Science & Technology

Humans
5:03 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Study Of 'Flexible Brains' May Aid Injury Understanding

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Shots - Health News
4:26 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Europe's Family Tree Gets A New Branch

This skull, from the Swedish archaeological site called Motala, is thought to have come from a hunter-gatherer who died there about 8,000 years ago.
Anna Arnberg

For those who eagerly trace their genetic lineage or subscribe online to find their earliest ancestors, there's a new group to consider adding to the furthest reaches of your list. A previously unrecognized population of ancient north Eurasians may be a major third braid in the genetic twist that gave rise to most modern Europeans and their kin.

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The Salt
4:20 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Diet Soda May Alter Our Gut Microbes And The Risk Of Diabetes

Should we drink diet soda or not? The latest study doesn't really clear things up.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 5:47 pm

The debate over whether diet sodas are good, bad or just OK for us never seems to end.

Some research suggests zero-calorie drinks can help people cut calories and fend off weight gain.

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History
4:20 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Multispectral Imaging Could Reveal Secrets Of Martellus Map

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 5:03 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

All Tech Considered
2:12 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

3.7 Million Comments Later, Here's Where Net Neutrality Stands

Nuala O'Connor, president and CEO of the Center for Democracy and Technology, testifies on net neutrality issues before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 5:17 pm

Now, we wait.

The window for the public to weigh in on how federal rule-makers should treat Internet traffic is closed, after a record 3.7 million comments arrived at the FCC. The Sunlight Foundation analyzed the first 800,000 and found that fewer than 1 percent were opposed to net neutrality enforcement.

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Shots - Health News
12:16 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Colorado Tries Hard To Convince Teens That Pot Is Bad For You

This human-scale lab rat cage is parked near a skate park in Denver, Colo., to make a point about the lack of science on marijuana.
Richard Feldman Studio/Sukle Advertising and Design

Colorado's new campaign to deter teen marijuana use tries to make the case that weed is bad for your brain.

One TV ad shows a group of teens lighting up inside a dark car as moody music plays in the background. The commercial cites a Duke University study that found a link between regular marijuana use and a lower IQ.

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Energy
3:16 am
Wed September 17, 2014

When The Power's Out, Solar Panels May Not Keep The Lights On

In Del Norte, Colo., Public Works Supervisor Kevin Larimore shows off solar panels that provide electricity for the town's water supply. Despite generating its own solar energy, the town is still at risk of a blackout if its main power line goes down.
Dan Boyce Inside Energy

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 10:26 am

The cost of solar panels is falling rapidly in the United States. And as the panels become more affordable, they're popping up on rooftops around the country.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is trying to find better ways to back up its power system against blackouts. And while it may seem counterintuitive, more solar power does not mean fewer blackouts — at least not yet.

The tiny town of Del Norte, in southwestern Colorado, is a perfect example. Despite being covered in solar panels, Del Norte is still at risk of losing power if its main power line goes down.

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Shots - Health News
3:11 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Top Scientists Suggest A Few Fixes For Medical Funding Crisis

Dr. Harold Varmus, a Nobel Prize winner, cancer biologist and director of the National Cancer Institute.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 10:53 am

Many U.S. scientists had hoped to ride out the steady decline in federal funding for biomedical research, but it's continuing on a downward trend with no end in sight. So leaders of the science establishment are now trying to figure out how to fix this broken system.

It's a familiar problem. Biomedical science has a long history of funding ups and downs, and, in the past, the system has always righted itself with the passage of time and plumper budgets.

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U.S.
11:36 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Meet The 2014 Winners Of The MacArthur 'Genius Grants'

U.S. cartoonist Alison Bechdel works Sept. 2 in her studio at the castle of Civitella Ranieri, central Italy.
Riccardo De Luca MacArthur Foundation

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 7:37 am

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The Two-Way
5:03 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Boeing And SpaceX Win $6.8 Billion In NASA Contracts

In an image provided by NASA, astronaut Randy Bresnik prepares to enter Boeing's CST-100 spacecraft for an evaluation at the company's Houston Product Support Center. NASA awarded Boeing with a $4.2 billion contract Tuesday.
AP

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 6:29 pm

NASA has chosen Boeing and SpaceX to build the vehicles that will transport its astronauts to the International Space Station, putting the two American companies on a course to take over a job that NASA has recently relied upon Russia to perform: carrying out manned space flights.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden says vehicles from the two companies are expected to be ready for service by 2017.

Announcing its decision Tuesday, the space agency included these details:

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