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12:01 am
Mon February 27, 2012

New Methods Could Speed Up Repair Of Injured Nerves

Pinwheels like these are often used to test nerve responses.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 11:07 am

When a nerve is injured, it's often hard to get it to regrow fast enough to restore function.

But now researchers say they can speed up that process, so that damaged nerves can be healed in days instead of months — at least in rats.

The scientists say they've developed a technique that reconnects the severed ends of a nerve, allowing it to begin carrying messages again very quickly. Usually, severed nerves must regrow from the point of injury — a process that can take months, if it ever happens.

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Books
12:01 am
Mon February 27, 2012

'Space Chronicles': Why Exploring Space Still Matters

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson says valuing space exploration "transforms the culture into one that values science and technology."
AP

Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 12:02 pm

After decades of global dominance, America's space shuttle program ended last summer while countries like Russia, China and India continue to advance their programs. But astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, author of the new book Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier, says America's space program is at a critical moment. He thinks it's time for America to invest heavily in space exploration and research.

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News
4:46 pm
Sun February 26, 2012

'Hallwalkers': The Ghosts Of The State Department

Peter Van Buren says that although the State Department approved his book, State officials retaliated against him once it was published.
Torie Partridge

Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 7:46 am

The halls of the State Department are haunted, not by actual ghosts, but by people who might as well be ghosts: whistleblowers, people who angered someone powerful and people who for one reason or another, can't be fired.

"People like me, that the State Department no longer wants, but for some reason can't or won't fire, are assigned to what we call 'hallwalking,'" says author Peter Van Buren.

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Presidential Race
4:29 pm
Sun February 26, 2012

Energy Fuels Newt Gingrich's Comeback Plan

Republican candidate Newt Gingrich is counting on his promise of $2.50-per-gallon gas to return him to front-runner status.
Evan Vucci AP

When voters in Michigan go the polls Tuesday, it's unlikely many will tick the box for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. In part, that's because Gingrich has all but written off the state, leaving his opponents to fight over it.

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U.S.
3:57 pm
Sun February 26, 2012

What Happens If The Keystone XL Pipeline Isn't Built?

A mock oil pipeline near Cushing, Okla.
Brent Baughman/NPR

Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 7:56 am

Part two of a two-part series on the Keystone XL pipeline

Gas isn't like a rare bottle of wine that fetches a high price just because it's rare. But at the same time, no one can agree what drives gas prices. Demand for gasoline in the U.S. is at its lowest point in more than a decade; domestic oil production is at an eight-year high.

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Author Interviews
3:03 pm
Sun February 26, 2012

How Sugar Brought An End to Hawaii's Nationhood

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 7:40 am

If you've seen a Hawaiian tourism commercial, a beach movie, or even a cartoon with Daffy Duck in a lei and a grass skirt, you've heard the poignant strains of "Aloha Oe."

But the tune has a history stretching far beyond cartoons and commercials: It was composed in 1878 by the woman who would become the last queen of Hawaii, Lili'uokalani.

Hawaii is the only state to have once been an independent monarchy. And when Lili'u, as she called herself, was born in 1838, it was at its height.

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Sports
11:38 am
Sun February 26, 2012

Money Ends College Sport's Oldest Rivalries

The Kansas Jayhawks staged a dramatic comeback Saturday to defeat the Missouri Tigers 87-86. Never mind the exciting finish; this may the last time these two teams ever meet.

And it's not the only feud ending this season. College sports has now bid farewell to three of its very oldest rivalries.

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Monkey See
8:01 am
Sun February 26, 2012

Cutting Off Long Oscar Speeches: In Defense Of The Conductor

Actress Julia Roberts holds her Oscar for Best Actress for her role in Erin Brokovich at the 73rd Annual Academy Awards on March 25, 2001.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

That song they play when a winner goes on too long at the Oscars? It has a name.

It's called "Too Long." Okay, not a creative name, but a name. Every conductor has a name for the get-off-the-stage music, and "Too Long" belongs to Bill Ross, who conducted the orchestra at last year's ceremony. And Bill wants you to know, it's not his call to interrupt speakers in what is possibly the best moment of their lives.

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NPR Story
8:00 am
Sun February 26, 2012

NGOs On Trial In Egypt

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 11:20 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We're going to shift our focus to Egypt now, where the trial of 43 NGO workers has been adjourned until April. The Egyptian government has accused them of operating in the country illegally and spurring unrest. Many of those charged are American, including the son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

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NPR Story
8:00 am
Sun February 26, 2012

Vote In Senegal Threatens Democratic Reputation

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 11:20 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. In West Africa, the people of Senegal are voting for their new president today after days of violent street protests. The sitting president, 85-year-old Abdoulaye Wade, has been in power for 12 years, and he is seeking a third term in office. His opposition rivals say that's illegal, and they insist the president must go now.

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