What is it about dolphins? They have very, very big brains, and that makes we humans, whose brains are nothing to sniff at, nervous. We don't know what to make of them.
The latest example: On May 17 in India, the Ministry of Environment and Forests issued an order to all Indian states banning dolphin amusement parks. No leaping out of pools to catch balls, no jumping through hoops. Forcing dolphins to entertain humans, the ministry said, was morally unacceptable.
The biggest players in the video gaming are gathered here in Los Angeles this week for E3, the industry's annual trade show. Gamers have been anticipating the unveiling of new products from Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo and other companies.
NPR's Laura Sydell has spent the past few days with zombies, assassins and one little plumber. Good morning.
Moyo, a 3-year-old male cheetah from South Africa, chases a lure during the Cheetah Dash event at the Animal Ark in Reno, Nev.
Credit Kevin Clifford / AP
<strong>On Your Mark: </strong>Olympic champion sprinter Usain Bolt holds a three-month-old cheetah cub that he named Lightning Bolt, after adopting the cub at the headquarters of the Kenyan Wildlife Service in 2009. Researchers studying cheetah movements found the animals had incredible acceleration — four times more than that of Bolt's world record run.
Nature documentaries always go on and on about how fast a cheetah can run. Cats in captivity have been clocked at 65 miles an hour, the highest speed recorded for any land animal.
And yet, scientists know very little about how the animal runs in the wild, especially when on the hunt.
"You can look at it and say, 'Oh that's fast,' " says Alan Wilson, a veterinarian at the Royal Veterinary College, London. "But you can't actually describe what route it follows, or how quickly it's gone, or the details of [the] forces it has to exert to do that."
Companies like Google and Facebook are very much caught in the middle of the current debate about national security and privacy. Press reports have said the companies are required to turn over huge amounts of customer data to government agencies like the National Security Agency, but the companies are often barred from saying anything publicly about the requests they receive.
The connected car promises voice-activated systems that let drivers dictate emails and texts, make a dinner reservation or update their Facebook page, all while behind the wheel. Some cars already have these options. Many more are on the way. Carmakers say it's safer than fiddling around with a smartphone.
This week marks the 20th anniversary of the classic film, Jurassic Park. Michael Dhar, a science writer and contributor to the website Live Science, tells Melissa Block and Audie Cornish about how the science featured in the movie holds up to what we know about dinosaurs today.
When a kid lops off a fingertip with a cleaver or car door, there's a chance the end of the digit will grow back. The fingerprint will be gone, and the tip may look a bit strange. But the flesh, bone and nail could return.
Now biologists at New York University have figured out just how this lizard-like regeneration happens in mice. There's some secret sauce at the nail cuticle that makes it possible, scientists report Wednesday in the journal Nature.
Residents of the Estonian capital of Tallinn can use public transportation for free after purchasing a special card for 2 euros.
Credit Raigo Pajula / AFP/Getty Images
The old town area of Tallinn, Estonia, is dotted with medieval buildings that reflect its long history. But the city has placed great emphasis on high-tech since the country broke away from the Soviet Union two decades ago.
The Baltic city of Tallinn hardly looks modern with its blend of medieval towers and Soviet-era architecture. Smoke-spewing buses and noisy streetcars look as if they have been plucked from the past.
Even so, the Estonian capital is one of the world's most technologically advanced cities. The birthplace of Skype has repeatedly been cited for its digital accomplishments. Last week, Tallinn once again made the short list of the world's most intelligent cities as selected by the Intelligent Community Forum.