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State officials are preparing to respond if there are any signs the Zika virus is being transmitted in Connecticut. Experts from several state agencies met Wednesday to put together a plan to combat the spread of the disease.

Jeff Djevdet / Creative Commons

Why are some people more susceptible to addiction than others? How does genetic makeup influence a person’s chances of becoming an addict? This hour, we find out how researchers at Yale University and The Jackson Laboratory are working to better understand the science of addiction. 

The Obama administration has denied a bid by two Democratic governors to reconsider how it treats marijuana under federal drug control laws, keeping the drug for now, at least, in the most restrictive category for U.S. law enforcement purposes.

Rhode Island Keeps Tabs on Zika

Aug 9, 2016

The Rhode Island Health Department has confirmed 18 cases of Zika virus -- a disease linked to a severe birth defect called microcephaly. 

The National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report all of the Rhode Island cases were contracted outside of state lines. 

The mosquito known to carry Zika in Florida is not established in Rhode Island. However, the state may be at risk for another mosquito which also carries the virus. 

The federal government announced plans Thursday to lift a moratorium on funding of certain controversial experiments that use human stem cells to create animal embryos that are partly human.

The National Institutes of Health is proposing a new policy to permit scientists to get federal money to make embryos, known as chimeras, under certain carefully monitored conditions.

Ken and Nyetta / Creative Commons

This hour, we look at the impact of climate change on New England's native plant and animal species. We talk with scientists and science journalists, and we hear from you. Have you noticed anything different about the flora and fauna in your backyard? And what can historical records -- like the observations of naturalist Henry David Thoreau -- teach us about our changing environment? 

'Clone Sisters' Of Dolly The Sheep Are Alive And Kicking

Jul 26, 2016

About four years ago, Kevin Sinclair inherited an army of clones. Very fluffy clones.

"Daisy, Debbie, Denise and Diana," says Sinclair, a developmental biologist at the University of Nottingham in England.

The sheep are just four of 13 clones Sinclair shepherds, but they're the most famous because of their relation to Dolly, the sheep that made headlines two decades ago as the first successfully cloned mammal.

NASA has released the first picture of Jupiter taken since the Juno spacecraft went into orbit around the planet on July 4.

The picture was taken on July 10. Juno was 2.7 million miles from Jupiter at the time. The color image shows some of the atmospheric features of the planet, including the giant red spot. You can also see three of Jupiter's moons in the picture: Io, Europa and Ganymede.

Wikimedia Commons - NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

We’re humans, so we tend to think -- not surprisingly -- about Earth first. 

Updated 1:40 a.m. ET with Juno orbit maneuver

After a nearly five-year journey, NASA's solar-powered Juno spacecraft achieved orbit around Jupiter on Monday night. Juno navigated a tricky maneuver — including slowing by around 1,212 mph — to insert itself into orbit in what NASA calls "the king of our solar system."

At 11:18 p.m. ET, Juno transmitted a radio signal to Earth that meant its main engine had switched on. It stayed on for 35 minutes, placing Juno into exactly the orbit that mission managers had planned for.

As the Obama presidency draws to a close, white and black Americans are deeply divided on views of race relations in the United States, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center.

The report, titled On Views of Race and Inequality, Blacks and Whites are Worlds Apart, found that just 8 percent of black Americans say the changes needed to achieve racial equality for blacks in the U.S. have already been made, while nearly 40 percent of white Americans say the same thing.

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The Connecticut Supreme Court has ordered a judge to hold another hearing to determine whether the names of some University of Connecticut animal researchers can be kept secret to protect their safety.

Scientists announced Wednesday that they have once again detected ripples in space and time from two black holes colliding far away in the universe.

The discovery comes just months after the first-ever detection of such "gravitational waves," and it suggests that smaller-sized black holes might be more numerous than many had thought.

oliver.dodd / Creative Commons

An antibiotic-resistant "superbug" gene was discovered in the United States recently, triggering a media frenzy. Across the world, newspaper and television headlines warned of "nightmare bacteria," "deadly" infections, and a looming "global health crisis." But was the response warranted? 

Harriet Jones / WNPR

A group of Connecticut investors is helping to fund the first human clinical trial of a new Alzheimer's treatment that its inventors believe could revolutionize the way we see the disease.

Thomas Hawk / WNPR

A new report commissioned by two Connecticut organizations looks at the challenges children face when their parents are in prison. This hour, we check in with one of those groups -- the Connecticut Association for Human Services -- to see what they found and how they plan on using the results to guide future policy conversations. We also hear from a college student whose father spent nearly a decade behind bars.

As the population of people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder keeps growing, so does the number of people with that diagnosis who aren't finding employment.

Though many young adults on the spectrum are considered high functioning, recent research shows 40 percent don't find work — a higher jobless rate than people with other developmental disabilities experience.

Liz West / Creative Commons

Colin has a "pet" raccoon that visits his porch. The raccoon will press her tiny paw up against the outstretched palm of Colin's significant other, which rests on the indoor side of the glass. Eventually, the raccoon gets a bit of food because "she" is too cute to resist. The pleased raccoon now visits on a regular basis. Colin fears this cannot end well.

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A new study of recent police data finds significant racial disparities in traffic stops in some Connecticut police departments. In this third in a series of stories, WNPR has this report on the analysis that was released this week. 

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Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine are launching new technology that will allow patients to access their medical records and take a more active role in their own healthcare. 

Public schools in the U.S. now have a majority of nonwhite students.

That's been the case since 2014, and yet children of color — especially boys — still lag behind their white peers.

This story has been all over the media. It's topic No. 1 at education conferences on university campuses. Even the White House is all over it.

But what Ron Ferguson wants to know is why. And he says there's a big group of experts out there who never get asked about it: boys and young men of color.

NASA announced Tuesday the discovery of an unprecedented number of planets beyond our solar system — astronomers have confirmed the existence of 1,284 new worlds orbiting distant stars.

These planets beyond our solar system — exoplanets — were discovered with the help of NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, which launched in 2009.

The National Institutes of Health is overhauling the leadership of its world-renowned Clinical Center, after an independent task force found the center was putting research ahead of patient safety.

A study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine says medical errors should rank as the third leading cause of death in the United States — and highlights how shortcomings in tracking vital statistics may hinder research and keep the problem out of the public eye.

Its name will be "Red Dragon." And if the latest partnership between SpaceX and NASA works out, the privately funded craft will land on Mars to collect scientific data — possibly within the next two years. The plan is to use the Dragon capsule, but without a human crew.

"SpaceX is planning to send Dragons to Mars as early as 2018," the company said via Facebook Wednesday. "These missions will help demonstrate the technologies needed to land large payloads propulsively on Mars."

The latest results of the test known as the Nation's Report Card are in. They cover high school seniors, who took the test in math and reading last year. The numbers are unlikely to give fodder either to educational cheerleaders or alarmists: The average score in both subjects was just one point lower in 2015 compared with the last time the test was given, in 2013. This tiny downtick was statistically significant in mathematics, but not for the reading test.

But even though the changes are small, chances are you're going to be hearing about them in a lot of places.

Wikimedia / Creative Commons

UConn has received a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to preserve and exhibit a collection of two million army ants.

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Discovery in the biomedical sciences is running at a pace that challenges our ability to keep up, financially, ethically, and legally. And thinkers in the field are calling on policy makers to reconsider our response.

Mary Lou Cooke photo illustration / frye1989 / pixabay / WNPR / Creative Commons

Connecticut’s “new normal” sees its economy underperforming the nation as a whole. But the state still has core strengths that it can leverage in an effort to improve its economic performance.

Robert Markowitz and Bill Stafford / NASA Robonaut Lab

The U.S. and world economies were revolutionized by globalization and later by the digital revolution. What's coming next? This hour, we sit down with someone who has an idea of what's to come. Alec Ross served as Senior Advisor for Innovation to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He tells us how emerging fields like robotics and genomics are changing the way we live and work.

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