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Victoria LaBarre was climbing out of a canyon and into a bright, vast, seemingly lifeless landscape when she started to experience an astronaut's nightmare.

"Suddenly," she said, "I couldn't breathe."

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The rate of infants dying suddenly and unexpectedly has dropped in recent years, but data show that racial disparities persist.

Twenty years ago Tuesday, a plucky little probe named Pathfinder landed at Ares Vallis on the surface of Mars.

It didn't land in the traditional way, with retrorockets firing until it reached the surface. No, Pathfinder bounced down to its landing site, cushioned by giant air bags. It was a novel approach, and the successful maneuver paved the way for a similar system used by the twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity in 2003.

A legislative commission studying the use of solitary confinement in Rhode Island prisons reported back to lawmakers Thursday. The group also made recommendations to reform the practice, which critics say can create lasting mental health issues in the prison population.

Norman B. Leventhal Map Center / Creative Commons

Long before our modern highways, there was an extensive network of Native American trails up and down the East Coast.

This hour, we hear about efforts to map these old trails and find out how they’re helping archaeologists and others learn about the past. 

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Honey bees have been having a tough time lately. Pests and disease have plagued many hives, killing off the pollinators and forcing people looking to save the bees to get creative.

Ernesto del Aguila III, National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) / Creative Commons

Researchers in Connecticut and nationwide are having a hard time recruiting minorities for clinical trials.

This hour, we find out why and we examine the impact on our health. Does mistrust of doctors and drug companies play a part?

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Crashing waves, cawing gulls, the cutting scent of a falling tide -- there's nothing quite as invigorating as the experience of summer along the New England coastline.

For writer Jonathan White, however, it was not the East but the West Coast that fueled a lifelong passion for the water. 

In 2010, Sonia Vallabh watched her mom, Kamni Vallabh, die in a really horrible way.

First, her mom's memory started to go, then she lost the ability to reason. Sonia says it was like watching someone get unplugged from the world. By the end, it was as if she was stuck between being awake and asleep. She was confused and uncomfortable all the time.

"Even when awake, was she fully or was she really? And when asleep, was she really asleep?" says Sonia.

Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

This hour: bridging West Africa’s communication gap. We hear how one Connecticut-based nonprofit is bringing community radio to Senegalese villages. It's something host Lucy Nalpathanchil reported on during her visit to the country late last month. 

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“Eat less, exercise more” is a familiar mantra, especially to anyone who has ever tried shedding a few pounds. But do those four words, in fact, hold the key to successful weight loss and management? 

Douglas Fernandes / Creative Commons

There's a set of steps and a big stone fireplace sitting in the middle of the woods where I used to walk my dog. I can envision the family living in the house that was part of the neighborhood that got washed away when the Farmington River overflowed its banks in 1955.  My exploration led me to the origin of those steps. 

Kamaljith K V / Creative Commons

This hour: family narratives -- how we share the stories of our lives and how those stories help shape who we are. 

Jay Phagan / Creative Commons

This hour: privacy, policy, and the post-Snowden era.

Coming up, we hear how an exhibition at Hartford's Real Art Ways is challenging perceptions of corporate and government tracking. 

The national March for Science on April 22 – and satellite events around New England – mark a departure for many scientists. Until recently, they did not consider political activism part of their job.

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