What if, before your children were born, you could make sure they had the genes to be taller or smarter? Would that tempt you, or would you find it unnerving?
What if that genetic engineering would save a child from a rare disease?
As advancements in science bring these ideas closer to reality, a group of experts faced off two against two in an Intelligence Squared U.S. debate on the proposition: "Prohibit Genetically Engineered Babies."
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Celeste Headlee, filling in for Neal Conan from Washington. These days Facebook and Twitter are almost ubiquitous, and online our friends and family members are just as likely to talk about their jobs as their children and spouses.
Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 2:44 pm
Some people in Shanghai — especially the foreigners — think the city's new Pudong section of town is dull, without character and profoundly unfashionable.
Twenty years ago, Pudong was mostly farms and warehouses. Today, it's home to those sleek glass-and-steel skyscrapers that have come to define the city's skyline in movies like Skyfall and Mission: Impossible III.
A federal judge in New Orleans has approved a $1 billion civil settlement over its role in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill where 11 men died in April of 2010, the AP reports.
As we reported back in January, federal authorities blamed Transocean "for acting negligently when the rig's crew proceeded with maneuvers to the deep-sea well in the face of clear danger signals that oil and natural gas were flowing."
As he pressed Congress for action Tuesday, President Obama stood before a group of first responders. He made the case that their departments will be hurt if automatic budget cuts go into effect March 1.
Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 11:54 am
Standing in front of first responders who he says could lose their jobs, President Obama pushed Tuesday for Congress to act now to avoid $85 billion in "automatic, severe budget cuts" set to kick in starting on March 1.
The cuts due because of the so-called sequestration "are not smart, they are not fair [and] they will hurt our economy," the president said.
After beginning Unknown Mortal Orchestra in a Portland basement a few years ago, Ruban Nielson didn't expect anyone to hear the music at all, let alone demand to hear an entire album's worth of it. He'd returned to Portland intent on turning away from music following the dissolution of The Mint Chicks, the band he and his brother Kody led for nine years. But that's not quite how things worked out.
Bees are democrats. They vote. When a community of bees has to make a choice, like where to build a new hive, they meet, debate and decide. But here's what they don't do: they don't filibuster. No single bee (or small band of bees) will stand against the majority, insisting and insisting for hours. They can't.
"Hundreds of investigations convince us" that the Chinese government is at least aware of, and likely sponsoring, cyber thieves who have stolen massive amounts of information from companies around the world, including American defense contractors, a U.S. security firm reported Tuesday.
Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 9:51 am
South African prosecutors laid out their case Tuesday against sprinter Oscar Pistorius, charging that the Olympic and Paralympic athlete committed premeditated murder on Valentine's Day when he allegedly rose from bed, put on his prosthetic legs, walked to a locked bathroom door and fired through it four times — killing his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp.
The building housing Unit 61398 of the People's Liberation Army is on the outskirts of Shanghai. A U.S. security firm claims that cyberattacks against more than 140 targets in the U.S. and other countries have been traced to the Chinese military unit in the building.
Cyberattacks on dozens of American companies have been traced to an area on the outskirts of Shanghai that houses a Chinese military unit, according to a report out Tuesday by Mandiant, a U.S. cybersecurity company.
The 60-page document, first reported by The New York Times, says the group behind the attacks — nicknamed "Comment Crew" — is the most prolific the company has ever tracked and has been hacking U.S. companies since at least 2006.
Mandiant says the hackers' real identity is Unit 61398 of China's People's Liberation Army, or PLA.
There's been a debate raging in academic circles for years. Does having children really make one happier? Most parents say their kids absolutely make them happy, but some researchers have come to question that.
NPR science correspondent Shankar Vedantam sat down with MORNING EDITION's Steve Inskeep to take on this question.