Science

'Near-Space Dive' Sets New Skydive Record, 25 Miles Above Earth

Google's Alan Eustace fell from an altitude of more than 135,000 feet, plummeting for some 15 minutes. The jump broke the record of 127,852 feet that Felix Baumgartner set in 2012.

Weekend Edition Saturday

Ebola Vaccine Tester Feels A 'Real Satisfaction'

Peter Hubbard is one of 20 volunteers in a human safety test of an experimental Ebola vaccine. He tells NPR's Scott Simon about why he signed up and how he has been feeling.

Tech Week: Voice Mail Hang-Ups, Apple Pay And Zuckerberg's Chinese

In this week's roundup, Apple rolls out its mobile payment system but confronts a security test in China, the problem with voice mail messages and Mark Zuckerberg shows off his Mandarin.

All Things Considered

New Facebook App A Throwback To Old Chatrooms

Facebook's new app, Rooms, harkens back to the days of 1990s anonymous chat rooms. New York Times tech reporter, Mike Isaac, talks about why having secret identities online is a good thing.

'Freakish' Sunspot Wows Astronomers

AR 2192, the largest sunspot seen since the beginning of the current 11-year cycle that started in 2008, is producing strong solar flares.

Curiosity: It Helps Us Learn, But Why?

New research suggests that curiosity triggers chemical changes in the brain that help us better understand and retain information.

TED Radio Hour

Are We Evolving Into A Different Species?

Juan Enriquez argues that human evolution is far from over — Homo sapiens are becoming a new species right before our eyes.

TED Radio Hour

Why Did Humans Migrate Out Of Africa?

Geneticist Spencer Wells tells the story of early humans, and our eventual migration from Africa.

TED Radio Hour

Are All Human Beings Related?

Geneticist Spencer Wells describes how he uses DNA samples to trace our individual origins going back 2,000 generations.

TED Radio Hour

Where Did Human Beings Originate?

Louise Leakey describes her family's long search for early human remains in Africa, and how unlocking that mystery is the key to understanding our past and our future.

The Origin Of Sex As We Know It

October 24, 2014
Researchers found that internal fertilization and copulation was invented by ancient armored fish, called placoderms, about 385 million years ago in Scotland. (Flinders University)

Scientists say they have discovered the origin of copulation. Turns out it can be traced to an ancient lake in Scotland.

Coal Mining Threatens The Great Barrier Reef

October 24, 2014
A photo taken on September 22, 2014, shows fish swimming through the coral on Australia's Great Barrier Reef. (William West/AFP/Getty Images)

The reef is an underwater wonderland, but it’s facing multiple threats. Among them: the coal industry on Australia’s coast.

Study Raises Questions About Military Service Causing Chronic Suicidal Tendencies

October 23, 2014

A new study commissioned by the U.S. Army has found that the mental health of soldiers isn’t as different from civilians as the researchers previously thought.

Bottom Of The Sea Is ‘A World Of Surprises’

October 23, 2014
Boulder brain coral off the southwest coast of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Red lights from the ROV shining on the coral help scientists estimate its size. (NOAA)

The world’s oceans cover nearly two-thirds of the Earth’s surface, yet little is understood about the ocean floor.

Apollo Astronauts Discuss Future Of Space Exploration At MIT

October 23, 2014
Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second person to walk on the Moon, speaks at MIT during a program "Celebrating 100 Years of MIT Aerospace," Wednesday. (Steven Senne/AP)

MIT’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics is marking its centennial this week, with a symposium examining the past, present and future of aviation and space exploration. Its opening day brought eight Apollo-era astronauts together.

The Country At The Epicenter Of The Ebola Outbreak

October 22, 2014
Health workers carry the body of a woman suspected of contracting the Ebola virus in Bomi county situated on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia, Monday, Oct. 20, 2014. (AP)

We’ll go to Liberia, and hear from a pastor and a physician at the epicenter of the Ebola crisis.

Where We're Going, We'll Probably Still Need Cars

October 21, 2014
This undated image provided by Google, shows an early version of Google's prototype self-driving car. For the first time, California's Department of Motor Vehicles knows how many self-driving cars are traveling on the state's public roads. The agency is issuing permits, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014 that let three companies test 29 vehicles on highways and in neighborhoods. (AP)

The future of the car: from the fuels they’ll run on, to the materials they’ll be made of, to the computers that may drive them.

Comet Narrowly Passes Mars, NASA Orbiters

October 20, 2014
An artist's concept of comet Siding Spring and Mars. (NASA)

The comet Siding Spring came closer to Mars than any comet has come to a planet in recorded history.

Be Afraid: We Have Nothing To Fear But Fear Itself

October 20, 2014
In this Oct. 2, 2014 photo, patrons line up for “Nightmare: New York,” a haunted house attraction in New York. (AP)

Afraid of snakes? Heights? Ebola? We’ll unpack the science of fear.

How Rational Are Our Fears Of Ebola?

October 16, 2014
Attendees hold candles at a prayer vigil on the campus of TCU for health care worker Nina Pham who was diagnosed with the Ebola virus on October 14, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. (Mike Stone/Getty Images)

A new poll shows that 1 in 4 Americans are fearful of contracting Ebola, but are those fears warranted?

The U.S. Health System Vs. Ebola

October 16, 2014
In this Oct. 8, 2014 file photo, a sign points to the entrance to the emergency room at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, where U.S. Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan was being treated, in Dallas. (AP)

A second Dallas nurse infected with Ebola. At least 76 in her hospital, exposed. We’ll look at the American medical system racing for Ebola readiness.

Atul Gawande’s Prescription For A Better Way To Die

October 15, 2014
(mikekingphoto/Flickr)

In his new book “Being Mortal,” surgeon Atul Gawande looks at how doctors and other health care workers can improve end of life and elder care.

And The Nobel Prize For Facilitating Scientific Discovery Goes To: The Minivan

October 15, 2014
Suzanne Greenwald: "This is modern science that matters. Once frumpy, the minivan is busting out of the suburbs, big-time." (Honda/AP)

This is modern science that matters. Once frumpy, the minivan is busting out of the suburbs, big-time.

Gov. Patrick On Ebola: ‘No Cause For Alarm’ In Massachusetts

October 14, 2014
A hazmat worker cleans outside the apartment building of a hospital worker, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Dallas. (LM Otero/AP)

State health and government officials are working hard to tamp down fears about the global Ebola crisis one day after five people arrived at Logan Airport from Dubai with flu-like symptoms.

Early Intervention For Toddlers With Autism Showing Signs Of Success

October 14, 2014
A program at Mercy Children's Hospital in St. Louis provides early intervention for children diagnosed with autism. (Courtesy Mercy Children's Hospital)

Doctors say that children as young as 12 months can be diagnosed with autism, and that early treatment can help reverse the condition.

What’s The Best Way To Design A Work Space?

October 14, 2014
What kind of workspace works best for you? (madrideducacion.es/Flickr)

Here’s one thing we know about office design: it’s often the result of fads. Cubicles, no cubicles, open design, closed meeting rooms, rotating desk assignments, standing desks, treadmill desks — even no desks.

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