Of all the world's birds, perhaps none are more mystical than cranes.
From Asia to North America, these tall birds with haunting cries have been woven into paintings, literature and folk tales. But today, 10 of the world's 15 crane species are threatened, and some are on the brink of extinction.
Their grass and wetland habitats are devastated all over the world. The International Crane Foundation, based in Wisconsin, has been studying and advocating for the birds for 40 years. George Archibald founded it with another young ornithologist on a family farm near Baraboo.
Diana Nyad's successful swim from Cuba to Key West on Monday was made all the sweeter because she had tried — and failed — four times before.
She learned you should "never, ever give up," but she also learned some practical lessons to help beat the elements in those earlier attempts. Out of failure, she innovated. And out of innovation, she succeeded.
Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 9:18 am
A mysterious disease in the Middle East has triggered international alarms for two big reasons. The virus is often deadly: It has killed almost half of the 114 people known to have caught it. And there's no clear treatment for it.
Now scientists might have made some progress toward fixing that second problem.
A combination of two drugs commonly used for other viral infections reduced the symptoms of the Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, in monkeys, virologists report Sunday in the journal Nature Medicine.
We spend about one-third of our lives sleeping, but much of that function remains a mystery. Weekend Edition Sunday is asking some pretty fundamental, yet complicated, questions about why we do it and why we can't seem to get more of it.
Dr. Matthew Walker says the question of why we sleep remains "that archetypal mystery."
Walker, the principal investigator at the sleep lab the University of California, Berkeley, works with patients who suffer from sleep abnormalities. He says the complexity of sleep makes the research that much more fascinating.
Why can some people sleep through a jackhammer at the window, while others waken with the lightest whisper? Host Rachel Martin speaks to Johns Hopkins Sleep Disorders Center researcher Jeffrey Ellenbogen about his new study on how noises interrupt sleep.
We've been exploring the mystery of sleep this morning - how we're not getting enough of it and why we need it in the first place.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
MARTIN: We asked our listeners to share their sleep troubles.
EMILY MCMAMEE: So, I have always sleptwalked and slept-talked and it's always been amusing for everybody else around me. I learn about it the next morning when people tell me, you know, did you know that you just did this?
MARTIN: Emily McMamee is from Starksboro, Vermont.
The effects of climate change often happen on a large scale, like drought or a rise in sea level. In the hills outside Missoula, Mont., wildlife biologists are looking at a change to something very small: the snowshoe hare.
Life as snowshoe hare is pretty stressful. For one, almost everything in the forest wants to eat you.
Alex Kumar, a graduate student at the University of Montana, lists the animals that are hungry for hares.
"Lynx, foxes, coyotes, raptors, birds of prey. Interestingly enough, young hares, their main predator is actually red squirrels."