NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
5:07 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Edward Snowden Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize

Edward Snowden, seen here in a photo provided by The Guardian, was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by two Norwegian politicians.
AP

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 10:46 am

Saying Edward Snowden has "contributed to a more stable and peaceful world order" by exposing U.S. surveillance practices and forcing a new debate over security and privacy, two Norwegian politicians nominated the former intelligence contractor for the Nobel Peace Prize on Wednesday.

If he were to win the award, Snowden, who gave a trove of classified documents to media outlets last summer, would join the ranks of popular Nobel Peace laureates such as Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa.

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The Two-Way
3:59 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Weather Experts: It's 'Wrong' To Call Atlanta Storm Unexpected

Traffic is snarled along the I-285 perimeter north of Atlanta's metro area Wednesday. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has called Tuesday's snow storm "unexpected" — prompting a response from weather forecasters.
David Tulis AP

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 5:03 pm

Meteorologists are used to people faulting their weather predictions. But when Georgia's Gov. Nathan Deal called Tuesday's crippling winter storm "unexpected," he drew responses from several forecasters. One answer came from the head of the American Meteorological Society, who also lives in Georgia.

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Shots - Health News
3:56 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Neanderthal Genes Live On In Our Hair And Skin

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 11:11 am

Neanderthals died out long ago, but their genes live on in us. Scientists studying human chromosomes say they've discovered a surprising amount of Neanderthal DNA in our genes. And these aren't just random fragments; they help shape what we look like today, including our hair and skin.

These genes crept into our DNA tens of thousands of years ago, during occasional sexual encounters between Neanderthals and human ancestors who lived in Europe at the time. They show up today in their descendants, people of European and Asian descent.

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The Two-Way
3:54 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Scientist To W.Va. Lawmakers: 'I'm Not Drinking The Water'

The banks of the Elk River in Charleston, W.Va.
Tom Hindman Getty Images

"I'm not drinking the water."

That's what an environmental scientist from Marshall University and a member of the West Virginia Environmental Quality Board told state lawmakers today during a hearing about a chemical spill that contaminated the drinking water of nine counties.

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The Salt
3:34 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

A Milk Mystery: Did Gloomy Weather Make Us Love The Stuff?

A new study on lactose tolerance among early farmers in Spain challenges a leading theory that humans developed an appetite for milk to avoid calcium deficiency.
iStock

Humans have a love-hate history with milk.

For thousands and thousands of years, adults couldn't digest dairy products without an upset stomach and a trip to the bathroom.

And then one day, poof!

A few changes in our DNA gave about a third of the world's population – mostly Europeans — the ability to knock back cheese, pizza and chocolate ice cream without a care in the world.

But why? Why did this ability to digest lactose suddenly crop up in our European ancestors about 10,000 years ago? That's been a big mystery for scientists.

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The Two-Way
2:40 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Fed Will Continue To Taper Its Stimulus Program

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 4:14 pm

Because the economy continues to improve since it started tapering its stimulus program, the Federal Reserve said it would continue to slow the pace of its bond-buying programs.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Federal Open Market Committee said:

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
2:35 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

When Science Beats Fiction

An illustration of what the Philae lander will look like at work on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
AOES Medialab ESA

Last week, something amazing happened: after hibernating for 31 months while cruising through space hundreds of millions of miles from Earth, the European Space Agency probe Rosetta woke up from its slumber and sent a message home: "Hello, world!" Rosetta is up and running now that it's nearer the sun and its target, the comet 67P/Churyamov-

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The Two-Way
1:54 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Spy Chief Says Classified Leaks 'Pose Critical Threat' To U.S.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testifies during a hearing before Senate Select Intelligence Committee on Wednesday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 2:51 pm

In his yearly report (pdf) to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the country's spy chief says one of the top threats facing the United States is the unauthorized leak of classified information.

In his threat assessment report, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, listed "insider threats," alongside cyber attacks and terrorism.

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The Two-Way
1:44 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Missing For 112 Years, First Porsche Is Found In Warehouse

The P1, now known as the "first Porsche."
Juergen Skarwan Porsche.com

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 2:21 pm

Even the famed German automaker concedes that it "may resemble an old horse-drawn carriage."

But the recently rediscovered "first Porsche in the world" — dubbed the P1 — was a technological marvel for its time. It "included a compact electric drive weighing 286 pounds," writes the automotive news site Jalopnik, and could chug along at 22 mph.

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Shots - Health News
1:19 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

A Little Acid Turns Mouse Blood Into Brain, Heart And Stem Cells

A mouse embryo grows from stem cells made by stressing blood cells with acid. The blood cells are tagged with a protein that creates green light.
Courtesy of Haruko Obokata

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 7:24 am

Back in 1958, a young biologist at Cornell University made a stunning discovery.

He took a single cell from a carrot and then mixed it with some coconut milk. Days went by and the cell started dividing. Little roots formed. Stems started growing. Eventually, a whole new carrot plant rose up from the single cell.

Imagine if you could perform a similar feat with animal cells, even human cells.

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Tycoon's Lesbian Daughter Rejects Multimillion-Dollar 'Marriage Bounty'

Gigi Chao (right) daughter of Hong Kong property tycoon Cecil Chao, poses with her partner, Sean Eav, at an event in Hong Kong.
AP

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 11:58 am

A Hong Kong real estate tycoon made headlines two years ago when he offered a $65 million bounty to the man who could win his daughter's heart and marry her. In an open letter today, the daughter says she hopes he can accept that she is indeed a lesbian.

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Shots - Health News
10:45 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Yoga May Help Overcome Fatigue After Breast Cancer

People practice yoga at a fundraiser for a breast cancer foundation in Hong Kong.
Ed Jones/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 11:11 am

Exercise helps recovery after cancer treatment, but fatigue can make working out hard. Yoga can help reduce fatigue for breast cancer survivors, a study finds. It's one of a growing number of efforts using randomized controlled trials to see if the ancient practice offers medical benefits.

Women who took a yoga class three hours a week for three months reported less fatigue compared with a group of breast cancer survivors who did not do yoga.

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The Salt
10:40 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Frogs And Puffins! 1730s Menus Reveal Royals Were Extreme Foodies

Britain's King George II: Snazzy dresser, adventurous eater.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 11:10 am

You think 21st century foodies will go to great lengths for a culinary thrill? (Lion meat, anyone?) Turns out, they've got nothing on 18th century English royals.

Frogs, puffins, boar's head and larks and other songbirds were all fair game for the dinner table of England's King George II, judging by a chronicle of daily meals served to his majesty and his wife, Queen Caroline.

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The Two-Way
8:46 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Northwestern Football Players Want To Unionize: Is That OK?

Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter, who finished his college career last season, is the spokesman for the players' effort to unionize.
John Mersits CSM/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 2:44 pm

Even during a week when the NFL's Super Bowl is dominating sports pages and sports talk shows, college football is back in the headlines because players at Northwestern University have voted to form a union.

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