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NPR Topics: Research News
May 26, 2022

Encore: The United States' only native parrot is being studied, to save it
We know the bird can mimic human speech; now a researcher is trying to understand parrot-to-parrot communication. He's looking at the red-crowned parrot, which is the only parrot native to the U.S.

NPR Topics: Research News
May 26, 2022

Research shows policies that may help prevent mass shootings — and some that don't
The amount of resources devoted to studying gun violence is paltry compared to its public health impact. Still the evidence shows certain policies might help prevent mass shootings.

NPR Topics: Research News
May 23, 2022

Study finds microscopic life in 830-million-year-old crystal - and it might be alive!
A recent study in the journal Geology finds microorganisms trapped in an 830-million-year-old salt crystal. The researchers say it might still be alive.

NPR Topics: Research News
May 18, 2022

Johns Hopkins' students solve a modern-day problem: messy lunches
The engineering students invented something called "Tastee Tape" — possibly the world's first edible tape that can stick to food. Gone are the days of burritos, gyros and wraps falling apart.

NPR Topics: Research News
May 17, 2022

The case for revolutionizing child care in America
A new book argues that greater public support for parents is critical for the brain development of America's kids.

NPR Topics: Research News
May 16, 2022

Missouri scientists work to save lake sturgeon by electronically tracking them
With a decreasing population of lake sturgeon, nine states have listed the species as endangered. To protect them, scientists are studying where lake sturgeon travel before and after they reproduce.

NPR Topics: Research News
May 15, 2022

A landmark study tracks the lasting effect of having an abortion — or being denied one
The Turnaway Study followed nearly 1,000 women who sought abortions, interviewing them regularly for years to understand the impact on their mental and financial wellbeing.

NPR Topics: Research News
May 14, 2022

Scientists successfully grow plants in soil from the moon
The study makes use of lunar soil samples collected from Apollo 11, 12 and 17.

NPR Topics: Research News
May 13, 2022

In thimble-sized pots, researchers wanted to see if the moon could grow food
Decades ago, Apollo astronauts gathered hundreds of pounds of lunar rocks and dirt. Last year, NASA loaned scientists at the University of Florida some of the soil, and they sprouted seedlings.

NPR Topics: Research News
May 12, 2022

This is the first image of the black hole at the heart of the Milky Way
"We finally have the first look at our Milky Way black hole, Sagittarius A*," an international team of astrophysicists and researchers from the Event Horizon Telescope team said.

NPR Topics: Research News
May 11, 2022

Youthful spinal fluid could help treat Alzheimer's disease, study suggests
The memory of aging mice improved when they received a substance found in the spinal fluid of young animals and young people. The finding suggests a new approach to treating Alzheimer's disease.

NPR Topics: Research News
May 10, 2022

Firearm-related homicide rate skyrockets amid stresses of the pandemic, the CDC says
The rate of U.S. gun homicides jumped nearly 35% in 2020 to the highest level in more than 25 years. And gaps widened for groups already at the highest risk, especially Black men and boys.

NPR Topics: Research News
May 05, 2022

A popular program for teaching kids to read just took another hit to its credibility
Reading Recovery is one of the world's most widely used reading intervention programs for young children. A new study questions its long-term impact.

NPR Topics: Research News
Apr 30, 2022

A new study tells us to hold the stereotypes on dog breeds
A new study published this week indicates that a dog's breed does not dictate its personality and temperament.

NPR Topics: Research News
Apr 28, 2022

Your dog is a good boy, but that's not necessarily because of its breed
A new study based on thousands of DNA sequences and owner surveys finds that less than 10% of a dog's behavior — like howling, herding or retrieving — can be explained by its breed.

NPR Topics: Research News
Apr 28, 2022

Moderna asks FDA to authorize first COVID-19 vaccine for very young children
The company says a low-dose version of its vaccine triggers an immune response in children ages 6 months to less than 6 years equivalent to what has protected older children and adults.

NPR Topics: Research News
Apr 26, 2022

Brain scans may reveal a lot about mental illness, but not until studies get bigger
Scientists are using MRI scans to understand how mental illness shows up in the bran. But new research raises concerns that existing studies are not reliable because the sample sizes are too small.

NPR Topics: Research News
Apr 25, 2022

MIT researchers confirm that it's hard to split the filling evenly in an Oreo
Twist apart an Oreo and the creme filling usually ends up mostly on one side. Researchers concluded there's no secret. The production process makes it almost impossible to split the filling evenly.

NPR Topics: Research News
Apr 22, 2022

Firearms overtook auto accidents as the leading cause of death in children
The change occurred in 2020, researchers say. Overall firearm-related deaths increased 13.5% between 2019 and 2020, but such fatalities for those 1 to 19 years old jumped nearly 30%.

NPR Topics: Research News
Apr 20, 2022

Taylor Swift was the inspiration for the name of a new millipede species
The Swift Twisted-Claw Millipede, or Nannaria swiftae, was among several new species found in Tennessee.

NPR Topics: Research News
Apr 19, 2022

Climate change fueled extreme rainfall during the record 2020 hurricane reason
Human-induced climate change fueled one of the most active hurricane seasons on record in 2020, with rainfall totals up to 10% higher than in the pre-industrial era, according to a new study.

NPR Topics: Research News
Apr 19, 2022

Climate change fueled extreme rainfall during the record 2020 hurricane season
Human-induced climate change fueled one of the most active hurricane seasons on record in 2020, with rainfall totals up to 10% higher than in the pre-industrial era, according to a new study.

NPR Topics: Research News
Apr 19, 2022

Moderna says its new 'bivalent' vaccine shows promise against COVID variants
The company says this version targets both the original coronavirus and the beta variant, and appears to provide broader and longer-lasting protection against different strains, including omicron.

NPR Topics: Research News
Apr 16, 2022

Individual grants fuel diverse research, from break dancing to enslaved beer brewers
The National Endowment for the Humanities recently announced grants for 245 projects, including research on Latina members of the military, Black women brewers, and the history of break dancing.

NPR Topics: Research News
Apr 15, 2022

Encore: Babies and toddlers know that swapping saliva is a sure sign of love
A study suggests babies are aware that people who are willing to share saliva, through kissing or sharing spoons, have especially close relationships. (Story aired on ATC on Jan. 20, 2022.)

NPR Topics: Research News
Apr 13, 2022

A record number of Yellowstone wolves have been killed. Conservationists are worried
States neighboring Yellowstone National Park have eased rules on hunting wolves, resulting in the most being killed in nearly a century

NPR Topics: Research News
Apr 12, 2022

How much energy powers a good life? Less than you're using, says a new report
Americans use nearly four times the energy researchers say is needed to live a happy, healthy and prosperous life.

NPR Topics: Research News
Apr 10, 2022

Charles Darwin's notebooks return to Cambridge after being missing for 20 years
Last month, two of Charles Darwin's notebooks that had been missing from the Cambridge University Library for 20 years were returned.

NPR Topics: Research News
Apr 07, 2022

Solar panels that can generate electricity at night have been developed at Stanford
While standard solar panels can provide electricity during the day, this device can be a "continuous renewable power source" during the day and at night.

NPR Topics: Research News
Apr 07, 2022

A new study suggests that mushrooms can communicate
A scientist at the University of the West of England inserted electrodes into four species of fungi, and discovered that the mushrooms seem to use electrical impulses to communicate internally.

NPR Topics: Research News
Apr 07, 2022

Scans reveal the brain's early growth, late decline and surprising variability
A study of more than 120,000 brain scans shows rapid growth before age 2 and accelerating decline after age 50. The results may one day help pick up abnormalities in the developing brain.

NPR Topics: Research News
Apr 06, 2022

For the first time, researchers find microplastics deep in the lungs of living people
Tiny plastic debris — some so small you can't see it — has previously been found in human blood, excrement and in the depths of the ocean.

NPR Topics: Research News
Apr 06, 2022

In jumpy flies and fiery mice, scientists see the roots of human emotions
Scientists are trying to understand PTSD and other human disorders by studying emotion-related brain circuits in animals, which research suggests may have a lot in common with the human brain.

NPR Topics: Research News
Apr 01, 2022

Sleeping with even a little bit of light isn't good for your health, study shows
Just a night or two of exposure to faint light is enough to raise your pulse and increase insulin resistance — factors that increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes, researchers find.

NPR Topics: Research News
Mar 30, 2022

The light from this star that astronomers just spotted is 12.9 billion years old
Scientists using the Hubble Space Telescope have spotted light from what appears to be the most distant star ever seen. It offers a glimpse into an early moment in the history of the universe.

NPR Topics: Research News
Mar 25, 2022

COVID and schizophrenia: Why this deadly mix can deepen understanding of the brain
People with schizophrenia are three times as likely to die from the virus, giving scientists an opportunity to study the potential relationship between the immune system and mental illness.

NPR Topics: Research News
Mar 24, 2022

This trick keeps snakes from suffocating as they squeeze and swallow their prey
How do boa constrictors breathe while constricting their victims? A new study finds that snakes can switch which set of ribs they use to draw in air as they crush their meal before devouring it.

NPR Topics: Research News
Mar 24, 2022

Evidence grows that vaccines lower the risk of getting long COVID
Though findings are preliminary, many studies suggest that vaccinated people have good protection against the condition, although just how much is still up for debate.

NPR Topics: Research News
Mar 22, 2022

Roll over sourdough. Italian scientists develop a new way rise pizza crust
Bread geeks, take note! The new technique, developed in a lab in Naples, involves the smart application of materials science and physics to make airy, bubbly dough without fermentation.

NPR Topics: Research News
Mar 22, 2022

Roll over sourdough. Italian scientists develop a new way to rise pizza crust
Bread geeks, take note! The new technique, developed in a lab in Naples, involves the smart application of materials science and physics to make airy, bubbly dough without fermentation.

NPR Topics: Research News
Mar 22, 2022

Roll over, sourdough. Italian scientists develop a new way to rise pizza crust
Bread geeks, take note! The new technique, developed in a lab in Naples, involves the smart application of materials science and physics to make airy, bubbly dough without fermentation.

NPR Topics: Research News
Mar 22, 2022

Italian scientists hacked pizza physics to make dough without yeast
Bread geeks, take note! The new technique, developed in a lab in Naples, involves the smart application of materials science and physics to make airy, bubbly dough without fermentation.

NPR Topics: Research News
Mar 18, 2022

This form of memory loss is common — but most Americans don't know about it
Mild cognitive impairment, a common brain condition, can be an early sign of Alzheimer's disease. But most people don't know the symptoms. And some may mistake it for normal aging.

NPR Topics: Research News
Mar 18, 2022

This form of memory loss is common— but most Americans don't know about it
Mild cognitive impairment, a common brain condition, can be an early sign of Alzheimer's disease. But most people don't know the symptoms. And some may mistake it for normal aging.

NPR Topics: Research News
Mar 17, 2022

How a fossil with 10 arms and named after Joe Biden changed the vampire squid game
Millions of years ago and thousands of feet below the ocean's murky surface lived the oldest relative of the octopus and vampire squid.

NPR Topics: Research News
Mar 11, 2022

Nizar Ibrahim: How did we unearth the largest predator in history?
The largest predator in history was bigger than a T. Rex and longer than a school bus. And it swam. Paleontologist Nizar Ibrahim shares his quest to uncover the Spinosaurus.

NPR Topics: Research News
Mar 10, 2022

Even many decades later, redlined areas see higher levels of air pollution
"We see a really clear association between how these maps were drawn in the '30s and the air pollution disparities today," says an author of a new study on the effects of discriminatory lending.

NPR Topics: Research News
Mar 10, 2022

Therapy dogs can help relieve pain in the ER
They have offered comfort at nursing homes, schools — even disaster sites. Now, a study shows that a 10-minute visit from therapy dogs can help relieve emergency room patients' pain.

NPR Topics: Research News
Mar 09, 2022

A man who got the 1st pig heart transplant has died after 2 months
David Bennett, 57, died Tuesday at the University of Maryland Medical Center. He was the first person to receive a heart transplant from a pig.

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 28, 2022

The time of year the dinosaur-killing asteroid hit explains why some species survived
The asteroid that wiped out dinosaurs hit in spring the northern hemisphere, a new study suggests. Scientists say animals in the different hemispheres may have fared differently after the event.

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 25, 2022

'Stand Your Ground' laws are linked to an increase in U.S. homicides, study says
Trayvon Martin was killed a decade ago. The man who shot him used Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law as a successful defense. Critics say those laws are being abused and leading to more deaths.

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 23, 2022

A.I. has mastered 'Gran Turismo' — and one autonomous car designer is taking note
A new artificial intelligence program has beaten the world's best players in the popular PlayStation racing game Gran Turismo Sport. But the impact could be felt far beyond that.

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 22, 2022

Soot is accelerating snow melt in popular parts of Antarctica, a study finds
Arctic communities have long been plagued by soot that drives snow melt and respiratory disease. Now, humans are making their mark in Antarctica.

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 22, 2022

Soot is accelerating snow melt in popular parts of Antarctica, study finds
Arctic communities have long been plagued by soot that drives snow melt and respiratory disease. Now, humans are making their mark in Antarctica.

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 21, 2022

As booster shot protections wane, here's the latest research on a 4th vaccine dose
Scientists now know that the potency of the booster shot wanes quickly after about three months. We look at the latest research on a fourth shot.

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 19, 2022

Art and music therapy seem to help with brain disorders. Scientists want to know why
Arts therapies appear to ease brain disorders from Parkinson's to PTSD. Now, artists and scientists have launched an effort to understand how these treatments change the brain.

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 18, 2022

Major oil companies aren't following through on climate change promises
NPR's Mary Louise Kelly talks with Gregory Trencher, a co-author of a report that shows, despite pledges, BP, Chevron, Exxon Mobil and Shell aren't making changes needed to transition to clean energy.

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 18, 2022

Elephant tusk DNA can expose poaching networks, new analysis finds
Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a way of using DNA from elephant tusks to solve poaching mysteries and bring animal traffickers to justice.

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 16, 2022

Scientists say elephant tusk DNA can expose poaching networks
Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a way of using DNA from elephant tusks to solve poaching mysteries and bring animal traffickers to justice.

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 14, 2022

Study finds Western megadrought is the worst in 1,200 years
In records dating back to 800 AD, the only multi-decade drought that came close to today's was in the 1500's. Researchers say climate change is a factor, and the U.S. must plan for less water.

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 10, 2022

Watch these robotic fish swim to the beat of human heart cells
Tiny, robotic fish powered by human heart cells suggest that scientists are getting closer to their goal of building replacement hearts from living tissue.

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 08, 2022

How to build a fire inside, according to Neanderthals
Early humans seemed to strike the perfect balance in situating their hearths in the cave, preserving ample sitting and cooking space while avoiding the worst effects of smoke.

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 07, 2022

A brain circuit tied to emotion may lead to better treatments for Parkinson's disease
The symptoms of Parkinson's disease can vanish briefly in the face of stress or a strong emotion. Now scientists are searching for a treatment based on this phenomenon, a form of the placebo effect.

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 04, 2022

Building a fire in a cave is not easy — early humans figured out how
Early humans seemed to strike the perfect balance in situating their hearths in the cave, preserving ample sitting and cooking space while avoiding the worst effects of smoke.

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 04, 2022

Discovery of HIV variant shows virus can evolve to be more severe — and contagious
Findings from a new study help answer questions about why some people get more severe and transmissible HIV than others — and serves as a reminder that viruses don't always weaken over time.

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 03, 2022

A satellite finds massive methane leaks from gas pipelines
A satellite has detected massive leaks of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, from natural gas plants and pipelines. Most of these releases are deliberate, resulting from sloppy pipeline repairs.

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 02, 2022

The song sparrow might be nature's best DJ
Instead of playing the same old tune, male song sparrow's sing a variety of songs to keep potential mates interested.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 27, 2022

Thirsty? Here's how your brain answers that question
Scientists have shown that the brain uses multiple checkpoints to make sure we get enough water, but not too much

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 27, 2022

NIH is 'largely finished' moving its former research chimps to a sanctuary
All chimps managed by the National Institutes of Health that are currently eligible to go to a sanctuary have been moved there, but animal welfare advocates say more should be allowed to go.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 27, 2022

The NIH is 'largely finished' moving its former research chimps to a sanctuary
All chimps managed by the National Institutes of Health that are currently eligible to go to a sanctuary have been moved there, but animal welfare advocates say more should be allowed to go.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 27, 2022

Gas stoves leak climate-warming methane even when they're off
A new study finds tiny leaks from loose fittings added up to more emissions than when stoves were in use. The impact on climate change amounts to the same effect as a half-million cars.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 26, 2022

The FDA limits the use of some monoclonal antibodies treatments
The Food and Drug Administration is curbing the use of two out of three monoclonal antibody treatments because new data shows they aren't effective against the omicron variant.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 23, 2022

Simone Biles has a rival — a tiny bark beetle (but it can't stick the landing)
A team of researchers has discovered the gymnastic ability of bark beetle larvae. Scientists recently recorded the larvae performing the twisting leap for the first time.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 22, 2022

A prehistoric eruption has helped recalibrate our timeline of human origins in Africa
Some of the oldest human remains ever unearthed are the Omo 1 bones found in Ethiopia. For decades, their precise age has been debated, but a new study may have the answer.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 21, 2022

Could the world become too warm to hold Winter Olympics?
If nations don't address high greenhouse gas emissions, by the 2080s, all but one of the 21 cities that previously hosted the Winter Games would be able to do so again, a new study has found.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 20, 2022

Even babies and toddlers know that swapping saliva is a sure sign of love
For infants, toddlers, and children, one sign of an especially close relationship is if two people do something that involves exchanging saliva, like taking bites from the same piece of food.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 14, 2022

The bald eagle population slowly recovers, but lead ammo hampers their resilience
Bald eagles, hailed an "American success story" were removed from the endangered species list in 2007. Now, researchers have found that lead ammunition has reduced their population growth.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 14, 2022

A face mask may make you more attractive, researchers say
Researchers at Cardiff University in Wales asked a group of women to rate the looks of people both masked and mask-less. It wasn't close, the masked people prevailed.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 13, 2022

Scientists determine age of some of the oldest human bones
Some of the oldest human remains ever unearthed are the Omo One bones found in Ethiopia. For decades, their precise age has been debated, but a new study argues they're around 233,000 years old.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 13, 2022

Scientists think they've found a big, weird moon in a far-off star system
Scientists have found many planets orbiting distant stars, but so far no proof that any have moons. Now, researchers have detected signs of a large exomoon orbiting a Jupiter-like world.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 11, 2022

Israeli scientists have trained goldfish to drive, in a scene out of a Dr. Seuss book
An experiment involving a robotic tank on wheels and six trained goldfish may offer insights into animals' ability to navigate unfamiliar environments.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 10, 2022

Doctors transplant a genetically modified pig heart into a human for the 1st time
While it's too soon to know if the operation really will work, it marks a step in the decades-long quest to one day use animal organs for life-saving transplants.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 09, 2022

Scientists vacuum zoo animals' DNA out of the air
Researchers who detected that detecting environmental DNA, or eDNA, in two zoos say the technique could one day be used to look for endangered species in remote locations in the wild.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 07, 2022

What crying baby mice could teach us about human speech
Scientists have found a cluster of rhythmic brain cells in newborn mice that may explain why spoken languages around the world share a common tempo.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 06, 2022

Is your dog bilingual? A new study suggests their brains can tell languages apart
When brain researcher Laura Cuaya moved from Mexico to Hungary, she wanted to know if her two dogs would recognize the change in language. So she devised an experiment.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 24, 2021

4 of the biggest archeological advancements of 2021 — including one 'game changer'
We spoke to four archaeologists of different specialties, who told us what they thought were some of the most important developments in their field in 2021.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 22, 2021

Omicron will cause more infections but lower hospital rates, analysis shows
University of Washington research predicts the omicron wave will infect more than 400,000 people a day in the U.S. when it crests in about six weeks.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 22, 2021

Omicron will cause more infections, but lower hospital rates, analysis shows
University of Washington research projects the omicron wave will infect more than 400,000 people a day in the U.S. when it crests in about six weeks.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 22, 2021

A brain circuit linking pain and breathing may offer a path to prevent opioid deaths
Opioids can kill because they reduce breathing along with pain. Now brain scientists have made a discovery that could lead to potent pain drugs that don't affect breathing.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 20, 2021

How your brain copes with grief, and why it takes time to heal
Grieving is a form of learning, says a scientist who studies the brain's response to loss. When someone you love dies, you have to learn new rules for navigating the world and your brain has to adapt.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 19, 2021

Non-pro athletes may also be at increased risk for CTE, neuroscientist says
NPR's Sacha Pfeiffer speaks with a man who is concerned about CTE, and with neuroscientist Bob Stern, who explains why more cases of CTE may emerge decades after plastic helmets became commonplace.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 18, 2021

Scientist explains how a crumbling glacier could shrink coastlines globally
NPR's Sacha Pfeiffer speaks with glaciologist Erin Pettit about her research on the Thwaites Glacier, a bellwether ice shelf that could fail in the next five years and accelerate global sea rise.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 17, 2021

European soccer matches have become predictable, study finds. Salary caps might help
After analyzing some 88,000 European soccer matches, scientists say games have become more predictable over time and hypothesize that salary caps could help revive the surprise.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 16, 2021

From blood clots to infected neurons, how COVID threatens the brain
The virus that causes COVID-19 can cause strokes, inflammation, oxygen deprivation and infection in the brain. And each of these may lead to long term neurological problems.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 16, 2021

Do you have to be really smart to be a scientist or a surgeon? Not necessarily
In what may be a relief to some, a new study from the British Medical Journal showed that neurosurgeons and aerospace engineers have similar cognition levels as the rest of us.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 15, 2021

Omicron evades Moderna vaccine too, study suggests, but boosters help
The Moderna vaccine's ability to shield against infection drops sharply when tested on the omicron variant. But getting a booster pumps the protection back up again, new research suggests.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 14, 2021

Need to break up with someone? Baboons have found a good way to do it, study finds
Just like humans, groups of baboons sometimes break off relations. Scientists have studied the dynamics of such breakups and say baboons tend to split up in a cooperative, egalitarian way.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 09, 2021

Why do some couples use baby talk to communicate with each other?
Researcher Ramesh Kaipa at Oklahoma State University says using high-pitched chatter and silly pet names is a way of fulfilling our psychological needs.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 07, 2021

Data analysts proved what Black Pittsburgh knew about COVID's racial disparities
Community leaders saw early in the pandemic that the city's residents of color were being hit hard by COVID-19. They worked with data analysts to show just how hard, where and why.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 06, 2021

Scientists have discovered the first self-replicating living robots
A team of scientists from the University of Vermont, Tufts and Harvard took stem cells from a frog and turned them into robots. The tiny robots made copies of themselves.

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