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Research News : NPR

New advances in science, medicine, health, and technology.Stem cell research, drug research, and new treatments for disease.

Last Build Date: Tue, 23 May 2017 18:17:00 -0400

Copyright: Copyright 2017 NPR - For Personal Use Only

3.3 Million-Year-Old Fossil Sheds Light On How The Spine Evolved

Tue, 23 May 2017 18:17:00 -0400

It's hard evidence that the type of spinal segmentation and numbering found in modern humans emerged 3.3 million years ago, the scientists say. The remarkable fossil was discovered in Ethiopia.

At 94, Lithium-Ion Pioneer Eyes A New Longer-Lasting Battery

Mon, 22 May 2017 15:50:00 -0400

In 1980, John Goodenough's work led to the lithium-ion battery, now found in everything from phones to electric cars. He and fellow researchers say they've come up with a faster-charging alternative.

Pediatricians Advise No Fruit Juice Until Kids Are 1

Mon, 22 May 2017 00:02:01 -0400

Older kids should limit the amount of juice they drink too. Whole fruit is better than juice because it contains fiber, which slows the absorption of sugar and fills you up the way juice doesn't.

Why Brain Scientists Are Still Obsessed With The Curious Case Of Phineas Gage

Sun, 21 May 2017 05:00:00 -0400

In 1848, a railroad worker survived an accident that drove a 13-pound iron bar through his head. The injury changed his personality, and our understanding of the brain.

Scientists One Step Closer To 3-D-Printed Ovaries To Treat Infertility

Sat, 20 May 2017 06:00:00 -0400

Researchers printed gelatin scaffolds into which they placed ovarian tissue, and then implanted the new organs in mice. Three out of seven female mice produced healthy offspring using the technology.

Scientists Glued Fake Caterpillars On Plants Worldwide. Here's What Happened

Thu, 18 May 2017 15:28:00 -0400

Predators that attacked the clay caterpillars left telltale bite marks, which were later analyzed to help figure the critter's risk of getting eaten. That analysis revealed a striking pattern.

Many Of California's Salmon Populations Unlikely To Survive The Century

Wed, 17 May 2017 18:00:00 -0400

Climate change, dams and agriculture are threatening Chinook salmon, the iconic fish at the core of the state's fishing industry, a report predicts. And 23 other fish species are also at risk.

Tragic Love Triangle Is Sad For Lonely Rare Snail, Still Good For Science

Wed, 17 May 2017 17:09:00 -0400

A garden snail with a rare genetic condition can't mate with normal snails; scientists launch an international search for a mate; two possible mates are found. But they mate with each other instead.

Orangutan Moms Are The Primate Champs Of Breast-Feeding

Wed, 17 May 2017 14:49:00 -0400

Orangutans breast-feed up to nine years, longer than any other primate. That may help offspring survive food shortages. But humans may have gained a survival advantage from weaning earlier.

Advice For Your Dinner Party Stories: Keep It Familiar

Wed, 17 May 2017 05:02:00 -0400

There's a difference between the stories we tell and the stories we like to hear. New social science research finds most of us like to listen to stories about familiar things.

Tyrannosaurus Rex's Bite Force Measured 8,000 Pounds, Scientists Say

Wed, 17 May 2017 05:02:00 -0400

"That's like setting three small cars on top of the jaws of a T. rex — that's basically what was pushing down," a researcher says. Humans bite with a measly 200 pounds of force.

Racial And Ethnic Disparities Persist In Sudden Infant Deaths

Mon, 15 May 2017 00:05:00 -0400

Babies in Native American and Alaska Native families are at higher risk of sudden unexplained infant death, despite years of effort to reduce the toll. African-American families also face higher risk.

Scientists Raise Concern By Wanting To Create Synthetic Human Genomes

Sun, 14 May 2017 07:52:02 -0400

In New York, hundreds of scientists discussed a highly ambitious and controversial project. They want to create synthetic genetic codes for all kinds of creatures — including the human genetic code.

Disappearing Montana Glaciers A 'Bellwether' Of Melting To Come?

Thu, 11 May 2017 14:46:00 -0400

Glaciers there are "an early indicator of the kinds of changes that are going to occur elsewhere," a scientist says. Since 1966, the glaciers in Glacier National Park shrunk an average of 39 percent.

Why Your Sense Of Smell Is Better Than You Might Think

Thu, 11 May 2017 14:01:00 -0400

A neuroscientist argues that our noses are more powerful than we think. Humans, he says, actually have a great sense of smell.