Health & Science

Science news

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Doctors have known for some time that a man can spread the Zika virus to a woman through sex. Now officials have documented the first case in which a woman apparently infected a man through unprotected sexual intercourse.

The case occurred in New York City when a woman in her 20s returned from a trip to a country where Zika is spreading, according to a report released Friday by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode What Makes Us ... Us

About Steven Pinker's TED Talk

Psychologist Steven Pinker describes how far we've come in understanding how both nature and nurture make us ... us.

About Steven Pinker

Where Does Consciousness Come From?

11 hours ago

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode What Makes Us ... Us

About John Searle's TED Talk

Philosopher John Searle argues that consciousness is what makes us human. He makes the case for studying consciousness and accepting it as a biological phenomenon.

About John Searle

John Searle has contributed to contemporary thinking about consciousness, language, artificial intelligence and rationality.

How Will 'Cut And Paste' Technology Rewrite Our DNA?

11 hours ago

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode What Makes Us ... Us

About Sam Sternberg's TED Talk

Biochemist Sam Sternberg describes how recent developments in gene editing technology may help end many diseases and even control our own evolution.

About Sam Sternberg

Where Did Agriculture Begin? Oh Boy, It's Complicated

14 hours ago

Sometime around 12,000 years ago, our hunter-gatherer ancestors began trying their hand at farming.

First, they grew wild varieties of crops like pea, lentil and barley, and herded wild animals like goat and wild ox. Centuries later, they switched to farming full-time, breeding both animals and plants, creating new varieties and breeds. Eventually, they migrated outward, spreading farming to parts of Europe and Asia.

Charles Jones' 12-year-old son, Malik, has autism. When he found out, Jones says, the news came as a shock — and fodder for plenty of fears.

"It was like a shot in the gut," he says. "I thought my son would be nonverbal, that he would never say 'I love you.' But when he started talking he wouldn't shut up."

One day in 2012 a group of policemen in a Danish town was sitting around in the office when an unusual call came in. This town, called Aarhus, is a clean, orderly place with very little crime. So what the callers were saying really held the cops' attention. They were parents, and they were "just hysterical," recalled Thorleif Link, one of the officers. Their son was missing. They woke up one day and he was gone.

A sitting duck. That's what South America was a few years ago when Zika first struck. The continent had never recorded a case of the mosquito-borne virus. And everyone was susceptible.

"So you get this huge raging epidemic that blows through the population, usually very fast and infects a pretty high percentage of the population," says Justin Lessler, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Most of the front door of Rachel Taylor's little yellow house in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., is pasted with paw prints where her dog struggled to get inside during the flood last month. He was too big to carry through the rising waters.

Across the street, nestled between two battered houses, an empty lot is marked by a cross with an array of flowers and photos — a small memorial for a family washed away by the torrent.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The first time he encountered a tiger shark in the water, marine ecologist Neil Hammerschlag was in the Bahamas conducting research. His team was on a boat and hadn't seen many sharks, so when someone yelled, "Tiger shark!" he grabbed his snorkel gear and camera and jumped into the water.

"One [tiger shark] moved right in toward me and came close," Hammerschlag tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "It opened its mouth, and I was looking through its mouth down its gut and seeing its gills from the inside."

For parents concerned that their preschoolers may one day gain excess weight, a study published Thursday suggests one strategy for keeping the little ones on track that isn't related to food: Tuck them in earlier.

Scientists reporting online in The Journal of Pediatrics found, in a study of not quite a thousand U.S. children, that preschoolers who got to bed by 8 p.m. were about half as likely as those who turned in after 9 p.m. to develop obesity in their teenage years.

Viral hepatitis is a sneaky killer, accounting for nearly 1.5 million deaths in 2013 — equal to or greater than the number of yearly deaths caused by malaria, tuberculosis or HIV/AIDS. That's just one unexpected finding from the first study to systematically assess the scope of the disease around the world.

Pages