California scientists are reporting a pair of victories in the epic struggle between man and mosquito.
A team at the University of California, Riverside, appears to have finally figured out how bugs detect the insect repellent known as DEET. And the team used its discovery to identify several chemical compounds that promise to be safer and cheaper than DEET, according to the report in the journal Nature.
Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 5:59 pm
There's nothing like a government shutdown to make people angry about government, or at least the politicians who are running things.
"The people we have in the Senate and the House of Representatives, I don't know who they're working for, but they're not working for us," says Larry Abernathy, an insurance broker in St. Louis. "I think both parties are useless."
It's a widely shared belief. People in this Midwestern city may be far removed from the back and forth of the budget debate that has paralyzed Washington, but the partial shutdown is very much on their minds.
Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 5:22 pm
The health benefits of eating fish are pretty well-known. A lean source of protein, fish can be a rich source of healthful omega-3 fatty acids and has been shown to benefit heart, eye and brain health.
On today's show, we visit Fulper Farms, a family-run dairy in New Jersey. It's a bucolic setting — white farmhouse, rolling hills, etc. But behind that peaceful image lies all the roiling tension, rising inequality and economic volatility of the 21st-century economy.
We meet Claudia, the prized, high-tech cow. And we learn why even a barn full of Claudias wouldn't be enough to keep a family-run dairy farm afloat.
If ET wants to phone home, this is not the week to do it. NASA's phone lines are down, as are its website and many Twitter feeds. All have been silenced by the government shutdown, whose far-reaching consequences are now stretching into space.
The shutdown began on Tuesday, after Republicans and Democrats in the House of Representatives failed to come to an agreement over the federal budget. Most of the government's nonessential services have ground to a halt, and among the hardest hit agencies is NASA.
In 1818, the 21-year-old Mary Shelley published the great (perhaps greatest) classic of gothic literature, Frankenstein, Or the Modern Prometheus. As we all know, it's the story of a brilliant and anguished doctor who wants to use the cutting-edge science of his time — the relationship between electricity and muscular motion — to bring the dead back to life. Two decades before Shelley's novel, the Italian Luigi Galvani had shown that electric pulses could make dead muscles twitch.
Russian prosecutors have filed charges of piracy against 14 people who were aboard a Greenpeace boat during a protest last month in the Russian Arctic. Under Russian law, piracy is punishable by as much as 15 years in prison. Greenpeace says it was peacefully protesting the dangers of oil drilling in the Arctic and that the Russian government is violating international law.
President Obama has been railing against Republicans in Congress nearly every day this week.
"One faction of one party in one house of Congress in one branch of government shut down major parts of the government," he said in the White House Rose Garden on Tuesday. "All because they didn't like one law."
He's expected to take that message on the road on Thursday, visiting a construction company in Maryland to talk about the impact of the shutdown on the economy.
And that finger-pointing at Republicans is sure to be part of his speech again.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Melissa Block.
Hospitals that serve the neediest patients are bracing themselves through the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act. These safety-net hospitals treat large numbers of people with no health insurance and many are struggling. In New York, a handful of these hospitals are on the brink of closing.
And as NPR's Joel Rose reports, some worry that the health care law will make things even worse, not better.
And finally to the national parks. In total, 401 park service sites have been closed due to the government shutdown, ranging from Yellowstone and Yosemite to Civil War battlefields and the Statue of Liberty. And the many memorials along the National Mall here in Washington are barricaded: Lincoln, Jefferson, World War II.
The director of the National Park Service, Jon Jarvis, told me even sites like those that may not seem to require park service supervision do.
Nutrition programs that feed the elderly have not been exempted from the closure. For example, Meals on Wheels in Ypsilanti, Michigan. It feeds about 200 elderly clients - most of whom live alone - supplying what for many is their only meal of the day.
ALISON FOREMAN: Our meal today is one of our clients' absolute favorites. It's chili with cornbread and stewed vegetables.
They've been sequestered, furloughed and told to work without pay. Meanwhile, they still have mortgages, bills and kids in college. How is the shutdown affecting hundreds of thousands of federal workers?
Scott Lee can look down the limestone cliffs and see the Colorado River cutting through the Grand Canyon. But what's maddening is he can't get on the river. Today, Lee was planning to get in a raft and launch a 20-day trip down the Colorado. But his group of 16, including his 13-year-old son, whom he pulled out of school in New Hampshire for this trip of a lifetime, can't get started.
A Senate hearing today focused on the shutdown's impact on national security. Intelligence leaders told lawmakers they could not guarantee the safety of the country because most civilian intelligence workers are furloughed. NPR's Larry Abramson has that story.
Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 8:50 pm
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told a Senate panel on Wednesday that the government shutdown — which forced the furlough of 70 percent of the CIA and NSA workforce — amounted to a "dreamland" of opportunity for foreign spy agencies.
Clapper, who appeared side by side with National Security Agency chief Gen. Keith Alexander, told a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee that failure to fund the government "is not just a Beltway issue. It affects our capability to support the military, diplomacy and our policymakers."
At NPR, our work is all about listening and inspiring others to listen. Reporters and editors wage a daily battle with distracting interjections - pesky 'umms,' 'likes' and 'wells' - so NPR listeners can focus instead on the content of our stories.
However, everyone talks their own talk. Sometimes guests (and even our own journalists) throw in verbal pauses that some listeners find distracting. One curious (and self-proclaimed faithful) listener wrote to tell us about a certain word they find soooooo irritating: