Science The latest health and science news. Updates on medicine, healthy living, nutrition, drugs, diet, and advances in science and technology. Subscribe to the Health & Science podcast.

Science

VW Pics/VW PICS/Universal Images Group

California's farmers are pumping billions of tons of extra water from underground aquifers this year because of the drought. But new restrictions on such pumping are coming into force. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Dan Charles/NPR

Satellites reveal the secrets of water-guzzling farms in California

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1037371060/1047326980" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

How do our brains create meaning from the sounds around us? That is the question at the heart of a new book from neuroscientist Nina Kraus, called Of Sound Mind. kimberrywood/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
kimberrywood/Getty Images

How do we make sense of the sounds around us?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1046460029/1046523244" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the Lucy spacecraft lifts off from Launch Complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on Saturday in Cape Canaveral, Fla. John Raoux/AP hide caption

toggle caption
John Raoux/AP

North Dakota ranchers have been forced to sell off close to 25% more of their herds over last year. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Kirk Siegler/NPR

The roots of mangrove trees grow above and below the water's edge. Dulyanut Swdp/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Dulyanut Swdp/Getty Images

The Mighty Mangrove

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1046109839/1046222784" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Women rights activists hold up signs as they gather in Washington, DC. to protest the new abortion law in Texas. While she was instrumental to the early abortion-rights movement, many in the crown may not have known the name Pat Maginnis. Joshua Roberts/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Remembering an Abortion Rights Activist Who Spurned the Spotlight

Patricia Maginnis, who was 93 when she died on August 30, may have been the first person to publicly call for abortion to be completely decriminalized in America. Despite her insistence on direct action on abortion-rights at a time when many were uncomfortable even saying the word "abortion," Maginnis is not a bold letter name of the movement. That may be because she didn't seek the limelight and she cared more for action then self-presentation.

Remembering an Abortion Rights Activist Who Spurned the Spotlight

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1045330039/1046094965" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A scenic view of a lake against the sky at night in British Columbia. Earlier this month, a resident of Golden, B.C., woke up to the sound of a crash and found that a meteorite had landed in her bed. Nadia Palici/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Nadia Palici/Getty Images

Hospitals in Idaho, like St. Luke's Boise Medical Center in Boise, remain full after the summer delta surge pushed many to their limits. Kyle Green/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Kyle Green/AP

With hospitals crowded from COVID, 1 in 5 American families delays health care

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1043414558/1045904290" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

One of the Twinkies Colin Purrington opened in 2020 - from a box stashed away in 2012 - had collapsed into a shriveled mass. Colin Purrington hide caption

toggle caption
Colin Purrington

The mystery of the mummified Twinkie

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1019729009/1045790057" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), speaks during a news conference on the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak in Geneva, in March 2020. Stefan Wermuth/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Stefan Wermuth/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A study by the National Institutes of Health this week suggests people who got the J&J vaccine as their initial vaccination against the coronavirus may get their best protection from choosing an mRNA vaccine as the booster. Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

A study of COVID vaccine boosters suggests Moderna or Pfizer works best

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1045485935/1045747534" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Usha Lee McFarling from STAT reports that an increase in funding and attention to health disparity research means some researchers of color who've long been in the field are being pushed aside. PeopleImages/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
PeopleImages/Getty Images

Goran K. Hansson (C), Permanent Secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and Nobel Economics Prize committee members Peter Fredriksson (L) and Eva Mork (R) give a press conference to announce the winners of the 2021 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. CLAUDIO BRESCIANI/TT NEWS AGENCY/AFP via Getty Ima hide caption

toggle caption
CLAUDIO BRESCIANI/TT NEWS AGENCY/AFP via Getty Ima

A blue stripe cockroach (Pseudophyllodromia sp.) on a leaf. Science Photo Library hide caption

toggle caption
Science Photo Library

Cockroaches are cool!

Cockroaches - do they get a bad rap? Producer Thomas Lu teams up with self-proclaimed lesbian cockroach defender Perry Beasley-Hall to convince producer/guest host Rebecca Ramirez that indeed they are under-rated. These critters could number up to 10,000 species, but only about 30 are pesky to humans and some are beautiful! And complicated! And maybe even clean.

Cockroaches are cool!

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1044153372/1044642837" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript