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Shots - Health News
5:10 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

It's Legal For Some Insurers To Discriminate Based On Genes

Slides containing DNA sit in a bay waiting to be analyzed by a genome sequencing machine.
David Paul Morris Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 9:48 am

Getting the results of a genetic test can be a bit like opening Pandora's box. You might learn something useful or interesting, or you might learn that you're likely to develop an incurable disease later on in life.

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Crisis In The Housing Market
5:10 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Homebuilding Is Booming, But Skilled Workers Are Scarce

New homebuilding reached a 4 1/2 year high in December, welcome news for an industry that lost 2 million jobs during the downturn. Despite those job losses, the sector is experiencing a labor shortage in some parts of the U.S.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 5:29 pm

The construction industry in the U.S. is staging a comeback. In one indicator, the Commerce Department announced Thursday that new homebuilding has reached its highest level in 4 1/2 years.

While that's a promising sign for the industry, more than 2 million construction jobs have been lost in the sector since employment hit its peak. While some might expect that means plenty of people are ready to fill the new jobs, many markets around the country are actually experiencing a shortage of construction workers.

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Environment
5:10 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Understanding Climate Change, With Help From Thoreau

Researchers in Massachusetts and Wisconsin are comparing modern flower blooming data with notes made by Henry David Thoreau and Aldo Leopold. The sight of irises blooming during a Boston winter helped spur the research.
Darlyne A. Murawski Getty Images/National Geographic Creative

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 11:35 am

Modern scientists trying to understand climate change are engaged in an unlikely collaboration — with two beloved but long-dead nature writers: Henry David Thoreau and Aldo Leopold.

The authors of Walden and A Sand County Almanac and last spring's bizarrely warm weather have helped today's scientists understand that the first flowers of spring can continue to bloom earlier, as temperatures rise to unprecedented levels.

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It's All Politics
4:40 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Some House Republicans Deny Risk Of Default In Debt Ceiling Debate

Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp, shown in June 2012, says the U.S. won't default unless the president chooses to let it happen.
John Hanna AP

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 5:10 pm

The federal government hit its debt limit at the end of last year. Since then, the Treasury Department has been taking what it calls "extraordinary measures" to keep the government funded and avoid defaulting on U.S. obligations.

But those measures will run out sometime between the middle of February and early March. Then it's up to Congress to raise the debt limit.

House Republicans are wrestling with the best strategy at a retreat Thursday and Friday in Virginia. And some have been denying that there is a risk of default if the debt ceiling isn't raised.

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All Tech Considered
4:38 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Bump On The Road For Driverless Cars Isn't Technology, It's You

Car companies are picking up automobile concepts such as this Lexus SL 600 Integrated Safety driverless research vehicle, shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in early January in Las Vegas.
Julie Jacobson AP

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 12:07 am

When you watch science fiction movies, you notice there are two things that seem like we will get in the future — a silver jumpsuit and driverless cars.

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U.S.
3:57 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Aurora Theater's Reopening Sparks Mixed Emotions

Workers dismantle the fence around the remodeled Century theater in Aurora, Colo., in preparation for the cinema's reopening Thursday. The theater's owner sent 2,000 invitations to the private event, being held for victims' families and first responders.
Ed Andrieski AP

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 5:10 pm

The Aurora, Colo., theater where 12 people were killed in a mass shooting last summer reopens Thursday, with a private event for victims' families and first responders.

But some families are giving the event a pass, arguing that the decision to reopen is insensitive. Jessica Watts lives just a few miles from the theater where her cousin, Jonathan Blunk, and 11 others were killed and dozens more wounded.

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Education
3:57 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Seattle High School's Teachers Toss District's Test

Garfield High School's academic dean and testing coordinator, Kris McBride, at a news conference announcing the teachers' boycott of the MAP test in Seattle on Jan. 10.
Ann Dornfeld for NPR

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 5:10 pm

An entire school of teachers in Seattle is refusing to give students a standardized test that's required by the district. The teachers say the test is useless and wastes valuable instructional time.

Meanwhile, individual teacher protests of standardized tests are popping up nationwide, and the Seattle case may make bigger waves.

'I Just See No Use For It'

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Around the Nation
3:57 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Many Of Nation's Mayors Receptive To Obama's Ideas On Reducing Gun Violence

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 5:10 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

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The Two-Way
3:24 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

AP Credit Will No Longer Be Accepted At Dartmouth

Advanced Placement exams, which many high school students use to gain course credits when they attend college, will no longer be accepted for credit at Dartmouth College, the Associated Press reports.

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Shots - Health News
2:52 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Anonymity In Genetic Research Can Be Fleeting

Each strand of DNA is written in a simple language composed of four letters: A, T, C and G. Your code is unique and could be used to find you.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 4:12 pm

People who volunteer for medical research usually expect to remain anonymous. That includes people who donate their DNA for use in genetic studies.

But now researchers have shown that in some cases, they can trace research subjects' DNA back to them with ease. And they say the risk of being identified from genetic information will only increase.

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Africa
2:10 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Mali, Algeria Violence Stokes Fear Of New Terrorist Haven

A picture taken with a mobile phone earlier this month purportedly shows Islamist insurgents in Gao, Mali.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 3:04 pm

Hours after French troops launched a ground offensive in Mali to quash an Islamist rebellion, militants retaliated by seizing dozens of hostages, reportedly including Americans, in neighboring Algeria — an attack that underscores Western fears of a deteriorating security situation in northwestern Africa.

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Shots - Health News
2:03 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Scientists Try To Thwart Flu Virus By Resetting Its Clock

When flu viruses (in red) accumulate an escape protein too quickly, they exit the cell nucleus (in blue) before they've made enough viral copies to spread the infection.
Benjamin tenOever

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 2:33 pm

Flu viruses can tell time. Sort of. And the viral clock-watching could provide a new way to fight the flu.

A study in Cell Reports describes how researchers tapped into the flu's internal clock as they search for ways to keep the virus from spreading.

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The Two-Way
1:28 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Massey Mine Boss Sentenced; Feds Toughen Mine Safety Rule

Mine helmets and painted crosses were placed at the entrance to Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch coal mine as a memorial to the 29 miners killed there.
Jeff Gentner AP

Nearly three years after a deadly mine explosion in West Virginia, a former Massey Energy mine superintendent has been sentenced to prison and federal regulators have toughened a regulation that could have helped prevent the disaster.

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The Two-Way
1:09 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

'Dear Abby' Dies; Pauline Phillips Was Adviser To Millions

Pauline Phillips — Dear Abby — in 2001.
Fred Prouser Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 1:52 pm

Pauline Phillips, known to millions of advice-seekers around the world as the original "Dear Abby," has died. She was 94.

The company that syndicates Dear Abby says on its website that she "died Wednesday ... in Minneapolis after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease."

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Around the Nation
1:09 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Rape: The Victims, Perpetrators And Law Enforcement

News of a horrific gang rape in India prompted protest and outrage. Similar reactions, followed allegations of gang rape by members of the Steubenville High School football team in Ohio. The extreme cases raise question about what we've learned about rapists and why so many cases go unreported.

Books
1:04 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

The 'Underlying Logic' Behind The Madness Of The Office

In The Org, Tim Sullivan and Ray Fisman share case studies of organizations including McDonald's and Procter and Gamble.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 2:58 pm

Those of us who work in an office know that there is at least some part of the organization that is utterly frustrating.

In The Org: The Underlying Logic of the Office, authors Tim Sullivan and Ray Fisman argue that the back-to-back meetings and unending bureaucracy serve an important purpose.

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World
1:04 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

The Evolving Hostage Crisis In Algeria

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 1:11 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

And another story we've been following the past couple of days: Yesterday, an extremist group in Algeria attacked a remote natural gas production complex in the Sahara Desert and seized hostages, most of them Algerian, but including some Americans and other Westerners. Today, Algeria's military responded. Reports conflict on numbers. It seems clear some hostages have escaped, others have been killed.

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The Two-Way
1:00 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Up Next For Lance Armstrong: Post-Confession Court Cases

Lance Armstrong, right, faces several court cases tied to evidence that he cheated. One of the suits was filed by his former U.S. Postal Service teammate Floyd Landis. Here, the pair ride during the 2003 Tour de France.
Paolo Cocco AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 8:14 pm

Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong's confession to doping isn't just a matter of passing interest to sports fans, it has the potential to be pivotal new evidence in a raft of legal matters that have swirled around the cycling star for years.

Armstrong already has lost his battle with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which detailed "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program" in sports when it announced a lifetime ban of the cyclist last October.

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Around the Nation
12:34 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

'Grayest Generation': Older Parenthood In The U.S.

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 12:47 pm

In a December article for The New Republic, "The Grayest Generation: How Older Parenthood Will Upend American Society," the magazine's science editor Judith Shulevitz points out how the growing trend toward later parenthood since 1970 coincides with a rise in neurocognitive and developmental disorders among children.

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U.S.
12:23 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

A War Correspondent Takes On Her Toughest Assignment

NPR correspondent Lourdes Garcia-Navarro (right) conducts an interview in the West Bank.
Courtesy of Lourdes Garcia-Navarro

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 10:55 am

When I discovered I was pregnant, I realized it was time for a change of pace. I'd been covering conflicts around the world for 12 years. The plan was to retreat to balmy Miami where my family is, have my baby and just slow down for a bit.

My husband was taking time off; I would have plenty of extra help if I needed it. While pregnant, I fantasized about the tender, quiet moments I would share with my daughter, her suckling contentedly while I cooed.

"How hard could motherhood be?" I blithely thought.

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Book Reviews
12:05 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

How A 'Madwoman' Upended A Literary Boys Club

This week, the National Book Critics Circle announced that two feminist literary scholars, Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, would be the recipients of its 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award.

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Music
11:45 am
Thu January 17, 2013

After Big Year, Emeli Sande's 'Version Of Events'

Emeli Sande.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 9:35 pm

After huge critical and commercial success last year, breakthrough British sensation Emeli Sande has her sights set on America.

It's a long way from her roots. Born to a Zambian father and English mother, the singer-songwriter was raised in Scotland. She tells NPR's Michel Martin that being the only mixed-race family in a small village had a big impact on her.

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The Salt
11:23 am
Thu January 17, 2013

4 Tips To Help A Foodie Get Through Chemo

Some of the author's favorite foods, like yogurt, just didn't taste good during chemo.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 2:12 pm

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago, it was clear that I would be thinking about a lot of things — myriad doctor visits, multiple tests, surgeries and chemotherapy.

Here are some things I knew about chemotherapy going in: it is unpleasant; it poisons your body; it makes you nauseated.

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The Two-Way
11:07 am
Thu January 17, 2013

'Make Me Asian' App Removed From Google Play Store

A screenshot from the "Make me Asian" app page in the Google Play store. The app is no longer available.
Google Play

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 9:10 am

"Make Me Asian," a smartphone app that drew the ire of Asian-American activists for what they say are stereotypical depictions, is no longer available on the Google Play Store.

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Shots - Health News
10:55 am
Thu January 17, 2013

After Years Of Silence, The Plague Can Rise Again

There's no doubt that the plague has staying power.

The deadly bacterium has probably been infecting people for 20,000 years. And, its genes have hardly changed since it killed nearly half of Europe's population during The Black Death.

Now microbiologists have evidence that strains of the plague may be able to reactivate themselves and trigger new outbreaks — even after lying dormant for decades.

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Inauguration 2013
10:44 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Designing Inaugural Dresses, Not All Roses

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now, let's head back to events in this country. Thousands of Americans will be in Washington to watch history being made at the presidential inauguration, to hear President Obama's vision for the next four years.

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Latin America
10:44 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Mexico: New President, New Drug Violence Plan

Mexico's new president, Enrique Peña Nieto, recently enacted a law to compensate victims of drug violence. It also sets up a national registry to record the crimes. Host Michel Martin discusses the new law with Nik Steinberg of Human Rights Watch.

Politics
10:44 am
Thu January 17, 2013

President Obama's Gun Control Plan 'Extreme?'

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, for years, we've been telling you about the tens of thousands of people who have been killed or kidnapped by the drug cartels in Mexico, but the truth is, nobody really knew how many there were because nobody kept track. This week, the new president of Mexico signed a new law to set up a national registry of victims and to compensate the families. We'll have more on that in just a few minutes.

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Shots - Health News
10:32 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Obama's Plans For Guns Put Focus On Mental Health Of The Young

President Obama signs a series of executive orders Wednesday about the administration's gun law proposals as Vice President Biden and children who wrote letters to the White House about gun violence look on.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

If the National Rifle Association's plan to curb violence was, in part, arming school employees with guns, President Obama wants to arm them with something quite different: mental health training.

The president's plan centers largely on training teachers and others who work with children, teens and young adults to recognize mental illness as it's developing.

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The Two-Way
10:04 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Top Stories: Hostage Crisis In Algeria; Gun Debate Continues

Good morning

Sorry we're late again with the roundup. We'll try to do better tomorrow.

Our early headlines:

-- In Algeria: Some Hostages May Have Escaped; Military Operation Launched

-- Manti Te'o: Story Attributed To Parents Hard To Reconcile With Hoax Report

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