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A monarch butterfly flies to Joe Pye weed, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019, in Freeport, Maine. Rapid development and climate change are escalating the rates of species loss, according to the United Nations. Robert F. Bukaty/AP hide caption

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Robert F. Bukaty/AP

Migrating Monarchs

It is one of the Earth's great migrations: each year, millions of monarch butterflies fly some 3,000 miles, from their summer breeding grounds as far north as Canada to their overwintering sites in the central Mexico. It's one of the best-studied migrations and in recent years, ecologists like Sonia Altizer have been able to better answer how and why these intrepid butterflies make the journey. Short Wave brings this episode from the TED Radio Hour's episode with Sonia Altizer, with the University of Georgia.

Migrating Monarchs

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A wall-mounted thermostat in a California home. New research finds households that can least afford it are spending more than they have to on electricity. Smith Collection/Gado/Gado via Getty Images hide caption

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Smith Collection/Gado/Gado via Getty Images

Black-legged ticks carrying the bacterium that causes Lyme have been found in the coastal chaparrals surrounding California beaches. James Gathany/CDC via AP hide caption

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James Gathany/CDC via AP

Therapist Kiki Radermacher was one of the first members of a mobile crisis response unit in Missoula, Mont., which started responding to emergency mental health calls last year. That pilot project becomes permanent in July and is one of six such teams in the state — up from one in 2019. Katheryn Houghton/KHN hide caption

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Katheryn Houghton/KHN

A meadow reflects in a raindrop hanging from a blade of grass in Dresden, Germany. Robert Michael/dpa/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Robert Michael/dpa/AFP via Getty Images

By the time Victoria Cooper enrolled in an alcohol treatment program in 2018, she was "drinking for survival," not pleasure, she says — multiple vodka shots in the morning, at lunchtime and beyond. In the treatment program, she saw other women in their 20s struggling with alcohol and other drugs. "It was the first time in a very long time that I had not felt alone," she says. Ferguson Menz/Kaiser Health News hide caption

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Ferguson Menz/Kaiser Health News

Women Now Drink As Much As Men — Not So Much For Pleasure, But To Cope

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Australotitan cooperensis is the new species confirmed by paleontologists in Australia. It's the biggest dinosaur discovered in Australia. Vlad Konstantinov and Scott Hocknull/Eromanga Natural History Museum hide caption

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Vlad Konstantinov and Scott Hocknull/Eromanga Natural History Museum

President Biden aims to have 70% of adults vaccinated with at least one shot by July 4. About a dozen states have reached that goal, but vaccination rates in some other states remain low. Yulia Reznikov/Getty Images hide caption

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Yulia Reznikov/Getty Images

COVID News Round-Up: Vaccination Progress, Booster Shots, Travel

Nationwide, almost 65% of adults have had at least one vaccine shot, but vaccination rates vary significantly depending on the state. NPR health correspondent Allison Aubrey gives us the latest on the country's vaccination progress: which states are on track (and which are not), new research about why it's important teenagers get vaccinated, and what we know about the possibility of booster shots.

COVID News Round-Up: Vaccination Progress, Booster Shots, Travel

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A vial of the experimental Novavax coronavirus vaccine is ready for use in a London study in 2020. Novavax's vaccine candidate contains a noninfectious bit of the virus — the spike protein — with a substance called an adjuvant added that helps the body generate a strong immune response. Alastair Grant/AP hide caption

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Alastair Grant/AP

A New Type Of COVID-19 Vaccine Could Debut Soon

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President Barack Obama, left, shakes hands with Nathan Copeland, right, in 2016. Copeland demonstrates how he can control a robotic arm and feel when the robotic hand is touched. Dr. Jennifer Collinger, one of Copeland's doctors, watches, center. Susan Walsh/AP hide caption

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Susan Walsh/AP

Scientists from NOAA Fisheries Service approach a young North Atlantic right whale in order to disentangle it. New research shows whales with severe entanglements in rope and fishing gear are experiencing stunted growth, and body lengths have been decreasing since 1981. NOAA News Archive 011811 hide caption

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NOAA News Archive 011811

A jumping spider - Evarcha arcuata - literally hangs out at nighttime - but this was a surprise, even to a jumping spider researcher. Lukas Jonaitis/Getty Images/500px hide caption

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Lukas Jonaitis/Getty Images/500px

Why Jumping Spiders Spend All Night Hanging Out — Literally

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More than 30 states have medical marijuana programs — yet scientists are only allowed to use cannabis plants from one U.S. source for their research. That's set to change, as the federal government begins to add more growers to the mix. Drew Angerer/Getty Images hide caption

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Drew Angerer/Getty Images

A young, red-handed tamarin monkey. Some of these monkeys are changing their vocal call to better communicate with another species of tamarin. Schellhorn/ullstein bild/Getty Images hide caption

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Schellhorn/ullstein bild/Getty Images

Scientists Say These Monkeys Use An 'Accent' To Communicate With Their Foe

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Supporters of the Asian-American community attended a rally in late March against anti-Asian violence Queens in New York. Emaz/VIEW press/Corbis via Getty Images hide caption

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Emaz/VIEW press/Corbis via Getty Images

The vaccines for COVID-19 are highly effective, but people can get infected in what appear to be extremely rare cases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has decided only to investigate the cases that result in hospitalization or death. Image Point FR/NIH/NIAID/BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images hide caption

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Image Point FR/NIH/NIAID/BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

CDC Move To Limit Investigations Into COVID Breakthrough Infections Sparks Concerns

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New guidance would ease restrictions on researching embryos in the lab. BSIP/Science Source hide caption

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BSIP/Science Source

Controversial New Guidelines Would Allow Experiments On More Mature Human Embryos

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Scientists believe some heavy elements like iron are forged when a massive star explodes as a supernova. Plutonium's exact origins remain a mystery, but scientists think it was made by more than an ordinary supernova. Here, Cassiopeia A, a supernova remnant, was captured in a NASA image. NASA/JPL-Caltech hide caption

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NASA/JPL-Caltech

The Curious Stardust At The Ocean Floor

Researchers report in the journal Science that they appear to have some clues about the origin of Earth's plutonium - which has been long debated. Correspondent Nell Greenfieldboyce explains that traces of rare forms of iron and plutonium have been found in extraterrestrial debris that had sunk to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, hauled up by an oil company, then donated for research. By comparing the iron and the plutonium, scientists found the plutonium was likely forged in a cosmic cataclysm, perhaps a rare kind of supernova, and then rained down on Earth.

The Curious Stardust At The Ocean Floor

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Last year, in her first year of medical school at Harvard, Pooja Chandrashekar recruited 175 multilingual health profession students from around the U.S. to create simple and accurate fact sheets about COVID-19 in 40 languages. Michele Abercrombie for NPR hide caption

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Michele Abercrombie for NPR

Thick white sulfur dioxide smoke rises thousands of feet above Mount Pinatubo, Phillipines, June 1,1991. Romy Mariano/AP hide caption

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Romy Mariano/AP

Who Should Control Earth's Thermostat?

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This microscope image from the National Cancer Institute Center for Cancer Research shows human colon cancer cells with the nuclei stained red. Americans should start getting screened for colon cancer at age 45, according to new guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. AP hide caption

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AP