The cloud's vast computing power is making it easier and less expensive for companies and clinicians to discover new drugs and medical treatments. Analyzing data that used to take years and tens of millions of dollars can now be done for a fraction of that amount.
Most of us know Amazon as the world's largest online retailer. But its cloud computing business is booming too.
Decoding the information in DNA may soon be as routine as checking blood pressure. Recent advances make it possible to spell out a person's complete genetic code in a matter of weeks, for roughly the cost of an MRI. NPR's Rob Stein explains the rewards and risks of complete genome sequencing.
NPR's Ari Shapiro spent a week in one city in a battleground state, Colorado Springs, where campaign spending has tripled since 2008. He discovered how it's changing, and the campaign strategy behind targeting specific ads for specific markets in hopes of winning over undecided voters.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Over 18 months Syria has come unraveled. Infuriated by government brutality and emboldened by the Arab Spring, protestors in provincial cities took to the streets and spawned a movement that evolved in the face of ever-escalating violence to a revolution.
Bill Pullman enjoyed a star turn as the president of the United States in Independence Day. And in an upcoming NBC show, 1600 Penn, he's back in the White House. He's also starring in a new film, Bringing Up Bobby.
"This is an amazing time to be making a comedy about the White House," Pullman tells NPR's Neal Conan. "There's all these ... articles about the misspeaking that the presidents have done ... and I thought, boy, these are the lines I get to say, you know?"
At age 66, Neil Young has taken the advice of his doctor and stopped smoking marijuana — though he's not "making any promises," he says.
The Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist has a new memoir titled Waging Heavy Peace, in which he talks about his music, family and medical conditions, including polio, epilepsy and a brain aneurysm. In the book, he describes a particularly painful procedure he went through, which has since been banished.
Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 2:32 pm
Beginning, today, illegally downloading a copy of your favorite new song could land you in jail in Japan.
The country has instituted a new law that punishes those downloaders with up to two years in prison or fines of up to $25,700. CNN reports that the move is an effort to curb music piracy in the country.
Edwidge Danticat and Julia Alvarez pronounce 'perejil'
Seventy five years ago, thousands of Haitians were murdered in the Dominican Republic by a brutal dictator. It was one of the 20th Century's least-remembered acts of genocide.
As many as 20,000 people are thought to have been killed on orders given by Rafael Trujillo. But the "parsley massacre" went mostly unnoticed outside Hispaniola. Even there, many Dominicans never knew about what happened in early October 1937. They were kept in the dark by Trujillo's henchmen.
Starting today, America's hospitals will find that their checks from Medicare are a little bit lighter.
As part of the government's biggest effort yet at paying for performance, Medicare is withholding 1 percent of its regular hospital payments and putting that money into a fund to reward hospitals that score well on 20 different quality measures.
Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 1:32 pm
There was a time — and it wasn't that long ago — when kids would leave home on a summer morning and roam free. "I knew kids who were pushed out the door at eight in the morning," writes Bill Bryson of his childhood in the 1950s, "and not allowed back until five unless they were on fire or actively bleeding." That's what kids did. They went out. Parents let them, and everybody did it. "If you stood on any corner with a bike — any corner anywhere — more than a hundred children, many of whom you had never seen before, would appear and ask you where you were going," Bryson writes.
After studying details of the tax changes now set to take effect for 2013, the researchers were struck by "how big the tax increase is," said Eric Toder, one of those researchers. "It's a huge, huge number."
October marks 75 years since a dark period in the Dominican Republic's history. In 1937, President Rafael Leonidas Trujillo ordered the execution of thousands of ethnic Haitians. Guest host Celeste Headlee discusses the "Parsley Massacre" with two noted authors, one Dominican and one Haitian: Julia Alvarez and Edwidge Danticat.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, Hispaniola may be a popular vacation destination, but the nations that share that island have a complicated and sometimes violent history. We'll look back 75 years to a massacre that caused a rift between Dominicans and Haitians. That's in a moment.
Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 10:40 am
One hundred years ago, before Walmart and Whole Foods and Albertson's and Kroger, grocery shopping was a very different experience.
Many American city dwellers flocked to the indoor public markets — huge, high-ceilinged halls lined with vendors hawking everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to full-service meat and fish counters.
In the fall of 1989, I was walking down a London street when someone handed me a flier that asked, "Should Rushdie Die?" The following afternoon, I headed over to the Royal Albert Hall to hear that question answered by a renowned Islamic scholar.
The satirical news site reported a bogus poll: 77 percent of rural white voters would rather vote for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad than President Obama. The Iranian news agency Fars did not understand it was a joke, and reported the survey as fact.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
Day after day in Syria, people are being killed, but sometimes it takes a weekend like this past one to remind us just how horrifying the conflict is. Government troops were battling rebels were for control of Aleppo, Syria's largest such city. And as they fought, flames spred through a centuries-old market, burning huge sections to the ground.
Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 7:17 am
The Impossible Project saved Polaroid film before it went off the market. It bought the last remaining factory and restarted production. And a gadget called the Instant Lab prints Polaroids from your iPhone.
A disease that once ravaged the world, killed countless children, even famously affected President Franklin Roosevelt, has now been eradicated in all but three countries: Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The disease is polio. And at the United Nations last week, Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon met leaders of those three countries, who pledged to step up efforts to wipe out polio entirely.
Thousands of people gathered at the New York Hall of Science this weekend for what's called the World Maker Faire. It was the third an annual celebration of 21st century Do-It-Yourself culture, with workshops, speakers and demonstrations.
But, as reporter Stan Alcorn discovered, the main attraction is the makers themselves.
STAN ALCORN, BYLINE: At the center of the World Maker Faire is Katy Perry.
JESSE GREEN: Katy Perry is the unicorn that we made for a friend's wedding.