Health & Science

Scientists have completed an unusual survey: a census of the fungi that inhabit different places on our skin. It's part of a big scientific push to better understand the microbes that live in and on our bodies.

"This is the first study of our fungi, which are yeast and other molds that live on the human body," says Julie Segre, of the National Human Genome Research Institute, who led the survey.

Ask a great inventor to invent, and that's exactly what he'll do. Sometimes the ideas pop out like cannon bursts: "consider this ... " or "maybe this?" or "Wait! How about THIS!"

Ben Franklin did that with balloons.

Great Britain is in the midst of a measles epidemic, one that public health officials say is the result of parents refusing to vaccinate their children after a safety scare that was later proved to be fraudulent.

More than 1,200 people have come down with measles so far this year, following nearly 2,000 cases in 2012. Many of the cases have been in Wales.

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The wait is over for many Xbox fans. Yesterday, Microsoft unveiled its next generation Xbox gaming console. It's called Xbox One. It's the first major revamp of the gaming system since 2005. In our business bottom line, NPR's Laura Sydell reports the new Xbox is designed to be an all-in-one system, an entertainment hub for movies, TV and games that should appeal as much to grandparents as it does to children.

It's exactly the sort of futuristic thinking you'd expect from Google and NASA: Late last week, the organizations announced a partnership to build a Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab at NASA's Ames Research Center.

Today more than 1 in every 3 baby boomers — that huge glut of people born between 1948 and 1964 — is unmarried. And those unmarried boomers are disproportionately women.

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Now, the cash register re-imagined. Paying for things online with your mobile phone can be as easy as paying with cash but digital payment companies, like PayPal and Square, think the big money for them is still at the register. So they're rushing head-long into brick-and-mortar retail, eager for new ways to make old-fashioned money.

From member station WHYY, Zack Seward has the story.

When disaster strikes, our natural instinct is to take cover and seek shelter. But in severe weather, especially the type that breeds tornadoes like we saw in Oklahoma and parts of the Midwest this week, there are those who ride toward the storm.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

The top executives of Apple faced tough questions today on Capitol Hill. They came at a hearing about Apple's alleged avoidance of billions of dollars in U.S. income taxes. Yesterday, Senate investigators released a study describing how the maker of the iPhone, iPad and Mac computers used subsidiaries based in Ireland to avoid income taxes on a big chunk of its global profits.

A massive tornado swept through the Oklahoma City area Monday afternoon, leaving ruin in its path.

Moore Medical Center, which stood directly in the tornado's path, was devastated. But the workers, patients and their families in the hospital escaped.

Nick Stremble, a registered nurse and manager at the hospital, told Shots Tuesday what he saw.

A controversial petition by the dairy industry to allow milk sweetened with aspartame or other alternative sweeteners to be labeled on the front of the carton simply as MILK is drawing criticism from the nation's leading group of nutritionists.

Microsoft unveiled its new Xbox One Tuesday, displaying a device that takes new steps in game consoles' journey to becoming all-purpose entertainment and communication devices. The new console replaces the Xbox 360, which has been on the market for nearly eight years.

The idea of vertical farming is all the rage right now. Architects and engineers have come up with spectacular concepts for lofty buildings that could function as urban food centers of the future.

Health insurance deductibles typically only go one direction: up.

It's not unusual for people these days to be responsible for paying thousands of dollars in medical claims before most plan benefits kick in.

Hollywood superstar Angelina Jolie has been in the headlines, by her own choice for a change.

Genetic testing showed she was at high risk for breast cancer, so she decided to have a double mastectomy to improve her odds. She revealed her choice, and the thinking behind it, in a recent op-ed in The New York Times.

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