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All Things Considered

Anti-Aging Hormone Could Make You Smarter

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Scientists have found that a hormone associated with long life also seems to make people smarter. The gene strengthens the connections between brain cells, a process that's essential for learning.

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If Polar Bears Can Eat A Ton Of Fat And Be Healthy, Why Can't We?

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Baby polar bears slurp milk that's 27 percent fat, and adults dine on seal blubber. Scientists think bears' adaptation to a high-fat diet might lead to better ways to treat human obesity.

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Morning Edition

Study: Time Away Can Hurt Surgeons' Job Performance

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Surgeons need rest days, weekends and vacations. But when they come back to work after a break, do they come back refreshed — or rusty?

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Morning Edition

Less Nutritious Grains May Be In Our Future

Thursday, May 08, 2014

When crops are surrounded by high levels of carbon dioxide, they're more productive. But they may have lower concentrations of some crucial nutrients, which could increase malnutrition in the future.

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Morning Edition

Civil War Invades An Elephant Sanctuary: One Researcher's Escape

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Andrea Turkalo spent 22 years in central Africa, studying rare forest elephants. Then civil war forced her to flee — and poachers killed many of the elephants she'd shared a life with.

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All Things Considered

Chemists Expand Nature's Genetic Alphabet

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

DNA's instructions are written in a code of four molecular "letters," labeled A, C, T and G. For the first time, researchers have created and inserted two brand-new letters into a living cell.

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Morning Edition

Faith Drives A Father To Create A Test For Childhood Cancer

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Noah Shaw was diagnosed with a potentially fatal cancer when he was just 4 months old. That didn't shake his father's faith in God. But it did drive him to try to invent an early cancer test.

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Morning Edition

Chemist Turns Software Developer After Son's Cancer Diagnosis

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

The parents of a young boy made a terrible discovery while looking through photographs they had taken of him as a baby. They noticed a white dot where a black pupil should have been.

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Morning Edition

Even Penguins Get The Flu

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Adelie penguins, which breed in huge colonies on the rocky Antarctic Peninsula, harbor a version of the avian influenza virus. But this strain doesn't make humans or the birds sick.

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Morning Edition

Eyewire: A Computer Game to Map the Eye

Monday, May 05, 2014

MIT scientist Sebastien Seung at MIT invented the game to help him make a map of the cells in the mammalian retina. A year later, he says the game is producing valuable science.

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Rock-Paper-Scissors Strategy Could Be More Than Mere Child's Play

Friday, May 02, 2014

Scientists have found that the game is less random than it appears because winners tend to replay their winning choice and losers try something else — but according to a predictable pattern.

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'Wassup, Sheep?' He Asked

Friday, May 02, 2014

How come so many species of domesticated animals — dogs, pigs, cows, ducks, geese, rats, horses — have smaller brains than their wild ancestors? Oh, and humans too!

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All Things Considered

Contagious Aphrodisiac? Virus Makes Crickets Have More Sex

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Researchers have stumbled upon a virus that makes crickets horny before it kills them. Inducing your host to mate more is a great way for a virus to spread its own genes.

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New Virus Related To Smallpox Is Found In Republic Of Georgia

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Two men have been infected with a virus newly discovered in dairy cattle, scientists say. The disease causes blisters on the hands and arms, and other symptoms similar to those caused by smallpox.

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Morning Edition

Experimental Technique Coaxes Muscles Destroyed By War To Regrow

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

By surgically transplanting material from pig bladders into the injured legs of several men, doctors prompted muscles to heal by growing and nurturing fresh, healthy cells.

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To Get Help From A Little Kid, Ask The Right Way

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Asking preschoolers to be helpers is more effective than asking them to help, a study suggests. The noun-based approach works with adults, too, psychologists say, but don't take it too far.

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All Things Considered

Mom's Diet Right Before Pregnancy Can Alter Baby's Genes

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Vitamin deficiencies near the time of conception change which genes get turned on during early development, scientists find.

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Rare Observations Appear To Show Marmoset Grief In The Wild

Sunday, April 27, 2014

A monkey falls from a tree in Brazil; her male partner offers comfort as she dies. Anthropologist Barbara King says a new paper detailing the incident opens our eyes to the reality of animal emotions.

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All Things Considered

Family Tree Of Pertussis Traced, Could Lead To Better Vaccine

Friday, April 25, 2014

Scientists tracking the ancestry of whooping cough say it arose abruptly in humans about 500 years ago, caused by a mutated bacterium that once lived only in animals. Genetic tricks helped it spread.

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'Blood Victory' In Medical Research Dispute

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Havasupai Native American tribe celebrated Blood Victory Day this week. That's the anniversary of their legal victory over researchers who misused members' blood samples without proper consent.

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