Health & Science

Kang Lee: Can Technology Detect Our Hidden Emotions?

Mar 9, 2018

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Decoding Our Emotions.

About Kang Lee's TED Talk

Developmental researcher Kang Lee says scientists can detect emotions by reading subtle physiological signals beneath the surface of our skin.

About Kang Lee

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Decoding Our Emotions.

About Lisa Feldman Barrett's TED Talk

Identifying basic emotions in others — like fear, sadness or anger — seems instinctive, but psychologist Lisa Feldman Barrett says we're doing more guesswork than we think.

About Lisa Feldman Barrett

Scoot over, cans; cartons are moving in on your shelf space. Specifically, the soft, light rectangular containers commonly associated with juice boxes — "aseptic cartons" to the carton literati.

"They're growing in popularity," says Jason Pelz, vice president of recycling projects for the Carton Council, an industry group. "Broth is predominantly in aseptic packaging now, and you see a lot of coconut water in it."

Welcome to Invisibilia Season 4! The NPR program and podcast explores the invisible forces that shape human behavior, and we here at Shots are joining in to probe the often tenuous line between perception and reality. Here's a personal essay by the host that expands on Episode 1.

Michael Robertson was on his summer vacation a few years ago and had just proposed to the woman who would become his wife when he decided he needed to see a doctor.

"I'd been having symptoms for a few months but it was during an intense work period, drinking too much coffee, not getting enough sleep, so I kind of chalked it up to that," Robertson says. Unfortunately, the doctor had a more dire diagnosis: stage 4 rectal cancer.

Right now, Florida first responders can get medical coverage under workers' compensation, but not lost wages, if they are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder on the job. The Florida Senate approved a bill last weekend that would cover lost wages for first responders with PTSD, and the House followed suit on Monday.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is now saying he will sign the bill.

Wildlife should be managed using the best available science.

That is a core tenet of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, an unofficial set of principles that has guided U.S. and Canadian wildlife management policy for more than a century.

A new study, published Wednesday in Science Advances, raises the question of whether the rule is being followed.

Mississippi's Legislature has passed a bill banning abortion after 15 weeks of gestation, one of the most restrictive limitations on abortion in the country.

The measure, which is poised to become law once signed by the governor, allows for exceptions only in a "medical emergency and in cases of severe fetal abnormality." It does not allow abortion in cases involving rape or incest. Fifteen weeks is calculated from the first day of the woman's last menstrual period.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


Last Saturday, while I was visiting Fatty's Tattoos and Piercings, a college-aged woman in a hoodie walked in and asked for a tattoo, her first, right on the spot.

"I want a red-tailed hawk feather," she told the artist on duty at the Washington, D.C., tattoo parlor.

He peppered her with questions: How big? What style? She alternated between a blank stare and a furrowed brow: "I ... have a photo on my phone of the feather that I like, I could show you that?"

There is no shortage of speculation on what became of legendary American aviator Amelia Earhart, who disappeared in 1937 over the Pacific during an attempt to circumnavigate the globe.

Now, Richard Jantz, a researcher affiliated with the University of Tennessee, has re-examined data from bones found on a remote atoll three years after Earhart vanished and has determined they very likely belonged to her.

Three main theories about Earhart's disappearance — arguably the most enduring aviation mystery in history — have been bandied about over the years.

As congressional Republicans and the Trump administration keep chipping away at the Affordable Care Act, a number of states are enacting laws that aim to safeguard its central provisions.

The GOP tax plan approved by Congress in the last days of 2017 repealed the ACA penalty for people who fail to carry health insurance, a provision called the individual mandate.

But before that federal change happens next year, some states are working to preserve the effects of the mandate by creating their own versions of it.

Updated at 2:39 p.m. ET

Since the Columbine school shooting nearly 20 years ago, the conversation after mass shootings has inevitably included media that depict violence — and the effect on children.

Over the past few years, I've spent many hours reading up on — and a morning observing — the smart, sassy behavior of octopuses.