Kyle McAlister

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9 Amazing and Gross Things Scientists Discovered About Microbes This Year

We can't see them, but they are all around us. On us. In us. Our personal microbes—not to mention those in the environment around us—have us …

NPR Music's 50 Favorite Albums Of 2014

Was the music of 2014 heavier than usual, or is it just us? When the staff of NPR Music and our member station partners gather to collect our favorite albums of the year, we don't start out with a theme. We don't intend to come to an absolute consensus. We begin with questions: What do you hold …

Scientists create anti-atom beam — but use it for good, not evil

Creating an antimatter beam sounds like something only a mad scientist would do, but there's nothing mad about the beam of antihydrogen atoms that scientists generated for the first time at Europe's CERN research center.<p>The researchers behind the technical achievement, revealed Tuesday in the …

New 15-Minute At-Home Test May Detect Alzheimer's, Goes Viral

According to research published yesterday in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, a 15-minute at-home test may be able to detect early signs of Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, and cognitive decline.<p>Titled the Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination test, or SAGE, and …

Arctic temperatures at 44,000-year high

Plenty of studies have shown that the Arctic is warming and that the ice caps are melting, but how does it compare to the past, and how serious is it?<p>New research shows that average summer temperatures in the Canadian Arctic over the last century are the highest in the last 44,000 years, and …

Alzheimer's treatment: landmark study gives hope for simple pill

A landmark British study has raised the prospect of a pill that could treat brain diseases such as Alzheimer's by halting the death of neurons.<p>The research, performed on sick mice, is at a very early stage and it could be a decade or more before any medicine is developed.<p>But experts say the results …

Associated Press News

Majority of climate change news stories focus on uncertainty, study finds

The uncertainties of climate change science have become a major focus of media coverage on the subject, a new study shows.<p>About eight in 10 stories on climate change and related scientific research contain some discussion of uncertainties and risk, according to a report from Oxford University. …

Meet 115, the Newest Element on the Periodic Table

The extremely heavy element was just confirmed by scientists in Sweden.<p><b>If you've learned all the elements from actinium to zirconium, it's time to head back to the periodic table, where there's a new, extremely heavy element in town.</b><p><b>The new element doesn't have an official name yet, so scientists</b> …

Environment: News & features

Scientists confirm existence of new, super-heavy element 'ununpentium'

A heavyweight contender for the periodic table<p>Swedish scientists have confirmed the existence of a new super-heavy element, temporarily dubbed ununpentium for its position at the 115th spot on the periodic table. First proposed by Russian scientists back in 2004, the new element was created by a …

The Average American Worker Has Made No Progress In The Past Decade

The mass layoffs and sky-high unemployment levels of the Great Recession have mostly receded. What's left is a bigger issue: the fact that wages basically haven't moved in a decade for the majority of American workers.<p>A new report from the Economic Policy Institute, highlighted by economist Jared …

Economics

Rising levels of acids in seas may endanger marine life, says study

Rapidly rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are causing a potential catastrophe in our oceans as they become more acidic, scientists have warned.<p>Hans Poertner, professor of marine biology at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany, and co-author of a new study of the phenomenon, told the …

Humans may be causing some animals to grow bigger brains

Humans may be responsible for a jump in brain growth among mice and some other small mammals living around us in both urban and rural settings, a new study finds.<p>Small mammals that either produce a lot of babies or eat a lot of bugs exhibited the greatest cranial capacity (i.e. brain growth) due to …

AP classes failing students

Taxpayers have spent hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years to nudge more students into Advanced Placement classes — but a close look at test scores suggests much of the investment has been wasted.<p>Expanding participation in AP classes has been a bipartisan goal, promoted by U.S. Education …

Associated Press News

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U.S. Dolphin Deaths Rise to 300; Cause Still a Mystery

<b>The spike in bottlenose dolphin deaths this summer is showing no signs of stopping: Nearly 300 of the marine mammals have died along the East Coast as of August 20, according to the federal government. (Related: "Why Are Dolphins Dying on East Coast? Experts Alarmed.")</b><p>The high death toll, covering …

NASA Finds A Pink Planet That Challenges Current Theories

About 57 light years from Earth, astronomers have discovered a large new planet, colored a deep magenta. It’s the second planet whose color has been directly observed by astronomers, the first being HD 189733b. That alone would make this find noteworthy. But equally noteworthy is the fact that the …

Philippines and MILF rebels in wealth-sharing deal

<b>The Philippines has reached a deal with the country's largest Muslim rebel group to share wealth generated from Mindanao's natural resources.</b><p>The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will receive 75% of the gold, copper and other resources mined from the southern island.<p>It follows lengthy …

Exactly When Is a City Strong Enough to Spar With Walmart?

Space-time loops may help explain black holes

Physics cannot describe what happens inside a black hole. There, current theories break down, and general relativity collides with quantum mechanics, creating what's called a singularity, or a point at which the equations spit out infinities.<p>But some advanced physics theories are trying to bridge …