Health & Science

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This year's Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine (ph) will be given to two scientists whose discoveries have led to a revolution in cancer treatment.

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There are a lot of misconceptions out there about the flu shot.

But following a winter in which more than 80,000 people died from flu-related illnesses in the U.S. — the highest death toll in more than 40 years — infectious disease experts are ramping up efforts to get the word out.

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Let's say you're one of the 6.5 million Americans with heart failure.

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

This is Lulu's Log, stardate September 30, 2018, where we consider matters of space, the stars and the universe.

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It would normally be easy to miss the dirt road jutting north from a tiny highway near the Arizona-Utah border. But not today, with the long line of cars rumbling toward lonely, rosy cliffs, and an encampment of bird watchers forming under them.

They're all here for four birds.

With a wingspan that can stretch nearly 10 feet, California condors are some of the largest birds in North America. They're also some of the rarest. After the population plunged to just 22 in 1982, all were taken into captivity for safe keeping and breeding.

What's the greater threat to Chinese society: "Sissies" or "straight-man cancer"?

Chinese social media has seen heated debate this month over what masculinity is supposed to look like.

It all started with the state-owned Chinese Central Television's annual back-to-school special, which aired on Sept. 1. The show prominently featured a popular boy band called New F4.

In this week’s Medical Minute, Dr. Joseph Hobbs, chairman of the Department of Family Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, discusses the intersection between declining mental health, crime and involuntary hospitalization or incarceration.

The Medical Minute airs at 8:18 a.m., 1:20 p.m. and 5:18 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday on the 17 GPB radio stations across Georgia. For more Medical Minute episodes, visit the GPB Augusta SoundCloud page. The Medical Minute is written and produced by The Medical College of Georgia in collaboration with GPB Augusta.


Gibbon Ridge at the National Zoo is a little less lively this weekend after Muneca, a 51-year-old white-cheeked gibbon, was euthanized on Friday.

Muneca lived a long life for a gibbon, which typically live to be around 30 in the wild. The zoo says that at 51, Muneca was the oldest of her species in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan population.

White-cheeked gibbons are critically endangered and the population decreased by an estimated 80 percent throughout Muneca's lifetime because of loss of habitat.

EPA To Dissolve Office Of Science Adviser

Sep 29, 2018

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Boys And Masculinity In America

Sep 29, 2018

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The venomous fangs of a copperhead snake are one thing. But the recent sighting of a rare two-headed snake in Northern Virginia is alarming — and mesmerizing — both social media spectators and scientists.

Shiru Cafe looks like a regular coffee shop. Inside, machines whir, baristas dispense caffeine and customers hammer away on laptops. But all of the customers are students, and there's a reason for that. At Shiru Cafe, no college ID means no caffeine.

"We definitely have some people that walk in off the street that are a little confused and a little taken aback when we can't sell them any coffee," said Sarah Ferris, assistant manager at the Shiru Cafe branch in Providence, R.I., located near Brown University.

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In Thursday's testimony at Judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings, Christine Blasey Ford alleged Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party in 1982, when she was 15 years old and he was 17.

Kavanaugh staunchly denied these allegations.

But memory is fallible. A question on many people's minds is, how well can anyone recall something that happened over 35 years ago?

Pretty well, say scientists, if the memory is of a traumatic event. That's because of the key role emotions play in making and storing memories.

The United Nation's annual general assembly is currently underway in New York. The gathering is a smorgasbord of meetings. There are high-level meetings and bilateral meetings and side meetings. There are sessions and special sessions and emergency special sessions. Leaders from around the globe with their coterie of ministers and sub-ministers descend on midtown Manhattan to tackle the world's problems.

It's an opportunity to lobby on global issues from rights of native peoples to climate change to nuclear disarmament.

Editor's note, Oct. 3, 10:20 a.m.: This story was updated to include additional information about the identity of the marine mammal. Scientists familiar with the area said the animal is a New Zealand fur seal, not a sea lion.

A seal smacks a kayaker with an octopus, and the video capturing the unlikely encounter quickly becomes a viral sensation.

The conflict between man and beasts happened off the coast of New Zealand's South Island.

Updated 5:37 p.m. ET

Facebook says that it has discovered a security breach affecting nearly 50 million accounts and that it's not yet clear whether any information was accessed or any accounts were otherwise misused.

The vulnerability that caused the breach was found Tuesday and was fixed on Thursday night, Facebook says. It was the result of bugs introduced into Facebook's code in July 2017. No passwords or credit card numbers were stolen, the company says.

Even in the middle of the day, in middle of the week, the theater was completely packed.

Hundreds had come to watch Rafiki, a movie about two young Kenyan women who are full of life, joy and wonder. Kena is a great student; she plays football and hangs out with the guys. And Ziki is the free spirit — cotton candy dreads and a smile full of mischief.

David Herzberg was alarmed when he heard that Richard Sackler, former chairman of opioid giant Purdue Pharma, was listed as an inventor on a new patent for an opioid addiction treatment.

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Building Humane Cities.

About Vishaan Chakrabarti's TED Talk

Architect Vishaan Chakrabarti says many modern cities feel cold, austere, and anonymous. He advocates for designing more vibrant and inclusive cities that are reminiscent of the scale of older cities.

About Vishaan Chakrabarti

The Effects Of Sexual Assault On The Brain

Sep 28, 2018

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Elon Musk, the CEO of the electric car company Tesla, is being sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the SEC, all of which started with a tweet. NPR's Jasmine Garsd reports.

Memory And Trauma

Sep 28, 2018

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Want to see what it would be like to stand on a asteroid? Well, if you were not a human but rather a seven-inch-diameter, just under 3-inch-tall, hopping robot?

A video released Thursday and taken by one of the two bouncing rovers currently on the surface of the asteroid Ryugu — over 200 million miles away from Earth — shows you just this.

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Updated at 9:32 p.m. ET

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is suing Tesla CEO Elon Musk, alleging securities fraud a month after he announced that he planned to take the publicly traded electric-car company private.

"Musk's false and misleading public statements and omissions caused significant confusion and disruption in the market for Tesla's stock and resulting harm to investors," the lawsuit says.

Mike Hayes and I are sitting on the patio of Blue Bank Resort, the business he owns on Reelfoot Lake, in Tennessee. The sun is going down. It's beautiful.

What really catches your eye here is the cypress trees. They line the lake, and thousands of them are standing right in the water. Hayes tells me that they are more than 200 years old.

When a wildfire starts, whether by lightning or human hand, it is almost always smothered.

Firefighters and aircraft are dispatched at the first sign of smoke. Ground crews build tight containment lines, contouring where they can with the fire's edge. Helicopters douse hot spots and flames with deluges of foamy water.

The public and media extol their efforts. The headline reads, "Brave firefighters tame destructive fire."

In the past few years, consumer advocacy groups have pressed restaurant chains to offer healthier kids' meals and more nutritious side options like milk and fruit, and the restaurants have responded.

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