Health & Science

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Facebook has started letting around 87 million of its users know that their data may have been scooped up by the political data firm Cambridge Analytica. NPR's Laura Sydell talked to some Facebook users who got the notification.

Updated at 3 a.m. ET

The National Transportation Safety Board, which is looking into the fatal crash last month of an SUV using Tesla's Autopilot system, said it is removing the high-tech automaker from the probe for improperly disclosing details of the investigation.

Tesla says it withdrew from the investigation.

The NTSB is examining last month's crash of a 2017 Tesla Model X near Mountain View, Calif. The vehicle crashed into a concrete lane divider, killing the driver, Walter Huang.

After Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress Tuesday and Wednesday, Facebook users — among many — are still wondering if online privacy still exists.

At the hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee Wednesday, Rep. Ben Luján (D-N.M.) asked Zuckerberg if Facebook had detailed profiles on even those who had never signed up for the social networking site.

He replied, "In general, we collect data of people who have not signed up for Facebook for security purposes."

Updated at 1:11 p.m. ET Friday

Facebook announced on Wednesday that it will no longer channel funds into an effort that opposed giving social media users more control over their personal data.

Four of last season's hurricanes were deemed so destructive and deadly that the U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization has decided to retire their names.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

What makes a group of animals genetically similar to each other?

Traditionally, scientists have thought that animals living near each other are more likely to have things in common genetically. Another explanation is that animals living in similar environments — like high altitudes or hot temperatures — might evolve in similar ways.

This post is my last for 13.7: Cosmos & Culture.

For 6 1/2 years, I have had the privilege and the pleasure of writing commentaries — about 50 every year — for NPR on animals, anthropology, human evolution, nature, gender and higher education.

The blog's science and culture commentary is being discontinued by NPR — and, so, it's time to say goodbye.

Really Random Numbers

Apr 12, 2018

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NOEL KING, HOST:

A team of physicists has come up with a way to secure communications over the Internet, which is not a small deal in this day and age. Their approach involves creating truly random numbers. NPR's Joe Palca has the story.

Regulating Facebook

Apr 12, 2018

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

As she leaves a 12-hour-day on the labor and delivery shift, Dr. Katie Merriam turns off her pager.

"I don't know what I'd do without it, you know? It's another limb. I always know where it is," she says, laughing.

The third-year resident in obstetrics and gynecology at the Carolinas Medical Center hospital in Charlotte, N.C., works in a medical specialty dominated by women, treating women. Merriam says she feels a special connection to her patients.

What would happen if an unfriendly nation tried to take down the power grid, or the air traffic control system, or blow up a chemical plant with a cyberattack?

How would government agencies respond to such a threat?

That kind of war-gaming has been playing out this week in a windowless conference room at the Secret Service headquarters in Washington, D.C., in an exercise officials call "Cyber Storm VI."

An environmental organization has unveiled plans to monitor a potent greenhouse gas from space.

The Environmental Defense Fund says it will launch a satellite to monitor methane with unprecedented precision.

Steven Hamburg, a climate scientist at EDF, says methane has many times the warming "potential" as the other more abundant greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide.

Pages