Science The latest health and science news. Updates on medicine, healthy living, nutrition, drugs, diet, and advances in science and technology. Subscribe to the Health & Science podcast.

Science

A sign "Temporarily Closed" is seen in front of a store amid the coronavirus pandemic on May 14, 2020 in Arlington, Virginia. - Another 3 million people filed initial unemployment claims last week on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Department of Labor. OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images

Optimism For A Vaccine; Strapped Unemployment Offices Leave Many Waiting

A new analysis from Columbia University says that roughly 36,000 people could've been saved if the United States had started social distancing just one week earlier. But that all hinges on whether people would have been willing to stay home.

Optimism For A Vaccine; Strapped Unemployment Offices Leave Many Waiting

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/860018030/860574532" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Three hurricanes form in the Atlantic in September 2018. Forecasters predict three to six major hurricanes during the 2020 season, which is above average. NOAA via AP hide caption

toggle caption
NOAA via AP

Hurricane Season Will Be Above Average, NOAA Warns

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/859024101/860475360" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Elham Mansori, Florence Poya, Nahida Khajazadeh and Somaya Farooqi, members of the Afghan Dreamers, are building a mechanized version of the hand-operated ventilator. The Digital Citizen Fund hide caption

toggle caption
The Digital Citizen Fund

All-Girl Robotics Team In Afghanistan Works On Low-Cost Ventilator ... With Car Parts

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/858087604/858560664" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Much of the movie 'Contact' was filmed at the Very Large Array in New Mexico. Erin Slonaker/Moment Editorial/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Erin Slonaker/Moment Editorial/Getty Images

Armed demonstrators protest in Lansing, Michigan, during a rally organized by Michigan United for Liberty on May 14 to protest the coronavirus pandemic stay-at-home orders. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said on May 13 that protests against the state's emergency orders might make it necessary for the state to keep restrictions in place longer. The orders have been extended until May 28. Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images

What Contact Tracing Tells Us About High-Risk Activities

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/859428622/859846024" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

A researcher works on the diagnosis of suspected COVID-19 cases in Belo Horizonte, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, on March 26, 2020. Douglas Magno /AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Douglas Magno /AFP via Getty Images

Why The Race For A Coronavirus Vaccine Will Depend On Global Cooperation

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/859740688/859767259" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A portion of the letter that President Trump addressed to World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, posted late Monday night on Twitter in the midst of WHO's annual assembly. @realDonaldTrump / Twitter screengrab by NPR hide caption

toggle caption
@realDonaldTrump / Twitter screengrab by NPR

An aerial view of the East Bay Municipal Utility District Wastewater Treatment Plant on in Oakland, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

What You Flush Is Helping Track The Coronavirus

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/858566363/859142463" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A man walks past a sign reading "Welcome Back, Now Open" on Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on May 18. Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Indoor Spread, Workers' Anxieties, And Our Warped Sense Of Time

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/858569583/859138653" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Douglas Loverro, associate NASA administrator for the human exploration and operations mission directorate, in an official portrait taken in January. Loverro announced his resignation on Tuesday. Aubrey Gemignani/NASA hide caption

toggle caption
Aubrey Gemignani/NASA
Planet Flem/Getty Images

Anxious? Meditation Can Help You 'Relax Into The Uncertainty' Of The Pandemic

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/858551813/858830252" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Varham Muradyan for NPR

Are There Zombie Viruses — Like The 1918 Flu — Thawing In The Permafrost?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/857992695/857996212" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Daniel Wood/NPR

Traffic Is Way Down Because Of Lockdown, But Air Pollution? Not So Much

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/854760999/859261922" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A woman playing with slime. Slime is a popular subject of videos meant to trigger the ASMR response. Catie Dull/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Catie Dull/NPR

The Squishy, Slimey Science Of ASMR

Encore episode. The science is nascent and a little squishy, but researchers like Giulia Poerio are trying to better understand ASMR — a feeling triggered in the brains of some people by whispering, soft tapping, and delicate gestures. She explains how it works, and tells reporter Emily Kwong why slime might be an Internet fad that is, for some, a sensory pleasure-trigger.

The Squishy, Slimey Science Of ASMR

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/856795524/858191914" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Demonstrators protest in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on May 15, demanding the reopening of the state and against Governor Tom Wolf's shutdown orders during the coronavirus pandemic. Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Encouraging Vaccine News; Pandemic Grows More Political

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/857833174/858360406" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Volunteers for the grassroots network Columbia Community Care organize donated groceries and household items at one of five distribution sites in Howard County, Maryland. Courtesy of Erika Strauss Chavarria hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of Erika Strauss Chavarria

A view of Moderna headquarters in Cambridge, Mass., earlier this month. Moderna is touting preliminary data from an initial coronavirus vaccine trial. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

An aerial view of the Plinian eruption column, Mount St. Helens, on May 18, 1980. Robert Krimmel/USGS hide caption

toggle caption
Robert Krimmel/USGS

'It Seemed Apocalyptic' 40 Years Ago When Mount St. Helens Erupted

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/854829288/857727160" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A clock in Nantes, France. Loic Venance/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Loic Venance/AFP via Getty Images