February 8, 2016 Mueller was an aid worker in Syria when she was taken hostage in 2013. Her death was confirmed in February 2015. The woman charged in Mueller's captivity is in Iraqi custody.
Researchers used cotton swabs to sample bacteria and other microbes from the skin of donated corpses placed in a field in Huntsville, Texas.
Katie Hayes Luke for NPR
December 10, 2015 When bodies decompose, the types of bacteria on and around the body change in predictable ways. These patterns can be used to estimate time of death, a crucial clue in solving murders.
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November 8, 2015 The most marvelous questions about life can best be answered only by each of us in the context of our own lives, knowing that life is limited, say authors Irene Kacandes and Steve Gordon.
October 13, 2015 The film The Martian has people wondering about life in space. After talk of death runs out, conversation eventually turns to two topics: sex and going to the bathroom, says astrophysicist Adam Frank.
Jennifer Glass found out she had lung cancer four months after she got married. Here, her first round of chemo in February 2013.
Courtesy of Jennifer Glass
July 7, 2015 Jennifer Glass was a newlywed when she was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. "I'm doing everything I can to extend my life," she says, while advocating for a right-to-die law in California.
May 20, 2015 An analysis of mortality records uncovered the most distinctive cause of death in each state. In Texas, it's tuberculosis. In Maine, the flu. And in Nevada, it's "legal intervention."
Dan Swangard, a 48-year-old physician from San Francisco, was diagnosed in 2013 with a rare form of metastatic cancer.
March 30, 2015 Dr. Dan Swangard doesn't know if he would take lethal medications to hasten death. But as someone with metastatic cancer, he wants to have that choice. He's part of a suit to change California law.
Martin Luther King Jr., with his wife, Coretta, at a Harlem hospital after he was stabbed by Izola Ware Curry in 1958.
March 21, 2015 Izola Ware Curry, who stabbed but did not kill Martin Luther King Jr., has died. NPR's Scott Simon wonders about other public figures who came close to death, but went on to great things.
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An 1870 engraving by Gustave Dore depicts the vision of the golden ladder, a scene from Dante's Paradiso.
January 20, 2015 The idea that we, as individuals, did not exist 1,000 years ago doesn't seem to worry us. So, why does the idea of not existing in the future freak us out so much? Adam Frank explores this notion.
A vigil is held against violence in Cali, Colombia. The country has seen some 1,090 homicides this year.
Luis Robayo /AFP/Getty Images
December 18, 2014 A new report looks at the top causes of death in 188 countries. Infectious diseases are less of a threat than in 1990 — but please, look both ways before you cross the street.
The grandchildren of Rebecca "Mama" Barclay walked 2 miles to her burial site in 2011.
Gabriel B. Tait for NPR
November 13, 2014 To understand why Liberians have had a hard time changing their funeral practices in the age of Ebola, first you must understand their tender and celebratory traditions.
October 25, 2014 In everyday medical care, the practice of reflection is too often overlooked. Remembrance is what makes us human. Keeping tabs on who has died over the years keeps one doctor humble.
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Go on, guess what it's about.
October 12, 2014 Nerd-about-town Glen Weldon explains to a non-comics-reading guy exactly what is up with the impending death of Wolverine. (That's not a spoiler; the miniseries is actually called Death of Wolverine.)
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Tattoo artist Peter van der Helm, shown in his studio in Amsterdam in December 2013, has set up a business to preserve the tattoos of the dead.
October 11, 2014 Got a killer tat? There's no reason for it to die with you. Thanks to a Dutch tattoo artist, if you sign the right forms and pay the right price, a lab can preserve your body art after you die.
On her YouTube channel, mortician Caitlin Doughty humorously answers serious questions about death, decomposition, burial practices and more.
September 13, 2014 Caitlin Doughty has built a following on YouTube by humorously discussing the morbid elements of her profession. In her new book, she explains that she's been interested in death since childhood.
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