Nell Greenfieldboyce

Nell Greenfieldboyce joined NPR News in January 2005 to cover the media organization's newly created technology beat for NPR's science desk. The Johns Hopkins alumna has reported on topics such as pet cloning, gene therapy, ballistics, and federal laws surrounding new technology. Her primary interest is researching how applied science and technology connects with people and culture.

Greenfieldboyce's features can currently be heard on Morning Edition and All Things Considered, but before her life at NPR she worked for magazines including U.S. News & World Report and New Scientist. After working in print for ten years, Greenfieldboyce is excited to explore the field of radio and the added effects sound can bring to a piece.

In addition to receiving her B.A. in social sciences and a M.A. in science writing from Johns Hopkins, Greenfieldboyce also taught science writing for four years at the university. Greenfieldboyce was honored for her talents with the Evert Clark/Seth Payne Award for Young Science Journalists.

Greenfieldboyce lives with her husband in Washington, D.C., and does a bit of rug-hooking in her free time, creating complicated geometric patterns out of burlap and scraps of wool.

 

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1:51pm

Thu October 20, 2011
Animals

What Slew An Ancient Mastodon? DNA Tells Tale

Originally published on Fri October 21, 2011 7:14 pm

A museum employee stands beneath a mastodon skeleton on display at the U.S. National Museum, now the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, circa 1917. A new study revisits an old debate about the evidence for an early mastodon hunt in North America.

Smithsonian Institution Archives

More than 13,000 years ago, hairy elephant-like creatures with giant tusks roamed North America. These mastodons were hunted by some of the earliest people to live here, and scientists recently learned a bit more about those mysterious cultures by taking a new look at an old mastodon bone.

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4:01pm

Fri October 14, 2011
Environment

Polar Bear Researcher To Be Re-Interviewed By Feds

A researcher who wrote a famous report about dead polar bears is being re-interviewed by federal investigators, who are continuing to probe allegations of misconduct. Above, a polar bear walks on the frozen tundra on the edge of Hudson Bay.

Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Federal officials continue to probe allegations of misconduct related to a famous report on dead polar bears that raised concerns about climate change. Later this month, officials plan to re-interview one of the two government scientists who wrote that report.

The new development suggests that scientific integrity remains a focus of the investigation, which recently detoured into allegations that the other researcher under scrutiny broke rules related to federal funding of research. Both scientists work for agencies of the Department of the Interior (DOI).

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8:03am

Thu October 13, 2011
Animals

Naked Mole Rat's Genetic Code Laid Bare

Originally published on Fri October 14, 2011 5:15 am

Naked mole rats are becoming more popular in research laboratories, The rodents have surprised scientists with their ability to live up to 30 years and their potential to offer insights into human health.

Eric Gay AP

Lists of the world's ugliest animals sometimes include the naked mole rat. But scientists who have just analyzed its entire genetic code say this bizarre little creature has an inner beauty — unique traits that could aid research on cancer and aging.

Naked mole rats are neither moles nor rats, although they are naked. They have tiny eyes and piggy noses and have been described as looking like sausages with teeth.

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12:43pm

Wed October 12, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Decoded DNA Reveals Details Of Black Death Germ

Victims of the plague are consigned to a communal burial during the Plague of London in 1665.

Universal Images Group Getty Images

Scientists have used DNA lurking inside the teeth of medieval Black Death victims to figure out the entire genetic code of the deadly bacterium that swept across Europe more than 600 years ago, killing an estimated half of the population.

The researchers didn't find any genetic feature that could explain why the plague was so virulent, according to a report just published in the journal Nature.

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2:03am

Fri September 30, 2011
Space

Asteroids Pose Less Risk To Earth Than Thought

Originally published on Fri September 30, 2011 10:05 am

This picture of the Eros asteroid is the first of an asteroid taken from an orbiting spacecraft. The crater at the center is about 4 miles across.
JPL/JHUAPL NASA

Our planet's risk of being hit by a dangerous outer space rock may be smaller than scientists previously thought. That's according to a survey of the sky that NASA is calling the most accurate census yet of near-Earth asteroids.

A NASA space telescope called the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, recently went searching for asteroids lurking nearby — and found far fewer than astronomers had expected.

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