Nell Greenfieldboyce Nell Greenfieldboyce is a NPR science correspondent.
Nell Greenfieldboyce 2010
Stories By

Nell Greenfieldboyce

Farming helped fuel the rise of civilizations, but it may also have given us less robust bones. Leemage/UIG via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Leemage/UIG via Getty Images

When Humans Quit Hunting And Gathering, Their Bones Got Wimpy

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/372441550/372623618" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

An inside view of this fossil Pseudodon shell shows that the hole made by Homo erectus is exactly at the spot where the muscle attached to the shell. Poking at that spot would force the shell open. Henk Caspers/Naturalis Leiden/The Netherlands hide caption

toggle caption
Henk Caspers/Naturalis Leiden/The Netherlands

Earliest Human Engraving Or Trash From An Ancient Lunch?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/367845103/368282969" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Scientists Analyze Skeletal Remains From Vampire Graveyard

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/366956628/366956629" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Shrinking Sea Ice Could Put Polar Bears In Grave Peril By 2100

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/366851836/366851837" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Controversy Over Scientist's Shirt Mars Celebration Of Comet Landing

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/364138333/364138334" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

This is a re-creation of a color plate from Interaction of Color, by Josef Albers. The two X's are are exactly the same — it's the different backgrounds that make them look like very different colors. Source: Josef Albers Interaction of Color hide caption

toggle caption
Source: Josef Albers Interaction of Color

These X's Are The Same Shade, So What Does That Say About Color?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/361219912/363101496" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome virus particles cling to the surface of an infected cell. NIAID/Flickr hide caption

toggle caption
NIAID/Flickr

How A Tilt Toward Safety Stopped A Scientist's Virus Research

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/361219361/362226249" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Stringy particles of Ebola virus (blue) bud from a chronically infected cell (yellow-green) in this colorized, scanning electron micrograph. NIAID/Science Source hide caption

toggle caption
NIAID/Science Source

Virus Sleuths Chip Away At Ebola Mysteries

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/359837446/360300799" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A rogues gallery of the viruses (left to right) that cause MERS, SARS, and influenza. Niaid; 3D4Medical; Niaid/Science Source hide caption

toggle caption
Niaid; 3D4Medical; Niaid/Science Source

Scientists Fight For Superbug Research As U.S. Pauses Funding

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/358122198/358363573" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The cruise ship Carnival Magic floats behind a catamaran off Cozumel, Mexico on Oct. 17. The ship skipped a planned stop there Friday, the cruise line says, after Mexican authorities delayed granting permission to dock. Reuters/Landov hide caption

toggle caption
Reuters/Landov

Avian influenza, or bird flu, causes an infectious and contagious respiratory disease. In the lab, several scientists have made the H5N1 strain more contagious, a controversial line of research. James Cavallini/ScienceSource hide caption

toggle caption
James Cavallini/ScienceSource

The Ebola virus as seen under an electron microscope. BSIP/UIG via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
BSIP/UIG via Getty Images

Why Won't The Fear Of Airborne Ebola Go Away?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/356966590/357004656" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript