Nell Greenfieldboyce

Nell Greenfieldboyce is a NPR science correspondent.

With reporting focused on general science, NASA, and the intersection between technology and society, Greenfieldboyce has been on the science desk's technology beat since she joined NPR in 2005.

In that time Greenfieldboyce has reported on topics including the narwhals in Greenland, the ending of the space shuttle program, and the reasons why independent truckers don't want electronic tracking in their cabs.

Much of Greenfieldboyce's reporting reflects an interest in discovering how applied science and technology connects with people and culture. She has worked on stories spanning issues such as pet cloning, gene therapy, ballistics, and federal regulation of new technology.

Prior to NPR, Greenfieldboyce spent a decade working in print, mostly magazines including U.S. News & World Report and New Scientist.

A graduate of Johns Hopkins, earning her Bachelor's of Arts degree in social sciences and a Master's of Arts degree in science writing, Greenfieldboyce taught science writing for four years at the university. She was honored for her talents with the Evert Clark/Seth Payne Award for Young Science Journalists.

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2:46am

Mon December 23, 2013
Shots - Health News

Screening Newborns For Disease Can Leave Families In Limbo

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 3:24 pm

Vera Wojtesta was one of 300 babies flagged by New York's newborn screening program as at risk of having life-threatening Krabbe disease.
Ben Shutts Courtesy of the Wojtesta family

For Matthew and Brianne Wojtesta, it all started about a week after the birth of their daughter Vera. Matthew was picking up his son from kindergarten when he got a phone call.

It was their pediatrician, with some shocking news. Vera had been flagged by New York's newborn screening program as possibly having a potentially deadly disease, and would need to go see a neurologist the next day.

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11:03pm

Tue December 3, 2013
Science

Polar Bear Researcher Gets $100,000 In Settlement With Feds

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 1:19 pm

Threatened Arctic polar bears have become controversial icons of climate change.
Gerald Hoberman Getty Images

A scientist whose observations of drowned polar bears raised alarms about climate change has received $100,000 to settle a whistle-blower complaint against an agency of the Department of the Interior.

Under the settlement, wildlife researcher Charles Monnett retired from his job at the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on Nov. 15, and the agency agreed to remove a letter of reprimand that officials had placed in his file.

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1:44pm

Thu November 14, 2013
Shots - Health News

Bacterial Competition In Lab Shows Evolution Never Stops

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 9:49 am

The plate on the left contains about equal numbers of colonies of two different bacteria. After the bacteria compete and evolve, the lighter ones have taken the lead in the plate on the right.
Courtesy of Michael Wiser

Evolution is relentless process that seems to keep going and going, even when creatures live in a stable, unchanging world.

That's the latest surprise from a unique experiment that's been underway for more than a quarter-century.

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1:35pm

Thu November 14, 2013
Animals

Old Dogs, New Data: Canines May Have Been Domesticated In Europe

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 7:34 pm

A dog burial in Greene County, Ill. This fossil dates back to about 8,500 years ago.
Courtesy of Del Baston, Center for American Archaeology

Scientists have used some new tricks and old dogs to show that thousands of years ago, wolves may have first become man's best friend in Europe.

Researchers extracted DNA from ancient wolf or dog fossils and compared it with DNA from modern dog breeds and wolves. Until recently, labs didn't have the kind of genetic tools they'd need to work with such old dog DNA and do this kind of detailed comparison.

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2:01am

Tue November 5, 2013
Space

Galaxy Quest: Just How Many Earth-Like Planets Are Out There?

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 10:36 am

This is an artist's illustration of Kepler-62f, a planet in the "habitable zone" of a star that is slightly smaller and cooler than ours. Kepler-62f is roughly 40 percent larger than Earth.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle

A team of planet hunters estimates that about 22 percent of the sun-like stars in our galaxy may have planets about the size of Earth that are bathed in similar amounts of sunlight — and potentially habitable.

That's the conclusion of a new analysis of observations taken by NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, which was launched in 2009 to hunt for potentially habitable Earth-like planets around other stars.

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