Health & Science

Google Lays Out Its Future For Everyone

May 17, 2013

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep. This week in San Francisco, Google held its annual developers conference. The Internet search giant debuted updates for just about everything from Google+ to Maps, and gave talks on gadgets like Google Glass. And, as NPR's Steve Henn reports, Google laid out its vision for its future, as well as our future.

The American Psychiatric Association is about to release an updated version of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The DSM helps mental health professionals decide who has problems such as depression, anxiety and schizophrenia.

Psychiatry's new manual, DSM-5, has been nearly 20 years in the making. During that time, scientists have learned a lot about the brain. Yet despite some tweaks to categories such as autism and mood disorders, DSM-5 is remarkably similar to the version issued in 1994.

Four years ago, 21 men with intellectual disabilities were emancipated from a bright blue, century-old schoolhouse in Atalissa, Iowa. They ranged in age from their 40s to their 60s, and for most of their adult lives they had worked for next to nothing and lived in dangerously unsanitary conditions.

Earlier this month, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission won a massive judgment against the turkey-processing company at which the men worked. The civil suit involved severe physical and emotional abuse of men with intellectual disabilities.

Stimulating the brain with a very small electrical current through the forehead could boost a student's ability to learn and remember basic mathematics, a provocative experiment suggests.

The work, published online Thursday by the journal Current Biology, could help those who struggle with mental arithmetic. But the study was small and the long-term effect wasn't profound.

When the Senate voted Tuesday to make Marilyn Tavenner the official administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, it was the first time the world's greatest deliberative body had approved someone to head the huge health agency since 2004.

That's right, you have to go way back to the Bush administration to find Dr. Mark McClellan, the last person to be officially put in the post.

This week, Google, already a leader in mapping, created more space between itself and its competitors by more deeply mining the data users provide the company when using its various services.

At the Google developers' conference in San Francisco on Wednesday, Daniel Graf, director of Google Maps, crowed about the company's mapping app for the iPhone — and couldn't quite stop himself from taking a dig at Apple.

"People called it sleek, simple, beautiful, and let's not forget, accurate," he said.

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later in the program family members of both the suspects in the Cleveland kidnappings and the Boston Marathon bombings have denounced them. And that made us wonder about the family members of other people who have been accused of horrible acts. So we reached out to two of them - the daughter of a serial killer and the brother of the Unibomber will both be with us in just a few minutes.

When Your Dad Is A Killer, How Do You Cope?

May 16, 2013

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later in the program we will speak with writer and scholar Mark Anthony Neal about his new book, "Looking For Leroy." It's about how black men on stage, screen and on the radio shape and reshape how we think about black men in everyday life. That's in just a few minutes.

Looking Ahead With The Wonders Of Krulwich

May 16, 2013

In the latest installment of our "Looking Ahead" series, NPR science correspondent and Radiolab co-host Robert Krulwich talks about reporting on big ideas in imaginative ways, the old days at NPR and what he's wondering about today.

A study published online recently in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives documented slightly elevated levels of arsenic in samples of chicken purchased at grocery stores in 10 cities in the U.S.

So how did trace amounts of this toxin end up in supermarket poultry?

Perhaps you've noticed a toddler's sagging swim diaper and wondered if it's really keeping the poop out of your neighborhood pool.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has the answer for you: no.

Last summer, researchers at the federal public health agency collected 161 filter samples from public swimming pools in the Atlanta area. More than half of those samples, 58 percent, were contaminated with E. coli.

That, the CDC reported today, "signifies that swimmers introduced fecal matter into pool water."

People smell yummy to mosquitoes.

So yummy, in fact, that our scent is a big way the pesky insects track us down.

But just how much mosquitoes like Eau de Human may not be entirely up to the bugs.

Mosquitoes are more attracted to human odors when they're infected with the malaria parasite, scientists reported Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE.

"The head of Saudi Arabia's religious police has warned citizens against using Twitter, which is rising in popularity among Saudis," the BBC reports. "Sheikh Abdul Latif Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh said anyone using social media sites — and especially Twitter — 'has lost this world and his afterlife.' "

International Digital Times notes that:

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

We're going to look closely this morning at a dramatic advance in science.

GREENE: And also its far-reaching implications. The advance involves embryonic stem cell research.

INSKEEP: Which scientists see as a route to dramatic advances in medical treatment. Researchers have now figured out how to make embryonic stem cells that carry a specific individual's DNA.

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