Pien Huang Pien Huang is a correspondent on the Science desk. She was NPR's first Reflect America Fellow, working with shows, desks and podcasts to bring more diverse voices to air and online.
Pien Huang
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Pien Huang

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Pien Huang
Wanyu Zhang/NPR

Pien Huang

Correspondent, Science Desk

Pien Huang is a reporter on the Science desk, covering public health and health disparities. She also guest hosts on NPR news programs, and narrates the Moments in History series on the NPR One app.

She joined NPR in 2019 as the newsroom's first Reflect America Fellow, working with shows, desks and podcasts to bring more diverse voices to air and online. Her reporting, with NPR's visuals team, on tracking COVID-19 data won a 2022 Edward R. Murrow award.

She's a former producer for WBUR/NPR's On Point and a 2018 Environmental Reporting Fellow with The GroundTruth Project at WCAI in Cape Cod, covering the human impact on climate change. As a freelance reporter, Huang's stories on the environment, arts and culture were featured on NPR, the BBC and PRI's The World.

Huang's experiences span categories and continents. She was executive producer of Data Made to Matter, a podcast from the MIT Sloan School of Management, and has taught podcasting and audio journalism at Northeastern University.

In a detour from journalism, she worked as a project manager for public artist Ralph Helmick to help plan and execute The Founder's Memorial in Abu Dhabi. Huang has traveled with scientists looking for signs of environmental change in Cameroon's frogs, in Panama's plants and in the ocean water off the ice edge of Antarctica. She has a degree in environmental science and public policy from Harvard.

Story Archive

Monday

CDC data shows the HPV vaccine is not reaching many young people

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Wednesday

Tested positive for COVID and wondering whether you should isolate? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may soon change its guidelines. Patrick Sison/AP hide caption

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Patrick Sison/AP

The CDC may be reconsidering its COVID isolation guidance

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Tuesday

The CDC may soon drop its isolation guidance for people with COVID-19

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Wednesday

A naked mole rat on display in the Small Mammal House at the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. Roshan Patel, Smithsonian's National Zoo hide caption

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Roshan Patel, Smithsonian's National Zoo

Murder and mayhem at the zoo: a naked mole rat war of succession

An all-out "naked mole rat war" has broken out at Smithsonian's National Zoo, after the queen of the colony was mortally wounded by one of her own children. Short Wave's Pien Huang and Margaret Cirino visit the battleground – a series of deceptively calm-looking plexiglass enclosures at the Zoo's Small Mammal House. There, the typically harmonious, eusocial rodents are now fighting their siblings with their big front teeth to determine who will become the new queen. Pien and Marge talk with zookeeper Kenton Kerns about what led to this violent succession drama, the stress he feels in witnessing his first naked mole rat war and how he hopes it will resolve.

Murder and mayhem at the zoo: a naked mole rat war of succession

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Friday

A student named Royce closes his eyes during a mindfulness session in class at Patricia J. Sullivan Partnership School in Tampa, Fla. Students say the daily lessons help them cope with their feelings. Octavio Jones for NPR hide caption

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Octavio Jones for NPR

To help these school kids deal with trauma, mindfulness lessons over the loudspeaker

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An invasion of big-headed ants has changed the landscape at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia, Kenya. Elephants wander a landscape that has fewer trees and more open grasslands. Brandon Hays hide caption

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Brandon Hays

When tiny, invasive ants go marching in ... and alter an ecosystem

At the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, a wildlife preserve in central Kenya, lions and cheetahs mingle with zebras and elephants across many miles of savannah – grasslands with "whistling thorn" acacia trees dotting the landscape here and there. Twenty years ago, the savanna was littered with them. Then came invasive big-headed ants that killed native ants — and left the acacia trees vulnerable. Over time, elephants have knocked down many of the trees. That has altered the landscape — and the diets of other animals in the local food web.

When tiny, invasive ants go marching in ... and alter an ecosystem

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Thursday

This week in science: Invasive ants, ancient chewing gum, and return of the cicadas

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Monday

A visit to one Florida school where mindfulness is helping youngsters succeed

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Wednesday

Damien Meyer/AFP via Getty Images

Saturday

A new COVID variant is gaining strength, wastewater samples from across the U.S. show

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Friday

Thursday

Navigating the respiratory illnesses — including COVID — going around post-holidays

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Tuesday

A worker inspects disposable gloves at a factory in Malaysia, a country that has been the top supplier of medical gloves to the U. S. and which is facing increasing competition from China. MOHD RASFAN/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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MOHD RASFAN/AFP via Getty Images

Friday

Mosquitoes can carry viruses including dengue, malaria, chikungunya and Zika. They are a growing public health threat abroad and in the United States. Rick Bowmer/AP hide caption

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Rick Bowmer/AP

The U.S. is unprepared for the growing threat of mosquito- and tick-borne viruses

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Wednesday

U.S. life expectancy is recovering from COVID-19, but still lags

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Life expectancy in the U.S. is up in 2022, but it's still lower than before the pandemic. emholk/Getty Images hide caption

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emholk/Getty Images

U.S. life expectancy starts to recover after sharp pandemic decline

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Thursday

A skin disease caused by sand flies is on the rise in the U.S.

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Tuesday

Verbal abuse of healthcare workers has been up — as have their mental health problems

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Monday

Wastewater reveals which viruses are actually circulating and causing colds

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Saturday

Flu and COVID-19 vaccinations are now available across the U.S., including at this CVS pharmacy in Palatine, Illinois. Nam Y. Huh/AP hide caption

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Nam Y. Huh/AP

A seasonal viral stew is brewing with flu, RSV, COVID and more

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Friday

Wastewater reveals which viruses are actually circulating and causing colds

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Thursday

Vaccine hesitancy affects dog-owners, too, with many questioning the rabies shot

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Wednesday

Rabies shots are mandatory in most of the U.S. but some dog owners are hesitant about giving their pets the vaccine. fotografixx/Getty Images hide caption

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fotografixx/Getty Images

Vaccine hesitancy affects dog-owners, too, with many questioning the rabies shot

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Thursday

An aerial image taken on Aug. 10, 2023 shows destroyed homes and buildings burned to the ground in Lahaina in the aftermath of wildfires in western Maui, Hawaii. Rumors and conspiracy theories quickly flourished after the fire, hampering relief efforts. Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

How rumors and conspiracy theories got in the way of Maui's fire recovery

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