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Research News

Searching For The Science Behind Reincarnation

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Say a child has memories of being a Hollywood extra in the 1930s. Is it just an active imagination, or actual evidence of reincarnation? Jim Tucker, a psychologist at the University of Virginia studies hundreds of cases like this and joins NPR's Rachel Martin to share his research on the science behind reincarnation.

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Want Perfect Pitch? You Might Be Able To Pop A Pill For That

Saturday, January 04, 2014

The ability to identify musical notes by ear is usually thought to be something developed early in life. Now a Harvard study says a drug normally used as a mood stabilizer might allow adults with no musical experience to learn perfect pitch.

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How Language Seems To Shape One's View Of The World

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Research suggests that speaking another language fluently changes what you pay attention to and how you remember events. But some say the idea that language can make you see and think differently is overblown.

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Centuries Before China's 'Great Wall,' There Was Another

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Archaeologists are now mapping a wall in eastern China that is as much as 15 feet tall in some places, and predates the more famous barrier by 300 years. Hundreds of miles long, it was likely erected to keep neighboring Chinese dynasties from invading each other, historians say.

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The Hunt For Meteorites Begins In Antarctica

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Each winter, a team of scientists sets out on a search for those rare shooting stars that make it to the ground instead of burning up in the sky. There aren't many better places to look for these space rocks than Antarctica, often in areas where no human has set foot before.

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Joe's Biggest Ideas From 2013

Sunday, December 22, 2013

NPR's Joe Palca is working on a new beat we're calling Joe's Big Idea. The idea is to explore the minds and motivations of scientists and inventors. He talks with NPR's Rachel Martin about what he's learned in his first year on the beat.

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TED Radio Hour

Does Body Language Shape Who You Are?

Friday, December 13, 2013

Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how "power posing" can affect our brains, and might even have an impact on our chances for success.

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Why Meningitis That Hit Princeton Is Hard To Beat With Vaccines

Thursday, December 12, 2013

It turns out that the bacteria that are responsible meningitis B have a sugar coating that makes them look a lot like human cells. That similarity makes development of a vaccine against the germs especially tricky.

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So Much For The 'Mozart Effect'

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Harvard graduate students testing preschoolers who got music training said they could not establish a link between the exposure and improved IQs.

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Staph Germs Hide Out In The Hidden Recesses Of Your Nose

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

People who have surgery or are hospitalized for serious illnesses sometimes develop dangerous staph infections. The culprits can be bacteria that were living on people all along. Scientists say the germs thrive in remote parts of the nose that aren't typically tested. Other benign microbes might help keep the bad ones at bay.

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Chowing Down On Meat, Dairy Alters Gut Bacteria A Lot, And Quickly

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Shifting to a diet that's packed with pork, cheese and eggs has a big influence on the trillion of bacteria living in our guts, even after just a few days, new research shows. And some of these changes probably aren't so good. One type of microbe that flourishes under the meat-based diet has been linked to diseases in mice.

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Fresh Research Finds Organic Milk Packs In Omega-3s

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Organic milk contains about 62 percent more omega-3s than milk from cows on conventional dairy farms, a new U.S.-based study finds. To get the full boost of these healthful fatty acids, you'll need to drink whole milk.

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Microbiome Candy: Could A Probiotic Mint Help Prevent Cavities?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Lacing a sugar-free candy with the right kind of bacteria might one day help fight off tooth decay, a study suggests. The experimental mint lowered the levels of cavity-causing bacteria in volunteers' saliva. But the microbe candy still has a long way to go before it reaches shelves at Walgreens.

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Between Pigs And Anchovies: Where Humans Rank On The Food Chain

Sunday, December 08, 2013

For the first time, scientists have figured out where we sit on the global food chain. Although humans are clearly top chefs of the world, we're not the top predator. Instead, our ranking is closer to a small, smelly fish that we put on pizzas and salads.

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What Separates A Healthy And Unhealthy Diet? Just $1.50 Per Day

Friday, December 06, 2013

That difference translates to about $550 a year, according to a new meta-analysis of studies evaluating the retail costs of food, grouped by healthfulness. It's chump change for middle-class eaters, but a big gap for low-income families. Researchers say that's a problem that can be solved.

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Hoped-For AIDS Cures Fail In 2 Boston Patients

Friday, December 06, 2013

The only person known to have been cured of AIDS got a bone marrow transplant, so when two AIDS patients in Boston appeared to be free of the virus after transplants, scientists hoped they were cured, too. But the HIV virus has returned in both.

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Moon Turnips? NASA Takes Gardening to New Heights

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

The space agency has announced plans to grow turnips, basil and cress on the moon by 2015. The experiment could be good news for astronauts sick of their freeze-dried fare. But researchers say the real goal is to see if humans could one day live — and farm — on the moon.

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Ready — Or Not. Abrupt Climate Changes Worry Scientists Most

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

To forecast sudden global catastrophe — and, perhaps, head it off — we should be spying on the climate at least as closely as we spy on each other, an expert panel warns. Yet the primary global monitoring network has been cut by 30 percent.

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Examining Flip Side Of A Firm's Social Responsibility Record

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Companies often practice image management. That is, after being caught doing something bad, they invest in philanthropic projects. Research is asking whether companies that do good are ever motivated to "cash in" on their good credit?

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Saving The Native Prairie — One Black-Footed Ferret At A Time

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Biologists armed with truck-mounted spotlights, flea spray, and anti-plague vaccine roam the South Dakota grasslands each night, five months a year, as part of a 30-year rescue mission.

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