Nell Greenfieldboyce

Nell Greenfieldboyce is a NPR science correspondent.

With reporting focused on general science, NASA, and the intersection between technology and society, Greenfieldboyce has been on the science desk's technology beat since she joined NPR in 2005.

In that time Greenfieldboyce has reported on topics including the narwhals in Greenland, the ending of the space shuttle program, and the reasons why independent truckers don't want electronic tracking in their cabs.

Much of Greenfieldboyce's reporting reflects an interest in discovering how applied science and technology connects with people and culture. She has worked on stories spanning issues such as pet cloning, gene therapy, ballistics, and federal regulation of new technology.

Prior to NPR, Greenfieldboyce spent a decade working in print, mostly magazines including U.S. News & World Report and New Scientist.

A graduate of Johns Hopkins, earning her Bachelor's of Arts degree in social sciences and a Master's of Arts degree in science writing, Greenfieldboyce taught science writing for four years at the university. She was honored for her talents with the Evert Clark/Seth Payne Award for Young Science Journalists.

Lizards are expected to be hard hit by climate change — and a new study suggests it might be even worse for some lizards than scientists thought. Lizards are sensitive to global warming because they regulate their body temperature using the environment. They bask in the sun, and cool off in the shade. It's been predicted that about 40 percent of the world's lizard populations will die off by the year 2080, which means roughly 20 percent of lizard species will go extinct. That prediction was...

When you praise a dog, it's listening not just to the words you say but also how you say them. That might not be huge news to dog owners. But now scientists have explored this phenomenon by using an imaging machine to peek inside the brains of 13 dogs as they listened to their trainer's voice. The reward pathway in the dogs' brains lit up when they heard both praising words and an approving intonation — but not when they heard random words spoken in a praising tone or praise words spoken in a...

A potentially habitable planet about the size of Earth is orbiting the star that is nearest our solar system, according to scientists who describe the find Wednesday in the journal Nature . The newly discovered planet orbits Proxima Centauri , a red dwarf star that's just 4.25 light-years from Earth — about 25 trillion miles away. The star is too faint to be seen with the naked eye and is close to a much brighter and more famous pair of stars called Alpha Centauri A and B. Researchers...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5A6ehNcrmw "The wave" has been a popular diversion among spectators at stadium sporting events since at least the early 1980s, and over the years this pastime has caught the attention of physicists. Illes Farkas , with the statistical and biological physics group of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest, first began pondering the phenomenon in 2001. "It was summer," he recalls. "It was really hot," and some kind of sports competition was in town. He saw...

Teens are driving unsupervised too late at night, a recent study suggests, and expanding restrictions on their nighttime driving to include the hours before midnight could save lives. Ruth Shults , an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, says that getting a driver's license is an exciting rite of passage for teens. "But we also know that it can be a dangerous time for them," she says, because motor vehicle crashes kill more teens than anything else....

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR .

Jupiter's Great Red Spot is such a crazy, turbulent storm that it creates sound waves that travel hundreds of miles up and actually heat the planet's upper atmosphere. That's the conclusion of scientists who found a striking hotspot right above the Great Red Spot . They describe their finding Wednesday in the journal Nature . The Great Red Spot is a vast storm about 10,000 miles wide — around 1.5 times the size of Earth. "It's the largest storm in the solar system," says James O'Donoghue , a...

An African bird called the Greater honeyguide is famous for leading people to honey, and a new study shows that the birds listen for certain human calls to figure out who wants to play follow-the-leader. The finding underscores the unique relationship that exists between humans and this wild bird. "They're definitely not domesticated, and they're in no way coerced," says Claire Spottiswoode of the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. "And they're not taught in any conventional way...

The way clouds cover the Earth may be changing because of global warming, according to a study published Monday that used satellite data to track cloud patterns across about two decades, starting in the 1980s. Clouds in the mid-latitudes shifted toward the poles during that period, as the subtropical dry zones expanded and the highest cloud-tops got higher. These changes are predicted by most climate models of global warming, even though those models disagree on a lot of other things related...

The exploration of our outer solar system is about to hit a real slump. NASA is celebrating Juno 's arrival at Jupiter, but in less than two years, Juno will be gone — it's slated to plunge into the gas giant and burn up. The Cassini spacecraft, now orbiting Saturn, will meet the same fate next year. "It'll be the first time since the 1970s that there will be no NASA presence in the outer planets," says Casey Dreier , director of space policy at The Planetary Society. "For the first time in...

When Greg Burel tells people he's in charge of some secret government warehouses, he often gets asked if they're like the one at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark , where the Ark of the Covenant gets packed away in a crate and hidden forever. "Well, no, not really," says Burel, director of a program called the Strategic National Stockpile at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Thousands of lives might someday depend on this stockpile, which holds all kinds of medical supplies...

The luminous glow of light pollution prevents nearly 80 percent of people in North America from seeing the Milky Way in the night sky. That's according to a new atlas of artificial night sky brightness that found our home galaxy is now hidden from more than one-third of humanity. While there are countries where the majority of people still live under pristine, ink-black sky conditions — places such as Chad, Central African Republic and Madagascar — more than 99 percent of the people living in...

An elderly woman died and more than two dozen people were treated for possible rabies exposure after her family failed to realize that a nighttime encounter with a bat put her at risk of rabies. Last August, the woman awoke in her Wyoming home and felt a bat on her neck. She swatted it away and washed her hands. Her husband captured the bat with gloved hands and released it outside. The woman didn't seem to have any bite wounds, so the couple didn't call a doctor, according to an account of...

Male orb-weaving spiders get devoured by the females they mate with, but a newly published study shows that at least the poor guys get to choose the lovely lady who will cannibalize them. Usually in nature, it's the females who survey the males and make their selection. But when biologist Eric Yip was working at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel, he and some colleagues wondered if that held true for Cyrtophora citricola , a kind of orb-weaving spider native to the Mediterranean....

Flowers generate weak electric fields, and a new study shows that bumblebees can actually sense those electric fields using the tiny hairs on their fuzzy little bodies. "The bumblebees can feel that hair bend and use that feeling to tell the difference between flowers," says Gregory Sutton , a Royal Society University Research Fellow at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. People used to think that perceiving natural electric fields was something that animals only did in water....

Pages