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Shots - Health Blog
12:44 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

Expert Panel To Give Controversial Bird Flu Research A Second Look

An health official wearing protective gear culls a bird at a poultry farm after a naturally occurring bird flu virus was detected near Agartala, India, in January.
Sushanta Das AP

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 8:34 pm

Two controversial studies on bird flu will once again be reviewed by an expert committee that advises the government on what to do with biological research that could pose potential dangers.

The move is just the latest development in a fierce ongoing debate about genetically altered flu viruses created in laboratories at Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands and at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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The Two-Way
12:40 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

Syrian Officials Claim They Will Soon Have Baba Amr 'Cleaned'

In Qusayr, Syria, on Tuesday, a Free Syria Army member was on guard at the funeral of a man who activists say was killed by government forces.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

An ominous excerpt from the latest BBC News report on what's happening in Syria:

"The Syrian army is advancing on opposition positions in Homs, which has been under artillery bombardment for nearly a month, reports say. Security officials said the city's besieged district of Baba Amr would be 'cleaned' within the next few hours."

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The Two-Way
11:54 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Franklin Graham Apologizes For Seeming To Question Obama's Faith

Rev. Franklin Graham in 2007.
Davis Turner Getty Images

One week after saying "you'll have to ask President Obama" when asked if he believes the president is a Christian, Rev. Franklin Graham has issued an apology for "any comments I have ever made which may have cast any doubt on the personal faith of our president, Mr. Obama."

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Movie Interviews
11:50 am
Wed February 29, 2012

'Being Flynn': When Dad Needs To Take Shelter

Robert De Niro (left) plays Jonathan Flynn, the father of writer Nick Flynn (played by Paul Dano) who shows up at his son's workplace: a homeless shelter.
David Lee Focus Features

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 1:24 pm

Writer Nick Flynn was working in a homeless shelter in his 20s when his father — an alcoholic and self-proclaimed writer who left when Flynn was a baby — showed up as a client. Flynn wrote about the experience in his 2004 memoir, Another Bulls- - - Night in Suck City.

That story is now a movie called Being Flynn, starring Paul Dano as the young Nick Flynn and Robert De Niro as his father, Jonathan.

Flynn and Paul Weitz, the film's director, tell Fresh Air's Dave Davies that the film boils down to a few important themes.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:43 am
Wed February 29, 2012

The High Price Of Caring For A Loved One With Alzheimer's

The last photo taken of Joy (left) and her father, Patrick, in July 2011.
Courtesy of Joy Johnston

As a kid, Joy Johnston was Daddy's little girl.

Her father, Patrick, worked in the trucking trade, took care of his family and loved singing to his daughter.

When Joy got older, she moved to Atlanta for work and her parents retired to New Mexico. When she flew in for a visit in 2008, she noticed her father was changing. He would pay for gas but not fill up the tank. He would ask his wife, Jane, "Where's Jane?"

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The Salt
11:28 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Truffles Take Root In Appalachian Soil

Perigord truffles for sale in southwestern France. American farmers say they've figured out how to make the delicacy flourish in Appalachian soils.
Regis Duvignau Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 5:09 pm

As orchards go, truffle orchards are upside-down and backwards. The magic happens not on the branches of oak and hazel trees, but beneath them, where a richly flavored mushroom sprouts from fungal colonies laced about the trees' roots. This cultivated variety is the black Perigord truffle, or tuber melanosporum.

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Research News
11:28 am
Wed February 29, 2012

The Man Working To Reverse Engineer Your Brain

A map of neurons of the mouse retina, reconstructed automatically by artificial intelligence from electron microscopic images.
A. Zlateski based on data from K. Briggman, M. Helmstaedter, and W. Denk MIT/Seung

Our brains are filled with billions of neurons, entangled like a dense canopy of tropical forest branches. When we think of a concept or a memory — or have a perception or feeling — our brain's neurons quickly fire and talk to each other across connections called synapses.

How these neurons interact with each other — and what the wiring is like between them — is key to understanding our identity, says Sebastian Seung, a professor of computational neuroscience at MIT.

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All Tech Considered
11:16 am
Wed February 29, 2012

How To Adjust Your Privacy Settings, Before Google's Big Shift

A screengrab shows the Google Search history page — and the buttons to click to remove and pause a user's history.
NPR

News that Google will place its dozens of services under one privacy policy — a change that also means the company will compile and collate each user's data from all those products — has some of its customers scrambling to restrict their privacy settings before the new policy goes into effect on March 1.

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Asia
10:59 am
Wed February 29, 2012

N. Korea Agrees To Nuclear Moratorium, U.S. Says

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 11:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. We have learned this morning that North Korea has agreed to a moratorium on nuclear tests and uranium enrichment activities. This is according to State Department officials just back from a trip to China, where they met with North Korean negotiators. NPR's Michele Kelemen has more on what could be a step towards reviving nuclear disarmament talks.

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The Two-Way
10:53 am
Wed February 29, 2012

The Story Of HitmanForHire.net

Some people are serious when they say, "I want him dead." That is just one of the astonishing revelations chronicled by The Los Angeles Times in a feature on the misadventures of Essam Ahmed Eid.

Eid, as we learn, was the Las Vegas poker dealer turned Internet entrepreneur behind HitmanForHire.net, a site that once promised to bring together people with problems and people with solutions.

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