NPR Blogs

The Salt
2:02 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Sweet. Tart. Crunchy: How To Engineer A Better Apple

The just-released Riverbelle is one of well over 100 new apple varieties to hit markets around the world in the past six years.
Courtesy of Honeybear Brands

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 4:04 pm

Browsing farmers markets this fall, you may find some new apple varieties mixed in with the Granny Smiths, McIntoshes and Fujis. Susan Brown, head of the apple breeding program at Cornell University, estimates that there have been 130 new apples released around the world in the past six years.

This summer, she contributed two more to that tally: the SnapDragon and the Ruby Frost.

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The Two-Way
1:30 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Jupiter Or Bust, But First A Quick Fly-By Of Home

NASA's flight path for its Juno space probe, which is expected to buzz Earth at 3:21 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
NASA

After traveling for more than two years and some 1 billion miles, NASA's Juno mission to Jupiter is back where it started. Almost. At 3:21 p.m. ET Wednesday, the Juno space probe will be 347 miles away from Earth, just above the southern tip of Africa.

(As an aside, at around 11:30 a.m. ET, it was more than 90,000 miles away.)

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The Salt
12:25 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Meet Dave, A 19-Year-Old Craft Beer With A $2,000 Price Tag

Hair of the Dog releases a few bottles of Dave a year. In September, the 12 bottles of Dave on sale for $2,000 apiece sold out within a few hours.
Courtesy of Alan Sprints

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 6:00 pm

Hair of the Dog Brewery in Portland, Ore., makes a beer so rare, and so sought after, that it can fetch $2,000 a bottle.

It's called Dave. And no, it's not something out of a Portlandia sketch.

Dave is a barleywine — a strong, dark beer with 29 percent alcohol content. It's been aged for 19 years, first in oak barrels and then glass bottles.

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The Two-Way
12:15 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

NYPD Officer Charged In Connection With Videotaped Biker Attack

Edwin Mieses Jr.'s family provided this photo of the motorcyclist struck by an SUV during a rally in New York last month. Doctors put Mieses in a medically induced coma.
AP

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 3:13 pm

An undercover New York City police officer has been arrested and charged in connection with the beating of an SUV driver last month by a group of motorcyclists. The attack was videotaped and went viral on YouTube.

Wojciech Braszczok, 32, was part of the motorcycle rally on Sept. 29. As The Associated Press says, the rally "began with a reckless motorcycle group ride on a Manhattan highway ... [and ended when] one motorcyclist was run over, and the SUV driver was dragged from behind the wheel and beaten on a street."

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The Two-Way
11:19 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Boston School Bus Drivers Back Behind The Wheel After Strike

School buses sit idle in a lot at Veolia Transportation, Boston's school bus contractor, on Tuesday
Stephan Savoia AP

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 3:52 pm

Hundreds of Boston school bus drivers are back on the job following a one-day strike that sent parents scrambling to find ways to get their kids to and from school.

The drivers' union said Wednesday that it had agreed to return to work after the company contracted by the school to run bus services, Veolia Transportation Inc., agreed to a meeting with the union. About 600 drivers had walked off the job.

Boston.com says:

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Shots - Health News
9:32 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Nobel Goes To Scientists Who Took Chemistry Into Cyberspace

Classical mechanics, represented by Isaac Newton, typically doesn't play nicely with quantum mechanics, represented by Schrodinger's cat. But the 2013 Nobel laureates for chemistry figured out a way to get the two to work together.
Courtesy of the Nobel Prize

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 11:08 am

This year's Nobel Prize for chemistry is shared by three international scientists, who moved chemistry out of the lab and into the world of computing.

Together they developed tools for studying complex molecules — such as enzymes in the human body and plants' photosynthesis machinery — inside cyberspace.

These computerized tools allow scientists to design drugs more quickly and cheaply by doing their experiments with computer programs instead of inside rats and monkeys.

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The Two-Way
9:30 am
Wed October 9, 2013

U.S. Suspending Millions In Military Aid To Egypt

Armored vehicles blocking Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, in August.
Amr Nabil AP

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 5:36 pm

Update at 4:39 p.m. ET. Recalibrating Assistance:

The State Department says the U.S. is "recalibrating" the assistance it provides Egypt.

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Monkey See
9:10 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Virtual Strangers: A 'Journey' With Anna

A screenshot from Journey.
thatgamecompany

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 11:00 am

Not long ago, when I got a PlayStation 3, the recommendations started rolling in: play this, play that, play my favorite game.

But a bunch of people said, with a sort of excited urgency — particularly people who know me — "Play Journey."

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The Two-Way
8:22 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Top Stories: Nobel In Chemistry; Yellen Gets Nod As Fed Chair

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 10:37 am

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The Two-Way
8:03 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Book News: Why Don't (Even) More American Authors Win Nobels?

This undated photo provided by Sotheby's shows the 1950 Nobel Prize medal awarded to William Faulkner and a draft of his acceptance speech for his Nobel Prize in Literature.
AP

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 8:41 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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The Two-Way
8:01 am
Wed October 9, 2013

All Talk And No Do: Latest On The Shutdown And Debt Ceiling

The skies over the U.S. Capitol on Monday matched the mood as the partial government shutdown drags on and the nation edges closer to a possible default.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 12:53 pm

One thing is certain: None of the key players in the federal spending impasse is very happy right now.

President Obama is expected to meet with House Democrats on Wednesday and other caucuses in the coming days, The Associated Press reports, amid hope that a deal can be made soon.

Here's a rundown of Wednesday's Morning Edition coverage on the partial government shutdown, which is bumping up against the debate over raising the debt ceiling.

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The Two-Way
7:17 am
Wed October 9, 2013

3 Scientists Win Chemistry Nobel For Complex Computer Modeling

A screenshot of the Nobel Prizes webpage showing the 2013 chemistry laureates Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel.
Claudio Bresciani AP

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 12:34 pm

Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel have won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for their development of powerful computer models used to simulate how chemical reactions work, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced Wednesday.

The technology they pioneered is now used to develop drugs and to perform other vital tasks in the laboratory.

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Shots - Health News
2:58 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Proposed Treatment To Fix Genetic Diseases Raises Ethical Issues

This micrograph shows a single mitochondrion (yellow), one of many little energy factories inside a cell.
Keith R. Porter Science Source

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 3:39 pm

The federal government is considering whether to allow scientists to take a controversial step: make changes in some of the genetic material in a woman's egg that would be passed down through generations.

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The Two-Way
7:14 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Obama Will Tap Janet Yellen As Fed Chairwoman

Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellen speaks at an international monetary conference in Shanghai on June 3, 2013.
Peter Parks AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:53 pm

The White House says President Obama intends to nominate Federal Reserve Vice Chairwoman Janet Yellen to chair the Federal Reserve, once Ben Bernanke completes his term in January.

If confirmed, Yellen, 67, would be the first woman to head the American central bank.

Obama is scheduled to make the announcement at 3 p.m. ET. Wednesday.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

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The Two-Way
6:56 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Oregon's Mile Of Glacier Caves: A Hidden, And Disappearing, World

A scene from another world: entering a glacier cave on Mount Hood. Two explorers say they have mapped more than a mile of caves in Sandy Glacier.
Brent McGregor

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 9:19 pm

In the past two years, explorers Eddy Cartaya and Brent McGregor have used ropes, ice screws, wet suits and flashlights to map out more than a mile of passages underneath a glacier on Oregon's Mount Hood, in what are thought to be America's largest known glacier caves outside Alaska.

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