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Research Shows Placebos May Have Place In Everyday Treatments

The placebo effect, in which patients perceive an effect from a fake drug, is even stronger than once believed. Host Laura Sullivan talks to Ted Kaptchuk, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, about his research on how sham treatments affect the way we feel.
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Wood Stork's Endangered Status Is Up In The Air

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife may upgrade the wood stork's status from "endangered" to "threatened." But some environmentalists and the Audubon Society says that in south Florida, the bird's population is still a long way from reaching a full recovery.
NPR

Did You Hear That? I Think It Was A Walrus

The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has just finished digitizing its huge archive of wildlife sounds — more than 9,000 of them — and made it available online.
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Birds May Use 'Sound Maps' To Navigate Huge Distances

Melissa Block talks to Jonathan Hagstrum of the U.S. Geological Survey about his recent study that finds that homing pigeons use "infrasound" as a navigational cue.
NPR

Pig Out In The Winter Or When Money's Tight? Blame Evolution

Why do we reach for that handful of M&Ms and other high-calorie treats under stress? In prehistoric times, such gluttony was probably a useful response to scarcity. That "feast before famine" instinct is less helpful in modern times, when obesity is a bigger health risk than starvation – but evolution hasn't had a chance to catch up.
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Are We Losing The Race Against Climate Change?

China burns nearly as much coal as the rest of the world combined--and has 300 more coal plants in the works. But China also leads the world in solar panel exports and wind farms, and has a national climate change policy in place. Is the U.S. falling behind on climate? Ira Flatow and guests discuss how the world is tackling global warming--with or without us--and what it might take to change the climate on Capitol Hill.
NPR

Preserving Science News In An Online World

How can journalists and bloggers avoid some of the pitfalls of communicating science in an online world? Should a website's comments section be moderated, or removed altogether? How has social media changed the blogosphere? A panel of experts joins Ira Flatow to discuss.
NPR

Dung Beetles Use Cosmic GPS to Find Their Way

When the sun goes down, dung beetles rely on a galactic source--light from the Milky Way--to navigate, according to a recent report in Current Biology. Study co-author Eric Warrant, of Lund University in Sweden, explains how dung beetles see the starry night sky.
NPR

How Owls Turn Heads

A mystery of the animal kingdom: how do owls turn their heads 270 degrees without damaging their blood vessels? At last an answer, published this week in Science. Fabian de Kok-Mercado and Philippe Gailloud dissected and x-rayed owls to discover how the birds do the twist.
NPR

How Owls Spin Their Heads Without Tearing Arteries

Owls can turn their heads 270 degrees without injuring themselves. That's more than twice as far around as humans can safely handle. Nifty adaptations in owls' vertebrae and blood vessels make it possible.

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