Audrey Rowe has been a bit preoccupied with a girl named Elma. That's because Elma is ... a woolly mammoth. And 14,000 years ago, when Elma was alive, her habitat in interior Alaska was rapidly changing. The Ice Age was coming to a close and human hunters were starting early settlements. Which leads to an intriguing question: Who, or what, killed her? In the search for answers, Audrey traces Elma's life and journey through — get this — a single tusk. Today, she shares her insights on what the mammoth extinction from thousands of years ago can teach us about megafauna extinctions today with guest host Nate Rott.

Thoughts on other ancient animal stories we should tell? Email us at shortwave@npr.org and we might make a future episode about it!

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 18, 2024

A new study finds the memory systems that give trivia champions an edge
Memory is complicated. A new study co-authored by Jeopardy! contestant Monica Thieu looks at how two different memory systems might give some people an edge with recalling facts.

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 14, 2024

Tai chi reduces blood pressure better than aerobic exercise, study finds
The slow-moving Chinese martial art tai chi is known to increase flexibility and balance. Now, research suggests it's more effective at reducing blood pressure than more vigorous forms of exercise.

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 14, 2024

Manny loves Cayenne. Plus, 5 facts about queer animals for Valentine's Day
In a Valentine's Day exclusive report, NPR has learned there is currently a gay anteater couple at Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute in Washington D.C.But this couple is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to queerness in the animal world - it's been documented in hundreds of species. We spoke with wildlife ecologist Christine Wilkinson of the "Queer is Natural" TikTok series to uncover the wildest, queerest animals of the bunch.

Questions, comments or thoughts on queer animal love? Email us at shortwave@npr.org and we might feature it on a future episode!

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 12, 2024

Across the world, migrating animal populations are dwindling. Here's why
In a landmark UN study, researchers found nearly half of the world's threatened migratory species have declining populations. More than a fifth of the assessed animals face extinction.

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 09, 2024

Clownfish might be counting their potential enemies' stripes
At least, that's what a group of researchers at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University thinks. The team recently published a study in the journal Experimental Biology suggesting that Amphiphrion ocellaris, or clown anemonefish, may be counting. Specifically, the authors think the fish may be looking at the number of vertical white stripes on each other as well as other anemonefish as a way to identify their own species. Not only that — the researchers think that the fish are noticing the minutiae of other anemonefish's looks because of some fishy marine geopolitics.

Questions, comments or thoughts on another marine sea creature you want to hear us cover? Email us at shortwave@npr.org and we might feature it on a future episode!

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 08, 2024

This week in science: moths' anti-bat signal, fish who count and GMO crops at home
Short Wave's Regina Barber and Margaret Cirino talk through how moths produce an anti-bat signal, why clownfish could be counting to 3 and the first GMO food crop sold directly to home gardeners.

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 08, 2024

California sea otters nearly went extinct. Now they're rescuing their coastal habitat
California sea otter populations have rebounded in recent decades. New research finds that by feasting on shore crabs, these otters are helping to protect their coastal marsh habitat against erosion.

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 05, 2024

Why wolves are thriving in this radioactive zone
In 1986 the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded, releasing radioactive material into northern Ukraine and Belarus. It was the most serious nuclear accident in history. Over one hundred thousand people were evacuated from the surrounding area. But local gray wolves never left — and their population has grown over the years. It's seven times denser than populations in protected lands elsewhere in Belarus. This fact has led scientists to wonder whether the wolves are genetically either resistant or resilient to cancer — or if the wolves are simply thriving because humans aren't interfering with them.

This episode, researchers Shane Campbell-Staton and Cara Love talk through what might be causing this population boom. Plus, why researchers in the field of human cancer are eager to collaborate with them.

Want to hear about other ways humans are impacting the planet? Email us at shortwave@npr.org.

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 04, 2024

Home sapiens and Neanderthals may have interbred, new research shows
NPR's Elissa Nadworny speaks with Elena Zavala of the University of California, Berkeley, about new research showing how homo sapiens and Neanderthals interacted and may have even interbred.

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 04, 2024

Homo sapiens and Neanderthals may have interbred, new research shows
NPR's Elissa Nadworny speaks with Elena Zavala of the University of California, Berkeley, about new research showing how homo sapiens and Neanderthals interacted and may have even interbred.

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 01, 2024

Meet the 'chicken from hell' 2.0: a newly discovered dinosaur
NPR's Mary Louise Kelly speaks with Kyle Atkins-Weltman, a PhD student of paleoecology at Oklahoma State University, about a newly discovered dinosaur dubbed the "chicken from hell".

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 01, 2024

Need to track animals around the world? Tap into the 'spider-verse,' scientists say
Spiderwebs can capture environmental DNA, or eDNA, from vertebrate animals in their area, potentially making them a useful tool in animal monitoring, tracking and conservation.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 31, 2024

Spiderwebs could offer a snapshot of an ecosystem, study shows
Scientists have found that spiderwebs can be used to capture environmental DNA, which reflects the animal population of an area. The technique may help track the biodiversity of an ecosystem.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 30, 2024

Why do moths fly in circles around a light? They can't tell 'up' from 'down'
Those insects you see flying in crazed circles are trying to keep their backs towards the light because they think that direction is up, new research suggests.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 30, 2024

'Like moths to a flame'? Here's what's going on with insects and porch lights
Those insects you see flying in crazed circles are trying to keep their backs towards the light because they think that direction is up, new research suggests.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 28, 2024

Hearing loss is greater among people living in rural areas, study finds
A new study looking at hearing loss finds that it's greater among people living in rural areas. NPR's Ayesha Rascoe talks with audiologist Nicholas Reed, who co-authored the study.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 28, 2024

Coronavirus FAQ: How long does my post-COVID protection last? When is it booster time?
How long does immunity last after an infection? Are rapid tests always accurate? How often is a booster in order? In this installment of our FAQ series, we look into questions about "COVID time."

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 26, 2024

'Hot droughts' are becoming more common in the arid West, new study finds
Scientists looked at trees to better understand the interplay between temperatures and droughts in the Western U.S. Human-caused climate change is exacerbating both.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 26, 2024

That giant extinct shark, Megalodon? Maybe it wasn't so mega
The ancient extinct shark that starred in the film The Meg is thought to be the largest shark that ever swam the Earth. But there's debate over what it really looked like.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 23, 2024

The megalodon maybe wasn't so mega, research suggests
The megalodon went extinct 3.6 million years ago, and is thought to be the largest shark that ever swam the Earth. But the megalodon may not have been as big as once thought, some researchers suggest.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 23, 2024

New fossils suggest kelp forests have swayed in the seas for at least 32 million years
A new study of kelp forests from the coast of Washington state show that kelp forests, which host all manner of marine life, developed tens of millions of years ago.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 22, 2024

New kelp fossils may help explain the Pacific Ocean's underwater jungles
Newly discovered kelp fossils peg their existence to 32 million years ago. These fossils may help explain how the Pacific Ocean's underwater 'forests' came to be.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 20, 2024

Advocates push for greater investment in long COVID research at Senate hearing
Four years after the first known case of COVID-19 in the United States, long COVID remains a mystery to scientists. Medical experts called for more research funding at a Senate hearing Thursday.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 17, 2024

James Webb Telescope detects earliest known black hole — it's really big for its age
Data from the James Webb Space Telescope indicate that a galaxy known as GN-z11 has a supermassive black hole at its center — one that's far more massive than astronomers expected.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 15, 2024

An old relative of the T. rex sparks new questions about the dinosaur's origins
Researchers say they've identified the oldest known Tyrannosaurus, shaking up the ongoing debate over how and when the dinosaurs arrived in North America.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 13, 2024

Coronavirus FAQ: Are we in a surge? How do you cope if your whole family catches it?
Are we in a surge? How would we know? Is winter now "COVID season?" And what do you do if your whole family got the coronavirus over the holidays? We tackle readers' coronavirus questions.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 10, 2024

Researchers find a massive number of plastic particles in bottled water
Researchers found roughly 240,000 detectable plastic fragments in a typical liter of bottled water. Most of them were nanoplastics — particles less than 1 micrometer in size.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 05, 2024

Don't look so blue, Neptune: Now astronomers know this planet's true color
Neptune has long been depicted as a deeper, darker blue than its fellow ice giant Uranus, but a new study shows that both are a similar shade of light greenish blue.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 31, 2023

Study sheds new light on the social evolution of primates
For decades, researchers have said that our mammalian ancestors were solitary but a new analysis turns that thinking on its head, suggesting they were far more sociable than was previously thought.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 25, 2023

Just how big can a snowflake get? It depends on what you mean by 'snowflake'
The Guinness World Record folks would have us believe in a 19th century snowflake more than a foot wide, but some scientists are skeptical.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 21, 2023

Science says declining social invites is OK. Here are 3 tips for doing it
A new study has examined the potential ramifications of declining an invitation for a social outing, and found that people tend to overestimate just how much it matters.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 15, 2023

Cats play fetch, too — as long as they're in control, a study finds
A new study showed that cats fetched objects instinctively, in the absence of overt training. Fetching is defined as when the animal retrieves an object that's thrown.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 13, 2023

Infertile people, gay and trans couples yearn for progress on lab-made eggs and sperm
An experimental technology that might someday allow infertile couples, as well as gay and trans couples, to have genetically related children stirs hope. So far, the technique has worked in mice.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 13, 2023

These songbirds sing for hours a day to keep their vocal muscles in shape
Zebra finches who did not sing every day quickly lose their vocal prowess, a new study finds. The results could potentially shed light on vocal rehabilitation for humans, too.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 12, 2023

The murderous creature you live with is a murderous creature, a study confirms
More scientific evidence has surfaced to show that while Mittens may be your sweet angel, letting her roam outside is also a big threat to biodiversity.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 12, 2023

The murderous creature you live with is a murderous creature, study confirms
More scientific evidence has surfaced to show that while mittens may be your sweet angel, letting her roam outside is also a big threat to biodiversity.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 12, 2023

Songbirds flex singing muscles every day to stay in shape, shows new study
A new study shows male zebra finches must sing every day to keep their vocal muscles in shape. Females prefer the songs of males that did their daily vocal workout.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 12, 2023

Scientists have quantified exactly how murderous your cat is
Scientists have compiled an exhaustive list of all the species cats consume, and it includes more than 2000 birds, reptiles, mammals and insects — a sixth of which are of conservation concern.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 08, 2023

FDA approves first gene-editing treatment for human illness
The Food and Drug Administration approved two genetic treatments for sickle cell disease, including one that uses gene-editing. The approvals offer hope for patients and signal a new medical era.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 07, 2023

Looking for honey? This African bird will heed your call and take you there
The wild honeyguide responds to distinct calls from local honey foragers. Says one researcher: The bird basically seems to be saying, "Hey, I'm here and I know where there's some honey, so follow me."

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 07, 2023

This African bird will lead you to honey, if you call to it in just the right way
The wild honeyguide responds to distinct calls from local honey foragers. Says one researcher: The bird basically seems to be saying, "Hey, I'm here and I know where there's some honey, so follow me."

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 07, 2023

A fibrous path 'twixt heart and brain may make you swoon
A newly discovered pathway between the heart and brain can cause fainting, at least in mice.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 06, 2023

A little electric stimulation in just the right spot may bolster a damaged brain
A small study found that electrically stimulating an area deep in the brain allowed people with severe traumatic brain injuries to complete a cognitive test more quickly.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 04, 2023

Big city mosquitoes are a big problem — and now a big target
Africa's cities have become home to an invasive, malaria-carrying mosquito. New research suggests vulnerabilities that could be exploited to take on the disease-bearing insects.

NPR Topics: Research News
Nov 23, 2023

Salty much? These brain cells decide when tasty becomes blech
Scientists say two separate brain circuits control how much salt we consume.

NPR Topics: Research News
Nov 22, 2023

What can trigger an itch? Scientists have found a new culprit
This itchy microbe really touches a nerve. A common skin bacterium can directly interact with a nerve cell to trigger an itch, new study shows, suggesting possible new therapies for itchy conditions.

NPR Topics: Research News
Nov 22, 2023

Can we grow veggies on Mars? Fly larvae and synthetic soil may hold the answer
A Texas undergrad is investigating how to grow vegetables on Mars — and has cultivated test samples of English peas in simulated Martian soil, with fertilizer from fly larvae.

NPR Topics: Research News
Nov 21, 2023

2 different brain circuits influence our taste for salt, study finds
Two brain circuits help regulate salt intake: One adjusts salt cravings, the other determines whether we find salty food delicious or disgusting. (Story aired on ATC on Nov. 20, 2023.)

NPR Topics: Research News
Nov 21, 2023

Army ants use collective intelligence to build bridges. Robots could learn from them
As army ants travel over uneven terrain, they link their bodies together to create bridges — a system that might give engineers insight into controlling robotic swarms.

NPR Topics: Research News
Nov 20, 2023

A new study says the global toll of lead exposure is even worse than we thought
A new study finds that 5.5 million adults worldwide died in 2019 from cardiovascular disease attributable to lead exposure, more than six times higher than a previous estimate.

NPR Topics: Research News
Nov 15, 2023

Clouds made of sand make for a strange kind of rain on this hot planet
On Earth, clouds and rain are made of water. But the James Webb Space Telescope has found that on a planet called WASP-107b, the rain and clouds are made of sand.

NPR Topics: Research News
Nov 14, 2023

Scientists are beginning to understand how long COVID symptoms affect the brain
Many symptoms of long COVID are related to the brain. Now scientists are beginning to understand why brain fog, fatigue, and pain can linger for years after a person was infected.

NPR Topics: Research News
Nov 14, 2023

How army ants' architecture demonstrates their collective intelligence
As army ants travel over uneven terrain, they link their bodies together to create bridges — a system that might give engineers insight into controlling robotic swarms.

NPR Topics: Research News
Nov 13, 2023

Skinny roads save lives, according to a study on the width of traffic lanes
A new study found engineers should make roads narrower to reduce car crashes. Such improvements would also come with environmental and economic benefits.

NPR Topics: Research News
Nov 11, 2023

Researchers rediscover an echidna named after David Attenborough
Attenborough's long-beaked echidna, a mammal with a unique evolutionary history, was caught on camera for the first time. Researchers hope their find advances conservation efforts in remote Indonesia.

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