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NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 06, 2023

Family caregivers of people with long COVID bear an extra burden
When a case of COVID-19 morphs into the mysterious, chronic condition known as long COVID, the specialists, appointments, medications and daily need for family care can overwhelm everyone involved.

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 02, 2023

A single-shot treatment to protect infants from RSV may be coming soon
The illness sends tens of thousands of babies to the hospital each year. If approved, the new injection would be the first broadly available prevention tool.

NPR Topics: Research News
Feb 01, 2023

Neanderthal groups looked and acted differently than once thought, research suggests
Researchers re-analyzed elephant bones found in a German cave and say Neanderthals likely cut and butchered them, suggesting Neanderthal groups may have been larger and more sedentary than thought.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 29, 2023

COVID flashback: Here's how NPR reported on the coronavirus at a turning point
On Jan. 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the "novel coronavirus" sweeping through China to be a global health emergency. Here's how NPR covered the story at that point in time.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 29, 2023

COVID flashback: On Jan. 30, 2020, WHO declared a global health emergency
The World Health Organization issued the statement as the novel coronavirus, calling it an "unprecedented outbreak." Here's what we knew — and didn't know — about the virus at that time.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 27, 2023

Can you bond without the 'love hormone'? These cuddly rodents show it's possible
The hormone oxytocin plays a key role in long-term relationships. But a study of prairie voles finds that the animals mate for life even without help from the "love hormone."

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 27, 2023

Prairie voles can find love without the 'love hormone' oxytocin, study finds
The hormone oxytocin plays a key role in long-term relationships. But a study of prairie voles finds that the animals mate for life even without help from the "love hormone."

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 27, 2023

Virologists defend their science as officials eye more oversight of risky experiments
Policymakers have long grappled with how to handle experiments that might generate potentially dangerous viruses. Now, officials are considering whether oversight needs to be expanded.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 27, 2023

When is it OK to make germs worse in a lab? It's a more relevant question than ever
Policymakers have long grappled with how to handle experiments that might generate potentially dangerous viruses. Now, officials are considering whether oversight needs to be expanded.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 26, 2023

Humans can correctly identify several gestures made by apes, a new study shows
On average, half the participants in a study by the University of St. Andrews in Scotland could recognize what either chimpanzees or bonobos were communicating.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 25, 2023

Are you sleepy, hungry or maybe both? Here's a side hustle for you
Mattress review website Sleep Junkie will pay five volunteers $1,000 each to eat cheese snacks before bedtime. A study is looking into whether eating cheese before bed leads to nightmares.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 19, 2023

Study shows heavy stones may give big leaps in water — plus real-world implications
Researchers have studied the physics behind heavy stones skipping across the surface of water. They say these findings could be applied to real-world problems like de-icing airplanes.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 18, 2023

What makes that song swing? At last, physicists unravel a jazz mystery
For nearly a century, jazz musicians have debated what gives songs that propulsive, groovy feel that makes you want to move with the music. The secret may lie in subtle nuances in a soloist's timing.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 17, 2023

Is music an exclusively human thing? A new study says no
Charles Darwin once speculated that all animals may share the ability to perceive melody and rhythm. Although the evidence is slim, there are a few studies that support Darwin's idea.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 17, 2023

Social isolation linked to an increased risk of dementia, new study finds
Socially isolated older adults have a 27% higher chance of developing dementia, according to researchers from Johns Hopkins. The findings suggest that simple interventions could be meaningful.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 12, 2023

Extracting DNA from Neanderthal urine — and other breakthrough technologies of the year
MIT Technology Review has released its annual list of breakthrough technologies. NPR's Mary Louise Kelly speaks with Amy Nordrum, an editor who helped put the list together.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 12, 2023

Exxon climate predictions were accurate decades ago. Still it sowed doubt
Exxon's climate research decades back painted an accurate picture of global warming, according to a new scientific paper. Still the oil company continued climate-denying policy efforts.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 11, 2023

In praise of being late: The upside of spurning the clock
People who lose track of time aren't rude, researchers say — they may just be listening to their inner timekeeper instead of an external clock. Living according to "event time" has its benefits.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 10, 2023

Forest lizards have genetically morphed to survive life in the city, researchers say
The Puerto Rican crested anole has sprouted special scales to better cling to smooth surfaces like walls and windows and grown larger limbs to sprint across open areas, scientists say.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 08, 2023

New research finds why humans walk with a 'double bounce'
A new study out of the Technical University of Munich sheds new light on the "double bounce" in the human gait. NPR's Ayesha Rascoe speaks to mechanical engineer Daniel Renjewski who led the study.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 06, 2023

RSV recedes and flu peaks as a new COVID variant shoots 'up like a rocket'
RSV and the flu appear to be receding in the U.S., but COVID is on the rise, new data suggest, driven by holiday gatherings and an even more transmissible omicron subvariant that has become dominant.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jan 04, 2023

How our perception of time shapes our approach to climate change
Climate goals can feel distant. But climate change is a happening right now. Speed up the benefits for taking action, psychologists say, if you want leaders and others to pay attention and act.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 28, 2022

It's not too late to get a COVID booster — especially for older adults
Public health officials want more Americans to get the latest COVID vaccine booster. Only 35% of people over 65 have gotten the shot, though 75% of COVID deaths are among people in this age group.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 27, 2022

Psychedelic drugs may launch a new era in psychiatric treatment, brain scientists say
Psychedelic drugs were a hot topic at this year's Society for Neuroscience meeting. Researchers hope the drugs can help people with disorders like depression and PTSD.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 26, 2022

The astonishing vanishing act of the glassfrog, revealed
A kind of transparent frog achieves near invisibility by hiding its red blood cells during the day, scientists found. "I had never seen anything like that," researcher Carlos Taboada says.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 26, 2022

I usually wake up just ahead of my alarm. What's up with that?
Call it "precision waking" — the alleged ability to decide when you want to wake up and then doing so, without an alarm. If you think you can do it, you're not alone, though how is still mysterious.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 25, 2022

Turns out dinosaurs probably didn't roar quite like we think
BBC science journalist Richard Gray tells NPR's Daniel Estrin that dinosaurs may not have roared in the manner we commonly imagine.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 23, 2022

A new kind of blood test can screen for many cancers — as some pregnant people learn
Testing pregnant people's blood to look at free-floating DNA can tell doctors about the health of the fetus. But these tests sometime turn up DNA that might be shed by cancerous cells.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 22, 2022

Can dogs smell time? Just ask Donut the dog
After decades of wondering, an NPR reporter finally figures out how her husband's family dog knew when the school bus would arrive everyday. She did some digging — and now it all makes scents.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 20, 2022

For 'time cells' in the brain, what matters is what happens in the moment
The brain uses special neurons called time cells to organize our memories of events and experiences. But, despite their name, these cells don't work like a clock.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 17, 2022

Perceiving without seeing: How light resets your internal clock
We mark our days by sunlight, with special receptors in our eyes that respond to light and help reset our body clocks each day. This man can't see, but is still a circadian wiz. Here's how.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 15, 2022

Law requires former research chimps to be retired at a federal sanctuary, court says
The ruling is the latest twist in a long-running dispute over where dozens of federally-supported former research chimps should live out the remainder of their days.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 13, 2022

CRISPR gene-editing may boost cancer immunotherapy, new study finds
Using CRISPR to modify certain immune cells could make cancer-fighting immunotherapy more potent for a broader set of patients. Two people who went through the treatment share their stories.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 04, 2022

Death metal singers have a vocal counterpart ... in bats
Bats and death metal singers have more in common than a love of the dark. A new study has found that some of bats' lower frequency calls appear to use a technique similar to death metal growling.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 04, 2022

In the hunt for a male contraceptive, scientists look to stop sperm in their tracks
For decades birth control research focused on women. Now there's a new push to develop gels, pills or other products that could keep men from getting their partners pregnant.

NPR Topics: Research News
Dec 02, 2022

With one dose, new drug may cure sleeping sickness. Could it also wipe it out?
This often fatal disease found in many African countries is painful and lengthy to treat. But a single oral dose proved incredibly effective in a clinical trial, raising hopes of eradication.

NPR Topics: Research News
Nov 30, 2022

Study: Alzheimer's drug shows modest success slowing declines in memory, thinking
In a large study, the experimental Alzheimer's drug lecanemab reduced the rate of cognitive decline by 27 percent in people in the early stages of the disease.

NPR Topics: Research News
Nov 16, 2022

What makes us dance? It really is all about that bass
A recent study in the journal Current Biology found that people danced 12% more when very low frequency bass was played.

NPR Topics: Research News
Nov 15, 2022

Researchers dig into why nose-picking is a common behavior
New research shows that a type of primate known as an aye-aye loves picking its nose. Researchers say the findings raise interesting questions about why nose-picking is such a common behavior.

NPR Topics: Research News
Nov 11, 2022

It turns out that chimpanzees and gorillas can form lasting friendships
Two decades of research in Nouabalé-Ndoki Park in the Republic of Congo found the primates foraging alongside each other, wrestling, seeking out their pals — and occasionally making threats.

NPR Topics: Research News
Nov 10, 2022

Inaudible, low-frequency bass makes people boogie more on the dancefloor
NPR's Ailsa Chang talks with neuroscientist Daniel Cameron, who found that inaudible, low-frequency bass appears to make people boogie nearly 12% more on the dancefloor.

NPR Topics: Research News
Nov 06, 2022

How do our brains decide to remember something positively or negatively?
NPR's Ayesha Rascoe speaks to researcher Hao Li about a new study that shows how the brain ascertains experiences as positive or negative.

NPR Topics: Research News
Nov 06, 2022

New research finds bumblebees like to play with toys
A new study shows that young bumblebees like to play with toys, mirroring the behavior of young mammals. Bumblebees are also the first insects observed to engage in object play.

NPR Topics: Research News
Nov 05, 2022

If bumblebees can play, does it mean they have feelings? This study suggests yes
Scientists wanted to learn whether bees, like humans and other mammals, had any interest in playing for fun's sake. They say they have evidence that bees do, and that could change how we view insects.

NPR Topics: Research News
Nov 04, 2022

Daylight saving time ends Sunday. Here are 4 things you should know
More than a third of U.S. states now support the idea of making daylight saving time permanent. It's already in effect for about eight months of the year.

NPR Topics: Research News
Nov 03, 2022

Dozens of species were assumed to be mute — until they were recorded making sounds
Some animals like birds and frogs are famous for the sounds they make. But have you ever heard a turtle talk? Most turtles were thought to not make sounds at all — before researchers went deep.

NPR Topics: Research News
Nov 01, 2022

What causes Alzheimer's? Study puts leading theory to 'ultimate test'
Researchers are launching a make-or-break study to test the conventional wisdom about what causes Alzheimer's disease.

NPR Topics: Research News
Oct 31, 2022

Smiling faces might help the drug ketamine keep depression at bay
In a recent small study, the antidepressant effects of ketamine lasted longer when an intravenous dose was followed with computer games featuring smiling faces or words aimed at boosting self-esteem.

NPR Topics: Research News
Oct 29, 2022

Talking to strangers might make you happier, a study on 'relational diversity' finds
A study finds that we are happier the more we talk with different categories of people — colleagues, family, strangers — and the more evenly our conversations are spread out among those groups.

NPR Topics: Research News
Oct 26, 2022

Most teens who start puberty suppression continue gender-affirming care, study finds
A new study from a Dutch clinic found that 98% of transgender adolescents who received puberty suppression treatment went on to continue gender-affirming treatment.

NPR Topics: Research News
Oct 23, 2022

Researchers have found a link between chemical straighteners and uterine cancer
NPR's Ayesha Rascoe speaks to Alexandra White of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences about the link between chemical hair straighteners and uterine cancer.

NPR Topics: Research News
Oct 22, 2022

The fastest ever laundry-folding robot is here. And it's likely still slower than you
Researchers and companies have tried over the years to automate the chore with limited success. Using a brand new method, researchers have taught a robot to fold a record 30-40 garments per hour.

NPR Topics: Research News
Oct 21, 2022

Health department medical detectives find 84% of U.S. maternal deaths are preventable
More than half of these deaths occur well after the mom leaves the hospital. To save lives, mothers need more support in the "fourth trimester, that time after the baby is born," one researcher says.

NPR Topics: Research News
Oct 19, 2022

Researchers uncover the first Neanderthals that are related to each other
Researchers have uncovered the first Neanderthals that are related to each other. The finding shows that these ancient people lived in clans similar to those of modern humans.

NPR Topics: Research News
Oct 19, 2022

Hair straightening chemicals may increase women's risk of uterine cancer, study finds
The findings are a concern for Black women, researchers say, who are far more likely to report using straightening products such as relaxers.

NPR Topics: Research News
Oct 15, 2022

A black hole is releasing some strange burps, baffling scientists
Astronomers were stunned to find that the black hole was emitting energy, two years after it pulled apart a star that had come too close.

NPR Topics: Research News
Oct 14, 2022

Brain cells in a lab dish learn to play Pong — and offer a window onto intelligence
A dish of brain cells learned to play the 1970s video game Pong. The research could help computers become more intelligent

NPR Topics: Research News
Oct 13, 2022

Colonoscopies save lives. Doctors push back against European study that casts doubt
Colon cancer specialists worry that results of a study published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine could be misconstrued, and keep patients from getting lifesaving cancer screening.

NPR Topics: Research News
Oct 12, 2022

Human cells in a rat's brain could shed light on autism and ADHD
Scientists have devised a new model for studying disorders like autism spectrum disorder and ADHD. It uses clusters of human brain cells grown inside the brain of a rat.

NPR Topics: Research News
Oct 06, 2022

How glaciers melted 20,000 years ago may offer clues about climate change's effects
New research out of the British Antarctic Survey found thousands of underground channels left by ice age glacial melt. The findings could improve the accuracy of modern-day models of sea level rise.

NPR Topics: Research News
Oct 05, 2022

These LSD-based drugs seem to help mice with anxiety and depression — without the trip
Scientists have made a drug based on LSD that seems to fight depression without producing a psychedelic experience.

NPR Topics: Research News
Oct 05, 2022

The Nobel chemistry prize is awarded to 3 people for their work in attaching molecules
This year's Nobel Prize in chemistry has been awarded in equal parts to Carolyn R. Bertozzi, Morten Meldal and K. Barry Sharpless for developing way of "snapping molecules together."

NPR Topics: Research News
Oct 04, 2022

3 scientists share Nobel Prize in physics for their work on quantum information
This year's Nobel Prize in physics has been awarded to research on how light and matter act on an atomic scale.

NPR Topics: Research News
Oct 03, 2022

The Nobel prize in medicine has been awarded for research on evolution
This year's Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine has been awarded to Swedish scientist Svante Pääbo for his discoveries on human evolution.

NPR Topics: Research News
Sep 20, 2022

Why your bad boss will probably lose the remote-work wars
Since 2020, office workers have waged an epic battle to work remotely. They're mostly winning.

NPR Topics: Research News
Sep 20, 2022

Daily 'breath training' can work as well as medicine to reduce high blood pressure
Research finds five to 10 minutes daily of a type of strength training for muscles used in breathing can help anyone reduce or prevent high blood pressure. The training can also help elite athletes.

NPR Topics: Research News
Sep 18, 2022

Scientists have found a mineral stronger than diamond
Scientists have found a mineral stronger than diamond. They say lonsdaleite could be used to fortify industrial tools like drill bits and saw blades - AND teach us about the evolution of earth.

NPR Topics: Research News
Sep 16, 2022

Scientists debate how lethal COVID is. Some say it's now less risky than flu
They argue the threat posed by COVID has lessened because of preexisting immunity and access to treatment. Plus, some deaths may be incorrectly blamed on COVID. Others caution it's too soon to tell.

NPR Topics: Research News
Sep 12, 2022

With early Alzheimer's in the family, these sisters decided to test for the gene
For some people, a rare genetic mutation makes dementia inescapable. Three sisters have decided to confront fate with a genetic test and have joined a research project on possible treatments.

NPR Topics: Research News
Sep 10, 2022

7 fun facts about sweat
Perspiration can be a stinky nuisance as temperatures climb, but scientists say we shouldn't sell sweat short. There's so much more to the briny stuff than meets the eye.

NPR Topics: Research News
Sep 07, 2022

Amputation in a 31,000-year-old skeleton may be a sign of prehistoric medical advances
The skeleton of a young adult found in a cave in Indonesia that is missing its left foot and part of its left leg reveal the oldest known evidence of an amputation, according to a new study.

NPR Topics: Research News
Sep 07, 2022

A newly discovered planet 40% larger than Earth may be suitable for life
It's one of two new planets that were recently found about 100 light years from Earth, both of which take just days to orbit their own sun.

NPR Topics: Research News
Aug 23, 2022

Spiders show signs of REM-like activity, raising the question: Do they dream?
A team of researchers filmed jumping spiders overnight and observed behaviors that mirror rapid eye movement sleep in other species. It helps that baby jumping spiders have translucent exoskeletons.

NPR Topics: Research News
Aug 18, 2022

What's behind the FDA's controversial strategy for evaluating new COVID boosters
Some scientists are alarmed that the agency plans to evaluate the next generation of boosters by reviewing mouse studies alone. Others say there's no time to waste waiting for human trials.

NPR Topics: Research News
Aug 12, 2022

A cataclysmic flood is coming for California. Climate change makes it more likely.
There's a long history of massive inland flooding in California. New research finds that climate change has already doubled the odds it happens again.

NPR Topics: Research News
Aug 08, 2022

COVID sewage surveillance labs join the hunt for monkeypox
Wastewater testing has proved a reliable early alarm bell for COVID-19 outbreaks. U.S. researchers are now adapting the approach to track the explosive spread of monkeypox, and maybe other viruses.

NPR Topics: Research News
Aug 08, 2022

An island in the Galápagos reintroduced iguanas after nearly 200 years of extinction
The Galápagos land iguana is back on Santiago Island. That's thanks to some help from a team of conservationists.

NPR Topics: Research News
Aug 01, 2022

Why the American Dream is more attainable in some cities than others
A blockbuster new study reveals a key factor explaining rates of upward mobility.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jul 31, 2022

This fish evolved to walk on land — then said 'nope' and went back to the water
In a move reflective of a viral meme, a new study shows that an ancient fish really did evolve to walk out of the water, only to then go back to the sea.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jul 30, 2022

A lot of predictions were made about COVID's social impact. How did they hold up?
NPR's Scott Simon asks Wharton School management professor Ethan Mollick about research into pandemic predictions and how to make the people around you happy.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jul 26, 2022

Fossil shows fish evolved to walk on land — then went back to the water
After an ancient fish developed legs, its newly discovered descendent Qikiqtania wakei went back to swimming in open water.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jul 23, 2022

Baby talk is a universal phenomenon
NPR's Michel Martin speaks with Courtney Hilton about his research that centers on how people talk to babies around the world.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jul 23, 2022

The science is in: Everyone recognizes and uses baby talk with infants
The features of baby talk — softer tone, higher pitch, almost unintelligible vocabulary — are global. Researchers made over 1,500 recordings in urban, rural and Indigenous communities.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jul 14, 2022

A woodpecker's brain takes a big hit with every peck: study
A new study refutes the popular idea that a woodpecker's brain is cushioned from the violent impacts of pecking. It offers a different reason the birds avoid brain damage.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jul 14, 2022

Over-the-counter birth control pills are available worldwide. The U.S. may be next
Birth control pills are available in the U.S. only with a prescription. Now a drugmaker is asking the FDA to approve a progestin-only contraceptive that would be available without one at pharmacies.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jul 08, 2022

A new species of giant water lily has been discovered
Botanists have discovered a new giant water lily with lilly pads that can grow to nearly 10 feet wide. Researchers previously thought there were only two species of giant water lillies.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jul 07, 2022

The story of Fred the mastodon, who died looking for love
A mastodon named Fred, also known as the Buesching mastodon, is a distant relative of the modern elephant. His remains reveal the story of his life and violent end.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jul 04, 2022

Thanks to researchers, face mites are getting an image makeover
New research suggests face mites, long considered parasites, might actually be helpful to humans.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jul 01, 2022

Underwater noise pollution is disturbing ocean life, researchers say
Whales, seals and other marine mammals need their keen hearing for communication and for finding food. But it's being damaged by a range of constant sounds. Ship engines and oil drilling for example.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jun 30, 2022

Scientists say they've solved a 700-year-old mystery: Where and when Black Death began
For centuries, scientists and historians have wondered where the Black Death — the deadliest pandemic in recorded history — came from. New research sheds light on the ancient disease.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jun 25, 2022

Monkeypox outbreak in U.S. is bigger than the CDC reports. Testing is 'abysmal'
The testing system set up by the CDC actually deters doctors from ordering a monkeypox test, and many physicians aren't familiar with the disease, resulting in too few tests and little tracking.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jun 24, 2022

Factual climate change reporting can influence Americans positively, but not for long
Climate change has impacted the world's water, air and land masses. But today's news media isn't designed to reinforce public belief, say researchers.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jun 23, 2022

How 'superworms' could help solve the trash crisis
A new study from Australia shows that larvae of the darkling beetle can eat polystyrene — the material behind plastic foam.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jun 22, 2022

COVID vaccines are finally here for young kids. But the logistics aren't easy
NPR talks to Claire Hannan, who has helped navigate vaccine rollouts in all 50 states, about some of the challenges involved in quickly getting shots out to millions of young kids.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jun 16, 2022

Omicron poses about half the risk of long COVID as delta, new research finds
Some scientists estimate that cases of long COVID from omicron will still rise, however, because of high transmissibility and the misconception that people don't have to worry about catching it.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jun 13, 2022

CTE is rare in brains of deceased service members, study finds
Despite a high risk of brain injuries, military personnel rarely develop a disabling brain condition often found in former boxers and football players.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jun 09, 2022

Researchers are developing prosthetics that have a sense of touch
A team at the University of Pittsburgh is working to connect prosthetic arms and legs with the nervous system to give patients a sense of touch.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jun 09, 2022

Researchers work to create a sense of touch in prosthetic limbs
A team at the University of Pittsburgh is equipping artificial hands and feet with sensors that are linked to a person's own nervous system. Preliminary results, though limited, are promising.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jun 06, 2022

A marble slab in storage turned out to be an ancient Greek yearbook
An ancient Greek inscription on a marble slab has been sitting in a museum for over 130 years. Researchers have learned it's a list of young men who had graduated from a military training class.

NPR Topics: Research News
Jun 06, 2022

A volcano's song could contain clues to its future eruptions, scientists hope
Scientists have recorded a song coming from a volcano. They think the musical notes may someday be useful for predicting when a dangerous eruption might occur.

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