Health & Science

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The ice bucket challenge became a viral sensation a few years ago.

(SOUNDBITE OF WATER SPLASHING, LAUGHTER)

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The Afghan girls robotics team has taken home a top prize at Robotex, Europe's largest robotics festival.

The team previously made headlines because their visas were temporarily denied in the run-up to a robotics contest in the U.S. — but they always wanted to be recognized for their work, not for the politics over their travel. Ultimately, they were allowed into the U.S, placed 114th overall (higher than the teams from the U.S. and U.K.) and received a medal for "courageous achievement."

A cache of hundreds of eggs discovered in China sheds new light on the development and nesting behavior of prehistoric, winged reptiles called pterosaurs.

Pterosaurs were fearsome-looking creatures that flew during the Lower Cretaceous period alongside dinosaurs. This particular species was believed to have a massive wingspan of up to 13 feet, and likely ate fish with their large teeth-filled jaws.

Researchers working in the Turpan-Hami Basin in northwestern China collected the eggs over a 10-year span from 2006 to 2016.

Drug prices are too high, and we had better do something about it. That is the nutshell conclusion of a 201-page report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

A coming wave of job automation could force between 400 million and 800 million people worldwide out of a job in the next 13 years, according to a new study.

A report released this week from the research arm of the consulting firm McKinsey & Company forecasts scenarios in which 3 percent to 14 percent of workers around the world — in 75 million to 375 million jobs — will have to acquire new skills and switch occupations by 2030.

The intercontinental ballistic missile that North Korea launched on Wednesday appears to be significantly larger and more powerful than previous versions, according to independent analysts.

A severe shortage of inpatient care for people with mental illness is amounting to a public health crisis, as the number of individuals struggling with a range of psychiatric problems continues to rise.

Silence

Nov 30, 2017

It’s a noisy world, inside and out.

Whether it’s the barrage of sounds that surrounds us or the constant droning of our own thoughts, finding peace and quiet can be difficult, and some people go to great lengths to get a break from the noise.

It has been nearly a decade since Congress passed the Mental Health Parity And Addiction Equity Act, with its promise to make mental health and substance abuse treatment just as easy to get as care for any other condition. Yet today, amid an opioid epidemic and a spike in the suicide rate, patients are still struggling to get access to treatment.

When you think of Polynesia, what images first come to mind?

Well, it looks like women have been balancing a full-time job and motherhood for thousands of years. All the while, they haven't gotten much credit for it.

By studying the bones of ancient women in Europe, archaeologists at the University of Cambridge have uncovered a hidden history of women's manual labor, from the early days of farming about 7,500 years ago up until about 2,000 years ago.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Chicago Symphony Orchestra cellist Dan Katz has two cellos. The better one — the one he prefers to play with the orchestra — is 200 years old and has rosewood tuning pegs. When the orchestra went on an 11-concert European tour in January, he purposefully left it home.

"I worry with that instrument about international travel now, because of those pegs," Katz said after rehearsing for a performance of Schubert's Ninth Symphony earlier this month.

Remember the story about the Twitter employee who (briefly) managed to delete President Trump's account?

At the time, we speculated that it might be "an act of civil disobedience, or maybe just a 'take this job and shove it' moment." But apparently the 11-minute outage of @realDonaldTrump was just a mistake.

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