Health & Science

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If you just celebrated Easter, you might have some stale marshmallow Peeps lying around the house. And if you want to avoid eating those Peeps, they are the perfect material for a science experiment you can do in your own kitchen.

With the help of a ruler and a microwave, you can use leftover Peeps to calculate one of the constants of the universe — the speed of light.

Some people call Jeremy Fox the "vegetable whisperer," the California chef who can coax remarkable flavors out of every part of his produce, even the flowers and leaves that most chefs throw away. One of his famous first-course dishes combines twice-shucked spring peas with macadamia nuts and white chocolate. He has reinvented cooking with vegetables, and in the process, reinvented himself, too.

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Not everyone who reaches so-called retirement age is ready to retire. But they may be ready for a change. That's one of the reasons that the tech giant Intel pays longtime employees a stipend while they try out new careers at nonprofit organizations.

For more than 40 years, Oliver O'Reilly's shoelaces have been coming untied pretty much every day. And for most of those 40 years O'Reilly didn't think too much about it.

But then, about a decade ago, his daughter Anna was learning to tie her shoes, and O'Reilly decided his shoelace problem wasn't worth passing on to another generation.

In Indian Country, a gym membership is not a cultural norm and the incidence of heart disease and obesity are high. Native Americans are 60 percent more likely to be obese than non-Hispanic whites. The Coeur D'Alene tribe, whose headquarters is in northern Idaho, is trying to combat the problem by incorporating culture into fitness programs.

During his first day on the job, Alex Perry learned one of the pitfalls of cat grooming when he was bitten by a Maine Coon.

"This one decided to bite me right in the gut. I made the mistake of pulling away. And I got a big tear right in my belly," Perry recalls of that day back in 2012.

If you're a cat lover, chances are you know what a Maine Coon is. Commonly referred to as "the gentle giant," the Maine Coon is one of the largest and most social domesticated cats.

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It's difficult to have a teenager's mind. The brain develops rapidly during the adolescent years, which partially explains why teens experience anger, sadness and frustration so intensely.

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Spider Scientists Find 50 New Species

Apr 16, 2017

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What will our dinners look like when temperatures and sea levels rise and water floods our coastal towns and cities?

Allie Wist, 29, an associate art director at Saveur magazine, attempts to answer that question in her latest art project, "Flooded." It's a fictional photo essay (based on real scientific data) about a dinner party menu at a time when climate change has significantly altered our diets.

When Dr. Thumbi Mwangi was a child growing up in Kenya, his father would send him out to care for the calves.

According to Audrey Shafer, there is something profound in the moment a patient wakes up from surgery.

She would know — she's an anesthesiologist. She's responsible for people when they are at their most vulnerable: unconscious, unable to breathe on their own or even blink their eyes.

As a result, Shafer says, a kind of intimate trust forms between her and her patients. It's this closeness that moves her to write poetry about medicine.

Nearly 50 years ago, computer visionary Robert Taylor helped lay the foundations for what we know today as the internet.

Taylor, who had Parkinson's disease, died Thursday at his home in Woodside, Calif., his son Kurt Taylor tells NPR.

Stick the word "bread" behind my last name on a Google search. Go ahead. Do it.

What you'll find is a Czech food tradition rooted in Easter: a Czech Easter bread.

Mazanec is a sweet bread with rum-soaked raisins and dried fruit and topped with slivered almonds. It's round with a cross on top, to represent Christ. And it is eaten throughout the Holy Week.

In the middle of the Texas Hill Country, where barbecue brisket is king, a dinner crowd is throwing back crabcakes, fried oysters, flounder and stuffed shrimp.

Onstage is the establishment's owner, a 68-year-old Greek-American bluesman who's been performing for half a century. He is Johnny Nicholas and this is his Hilltop Cafe.

"Well, I spent all my money on a real fine automobile," he croons. "It's a custom ride, got a pearl-handled steering wheel."

Michael Treadwell sat at the back of a courtroom in New Hampshire. He wore a windbreaker and khaki pants and leaned over his work boots with his elbows on his knees. At first it looked like he was chewing gum — a bold choice in a courtroom. But when he spoke it was clear: He wasn't chewing gum, he was chewing his own gums. Michael doesn't have any teeth.

Taxpayers in Hillsborough County, N.H., have spent $63,000 over the last six years keeping Treadwell in jail for little more than trespassing.

In the spring, a cook's fancy turns to thoughts of eggs. They're everywhere at Easter time, in breads and pies and children's baskets.

Holiday chefs looking for last-minute ideas may find inspiration in these offerings from NPR archives.

Easter Egg Breads

It's an ad for Vicks, maker of cold and cough remedies, produced for the Indian market. It's had 9 million views on YouTube so far. And it's launched a discussion on social media about the rights of transgender people.

The 3 1/2-minute commercial, released online on March 31, doesn't mention any products. Instead, it tells what is labeled as a "true story."

Marie-Victoire Carvalho Sow is busy in the annex to her kitchen in Dakar, dishing out giant ladles full of a traditional Senegalese Easter treat.

It's called ngalakh – a delectable mix of millet, groundnut (peanut) paste, bouye (the fruit of the baobab tree, which is also known locally as pain de singe or monkey bread), sugar, vanilla essence and orange blossom.

She says every year, Catholics make this special food for Good Friday and it's savored over Easter weekend.

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Researchers have come up with a new way to extract water from thin air. Literally.

This isn't the first technology that can turn water vapor in the atmosphere into liquid water that people can drink, but researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California, Berkeley, say their approach uses less power and works in drier environments.

A funding crunch for scientific research is creating incentives for scientists to cut corners and even occasionally to cheat.

This is one of the findings in a new report about scientific integrity from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

Sometimes scientists adopt sloppy practices that can lead to false conclusions. This can hamper progress in science. And taxpayer dollars are on the line.

Three years ago, Liberia was in the opening act of an unfolding catastrophe. The first cases of Ebola had been confirmed in the country on March 30, 2014. Over the next months, the virus spread, largely undetected at first. By late summer, every day the country awoke to news of dying Liberians being turned away from treatment or of families ripped apart by the virus. Uncertainty and fear swirled in the streets of Monrovia.

But on the afternoon of Sept. 11 that year, amid the chaos, there was a quiet pocket of joy.

A Michigan emergency room doctor has been charged with performing female genital mutilation on multiple girls of about the age of seven.

It was a warm January day in Vadodara, in western India, when my aunt, Apeksha Kaki, announced that we were going to a soda shop. This was my first time visiting extended family in India, and I was eager to try local foods and drinks. So, I was a bit disappointed at the mention of soda.

"What kind of soda, Kaki?" I asked my aunt. "Like, Coca Cola?"

"Nai, Leena," she replied. "It's called ... soda, but it's not what you are used to."

After a series of "mishaps," the Navy says it will no longer allow sailors to bring electronic cigarettes onto its ships, submarines, aircraft, boats, craft and heavy equipment.

"The prohibition applies to Sailors, Marines, Military Sealift Command civilians and any personnel working on or visiting those units," according to a statement obtained by NPR's Sarah McCammon, issued by the commanders of the U.S. Fleet Forces and the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

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