Here's a sobering thought: Wild birds — including city pigeons and ubiquitous Canada geese — carry 170 different types of bird flu. You know, all those viruses with the Hs and Ns in their names, like H1N1 and H5N1.
Only a dozen of these viruses have infected humans so far, but many of those have been deadly, and three of them have caused global flu pandemics.
Does every bird flu that leaps into people have the potential to turn into the next "big one" that spreads rapidly around the world?
On Sunday, evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller, a professor currently on leave from the University of New Mexico with a visiting position at New York University, tweeted a comment that sent shock waves through academia and beyond:
Dear obese PhD applicants: if you didn't have the willpower to stop eating carbs, you won't have the willpower to do a dissertation #truth
As news broke about the NSA collecting telephone records through Verizon, people took to Twitter to voice their opinions. As an experiment, NPR senior strategist Andy Carvin asked his followers to respond to the hashtag #CallsTheNSAKnowsAbout. Their responses ranged from the hilarious to the poignant.
It's too early to tell whether North Korea's offer on Thursday of talks with the South — potentially the first such dialogue in years — is more than just another negotiating tactic.
But Seoul readily accepted the offer, and though Pyongyang said the agenda should be discussing the reopening of the jointly run Kaesong factory complex inside North Korea, it left the door open for the possibility of broader negotiations.
Two weeks ago, I wrote here about my new cancer diagnosis and my upcoming robot-assisted surgery.
The surgery occurred as planned on May 24; after a single rough night in the hospital, I went home and my recovery has proceeded completely on track (with the usual ups and downs after a 6-hour operation).
Fire officers walk past the fire-damaged Al-Rahma Islamic Centre in Muswell Hill in London Wednesday. Counter-terrorism officers have been called in amid suspicions that it was a racially motivated attack.
Two weeks after the brutal murder of a British soldier that brought a rise in hate crimes against Muslims in the U.K., a fire devastated an Islamic community center in London Wednesday. Scotland Yard says the cause of the blaze is being treated as suspicious.
"Graffiti was found amid the charred ruins, including an abbreviation for a far right anti-Muslim fringe group," NPR's Philip Reeves reports for our Newscast unit. "Detectives are trying to figure out when it was written."