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Shots - Health News
6:56 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

More Hints That Dad's Age At Conception Helps Shape A Child's Brain

Boy meets girl, sperm meets egg — how much does the age of each matter?
James Steidl/Kyle Gruba iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 4:05 pm

Traditionally, research has focused on women's "biological clock." But in recent years, scientists have been looking more and more at how the father's age at conception might affect the baby, too.

A study published Wednesday hints that age really might matter — in terms of the child's mental health.

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Code Switch
5:40 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

To Play The Part, Actors Must Talk The Talk — In Chinese

Chinese billionaire Xander Feng, played by Terry Chen, shakes hands with Francis Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey, in Netflix's House of Cards.
Nathaniel E. Bell Courtesy of Netflix

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 11:08 am

The success of the Netflix series House of Cards lies in the details.

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The Two-Way
5:31 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Robot Swarm: A Flock Of Drones That Fly Autonomously

An image from a video by the COLLMOT Robotic Research Project shows a group of drones flying autonomously across a field.
COLLMOT Robotic Research Project

Can drones, the small unmanned aircraft that are at the forefront of fields from warfare to commercial delivery systems, fly without human intervention? A team of Hungarian researchers answers yes, having created 10 drones that self-organize as they move through the air.

The team based its creation on birds such as pigeons, which fly in tight bunches while making adjustments and decisions. They fitted quadcopters — drones with four rotors — with GPS, processors and radios that allow them to navigate in formation or while following a leader.

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It's All Politics
5:31 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Debbie Dingell Poised To Keep U.S. House Seat In The Family

Debbie Dingell with Michigan Sen. Carl Levin and then-presidential candidate Barack Obama during a 2008 campaign event in Flint, Mich. Dingell is expected to announce Friday that she will run for her husband's House seat.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 7:22 pm

Debbie Dingell is expected to announce Friday that she will run to succeed her husband, John Jr., for the southeast Michigan congressional seat that's been in the family since John Sr. was elected in 1933.

Though several news outlets reported her intentions, former Michigan state legislator Bill Ballenger of InsideMichiganPolitics.com retained a kernel of skepticism.

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The Far Reach Of The West's Drought
5:03 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

The Search For Drinking Water In California Has Led To The Ocean

Extreme drought conditions in California have state officials looking for alternative sources of water, including desalinated ocean water.
Richard Vogel AP

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 11:08 am

California is getting some much needed rain this week, but more than two-thirds of the state is still in extreme drought conditions, and that has the state thinking about alternative ways of getting water.

On the coast in Carlsbad, Calif., construction workers are building what will be the largest seawater desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere. When finished in early 2016, it is expected to provide up to 50 million gallons of fresh drinkable water every day.

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Parallels
4:35 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Ask Me Anything: Reporting From Ground Zero In Ukraine

NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson
NPR

NPR's Berlin Correspondent Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson has covered four revolutions in the last three years, including the Arab Spring.

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Shots - Health News
4:23 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Blood Test Provides More Accurate Prenatal Testing For Down Syndrome

The new test scans a mother's blood for bits of a fetus's DNA.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 10:24 am

A new blood test offers pregnant women a safe and much more accurate way to screen for Down syndrome.

A study that evaluated the test in 1,914 pregnancies found that the test, which checks DNA, produces far fewer false alarms than the current screening techniques.

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The Salt
4:23 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Maybe That BPA In Your Canned Food Isn't So Bad After All

Should you fear a chemical inside metal food containers like the ones that hold beans? Government scientists say no.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 11:39 am

Maybe BPA isn't so bad after all.

The plastic additive has been vilified by environmental advocacy groups. But the chemical had no effect on rats fed thousands of times the amount a typical person ingests, government scientists are reporting in the journal Toxicological Sciences.

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NPR Story
3:37 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Oscar Nominees That Won't Win, But You Might Want to Watch

"Her" is one of the films Ty Burr recommends, even though it's not likely to win in the Best Picture category. (Annapurna Pictures)

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 3:37 pm

At this Sunday’s Academy Awards, “12 Years a Slave” and “Gravity” are expected to win in the Best Picture and Best Director categories. Matthew McConaughey, Cate Blanchett and Jared Leto are all front runners in their acting categories.

But Boston Globe film critic Ty Burr says there are many other nominated films and performances that might not win, but are still worth checking out if you haven’t already.

He introduces Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti to some of his favorites.

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NPR Story
3:37 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

After Stabbing, Fears Grow About Hong Kong Media Freedom

Pro-democracy activists hold a sign with an image of former chief editor of the Ming Pao daily Kevin Lau Chun-to as they attend a candlelight vigil at a hospital, to urge the police to solve the stabbing incident involving Lau, on February 26, 2014 in Hong Kong. (Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images)

The former editor of the Hong Kong daily newspaper Ming Pao is fighting for his life after being stabbed in Hong Kong this morning by an assailant on a motocycle.

Kevin Lau Chun-to was editor of the newspaper when it took part in an investigation published last month that exposed offshore tax havens that have helped the relatives of Chinese leaders hide wealth.

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