Health & Science

Recently, an online survey asked me to name African women scientists I admired. I found myself struggling — even though I'm a Kenyan entomologist, researching sustainable ways to feed our expanding population amid a changing climate. I thought to myself, why are there so few of us?

I was wrong: We are not few at all. Twitter proved it.

The website Levers in Heels, which features African women in STEM, in January called on the internet to tweet the names of African women scientists. People shared hundreds.

More Religious Leaders Challenge Silence, Isolation Surrounding Suicide

Feb 11, 2018

The Rev. Talitha Arnold was just 2 years old when her father, a World War II veteran, took his own life.

"You just didn't talk about those things back then. We didn't even talk about suicide when I was in the seminary," says Arnold, who leads the United Church of Santa Fe in New Mexico.

Then, when the wife of one of her divinity school professors killed herself and no one muttered a word about it during the service, Arnold says she was appalled. "I was sitting there thinking, 'This was nuts. Why can't you name it?' " That was almost 40 years ago.

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

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Fiona the hippo may be one of the greatest living social media stars of the decade, but in terms of those who aren't living, look no further than Sue the Tyrannosaurus rex.

Though she's a fossil, Sue is a true Chicagoan and has been on display in her home at The Field Museum since 2000.

Like many of us these days, Sue is sassy and shares her hot takes on Twitter with adoring fans.

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

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Technology is marching on, bringing us smart speakers and smartphone updates and cars that drive themselves down the street. And yet it's the little challenges that bedevil.

The dreaded blinking orange light.

(SOUNDBITE OF PAPER RUSTLING)

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

It's hard to imagine that a blue dye sold in pet food stores in the U.S. to fight fungal infections in tropical fish could be a potent weapon against malaria.

It sounds like the ultimate white savior movie.

Oscar-winning actress Brie Larson plays a young scientist who has created a new fast-growing super-rice. She comes to India to convince villagers to switch to this grain. There's Bollywood-style singing, dancing — and in one scene she even rides a white horse!

Two decades ago social scientists published landmark research that uncovered some previously undiscovered insights into stressors that affect developing minds.  The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) study quantified the traumas that affected 17,000 adult patients, years before.

The peak of the flu season could still be several weeks away, federal health officials cautioned Friday.

"We may be on track to break some recent records," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly all states are still reporting widespread flu activity, with less severe reports only coming from Oregon and Hawaii.

"Flu is incredibly difficult to predict and we don't know if we've hit the peak yet," Schuchat said in a call with reporters. "We could still see several more weeks of increased activity."

Reuters has published an extensive report into the killing of 10 Rohingya men in Myanmar in September, pulling from photographs and eyewitness accounts to describe how villagers and paramilitary forces killed the men execution-style and buried them in one grave.

The investigation made headlines long before it was published.

Uber has reached a settlement valued at $245 million with Google's self-driving car subsidiary Waymo, in a major trade secrets trial that began Monday.

A long time ago, when I was working on my Ph.D. research, I learned to use supercomputers to track the complex 3-D motions of gas blown into space by dying stars.

Using big computers in this way was still new to lots of researchers in my field and I was often asked, "How do you know your models are right?"

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Peering Deeper Into Space.

About Natasha Hurley-Walker's TED Talk

Natasha Hurley-Walker explains how a new radio telescope helps us "see" without light. She says these telescopes can tell us about millions of galaxies — and maybe even the beginning of time.

About Natasha Hurley-Walker

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Peering Deeper Into Space.

About Sara Seager's TED Talk

In our galaxy alone, there are hundreds of billions of planets. And Sara Seager is looking for the perfect one, a "Goldilocks" planet — neither too hot nor too cold — that could support life.

About Sara Seager

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