Science
Weekend Edition Saturday

Birder Finds Panama Packed With Species, But No Harpy Eagles

There are more species of birds in Panama than all of North America. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Ray Brown, host of the radio program Talkin' Birds, who just returned from the country.

Weekend Edition Saturday

Indiana's HIV Spike Prompts New Calls For Needle Exchanges Statewide

Southeastern Indiana is battling an HIV outbreak. The new cases are mostly linked to injection drug use and have reignited a debate over needle exchanges, which are currently illegal in the state.

Weekend Edition Saturday

A Day's A Day The World Around — But Shorter On Saturn

Researchers have finally determined the length of a day on the ringed planet (gas shrouds any landmarks, so it was tough). Precision matters: A faster spin influences the speed of surface winds.

App That Aims To Make Books 'Squeaky Clean' Draws Ire From Edited Writers

Clean Reader — an app designed to find, block and replace profanity in books — has drawn considerable criticism from authors. This week, makers of the app announced they would no longer sell e-books.

New York City To Teens: TXT ME With Mental Health Worries

In an effort to connect teenagers with mental health services, New York is testing counseling via text for high school students. They join a growing trend.

Is There Any Way To Screen The World's Pilots For Suicidal Tendencies?

There are questionnaires that aim to identify people at risk of killing themselves. But the tests are flawed — and it's not at all clear they'd be effective in assessing the mental state of pilots.

TED Radio Hour

What Can Bonobos Teach Us About Play?

Primatologist Isabel Behncke Izquierdo explains how bonobos learn by constantly playing. She says play isn't frivolous; it appears to be a critical way to solve problems and avoid conflict.

TED Radio Hour

How Can Playing A Game Make You More Empathetic?

Why is it so hard to feel empathy for strangers? Because we're stressed by them, says neuroscientist Jeff Mogil. His research suggests one way to reduce that stress: play Rock Band together.

TED Radio Hour

How Can Video Games Improve Our Real Lives?

When Jane McGonigal was bedridden after a concussion, she gave herself a prescription: play a game. She says games helped her get better, and for many of us, virtual games can improve our real lives.

Morning Edition

NASA To Study A Twin In Space And His Brother On Earth

During astronaut Scott Kelly's year in space, scientists will compare his physiology with that of his twin brother, Mark, to study the effect of prolonged space flight on the human body.

Pilot Psychology And Flight Safety

March 30, 2015
A stele and flowers laid in memory of the victims are placed in the area where the Germanwings jetliner crashed in the French Alps, in Le Vernet, France, Friday, March 27, 2015. The crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 into an Alpine mountain, which killed all 150 people aboard, has raised questions about the mental state of the co-pilot. (AP)

The pilot who crashed his plane in the Alps. What we know now. And what to do about pilots’ psychological health.

Are We Winning The ‘War On Cancer’?

March 27, 2015
Doctor with a stethoscope (proimos/Flickr)

The number of Americans who will die from cancer each year is growing, but there is evidence we’re moving in the right direction.

Week In The News: Germanwings Crash, Ted Cruz 2016, Yemen Unravels

March 27, 2015
Rescue workers work on debris of the Germanwings jet at the crash site near Seyne-les-Alpes, France, Thursday, March 26, 2015. The co-pilot of the Germanwings jet barricaded himself in the cockpit and “intentionally” rammed the plane full speed into the French Alps, ignoring the captain’s frantic pounding on the cockpit door and the screams of terror from passengers, a prosecutor said Thursday. (AP)

The co-pilot and the plane in the Alps? Ted Cruz announces 2016 bid. Heinz buys Kraft. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Addiction Expert: We Know Too Little About Marijuana

March 26, 2015
Although medicinal marijuana is legal in Massachusetts, no dispensaries have been approved yet. (Melanie Tata/Flickr)

Beacon Hill is buzzing with a proposal to legalize marijuana for recreational use — we talk to Dr. Kevin Hill about the real facts behind the drug.

This Time Is Different: Obama’s Climate Change Opportunity

March 25, 2015
President Obama has the chance to implement a legally binding deal on greenhouse gas reductions, without being hamstrung by a recalcitrant Congress. In this photo, Obama wipes sweat from his brow during a speech on climate change at Georgetown University in July 2013. (Evan Vucci/AP)

The president has the chance to implement a legally binding deal on greenhouse gas reductions, without being hamstrung by a recalcitrant Congress.

Researchers Say Global Warming Is Slowing Ocean Currents

March 24, 2015
Cold melt water coming of the Greenland Ice Sheet is thought to be one of the causes of the disturbance in Atlantic currents. (NASA GISS warming map 1901-2013/Press Release)

A new study suggests that human-caused melting of polar ice has slowed down currents in the Atlantic Ocean, and that the Gulf Stream could shut down far sooner than initially predicted.

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson Joins Late Night Lineup

March 24, 2015
Neil deGrasse Tyson, author, astrophysicist, lecturer and director of the Hayden Planetarium will be premiering a new show on National Geographic, based on his popular podcast, "Star Talk." (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Neil deGrasse Tyson is bringing his popular podcast, “Star Talk” to the screen with a talk show on National Geographic.

New ADHD Treatment Calls for Parenting, Not Pills

March 23, 2015
Most of Boston Medical Center's patients come from the inner city, according to Dr. Michael Silverstein. (Wikimedia Commons)

A new study from Boston University Medical School tested a novel approach to treating ADHD in low-income children and it has nothing to do with giving medication to kids instead, it’s about talking with parents.

New Solutions For Dire California Drought

March 23, 2015
In this Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014 file photo, houseboats sit in the drought lowered waters of Oroville Lake, near Oroville, Calif. California voters overwhelmingly see the state's ongoing water shortage as a serious problem. A Field Poll released Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015 says 94 percent consider the shortage serious, and of those 68 percent find it extremely serious. (AP)

California Governor Jerry Brown, and his billion-dollar emergency drought plan. We’ll look at dry California’s options, including turning to the sea.

Two Stories, One Reason: Why An Actor And An Athlete Refuse To Support Football

March 23, 2015
NFL rookie Chris Borland quits after one season, and an actor declines an offer to be the voice of the sport.  Pictured: Borland, playing for the San Francisco 49ers, runs an interception back for a touchdown past Houston Texans' Uzoma Nwachukwu during the third quarter of an NFL football preseason game Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, in Houston. (Patric Schneider/AP)

NFL rookie Chris Borland quits after one season, and an actor declines an offer to be the voice of the sport.

An Astronaut Uses Books To Launch Kids Into Science

March 18, 2015
Former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly wants to encourage children to dream big and maybe even dream of launching into space. Pictured, a nighttime scene of the eastern North Atlantic taken from the International Space Station on Mar. 28, 2012. (NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center/Flickr)

Astronaut-turned-children-book’s author Mark Kelly wants to encourage kids to dream big and take an interest in science.

The Death Penalty: How And Why We Kill Now

March 18, 2015
In this file photo, a group of death penalty opponents hold a vigil outside St. Francis Xavier College Church hours before the scheduled execution of Missouri death row inmate Russell Bucklew Tuesday, May 20, 2014, in St. Louis. (AP)

Capital punishment by lethal injection may soon be impossible because of drug shortages. Firing squads are back on the table. We’ll look at how the way we execute affects our thinking about the death penalty.

Scientists Discover More About ‘Feel-Good’ Gene

March 17, 2015
A genetic mutation found in about 20 percent Americans makes them less anxious and more resilient. (Moyan Brenn/Flickr)

Researchers are looking into how a genetic mutation — possibly responsible for helping those with it feel less anxious — could help treat psychiatric disorders.

Firm Uses Artificial Intelligence In Drug Development

March 17, 2015
A researcher at Berg Health's laboratory in Framingham. (Courtesy of Berg Health)

A cancer drug known as BPM 31510 may be the first drug candidate that was developed by artificial intelligence.

Warm Water Accelerating Melting Of East Antarctic Glacier

March 17, 2015
Aerial photo of Totten Glacier’s ice shelf edge. (Courtesy Jamin Greenbaum)

The rapid melting of East Antarctica’s largest glacier is leading to concerns about sea level rise.

Framingham Startup Uses Artificial Intelligence To Find Cancer Drugs

March 17, 2015
A researcher at work at Berg Health's laboratory in Framingham. (Courtesy of Berg Health)

BPM 31510 may be the first drug candidate that came from artificial intelligence.

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