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

Research News

Dr. Jeffrey Stern, assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, and Dr. Robert Montgomery, director of the NYU Langone Transplant Institute, prepare the gene-edited pig kidney with thymus for transplantation. Joe Carrotta for NYU Langone Health hide caption

toggle caption
Joe Carrotta for NYU Langone Health

A woman with failing kidneys receives genetically modified pig organs

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1246577224/1246923982" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Drug companies often do one-on-one outreach to doctors. A new study finds these meetings with drug reps lead to more prescriptions for cancer patients, but not longer survival. Chris Hondros/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Chris Hondros/Getty Images

Oncologists' meetings with drug reps don't help cancer patients live longer

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1246054537/1246257369" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

When the media covers scientific research, not all scientists are equally likely to be mentioned. A new study finds scientists with Asian or African names were 15% less likely to be named in a story. shironosov/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
shironosov/Getty Images

An artistic rendering of a washed-up Ichthyotitan severnensis carcass on the beach. Sergey Krasovskiy hide caption

toggle caption
Sergey Krasovskiy
Connie Hanzhang Jin

COMIC: Our sun was born with thousands of other stars. Where did they all go?

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1241063826/1245319487" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Surgeon Christoph Haller and his research team from Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children are working on technology that could someday result in an artificial womb to help extremely premature babies. Chloe Ellingson for NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Chloe Ellingson for NPR

An artificial womb could build a bridge to health for premature babies

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1241895501/1244068162" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Lily Padula for NPR

In the womb, a brother's hormones can shape a sister's future

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1240906149/1244482458" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

The black-capped chickadee, seen here, is well known for its strong episodic memory. Dmitriy Aronov hide caption

toggle caption
Dmitriy Aronov

The "barcodes" powering these tiny songbirds' memories may also help human memory

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1198909635/1242956417" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

"One second doesn't sound like much, but in today's interconnected world, getting the time wrong could lead to huge problems," geophysicist Duncan Agnew says. Here, an official clock is seen at a golf tournament in Cape Town, South Africa. Johan Rynners/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Johan Rynners/Getty Images

A researcher holds up a sandy De Winton's golden mole. Nicky Souness/Endangered Wildlife Trust hide caption

toggle caption
Nicky Souness/Endangered Wildlife Trust

The country's two biggest reservoirs are on the Colorado River. Water levels at Lake Powell have dropped steeply during the two-decade megadrought. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A post-reproductive toothed whale mother and her son. David Ellifrit/Center for Whale Research hide caption

toggle caption
David Ellifrit/Center for Whale Research

Most animals don't go through menopause. So why do these whales?

Across the animal kingdom, menopause is something of an evolutionary blip. We humans are one of the few animals to experience it. But Sam Ellis, a researcher in animal behavior, argues that this isn't so surprising. "The best way to propagate your genes is to get as many offspring as possible into the next generation," says Ellis. "The best way to do that is almost always to reproduce your whole life."

Most animals don't go through menopause. So why do these whales?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1198909539/1240072805" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A cicada perches on a picnic table in front of Nolde Mansion in Cumru Township, PA in May 2021. New research shows that these insects urinate in a surprising way. Ben Hasty / MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Ben Hasty / MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

Scientists studied how cicadas pee. Their insights could shed light on fluid dynamics

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1239529315/1239544522" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Workers at the U.S. Embassy in Havana leave the building in September 2017. New research out of the National Institutes of Health finds no unusual pattern of damage in the brains of Havana syndrome patients. Emily Michot/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Emily Michot/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

This close-up of the Verona astrolabe shows Arabic and Hebrew markings. Federica Gigante hide caption

toggle caption
Federica Gigante

This medieval astrolabe has both Arabic and Hebrew markings. Here's what it means

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1238815651/1238824880" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Flares burn off methane and other hydrocarbons at an oil and gas facility in Lenorah, Texas in 2021. New research shows drillers emit about three times as much climate-warming methane as official estimates. David Goldman/AP hide caption

toggle caption
David Goldman/AP

Oil and gas companies emit more climate-warming methane than EPA reports

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1237962030/1238496236" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

This type of staghorn coral (Acropora pulchra) appeared to benefit from the presence of sea cucumbers (Holothuria atra), a new study finds. Terry Moore/Stocktrek Images / Science Source hide caption

toggle caption
Terry Moore/Stocktrek Images / Science Source

This often-overlooked sea creature may be quietly protecting the planet's coral reefs

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1237026196/1238234300" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Millions of people are affected by long COVID, a disease that encompasses a range of symptoms — everything from brain fog to chronic fatigue — and that manifests differently across patients. The Washington Post/The Washington Post via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
The Washington Post/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Maria E. Garay-Serratos holds a framed photograph of her mother, who died after suffering decades of domestic violence. Scientists are trying to understand how domestic violence damages the brain. Julio Serratos/Maria E. Garay-Serratos hide caption

toggle caption
Julio Serratos/Maria E. Garay-Serratos

Domestic violence may leave telltale damage in the brain. Scientists want to find it

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1236732837/1236747249" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Elephantnose Fish, Gnathonemus petersii, Congo ullstein bild hide caption

toggle caption
ullstein bild

The "shocking" tactic electric fish use to collectively sense the world

Neuroscientist Nathan Sawtell has spent a lot of time studying the electric elephantnose fish. These fish send and decipher weak electric signals, which Sawtell hopes will eventually help neuroscientists better understand how the brain filters sensory information about the outside world. As Sawtell has studied these electric critters, he's had a lingering question: why do they always seem to organize themselves in a particular orientation. At first, he couldn't figure out why, but a new study released this week in Nature may have an answer: the fish are creating an electrical network larger than any field a single fish can muster alone, and providing collective knowledge about potential dangers in the surrounding water.

The "shocking" tactic electric fish use to collectively sense the world

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1198909479/1236789636" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A digital illustration of a circle of hands extending from the edge of the image, each holding a sheet of paper. The papers overlap in the center and, like a puzzle, come together to reveal a drawing of a handgun. Oona Tempest/KFF Health News hide caption

toggle caption
Oona Tempest/KFF Health News

This artist's concept shows the Voyager 1 spacecraft entering the space between stars. Interstellar space is dominated by plasma, ionized gas (illustrated here as brownish haze). NASA/JPL-Caltech hide caption

toggle caption
NASA/JPL-Caltech

The Voyager 1 spacecraft has a big glitch. Now, NASA must figure out how to fix it

The Voyager 1 space probe is the farthest human-made object in space. It launched in 1977 with a golden record on board that carried assorted sounds of our home planet: greetings in many different languages, dogs barking, and the sound of two people kissing, to name but a few examples. The idea with this record was that someday, Voyager 1 might be our emissary to alien life – an audible time capsule of Earth's beings. Since its launch, it also managed to complete missions to Jupiter and Saturn. In 2012, it crossed into interstellar space.

The Voyager 1 spacecraft has a big glitch. Now, NASA must figure out how to fix it

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1198909466/1236078662" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript