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Why Sweat Is A Human Superpower

Jul 30, 2021

Think sweat is gross?

"It could have been so much worse," says Sarah Everts, the author of a new book called The Joy of Sweat, that is all about, you guessed it, the science of sweating.

Turns out human sweat — our body's air conditioning system — is really pretty tame on the "yuck" scale of animal cooling methods.

More than a year and a half after the coronavirus was first detected in China — followed by the world's first big wave of COVID-19 — the country is again battling to stem the spread of new cases attributed to the more infectious delta variant of the virus.

Australian soldiers are joining local police in New South Wales to enforce a coronavirus lockdown in and around Sydney as authorities try to tamp down the latest outbreak of cases linked to the more infectious delta variant.

First lady Jill Biden is recovering after undergoing a successful procedure to "flush out debris" from a puncture wound on her left foot, according to her press secretary, Michael LaRosa.

Biden reportedly stepped on an object on a beach in Hawaii last weekend ahead of two official events there. She was in Hawaii after attending the start of the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

According to the White House, President Biden joined her for the procedure Thursday at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Terrence Clarke might have been celebrating today.

Earlier this year, the promising basketball guard was preparing for the NBA draft after completing his freshman year at the University of Kentucky.

But his career was tragically cut short in April when he died in a single-car crash in Los Angeles at age 19.

TOKYO — Judo fighter Teddy Riner lost in the Olympic quarterfinal to the top-ranked judo athlete in their class in the world – and it was considered one of the biggest upsets in the history of his sport.

That says a lot about the legacy that the French athlete, a 6-foot-8-inch, two-time gold medalist known as "Big Ted," has built over his decade of absolute domination.

A loss in 2020 – to a Japanese fighter now nicknamed the "King Slayer" – ended Riner's 154-straight-fight winning streak.

South African swimmer Tatjana Schoenmaker stunned Olympic viewers with her historic win in the women's 200-meter breaststroke. But what happened next was equally sweet.

The 24-year-old claimed both a gold medal and a new world record Friday: 2:18.95. She's the first woman to swim the event in under 2 minutes, 19 seconds, a record set in 2013.

Updated July 30, 2021 at 9:46 AM ET

TOKYO — The U.S. won a grueling match against The Netherlands at the Olympics that went to extra time and penalty kicks. This means they'll head to the semifinal.

The score remained even after 30 minutes of extra time in the tough game. In a thrilling round of penalty kicks, four U.S. players all scored, ending with team leader Megan Rapinoe. U.S. goalie Alyssa Naeher blocked two of the four attempts from the Dutch.

TOKYO — The U.S. women's basketball team has still got it. The squad defeated Japan 86-69 in preliminary play at the Tokyo Olympics and it is the team's 51st straight win dating back to the 1992 Games in Barcelona.

On Friday, the U.S. tangled with host country Japan at Saitama Super Arena, outside Tokyo. The U.S. pulled away at the end but for a while, it was a bit of a nail biter.

TOKYO — Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic was upset in the men's Olympic tennis semifinal by Germany's Alexander Zverev.

President Biden has called on states and localities to do more to encourage people to get vaccinated, including paying them $100.

China appears to be expanding its sprawling nuclear weapons testing complex in the nation's western desert. Satellite imagery shared exclusively with NPR shows a possible new tunnel being dug and fresh roads added at the site, known as Lop Nur, where China has tested its nuclear weapons in the past.

Connor Fields, the U.S. defending gold medalist in BMX racing, had a brutal crash in the semifinals of his event and left the venue on a stretcher in an ambulance.

"We can confirm that Connor Fields is awake, stable, and awaiting further medical evaluation. He will remain in the hospital under observation," said Dr. Jon Finnoff, the chief medical officer for the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

The 28-year-old was in the third heat of the semifinal, where groups race over a bumpy course with jumps. He started with two excellent rides. Then, disaster struck.

The outcome of a landmark federal opioid trial in West Virginia that reached closing arguments this week rests on two legally thorny questions.

Was it "unreasonable" for three of America's biggest corporations — the drug wholesalers AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson — to ship roughly 81 million highly addictive opioid pills to pharmacies in one small Rust Belt city on the Ohio River?

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has retracted a decision to end a key defense pact with the United States, allowing large-scale combat exercises between U.S. and Philippine forces that at times have alarmed China to proceed.

An internal slide presentation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention dated Thursday gives new details on how dangerous the delta variant really is.

One chart shows that it could be as contagious as chickenpox, which is one of the more transmissible viruses out there. It spreads more easily than the common cold, the 1918 flu and smallpox.

Ah, the sweet, sweet victory of coming in third!

Though it may be hard to tell at the Tokyo Olympic Games with athletes forced to wear masks on the medal podium, it turns out bronze medalists are likely happier than those who win silver.

Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., a lead negotiator trying to forge an agreement over a policing bill, downplayed the role that the controversial issue of qualified immunity has played in stalled bipartisan talks.

Qualified immunity protects police and government officials from being held personally liable for civil violations committed while on the job.

It is also one of progressives' major priorities on police accountability.

Let's face it: Nobody likes spoilers.

Whether it's with sports, reality TV, Jeopardy or that series you've been watching since season one, something so simple as a tweet or a Facebook post from a family member can ruin it for you in less than 30 seconds.

Updated July 29, 2021 at 9:49 PM ET

Editor's note: This story contains graphic descriptions of self-harm.

For some of us, the Olympics don't really get started until the runners take the starting line and the javelins go flying.

JERUSALEM — Israeli spyware company NSO Group has temporarily blocked several government clients around the world from using its technology as the company investigates their possible misuse, a company employee told NPR on Thursday.

Harvey Weinstein has lost his attempt to have three charges of sexual assault thrown out at a hearing today at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los Angeles, but his attorneys did get the judge to agree that one of the charges should be amended.

Even as new coronavirus cases surge in Tokyo to rates not seen since the pandemic began, Japan's prime minister says the Olympics are not causing the spike.

Officials on Thursday confirmed 3,865 new cases in Japan's capital, the highest daily tally reported, just as the Tokyo Olympics near their halfway point.

Updated July 29, 2021 at 4:29 PM ET

The U.S. Capitol Police are on the verge of running out of money next month so both the Senate and House approved a $2.1 billion spending measure on Thursday to avoid furloughs and pay for overtime, training and more. It also direct funds to federal agencies handling humanitarian aid for U.S. allies in Afghanistan.

Pharmaceutical giant Johnson &Johnson marketed its talcum-based powder products specifically to Black women despite evidence showing the products cause cancer, a new lawsuit alleges.

The complaint, filed by the National Council of Negro Women, asserts that the New Jersey-based drug company made Black women a "central part" of its business strategy but failed to warn them about the potential dangers of the powder products it was selling.

The popular Dominican merengue musician Johnny Ventura has died. According to Dominican news media, the 81-year-old musician died after a sudden heart attack in his home country on Wednesday. The news was later confirmed by Ventura's son on social media.

Nearly two months after the Alzheimer's drug Aduhelm received conditional approval from the Food and Drug Administration, experts are still debating how, and whether, it should be used.

The federal government is making it much easier for Americans to get their hands on a potentially life saving treatment, if you have health insurance.

It's called PrEP, a once-daily pill that is 99% effective at preventing HIV infections.

Heat waves. Floods. Wildfires. It's been a destructive summer so far, and forecasts for droughts, fires and hurricanes are looking downright bleak.

We know that climate change is to blame. But how exactly is global warming driving dangerous weather?

Lauren Sommer and Rebecca Hersher from NPR's climate team broke down the details in a conversation with Morning Edition's Noel King.

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