Morning Edition

NASA Probe To Arrive At Dwarf Planet

On Friday morning, NASA's Dawn mission will arrive at the dwarf planet Ceres. NPR's Geoff Brumfiel reports on the end of an odyssey to explore an odd, in-between world.

Morning Edition

Could A Quokka Beat A Numbat? Oddsmakers Say Yes

In "Mammal March Madness," you win or die. No basketball in this tournament — it's a simulated survival-of-the-fittest game set up by evolutionary biologists. The battle cry? Mammals suck ... milk!

Arsenic Antidote Hidden In Our Genes

Even at low doses, the potent poison damages organs and causes cancers. Now scientists have found a population high in the Andes Mountains that has adapted to the toxic metal over thousands of years.

Mass-Market Stocks In Handcrafted Goods: Etsy Preps To Go Public

The e-commerce site, which focuses on quirky, handmade goods, has filed for an IPO. The paperwork reveals a plan to focus more on manufacturing and marketing — but not much suggestion of big profits.

Study: At 'Rate My Professors,' A Foreign Accent Can Hurt A Teacher's Score

Teachers with Asian-sounding names were given poorer marks, and their accents were the main reason.

Florida Man's Facebook Post Against Employer In Emirates Leads To Jail

While on vacation in the U.S., Ryan Pate called Abu Dhabi-based Global Aerospace Logistics "backstabbers" and described Arabs as "filthy." He was arrested upon his return. He faces 5 years in prison.

We're Not Taking Enough Lunch Breaks. Why That's Bad For Business

Research shows that only 1 in 5 five people takes a break and leaves his desk to eat. Most workers are simply eating at their desks. But creativity can take a big hit without a change of scenery.

Morning Edition

Jaw Fossil In Ethiopia Likely Oldest Ever Found In Human Line

The 2.8 million-year-old bone may mark the first human branch in the primate family tree. It wasn't just a bigger brain that marked the shift, scientists say. It was also big changes in the mouth.

Morning Edition

Fertility Clinic Courts Controversy With Treatment That Recharges Eggs

The technique aims to rejuvenate a woman's eggs using mitochondria from cells extracted from her ovaries. A Toronto clinic's first births are due soon, and some doctors are worried about side effects.

All Things Considered

Archaeologists Use Moles To Solve Mysteries Of Middle Ages' Fort

Danish archaeologists have recruited moles to help them dig. By sifting through molehills, they're able to map the location of the fort's buildings buried underground.

Amateur Astronomers Can Make Significant Contributions

March 5, 2015
Astronomer Kevin Alton at home in Cedar Knolls, New Jersey. (Photo courtesy of Kevin Alton)

An explosion of publicly-available space data and advanced technology means hobbyists can make real contributions to the field.

Medication And Female Moods

March 5, 2015
One in four women use psychiatric medication. The reasons for the medication aren't always so clear. (Flickr)

Are American women being prescribed psychiatric drugs – anti-depressants, anti-psychotics — for normal emotions? We’ll hear out one psychiatrist’s bold claim.

Smarter Robots In The Works

March 4, 2015
CoBot, short for Collaborative Robot, is designed to be an office helper. The bots, made by a team at Carnegie Mellon University led by professor Manuela Veloso, can navigate around a building on their own. They are also smart enough to know when to ask humans for help, such as to press buttons and open doors. (

Prachi Patel of IEEE Spectrum reports on a new bot that will work better in human environments.

Answers To Your Questions On Black Holes

March 3, 2015
This image released by Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory, shows a supermassive black hole in the nearby spiral galaxy NGC 1365. A study published Thursday in the journal Nature calculated the spin rate of the black hole and found it’s rotating close to the speed of light. (AP)

Yale University’s Priyamvada Natarajan answers your black hole questions in full. (Well, most of them.)

Burying Grief In Training A Goshawk

March 3, 2015
Mabel the goshawk. (Helen Macdonald/Twitter)

In her award-winning book “H Is for Hawk,” Helen Macdonald tells the story of training a vicious predator after her father’s death.

View From The Top: CEO Of The Mayo Clinic

March 2, 2015
Dr. Christopher Moir, right, shakes hand with his surgical team following the successful separation of 5-month-old conjoined twins Abbigail and Isabelle Carlesen on Friday, May 12, 2006, at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. (Joey McLeister/AP)

Recently named the number one hospital in the U.S. by U.S. News & World Report, we talk with Mayo Clinic CEO, Dr. John Noseworthy.

The Universal Attraction Of Black Holes

March 2, 2015
This image provided by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center shows an artists rendering on how a gamma ray burst occurs with a massive star collapsing and creating a black hole and beaming out focused and deadly light and radiation bursts. Astronomers and space telescopes in April 2013 saw the biggest and brightest cosmic explosion ever witnessed, a large gamma ray burst. (AP)

A super-massive black hole, newly discovered, deep in space. We’ll peer into the realm of the black hole.

‘Star Trek’ Star Leonard Nimoy Dies At 83

February 27, 2015
Actor Leonard Nimoy arrives at the premiere of Paramount Pictures' 'Star Trek Into Darkness' at the Dolby Theatre on May 14, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Best known for playing Mr. Spock, Nimoy touched a chord as the brainy, unflappably logical half-human half-Vulcan.

What Color Is The Dress? The Debate That Broke The Internet

February 27, 2015
Is this dress white and gold or blue and black? The color debate is breaking the internet and has neuroscientists weighing in. (

Disagreement over the color of one dress is setting web traffic records and leaving many observers confused.

Allergy Solutions Take New Forms

February 26, 2015
This Feb. 20, 2015 photo shows an arrangement of peanuts in New York. (AP)

New breakthroughs on peanut allergies – treatment and prevention. And a question: are we too clean for our own good? Plus: did giant gerbils from Asia really bring the bubonic plague to Europe?

Visionaries: MIT’s Alan Guth Made A ‘Spectacular Realization’ About The Universe

February 26, 2015
MIT physicist Alan Guth's “inflation” is accepted as the most plausible explanation for the evolution of the universe. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Guth’s “cosmic inflation” is accepted as the most plausible explanation for the evolution of the universe.

A Mother’s Battle Against Medical Errors

February 20, 2015
Alyssa Hemmelgarn reading a book. (Courtesy of Hemmelgarn family)

Carole Hemmelgarn is on a mission to help medical professionals avoid errors, after the death of her 9-year-old daughter.

The Polar Vortex Is Back

February 20, 2015
A commuter braves cold temperatures on 42nd Street in New York on February 20, 2015. The temperature in Central Park Friday morning was 2 degrees Fahrenheit (-16.6C). The previous record for this date was 7 degrees Fahrenheit (-13.8C), set in 1950. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

Winds from Russia have traveled across the North Pole to the U.S. Meteorologists call it the Siberian Express.

Are Chimpanzees Bilingual?

February 19, 2015
Frek is one of the chimpanzees that moved from the Netherlands to Scotland. (Jamie Norris)

When Frek the chimp and eights of his friends moved from a Dutch zoo to a Scottish zoo, their address wasn’t the only thing that changed.

Life Forever Young? It's Here Sooner Than You Think

February 19, 2015
As people live longer and longer, questions rise around how to live better, longer. (Flickr / Yuliya Bahr)

We’re sorting through the science of living a longer, healthier life with the author of “Spring Chicken.”

Discovery Could Lead To New HIV, AIDS Therapy

February 18, 2015
Scanning electron micrograph of HIV particles infecting a human T cell. (NIH)

Scientists have engineered a new molecule they say can block infection with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

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