Science
1:16 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

The Nuts And Bolts Of High-Speed Rail

California lawmakers gave the green light to the first phase of construction of high-speed rail in the state. Does this mean that America is on track for faster, sleeker trains? What potential speed bumps still lie ahead? Railroad engineer Christopher Barkan discusses the costs, benefits and state of the technology.

Health
1:12 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Tumors Evade Treatment With Help From Neighboring Cells

What makes some types of cancer resistant to drugs? Reporting in Nature, researchers write that cancer cells may be dodging treatment with help from seemingly innocent bystanders. Cancer researcher Todd Golub discusses how a tumor's microenvironment may affect its behavior.

Health
1:05 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Silk Stretches Drugs' Shelf Life To New Lengths

Researchers have found a fridge-free way to store vaccines and antibiotics. Biomedical engineer David Kaplan, senior author of the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, discusses how heat-sensitive drugs wrapped in silk stay effective for months at high temperatures.

Bob Mondello, who jokes that he was a jinx at the beginning of his critical career, "hired to write for every small paper in Washington, D.C., just as it was about to fold," saw that jink broken in 1984, when he came to NPR.

For more than a quarter-century, Mondello has reviewed movies and covered the arts for NPR News, seeing at least 250 films and 100 plays annually, then sharing critiques and commentaries about the most intriguing on NPR's award-winning newsmagazine All Things Considered. In 2005, he conceived and co-produced NPR's eight-part series "American Stages," exploring the history, reach, and accomplishments of the regional theater movement.

The Two-Way
12:56 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Norman Sas, The Genius Behind Electric Football, Dies

Setting up the players. Where would they go after the switch is thrown?
Beth A. Keiser AP

Some of us are old enough to remember when electric football first became one of the coolest toys.

Versions had been around since just after World War II. But when the NFL attached its name to the vibrating game in 1967, it quickly became one of those must-haves for many young boys.

Not that most of us could really get the plastic players to do what we wanted.

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Movies
12:48 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Looking For The Megabucks? Think Megapixels

Ice Age: Continental Drift, which comes out July 13, is the fourth film in the animated franchise. Since Toy Story marked the beginning of the era of entirely computer-animated films, they've been a studio's safest bet for big earnings at the box office and beyond.
Blue Sky Studios & 20th Century Fox

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 10:30 pm

Imagine you're a movie producer, and you've got a couple of hundred million dollars to gamble on a single massive blockbuster. Which genre do you suppose will be your safest bet — superhero? Action-adventure? Sci-fi? All of those have had huge successes, but they've also all had hugely expensive failures.

There's one genre, though, that's hardly a gamble at all. It's been almost foolproof since it first came into being in 1995: computer animation.

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The Two-Way
12:48 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

ACLU Files 'Groundbreaking' Lawsuit Claiming Right To Learn To Read

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 12:59 pm

The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan filed suit against the state on Thursday on behalf of about 1,000 grade-school kids from Highland Park, Mich. who are not reading at grade level.

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The Two-Way
11:55 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Cheney: If There's Another Sept. 11, I Want Romney In The Oval Office

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, on November 2010 in Dallas.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Former Vice President Dick Cheney at a Wyoming fundraiser he hosted Thursday for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (via MSNBC's First Read):

"Sooner or later there is going to be a big surprise. Usually a very unpleasant one. Whether it's 9-11 or the other kinds of difficulties or crises that arrive, they always do. ...

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Shots - Health Blog
11:39 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Generic Drugs Make Dent In Global AIDS Pandemic

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 12:02 pm

In the absence of a cure or vaccine for HIV/AIDS, drug treatment has at least helped lower the pandemic's toll.

Since 2003, much of the treatment dispensed in hard-hit countries has come in the form of generic versions of previously expensive drugs. The President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, has paid for quite a bit of the medicine.

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'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
11:31 am
Fri July 13, 2012

It's All Politics, July 12, 2012

Evan Vucci AP

Mitt Romney, hearing boos at the NAACP convention, now knows what we go through each week on the podcast. President Obama, facing poor economic news, changes the subject with an assault on Romney and the GOP on taxes. Plus updates on Reps Charlie Rangel (victory), Jesse Jackson Jr. (health), Shelley Berkley (ethics) and Thad McCotter (skadoodle).

Join NPR's Ken Rudin and guest host Brian Naylor for this week's political roundup.

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