Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 5:24 pm
The news that the cost of personal genome sequencing will soon drop as low as $1,000 has generated a quite a bit of interest and concern — from medical researchers, biotech companies, bioethicists and the average consumer alike.
NPR's Rob Stein explored many of the implications of this technology in his four-part series "The $1,000 Genome." They're complicated, to say the least.
After testing negative for Ebola, Magdalena Nyamurungi returns home with a new set of belongings from the World Health Organization. Medical workers burned and buried her possessions when they suspected she was infected.
Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 4:25 pm
The Ebola outbreak in Uganda, which started two months ago, has come to a close.
"The Ministry of Health [of Uganda] has been very prudent of declaring the outbreak over," Gregory Hartl, a World Health Organization spokesman, tells Shots. The last case was detected over 42 days ago — or twice the incubation period for the hemorrhagic fever — so new infections are highly unlikely.
Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 5:15 pm
What's in a title? Political suspicions, for one thing.
"I hear NPR's correspondents refer to President Obama as 'President Obama' or 'the president' all the time," wrote Christopher Kluth, of Wauwatosa, Wis., "yet when it comes to former Governor Mitt Romney, NPR's correspondents refer to the former governor as simply 'Mitt Romney' or 'Romney'. I consider the contrast in the two approaches disrespectful, unprofessional, and, actually, evidence of partisan bias."
Lois Callahan-Moore from Fairhaven, Mass., heard different titles and suspected a different bias.
Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 3:59 pm
Taking her tone from the sensuality of nature and the rawness of the Yorkshire moors, British director Andrea Arnold charges straight for the cruel heart of Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte's sole novel. Peeling away much more than the story's annoying framing device — there is no musical score, and definitely no Kate Bush — Arnold, a director of uncommon originality, attacks our very notion of what a costume drama should look like.
LaVelma Byrd, photographed at the California Institution for Women in Chino, Calif., was convicted of murdering her husband in 1994. She never let on that her husband beat her on a regular basis. She is not eligible for parole until 2020.
Credit Courtesy of Sin by Silence
Brenda Clubine received a sentence of 15 years to life in 1983 for killing her husband. While in prison, she started the support group Convicted Women Against Abuse to help victims of domestic abuse like herself. When she was released in 2008, her first request was to see the beach in Venice, Calif.
Brenda Clubine is a platinum blonde with focused blue eyes and a no-nonsense demeanor.
She spent 26 years in prison for killing her husband. After enduring beatings and emergency room visits, she says, it finally ended in a locked motel room where he told her to give him her wedding rings.
"I said, 'Why?' He said, 'Because tomorrow they won't be able to identify your body without them,' " Clubine says.
Originally published on Sun October 7, 2012 5:05 pm
Django Reinhardt has achieved an almost godlike status among those who love jazz guitar. When he and violinist Stephane Grappelli formed the Quintet of the Hot Club of France in 1934, they created a new sound in jazz: The guitar and violin served as the lead instrumental voices, propelled by two hard-swinging rhythm guitars and a bass.
"The Anadolu Agency quoted the governor for Hatay province as saying that Turkish troops 'responded with fire' after the mortar round landed in a rural area of the province that borders Syria. No one was reported hurt.
Whither smooth jazz? Though straight-ahead and experimental fans might assume their, uh, less bumpy cousin is weathering the storm, the loss of many radio stations is affecting the field a lot. David Adler talks to many musicians and industry insiders for JazzTimes. That includes Kenny G, who is identified on subsequent reference as "G," in a sidebar.
A recent study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania identified key molecules involved in forming long-term memories. Experts discuss how this is the latest in a growing field of research on how our bodies regulate our genes, and how this process affects our memories.
President Obama and Mitt Romney are both calling on the U.S. to become less dependent on foreign oil, though their plans differ. Here, workers with Bramwell Petroleum set up a derrick for a new oil well near Spivey, Kan., in March.
Credit Lauren Purkey / MCT/Landov
The Obama administration has set higher fuel economy standards for cars and promoted alternative energy sources. Here, a Ford Focus electric car is shown during a test drive in San Jose, Calif., in July.
The pressing energy issue in the 2008 presidential campaign was how to reduce carbon emissions and limit global warming. Four years later, the drive for "green energy" has been replaced by a new imperative: the need to end U.S. dependence on foreign oil.
"I will set a national goal of North American energy independence by 2020," Mitt Romney declared during a campaign speech in August. "That means we produce all the energy we use in North America."
He reiterated that goal in the opening minutes of the presidential candidates' debate in Denver this week.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Suicide bombers explode themselves in the heart of Damascus; tens of thousands killed in that Syrian civil war and counting; the U.S. ambassador to Libya and four other Americans murdered in an attack in Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11; in Minneapolis, a gunman kills four people at a local post office before shooting and killing himself; just a few of the recent headlines from a world seemingly afflicted by war and violence.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The Book of Genesis tells the story of creation, of the sea, the sky, the birds and animals and, finally, Adam. Chapter 2, Verse 7 reads: The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul. Eve was formed out of Adam's rib.
A lawsuit against the University of Tennessee and its athletic director has revealed that earlier this year legendary women's basketball coach Pat Summitt felt that the school official was trying to force her to step down from her job.
That stands in contrast to statements Summitt made last spring. The coach, who is dealing with early-onset dementia, said then that it was her decision to become "head coach emeritus."
Summitt also says in an affidavit, however, that her feelings might have been due to a misunderstanding.