Health & Science

Ways to Connect

Today was trash day on the International Space Station, and as you might expect, it's not as simple as rolling a can out to the curb. Instead, a used resupply capsule was stuffed with 1.5 tons of trash and cut loose.

Of all of the arts, photography may be the discipline most accustomed to the nudge of technology, and photographer and artist Stephen Wilkes fully embraces the challenge. His latest project, "Day to Night," takes on the idea of showcasing, in one composite still image, the transformation of a place over the course of a day.

It's known as the only national park in the world with a skyscraper skyline. Nairobi National Park, in the Kenyan capital, boasts elephants, giraffe, rhinos and lions roaming freely across a savannah a mere 4-mile drive from downtown.

But last night, the proximity of urban and natural environments got a bit too close.

Last year was a terrible season for the American pistachio industry. Warm temperatures and the lack of water resulted in a loss of almost half the crop, and profits were down by around $1.4 billion from 2014. This year, the industry is hoping to recover, but growers across the country may face a different issue: competition stemming from the lifting of sanctions against Iran.

With the Zika virus in the daily headlines, public health authorities should be looking carefully at how they communicate about this latest emerging infectious disease.

People need to be alerted, not alarmed.

That balance can be hard to strike when the health sources people turn to range from acquaintances on social media to politicians, instead of physicians and other medical professionals.

On the campaign trail, the chief anchor of the Spanish-language network Univision, Jorge Ramos, chases three quarries: voters, viewers and relevance.

A self-described dinosaur who insists on mastering new tricks, Ramos and his team now reach an audience of millions who are watching not on television, but via video streams on Facebook, captured by an iPhone clutched in a selfie stick.

When a federal judge ordered Apple earlier this week to unlock a phone used by one of the assailants in a mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., she cited a law from 1789. It could make you wonder if the nation's legal system is having a hard time keeping up with the fast pace of technological change. So, I asked a few legal experts if our old laws can apply to this particular situation.

Johann Castro Hernandez is an 18-year-old college kid who loves playing soccer. Only these days, he can barely lift his legs, let alone kick a ball. His body looks weirdly thin, with no muscle tone. His movements are slow and tentative.

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"You're able to take into account your perspective because your perspective is the same, it doesn't change ... and the world does change."

That's what WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told NPR's Morning Edition about his life in long-term confinement. "For example, let's say you're watching the boats in the river but you're sailing at the same time — it's hard to understand how much they're moving versus your moving."

When people talk about Florida's Everglades, they often use superlatives: It's the largest protected wilderness east of the Mississippi River, and it's the biggest subtropical wetland in North America.

But it is also the site of a joint federal-state plan that is the largest ecosystem restoration effort ever attempted — one that is beginning to pay off after decades of work.

The showdown between the FBI and Apple could result in huge changes for security and privacy, but one thing it may not do is deliver a big break in the San Bernardino case.

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Here is some of what Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, said about his company's products when I spoke to him last fall.

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A report last week has raised questions about a pesticide used to kill mosquito larvae, linking its use to the increase in cases of microcephaly in Brazil. But researchers say that's an unlikely connection.

The insecticide, called pyriproxyfen, is added to water to prevent mosquito larvae from hatching and growing properly.

It's hard to overstate the tech world's fascination with the legal standoff between the FBI and Apple. Laymen might look at the dispute and shrug; after all, the FBI is just asking Apple to help hack into one phone, and it's not unusual for tech companies to help the police.

Limacina helicina looks like most any other sea snail — until it beats what look like delicate wings and "flies" through the water.

A newly published study in the Journal of Experimental Biology says the tiny species of sea snail moves through water using the same kind of motion that an insect uses to fly.

Take a look at the "sea butterfly" in action:

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Pope Francis didn't exactly reverse the Catholic Church's long-held stance again contraception today, but in light of the rapid spread of the Zika virus, he appeared to make an exception.

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Cathy Fennelly tried to save her son from heroin addiction.

For eight years, she tried to help him get sober. She told him he couldn't come home unless he was in treatment. It tormented her, knowing that he might be sleeping on the streets, cold at night.

But nothing worked. In 2015, she found him dead from an overdose on her front step.

"No matter how many detoxes I put him in, no matter how many mental facilities; I emptied out my 401(k), I sold my jewelry," she says. "This will never get easier. Never."

Valentina Vitoria was born in December.

She has microcephaly, the birth defect that causes an abnormally small head and can cause brain damage as well.

The baby's mother is 32-year-old Fabiane Lopes. She's caring for her daughter in a tiny, windowless one-room apartment in Rio de Janeiro. A whirring fan is the only relief they have from the heat.

In Brazil, doctors are getting closer to untangling the possible connection of Zika to microcephaly. The country has seen thousands of babies born with this birth defect since the virus arrived last year.

In a few days, Apple will formulate its formal response to the federal judge's order seeking the company's help for the FBI to get inside a phone used by Syed Farook, one of the attackers in the San Bernardino, Calif., shootings.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

To find out more about how Americans view this tension between privacy and security, we're joined now by Lee Rainie. He's the director of Internet science and technology research at the Pew Research Center. Welcome back.

The doctor told Sharlene Adams to get a blood pressure cuff, so she set out to buy one.

A leaking natural gas storage well on the outskirts of Los Angeles has been permanently sealed and shut down, after spewing methane into the atmosphere for months, California officials say.

When Rachel Mollen strolls into the cafe at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh with her 5-year-old son, she knows exactly the kind of food they will eat.

"Will, he's the youngest of four, and he wanted to do something special today," Mollen says. "I was trying to think of some place that we could go for lunch and have a healthy lunch and do something fun."

It's well-known that Americans are not getting enough sleep. But some parts of the United States do it better than others. If you bed down in Minnesota, South Dakota or Colorado, you're likely getting seven or more hours a night. But you're less in luck if you live in Hawaii, where only 56 percent of adults get enough rest.

The Freedom 251 smartphone, which went on sale Thursday, has sparked intense interest in India and beyond. Priced at 251 rupees ($3.65), the 3G device is being called the cheapest smartphone in the world. But it's also sparking questions about how the phone works — and whether it's legal.

It's often a split-second decision.

You're in the produce aisle, and those organic apples on display look nice. You like the idea of organic — but they're a few bucks extra. Ditto for the organic milk and meat. Do you splurge? Or do you ask yourself: What am I really getting from organic?

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