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

The size of the brain of a chimpanzee (right) is considerably smaller than that of a human brain. Probably multiple stretches of DNA help determine that, geneticists say. Science Photo Library/Corbis hide caption

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Science Photo Library/Corbis

Just A Bit Of DNA Helps Explain Humans' Big Brains

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The eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines in 1991 spewed almost 20 million tons of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere, causing worldwide temperatures to drop half a degree on average. Arlan Naeg/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Arlan Naeg/AFP/Getty Images

Scientific Pros Weigh The Cons Of Messing With Earth's Thermostat

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Stars over the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. Sheppard and Trujillo used the new Dark Energy Camera (DECam) on a telescope there to find the distant dwarf planet 2012 VP 113. Reidar Hahn/Fermilab hide caption

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Reidar Hahn/Fermilab

Hunting For Big Planets Far Beyond Pluto May Soon Be Easier

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Ultrasound is often used for prenatal screening. It's just one of several prenatal screenings available to pregnant women. iStockphoto hide caption

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iStockphoto

DNA Blood Test Gives Women A New Option For Prenatal Screening

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An example of a human precision grip — grasping a first metacarpal from the thumb of a specimen of Australopithecus africanus that's thought to be 2 to 3 million years old. T.L. Kivell & M. Skinner hide caption

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T.L. Kivell & M. Skinner

Maybe Early Humans Weren't The First To Get A Good Grip

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Bar-headed geese tend to follow the sharp ups and downs of the Himalayas as they migrate, research finds. John Downer/Nature Picture Library/Corbis hide caption

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John Downer/Nature Picture Library/Corbis

Highflying Geese Save Energy By Swooping Like A Roller Coaster

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How would you sound in front of an NPR microphone? Meredith Rizzo/NPR hide caption

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Meredith Rizzo/NPR

How A Position Of Power Can Change Your Voice

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Flu Vaccines Still Helpful Even When The Strain Is Different

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The newly described L. larvaepartus (male, left, and female) from Indonesia's island of Sulawesi. Odd, sure, but at least they don't use their stomachs as breeding chambers, as some other frogs do. Jim McGuire/UC Berkeley hide caption

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Jim McGuire/UC Berkeley

These Froggies Went A Courtin' And Gave Birth To Live Tadpoles

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

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Leemage/UIG via Getty Images

When Humans Quit Hunting And Gathering, Their Bones Got Wimpy

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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

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Henk Caspers/Naturalis Leiden/The Netherlands

Earliest Human Engraving Or Trash From An Ancient Lunch?

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Scientists Analyze Skeletal Remains From Vampire Graveyard

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