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A Short Fuse For Fusion As Ignition Misses Deadline

The $5 billion National Ignition Facility has been called a modern-day moonshot, a project of "revolutionary science." But the massive experiment that aims to generate nuclear fusion has failed to do so by a key deadline.
NPR

Do Orchestras Really Need Conductors?

A computer science study shows that when an orchestra's musicians closely follow the lead of the conductor, rather than one another, they produce better music.
NPR

Hope, Innovation: Remembering A Transplant Pioneer

Renee Montagne talks with Dr. Atul Gawande about the life and work of Dr. Joseph E. Murray, who performed the first successful organ transplant in 1954. Murray died Monday at age 93.
NPR

To Fight Tick-Borne Disease, Someone Has To Catch Ticks

A Rhode Island researcher is a master at collecting deer ticks where other people overlook them. He caught 15,000 of them last year, and his success is a sign of a growing problem. Tick-borne diseases are on the rise.
NPR

Will Florida Pythons Slither To Rest Of The U.S.?

Researchers from the University of Florida, National Geographic and other groups say Burmese pythons may not be as likely to spread across the Southeast U.S. as previous researchers have warned. Cold weather may beat them back.
NPR

As 2012 Comes To A Close, The Facts About Doomsday

When people have questions about the end of the world — the predictions of the Mayan calendar or other apocalyptic events — they often turn to the Internet. NASA astrobiologist David Morrison has taken it upon himself to answer thousands of questions about the science of existential threats.
NPR

Overrun By Otters, Illinois Reinstates Trapping Season

More than 15,000 otters in Illinois are pilfering fish from fishermen and disrupting the local ecosystem. To deal with it, the state is allowing an otter trapping season for the first time in 87 years, starting this month. Bob Bluett, a biologist from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, joins Steve Inskeep to talk about the otter inundation.

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