Health & Science

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The Green Climate Fund has been thrust into the spotlight of late.

President Trump singled it out for scorn in his Rose Garden remarks last week announcing his decision to pull the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement. Along with that move, Trump noted, he is ending further U.S. contributions to the "so-called Green Climate Fund — nice name."

You probably never want to hear you've been fired. If you've heard those words, you know they feel like a punch in the gut. Now, imagine that instead of your boss telling you face to face, you get the news from a pop-up alert on your smartphone. That's how it works at Uber.

The Food and Drug Administration requested Thursday that the drugmaker Endo Pharmaceuticals stop selling Opana ER — its extended-release version of Opana.

The FDA says the move marks the first time the agency has taken steps to remove an opioid from the market because of "public health consequences of abuse."

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has announced that regulations protecting the sage grouse – rules which have been subject to years of negotiation and controversy in Western states – are once again under review.

This puts the Greater Sage Grouse Conservation plan, finalized in 2015, in a state of flux.

Zika is a scary virus because of the terrible birth defects it can cause. Now scientists have a clearer sense of the size of that risk.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified 2,549 pregnant women with the Zika virus in Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories between Jan. 1, 2016 and April 25, 2017. The CDC found that 122 of these women — about 5 percent — gave birth to babies with birth defects such as small heads (known as microcephaly).

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

John Minor of Manhattan Beach, Calif., epitomized the active Californian. The retired psychologist was a distance runner, a cyclist and an avid outdoorsman, says his daughter, Jackie Minor.

"He and my mom were both members of the Sierra Club," Jackie says. "They went on tons of backpacking trips, you know — climbing mountains and trekking through the desert. He was just a very active person."

According to the latest Pew Research data, college graduation rates are up for Americans in nearly every racial and ethnic group.

Last year, former President Barack Obama spoke about how crucial this is for the U.S. economy.

Provocative new research suggests that fetuses have the ability to discern faces when they're still in the womb.

A study involving 34-week-old fetuses found they were more likely to focus on a pattern of lights that resembled a human face than on the same lights configured to look nothing like a face.

During Ramadan, refraining from even a bite to eat is a challenge, but what about a month of daylight hours without anything to drink?

"After a long day — especially in summer — of fasting, one becomes more thirsty than hungry," says food blogger Amira Ibrahim. "So when it is time to break your fasting day, everybody rushes to the drinks."

It's tricky to nail down exactly what makes someone feel like a "racial impostor." For one Code Switch follower, it's the feeling she gets from whipping out "broken but strangely colloquial Arabic" in front of other Middle Easterners.

For another — a white-passing, Native American woman — it's being treated like "just another tourist" when she shows up at powwows. And one woman described watching her white, black and Korean-American toddler bump along to the new Kendrick and wondering, "Is this allowed?"

As a group of visiting scientists prepared to board a plane in Hawaii that would take them back home to China, U.S. customs agents found rice seeds in their luggage. Those seeds are likely to land at least one scientist in federal prison.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Uber, the ride-sharing service, has a slogan to recruit drivers. Company leaders say that at Uber you can be your own boss. You know, you're in the car. You drive when you want, knock off when you've had enough.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This week, the podcast and show Invisibilia examines the nature of reality, with a Silicon Valley techie who created apps to randomize his life, a psychologist who trains herself to experience the world like dogs do and

This week the podcast and show Invisibilia examines the nature of reality, with a Silicon Valley techie who created apps to randomize his life; a psychologist

This week the podcast and show Invisibilia examines the nature of reality, with a Silicon Valley techie who created apps to randomize his life; a wildlife biologist

Neil Shook was relaxing at home in Woodworth, N.D., on a Saturday afternoon just over a week ago.

"My wife was outside and she yelled at me to come outside and take a look at this," he recalls.

A massive brown cloud covered the horizon to the west. It was a dust storm — although Shook, who's a scientist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, doesn't like to call it dust. "I like to refer to it as soil, because that's basically what it is," he says. "We saw this huge soil cloud moving from west to east across the landscape."

Water stagnating at a construction site. A dwindling number of mangroves along the shore. Lakes choked with algae and hyacinth. Sewage pipes leaking into the sea.

These are common sights in India.

Until recently, the best people could do to try to draw attention to such problems was to tweet pictures to the government or write letters to the newspaper — hoping someone with the power to make changes would take note.

Scientists say they may have solved a big medical mystery: why mammograms don't save more lives.

A study involving thousands of breast cancer cases, released Wednesday, concludes that a significant proportion of tumors detected through mammography are not small because they are found early.

Instead, the tumors are small because they are biologically prone to slow growth.

A team of European and Moroccan scientists has found the fossil remains of five individuals who they believe are the most ancient modern humans (Homo sapiens) ever found.

In a remote area of Morocco called Jebel Irhoud, in what was once a cave, the team found a skull, bones and teeth of five individuals who lived about 315,000 years ago. The scientists also found fairly sophisticated stone tools and charcoal, indicating the use of fire by this group.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Shareholders in a zoo near Shanghai, frustrated that they weren't making a profit on their investment, fed a live donkey to zoo tigers as a form of protest.

Video of the scene shows the donkey pushed down a makeshift ramp into the water surrounding the tiger habitat, where it is promptly pounced upon. Tigers bite and claw the donkey as it bleeds and struggles in the water. The footage has prompted protest and outrage in China.

Ten years ago, my husband and I were traveling around South Africa for a few weeks and fell in love with the baboons.

They were everywhere. Eating fruit in the middle of the road. Having sex on the side of a hiking trail. Even just hanging out in a gas station parking lot.

They're magnificent creatures. Weighing up to 100 pounds, they have this alluring attitude — kind of like Sam Elliot in The Big Lebowski, sipping a beer at a bar, ready to offer sage advice.

How Alan Alda Makes Science Understandable

Jun 7, 2017

Have you ever struggled with getting a basic point across to a friend or colleague? Communication isn’t simple, especially when you’re trying to express complex ideas.

Alan Alda, the actor, New York Times best-selling author and longtime host of of PBS’ “Scientific American Frontiers” has spent hours trying to bridge the communications gap with scientists, physicists, neuroscientists and academics.

Can The Nation's Voting System Be Trusted?

Jun 7, 2017

New evidence that suggests the Russians hacked further into our voting system than we thought has many voters asking how we can best protect a system that delivers the peaceful transfer of power.

A look at the electoral process and how vulnerable it is to an outside attack.

GUESTS

In Suitland, Maryland a giant warehouse holds the largest collection of whale bones in the world.

Stacked from floor to ceiling are bones of sperm whales, gray whales, and the largest whales on Earth—blue whales, which can reach 380,000 pounds. Ancient whale fossils, tens of millions of years old, are also packed into the collection.

In his high-stakes strategy to overhaul the federal health law, President Donald Trump is threatening to upend the individual health insurance market. But if the market actually breaks, could anyone put it back together again?

It was time for Emily Harrington to make a choice.

Harrington is a professional climber. In 2014, she was trying to reach the top of the tallest peak in Southeast Asia, a little-known mountain called Hkakabo Razi that had been successfully climbed only once before.

Ever heard of the freshman 15? Nowadays, some people who are unhappy with the current political environment are complaining of the "Trump 10."

We first heard this term from actress Jane Krakowski, who recently told late night TV host Stephen Colbert, "Now that I've put on my Trump 10, I've got to work out a little." When Colbert said he hadn't heard of the term, she replied, "You know — like the freshman 15," referring to the weight gain typical during the first year of college.

Every Friday, Christine Crawford has a counseling session at a clinic at New York City's Mount Sinai Health System as she moves ahead with plans for gender transition surgery later this year. In addition to the many medical and psychosocial issues, there are practical ones as well. So, Crawford was thrilled when a Mount Sinai representative told her they would assign a lawyer to help her legally change her name to Christine.

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