Short Wave New discoveries, everyday mysteries, and the science behind the headlines — all in about 10 minutes, every weekday. It's science for everyone, using a lot of creativity and a little humor. Join hosts Emily Kwong and Aaron Scott for science on a different wavelength.

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New discoveries, everyday mysteries, and the science behind the headlines — all in about 10 minutes, every weekday. It's science for everyone, using a lot of creativity and a little humor. Join hosts Emily Kwong and Aaron Scott for science on a different wavelength.

If you're hooked, try Short Wave Plus. Your subscription supports the show and unlocks a sponsor-free feed. Learn more at plus.npr.org/shortwave

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Happy Thanksgiving, All!

Emily and Aaron wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, and explain how you can help the show. Hint: It's giving us feedback about what you love and think we could do better on the show. You can take our survey at npr.org/shortwavesurvey.

Happy Thanksgiving, All!

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Workers wait to get off an elevator at a coal mine in eastern Ukraine. Russia's invasion of Ukraine disrupted global supplies of fossil fuels and led to more reliance on coal for electricity in some countries. Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

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Claire Harbage/NPR

Three Takeaways From The COP27 Climate Conference

The climate meeting known as COP27 has wrapped. Representatives from almost 200 countries attended to talk about how to tackle climate change and how to pay for the costs of its effects that the world is already seeing. Rebecca Hersher and Michael Copley from NPR's Climate Desk talk with Emily about why the meeting went into overtime, three big things that came out of it, and the long and bumpy road still ahead to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Three Takeaways From The COP27 Climate Conference

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Cultivated Meat is an alternative to traditional meat derived from cells in a lab. In this photo, a chicken breast is prepared at Upside Foods. Brian L. Frank for NPR/Brian L. Frank for NPR hide caption

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Brian L. Frank for NPR/Brian L. Frank for NPR

A Taste Of Lab-Grown Meat

The idea came to Uma Valeti while he was working on regrowing human tissue to help heart attack patients: If we can grow tissue from cells in a lab, why not use animal cells to grow meat?

A Taste Of Lab-Grown Meat

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Eric Minikel and Sonia Vallabh pivoted from careers in law and urban planning to lead a prion research lab at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Maria Nemchuk/Broad Institute hide caption

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Maria Nemchuk/Broad Institute

A Deeply Personal Race Against A Fatal Brain Disease

In the mornings, Sonia Vallabh and Eric Minikel's first job is to get their two garrulous kids awake, fed and out the door to daycare and kindergarten. They then reconvene at the office and turn their focus to their all-consuming mission: to cure, treat, or prevent genetic prion disease.

A Deeply Personal Race Against A Fatal Brain Disease

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Sonia Vallabh and Eric Minikel at their wedding in 2009. Zamana Photography/Courtesy of Eric Minikel hide caption

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Zamana Photography/Courtesy of Eric Minikel

Science Couldn't Save Her, So She Became A Scientist

The first time Sonia Vallabh understood something was very wrong with her mother Kamni was on the phone on her mom's 52nd birthday. She wasn't herself. By the end of that year, after about six months on life support, Kamni had died.

Science Couldn't Save Her, So She Became A Scientist

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Human prion protein, molecular model. Laguna Design/Getty Images/Science Photo Libra hide caption

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Laguna Design/Getty Images/Science Photo Libra

Killer Proteins: The Science Of Prions

Prions are biological anomalies – self-replicating, not-alive little particles that can misfold into an unstoppable juggernaut of fatal disease. Prions don't contain genes, and yet they make more of themselves. That has forced scientists to rethink the "central dogma" of molecular biology: that biological information is always passed on through genes. The journey to discovering, describing, and ultimately understanding how prions work began with a medical mystery in a remote part of New Guinea in the 1950s. The indigenous Fore people were experiencing a horrific epidemic of rapid brain-wasting disease. The illness was claiming otherwise healthy people, often taking their lives within months of diagnosis. Solving the puzzle would help unlock one of the more remarkable discoveries in late-20th-century medicine, and introduce the world to a rare but potent new kind of pathogen. For the first episode in a series of three about prion disease, Short Wave's Gabriel Spitzer shares the science behind these proteins with Emily Kwong, and explains why prions keep him awake at night.

Killer Proteins: The Science Of Prions

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Visitors walk in the Green Zone of the UNFCCC COP27 climate conference on Nov. 10 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. The conference is bringing together political leaders and representatives from 190 countries to discuss climate-related topics including climate change adaptation, climate finance, decarbonisation, agriculture and biodiversity. The conference is running from November 6-18. Sean Gallup/Getty Images hide caption

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Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Where Do Climate Negotiations Stand At COP27?

Climate negotiations continue at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Tens of thousands of attendees from around the world have gathered in the seaside resort town. They've come to discuss some of the key issues to figure out how to combat climate change, remedy its effects, and to focus on implementing the big changes discussed last year in Glasgow.

Where Do Climate Negotiations Stand At COP27?

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Mamadou Thiam in Saint-Louis, Senegal on October 5. Ricci Shryock for NPR hide caption

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Ricci Shryock for NPR

Searching For A New Life

Today, we pass the mic to our colleagues at All Things Considered to share the first piece in their series on the impact of climate change, global migration and far-right politics. They begin with the story of Mamadou Thiam, a Senegalese man living in a temporary shelter created by the United Nations. He is from a family of fishermen, but floods have destroyed his home. In the past when there was flooding, people could relocate for a few months and then return. But more flooding means leaving may become permanent.

Searching For A New Life

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Artist's illustration of two merging neutron stars. A. Simonnet/NSF/LIGO/Sonoma State University hide caption

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A. Simonnet/NSF/LIGO/Sonoma State University

Corey Gray Is Picking Up Cosmic Vibrations

A pivotal week in Corey Gray's life began with a powwow in Alberta and culminated with a piece of history: the first-ever detection of gravitational waves from the collision of two neutron stars. Corey was on the graveyard shift at LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Observatory in Hanford, Washington, when the historic signal came. Corey tells Short Wave Scientist in Residence Regina G. Barber about the discovery, the "Gravitational Wave Grass Dance Special" that preceded it, and how he got his Blackfoot name.

Corey Gray Is Picking Up Cosmic Vibrations

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An iceberg in Ilulissat, Greenland. Ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are melting rapidly, and that melt will accelerate as the Earth heats up. Ryan Kellman/NPR hide caption

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Ryan Kellman/NPR

Climate Tipping Points And The Damage That Could Follow

If Earth heats up beyond 1.5 degrees, the impacts don't get just slightly worse--scientists warn that abrupt changes could be set off, with devastating impacts around the world. As the 27th annual climate negotiations are underway in Egypt and the world is set to blow past that 1.5°C warming threshold,

Climate Tipping Points And The Damage That Could Follow

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