NPR : Science (30)

Lack Of Genetic Diversity May Have Doomed Tasmanian Tiger, Scientists Say

Although humans are blamed for the extinction of the dog-like Australian marsupial some 80 years ago, researchers say its problems may have started more than 70,000 years ago.

How Labels Can Affect People's Personalities And Potential

What is it that makes you...you? How much of a person's personality and potential are based on the expectations of others? NPR's Shankar Vedantam explores new research that suggests the labels we use to categorize people affect not just who they are now, but who they'll become in the future.

President Trump Is Sending NASA Back To The Moon

"Space Policy Directive 1," which Trump signed Monday, sees Mars as the ultimate destination. But analysts wonder whether money will follow to support the plan.

How The Food Industry Uses Cavitation, The Ocean's Most Powerful Punch

Cavitation produces a bubble that rapidly collapses and becomes hotter than the sun's surface. The mantis shrimp uses it, and now so do food and drink firms, to improve flavors — from yogurt to beer.

Science's Journey From Data To Truth

There's more to the scientific method than what you learn in high school: Scientists argue with each other, too, and the participation of nature — whose say is absolute — is key, says Adam Frank.

Evaluating Personality Tests

A drive to better understand ourselves and the people around us has led to the creation of a thriving industry built around personality testing.

How 311 Helped Understand Air Pollution After Harvey

NPR has obtained recordings of calls made by Houston residents fearful about putrid odors in the hours and days after Hurricane Harvey started flooding the city's petrochemical infrastructure.

Recycling Chaos In U.S. As China Bans 'Foreign Waste'

The U.S. ships a big chunk of its recycled goods to China. But China doesn't want them anymore, and that's leaving the recycling industry in turmoil.

In The U.S., Flu Season Could Be Unusually Harsh This Year

Health officials fear the U.S. may have a nasty flu season because the main flu virus circulating this year tends to hit people hard and the flu vaccine may be weaker than normal.

Scientists Discover Grass Species With Intriguing 'Salt And Vinegar' Chip Flavor

Alas, you wouldn't want to eat this native of Western Australia — Spinifex grasses are often so hard and spiky that scientists say collecting samples can be painful.

Can Your Ceramic Cookware Give You Lead Poisoning?

Mass-produced crockpots and other ceramic food containers are probably safe, but handmade earthenware might merit a home test.

Adults Can Get Type 1 Diabetes, Too

It used to be called juvenile diabetes because it was thought to often start in childhood. But adults are just as likely to be diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Not knowing that can delay treatment.

Why Your Brain Has Trouble Bailing Out Of A Bad Plan

Researchers say it takes a lot of brainpower to stop an action, once it's underway. A study found that when people have to change a planned movement, 11 different brain areas have to get involved.

Stressed-Out Narwhals Don't Know Whether To Freeze Or Flee, Scientists Find

After being caught in a net, narwhals appear to get confused about what to do. Researchers say the whales' befuddlement could provide clues about how they will adapt to a changing Arctic.

Researchers Look For Gun Violence Clues In Google Searches And Background Checks

After the 2012 mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., there was a spike in gun sales. A study examined the spike and links increased gun exposure to more accidental firearm deaths.

Strange Parallels: Alternative Histories In Physics And Culture

Ideas of parallel universes and alternative histories, once confined to mere rumination about lost opportunities and fictional scenarios, are now a part of science, says guest writer Paul Halpern.

Even Low-Dose Contraceptives Slightly Increase Breast Cancer Risk

The absolute risk is very low. But low-dose formulations of birth control pills and other hormone-releasing contraceptives pose about the same risk to breasts as older formulations, a big study finds.

Can Science Teach Us Something About How To Live?

In science, and in life, there is an artful balance between being cautious and adventurous; to find the balance takes experimentation, tolerance for mistakes, and humility, says Marcelo Gleiser.

Massive Black Hole Reveals When The First Stars Blinked On

Scientists have detected a black hole thought to be about 800 million times as massive as our sun that is helping to reveal when the universe filled with starlight.

Evaluating Smoking Bans

A new study indicates that smoking bans, which were designed to affect adults' behavior, in fact improve children's health.

What Would Enrico Fermi Think Of Science Today?

More than 60 years after the physicist won the Nobel Prize, author David N. Schwartz considers how Fermi would react to today's science of black holes, genetic engineering and climate change.

Making Pizza In Space

Astronauts at the International Space Station sent down video of pizza night. Without gravity, they made pizza tossing look like a slow game of Frisbee.

Across The World, If You Eat For Your Health, You'll Help The Planet

Dozens of countries have government-recommended diets. That advice differs from country to country, but according to a new study, following it generally would help the environment.

This Year's Hurricane Season Was Intense. Is It A Taste Of The Future?

Scientists say they see the fingerprint of climate change in these storms, but it's too soon to say whether this is a new normal.

Peregrine Falcons Attack Like Missiles To Grab Prey Midair, Scientists Find

The same guidance principle that governs how missiles intercept moving targets also describes how the falcons, which are known to dive at 200 mph or more, plummet to catch their prey.

Can Celebrity Scientists Change The Way People Think About Science And Religion?

Do people like Richard Dawkins and Francis Collins impact public opinion on how science and religion relate? Tania Lombrozo considers a study on the influence of big-name scientists on the debate.

Fishermen Fear Damage From Wind Farms Along The Eastern Seaboard

Will thousands of giant turbines and underwater cables in the Atlantic disrupt the commercial fishing industry? The answer is not yet clear, and studies on the farms' possible impact are underway.

The Ground Beneath Our Feet

"Without proper care for it we can have no life."

Trump Orders Largest National Monument Reduction In U.S. History

In a speech in Utah on Monday, President Trump announced that his administration will shrink the Bears Ears National Monument by roughly 85 percent and the Grand Staircase by about half its size.

New Drugs Could Prevent Migraine Headaches For Some People

The first drugs designed specifically to prevent migraines have been found safe and effective in studies, but aren't yet FDA approved. Both drugs work by tweaking a brain system involved in pain.