Health & Science

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A new era of one-party control begins today in Washington. The new Congress begins work with Republicans still controlling both houses and feeling pretty emboldened with their party about to control the White House as well.

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The Shanghai city government thinks it can make citizens more honest through a smartphone app. The city released the app, Honest Shanghai, in November during "honesty week," a celebration of virtuous behavior throughout the city.

Here's how the app works: You sign up using your national ID number. The app uses facial recognition software to locate troves of your personal data collected by the government, and 24 hours later, you're given one of three "public credit" scores — very good, good, or bad.

There's more methane gas in the atmosphere than there used to be, by every scientific measure. The Obama administration has been trying to stem the increase of this powerful greenhouse gas, but the incoming Trump administration appears bent on keeping the government's hands off methane.

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Yes, This Is A Thing: A Self-Tying Shoe

Jan 2, 2017

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Let's take a moment to recognize one of last year's tech breakthroughs.

TIFFANY BEERS: We have what we call a lace engine.

What to expect when you're expecting a baby dinosaur? Expect to wait.

That's the conclusion of a study by researchers at Florida State University who determined how long it took dinosaurs to hatch from their eggs by studying their teeth. Much like tree rings, teeth have growth lines called lines of von Ebner that can be used to estimate the age of an animal.

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The old saying goes that nothing is certain but death and taxes. We can add another certainty to that list: our muscles will weaken and even atrophy as we age, unless we take care of them by strength building and exercise. In other words, you really do need to move it, or you will lose it.

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(SOUNDBITE OF HIDETAKE TAKAYAMA'S "SUNSET SONG")

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Congress is back in session on Tuesday, and leaders of both houses say their first order of business will be to repeal Obamacare.

If they do that, it will be a slap in the face to President Obama just three weeks before he leaves the White House. The Affordable Care is the outgoing president's signature achievement, marked by an elaborate signing ceremony in March 2010 at the White House, with lofty speeches from the vice president and Obama himself.

Almost a million elephants roamed Africa 25 years ago. Assessments of their population now vary but suggest there are fewer than half that many. The main reason for the decline is ivory. Despite a 1989 ban on ivory trade, poachers continue to kill elephants for their tusks.

Now China, the destination for most of that ivory, has announced it will shut down its domestic ivory market.

Creatine, a chemical constituent of meat and fish that's legally been sold online, in supermarkets, health food stores and vitamin shops for at least a couple of decades, may be the most commonly used muscle-building supplement marketed.

Emil Girardi moved to San Francisco on New Year's Eve in 1960. He loved everything about the city: the energy, the people and the hills. And, of course, the bars, where Girardi mixed drinks for most of his adult life.

About 10 years ago, the 83-year-old New York native had a stroke and collapsed on the sidewalk near his Nob Hill home. Everything changed.

"I didn't want to go out of the house," Girardi recalled, adding he only felt comfortable "going from the bedroom to the dining room."

He'd started to fear the city's streets — and growing older.

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From West Virginia to Wyoming, coal country overwhelmingly voted for Donald Trump and his message that he will bring coal jobs back. Now, those same voters are eyeing his incoming administration closely, careful to see if he will keep his promises to revive the coal industry and get miners back to work.

In an effort to take advantage of the intimate relationships between stylists and their clients, a new law in Illinois will require salon professionals to receive training in domestic abuse-prevention as part of their licensing process.

The law, which goes into effect Sunday, aims to educate beauty professionals to recognize signs of abuse. But stylists won't be required to report violence, and are protected from any liability.

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