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Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

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

In September, reproductive endocrinologist John Zhang and his team at the New Hope Fertility Center in New York City captured the world's attention when they announced the birth of a child to a mother carrying a fatal genetic defect.

I did not want to join yoga class. I hated those soft-spoken, beatific instructors. I worried that the people in the class could fold up like origami and I'd fold up like a bread stick. I understood the need for stretchy clothes but not for total anatomical disclosure. But my hip joints hurt and so did my shoulders, and my upper back hurt even more than my lower back and my brain would. not. shut. up. I asked my doctor about medication and he said he didn't like the side effects and was pretty sure I wouldn't, either.

If movies were trying to be more realistic, perhaps the way to summon Batman shouldn't have been the Bat-Signal — it should have been the bat squeak.

New research from the Bat Lab for Neuro-Ecology at Tel Aviv University found that bats are "vocalizing" more information than many researchers previously thought. And researchers were able to decipher what the bats were squeaking to each other about — often they were bickering over things like food, sleep and mating.

A version of this story previously ran as part of The American Homefront Project, a national reporting collaboration from member stations WUNC, KUOW and KPCC.

When his convoy was attacked with an improvised explosive device in Iraq in 2007, Army Sgt. Jeff Lynch was seriously wounded. He suffered a traumatic brain injury, was hospitalized for months, and underwent more than a hundred surgeries.

Eighteen years ago, on New Year's Eve, David Fisher visited an old farm in western Massachusetts, near the small town of Conway. No one was farming there at the time, and that's what had drawn Fisher to the place. He was scouting for farmland.

"I remember walking out [to the fallow fields] at some point," Fisher recalls. "And in the moonlight – it was all snowy – it was like a blank canvas."

With a president-elect who has publicly supported the debunked claim that vaccines cause autism, suggested that climate change is a hoax dreamed up by the Chinese, and appointed to his Cabinet a retired neurosurgeon who doesn't buy the theory of evolution, things might look grim for science.

'Panda Grandpa' Pan Pan Dies In China

Dec 30, 2016

In the final days of a year that has become known for a number of celebrity deaths, 2016 struck again. The Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported this week that what is thought to be the world's oldest male panda has died in China at the age of 31 — around 100 in human years.

In Puerto Rico, A Woman Infected With Zika Prays For A Healthy Baby

Dec 30, 2016

Before the virus overwhelmed Puerto Rico, Zika already lurked in Keishla Mojica's home in Caguas.

First her partner, John Rodríguez, 23, became infected. His face swelled and a red, itchy rash covered his body. Doctors at the time diagnosed it as an allergy.

Two months later, Mojica, 23, had the same symptoms. Medics administered shots of Benadryl to soothe the rash and inflammation. She didn't give it much more thought.

Terrorist attacks, hurricanes, a divisive U.S. election, Brexit — 2016 has not been easy. With the year coming to an end, we thought it was time to get some serious perspective — from the scale of the entire universe.

We're tackling big questions: what scientists know, and what they have yet to learn.

So before you ring in another year, take a moment to contemplate the billions of years that led to 2017 and the billions more yet to come.

Being overweight can raise your blood pressure, cholesterol and risk for developing diabetes. It could be bad for your brain, too.

Is It Possible To Die Of Grief?

Dec 29, 2016

The actress Debbie Reynolds' death just one day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher, died has led some to speculate that grief from the loss might have been a contributing factor. There was similar speculation when actress Brittany Murphy's husband, Simon Monjack, was found dead at just 39, several months after the sudden death of his wife.

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