Research News New advances in science, medicine, health, and technology.Stem cell research, drug research, and new treatments for disease.

Research News

A study by the National Institutes of Health this week suggests people who got the J&J vaccine as their initial vaccination against the coronavirus may get their best protection from choosing an mRNA vaccine as the booster. Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

A study of COVID vaccine boosters suggests Moderna or Pfizer works best

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1045485935/1045747534" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Goran K. Hansson (C), Permanent Secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and Nobel Economics Prize committee members Peter Fredriksson (L) and Eva Mork (R) give a press conference to announce the winners of the 2021 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. CLAUDIO BRESCIANI/TT NEWS AGENCY/AFP via Getty Ima hide caption

toggle caption
CLAUDIO BRESCIANI/TT NEWS AGENCY/AFP via Getty Ima

Scientists at the Allen Institute for Brain Science uncovered differences among human brain cells (left) those of the marmoset monkey (middle) and mouse in a brain region that controls movement, the primary motor cortex. Allen Institute for Brain Science hide caption

toggle caption
Allen Institute for Brain Science

New brain maps could help the search for Alzheimer's treatments

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1043745117/1043788310" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins is stepping down by the end of the year. Sarah Silbiger/Pool/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Sarah Silbiger/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

White-lined sac-winged bat (saccopteryx bilineata) in the Atlantic rainforest of Brazil. Richard McManus/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Richard McManus/Getty Images

SURPRISE! It's A...Babbling Baby Bat?

A paper published recently in the journal Science finds similarities between the babbling of human infants and the babbling of the greater sac-winged bat (Saccopteryx bilineata) — a small species of bat that lives in Central and South America. As science correspondent Geoff Brumfiel reports, the researchers believe both bats and humans evolved babbling as a precursor to more complex vocal behavior like singing, or, in the case of people, talking.

SURPRISE! It's A...Babbling Baby Bat?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1039298956/1041675495" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A new study finds common climate change terms can be confusing to the public — including phrases describing the transition to cleaner energy sources. Here, a wind turbine operates near a coal-fired power plant in Germany. Patrick Pleul/dpa/picture alliance via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Patrick Pleul/dpa/picture alliance via Getty Images

Goodbye, Climate Jargon. Hello, Simplicity!

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1036983971/1041473695" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Long COVID patient Gary Miller receives treatment from physiotherapist Joan Del Arco at the Long COVID Clinic at King George Hospital in Ilford, London, in May. Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

Carlene Knight, who has a congenital eye disorder, volunteered to let doctors edit the genes in her retina using CRISPR. Franny White/OHSU hide caption

toggle caption
Franny White/OHSU

A Gene-Editing Experiment Let These Patients With Vision Loss See Color Again

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1040879179/1041625426" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

An older child gets vaccinated in Michigan. Pfizer and BioNTech say they will submit a formal request for emergency use authorization of the vaccine in children as young as 5 in the coming weeks. Emily Elconin/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Emily Elconin/Bloomberg via Getty Images

An artist's conception of the James Webb Space Telescope after it has unfolded in space. NASA GSFC/CIL/Adriana Manrique Gutierrez hide caption

toggle caption
NASA GSFC/CIL/Adriana Manrique Gutierrez

NASA's Got A New, Big Telescope. It Could Find Hints Of Life On Far-Flung Planets

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1039915145/1040227945" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Illustration of antibodies (y-shaped) responding to an infection with the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. KATERYNA KON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRA/Getty Images/Science Photo Libra hide caption

toggle caption
KATERYNA KON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRA/Getty Images/Science Photo Libra

How Long Does COVID Immunity Last Anyway?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1038951201/1039093610" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Everyday tasks — such as buttoning a shirt, opening a jar or brushing teeth — can suddenly seem impossible after a stroke that affects the brain's fine motor control of the hands. New research suggests starting intensive rehab a bit later than typically happens now — and continuing it longer — might improve recovery. PeopleImages/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
PeopleImages/Getty Images

The Best Time For Rehabilitation After A Stroke Might Actually Be 2 To 3 Months Later

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1039017741/1039071182" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

An axolotl photographed in Lake Xochimilco. Paul Starosta/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Paul Starosta/Getty Images

A Lotl Love For The Axolotl

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1036590555/1037374821" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

In this undated photo provided by the Research Institute for Farm Animal Biology in Dummerstorf, Germany, a calf enters a "MooLoo" pen to urinate. Thomas Häntzschel/FBN via AP hide caption

toggle caption
Thomas Häntzschel/FBN via AP

Various types of pufferfish are among those served as the gastronomic delicacy fugu. The paralyzing nerve toxin some of these fish contain is also under study by brain scientists hunting new ways to treat amblyopia. shan.shihan/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
shan.shihan/Getty Images

Pufferfish Toxin Holds Clues To Treating 'Lazy Eye' In Adults

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1037096390/1037096391" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Kathleen Hipps was fully vaccinated when she got sick from COVID-19—a breakthrough infection. Weeks later, she's still experiencing symptoms. Kathleen Hipps hide caption

toggle caption
Kathleen Hipps

Weeks after getting sick from COVID-19, Kathleen Hipps is still experiencing symptoms, even though she was fully vaccinated. Kathleen Hipps hide caption

toggle caption
Kathleen Hipps

What We Know About Breakthrough Infections And Long COVID

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1032844687/1036533255" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The Staten Island Ferry departs from the Manhattan terminal through a haze of smoke from Western wildfires, with the Statue of Liberty barely visible on July 20. Julie Jacobson/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Julie Jacobson/AP

Sheltering Inside May Not Protect You From The Dangers Of Wildfire Smoke

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1034895514/1034978505" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript