Cockroaches, it just so happens, actually resemble humans, forming distinct groups and neighborhoods. Host Scott Simon talks to Mark Stoeckle of Rockefeller University, whose research uncovered this roach behavior.
Reading literary fiction improves people's ability to recognize other people's mental states, while popular fiction and nonfiction do not, a study says. That may be because literary fiction tends to focus on the psychology and inner lives of the characters.
Urban agriculture abounds in Los Angeles county but few people could see the big picture of what was actually happening around them. So university students set out to create a baseline of data in the country's most populous county to help urban planners, regulators and agricultural pioneers make sense of it all.
As the budgetary stalemate in Washington continues, many federally funded science projects are now on hold. Matthew Hourihan of the American Association for the Advancement of Science describes some of the effects of the funding impasse on research programs, from the CDC to NASA.
Public health officials have been working to reduce use of antibiotics for years. But fresh research shows that antibiotics are still being prescribed where they don't do much good, for ailments like sore throats and bronchitis. Both doctors and patients are to blame for that, experts say.
Dawn and Don Burke never intended to turn their home into a rat sanctuary. But after Dawn brought home a rat from a pet store, it wasn't long until the couple began taking in abandoned rats. The rodents' cage doors stay wide open, giving them plenty of space to run around.
Although many open-access scientific journals claim the articles they publish are subject to peer review, that doesn't always happen. Science magazine contributor John Bohannon sent out bogus papers about a fictitious cancer experiment, papers that should have raised red flags. But more than 150 journals offered to publish his work. Bohannon talks to Renee Montagne about the implications of his sting operation.
When medical research is published in a peer-reviewed journal, the presumption is that the study has been reviewed for accuracy. The advent of open-access journals has made it easier to get published. But when a journalist sent an obviously faked paper, dozens of open-access journals said they'd be happy to publish it, for a fee.
With the space agency largely grounded, employees Karen Nyberg and Mike Hopkins continue to orbit 250 miles above Earth aboard the International Space Station. While it's not clear they have all that much to do, their Twitter feeds show they may be getting creative — and perhaps a bit bored.
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