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The Two-Way
11:02 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Federal Mine Agency Considering Tougher Response On Black Lung

Coal miner Lee Hipshire in 1976, shortly after emerging from a mine in Logan County, W.Va., at the end of his shift. A few years later, Lee took early retirement because of pneumoconiosis, or black lung disease. He died at 57.
Courtesy of Earl Dotter

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 5:54 am

NPR and the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) have learned that the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and the Labor Department are putting together a team of agency experts and lawyers to specifically consider how to bolster coal mine dust enforcement given the statutory and regulatory weaknesses detailed by NPR and CPI this week in stories about the resurgence of black lung.

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The Salt
10:46 am
Fri July 13, 2012

An Olympic-Sized Outrage Grows Over French Fry Sales At The Games

McDonald's and the American flag — ruling the London Olympics?
Keoni Cabral Flickr.com

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 7:24 pm

When McDonald's cut a deal to make itself the exclusive purveyor of french fries and the similar (but please don't say matching) chips at the 2012 Olympic Games in London later this month, it may not have anticipated the flurry of responses. Foodies raged, nutritionists nagged, and many called it another example of an American cultural takeover.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:33 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Electric Fans May Do More Harm Than Good In A Heat Wave

Researchers say that when temperatures rise above 95 degrees, a fan might make you even hotter, and maybe even sick.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat July 14, 2012 9:26 am

Assuming you can't spend a heat wave bobbing up and down in some cool body of water, the next best option is to hunker down inside with air blowing on you, right?

Preferably it's from an air conditioner set on arctic chill.

But if there's no AC, then an electric fan would be the next best thing, wouldn't you think?

Well, it turns out health experts aren't so sure about electric fans. And they say using one in a really brutal heat wave can sometimes do more harm than good.

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Health
10:32 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Myths And Tips On Keeping Your Cool This Summer

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. If you're out shooting hoops this summer or you're going for a jog, you know it won't be long before you're sopping wet and, you know, it's really sweaty out there. And where's all that sweat coming from? Your body's water supply, of course. You have to replenish those fluids if you sweat a lot. But it's not as simple as the old eight-glasses-a-day mantra. How much should you really drink? Too much water, you can die, as has happened to marathon runners who chugged too much water during the race.

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Research News
10:25 am
Fri July 13, 2012

What Happens When Scientists Get It Wrong?

Reporting in Science, two teams of scientists say they were unable to replicate the results of a 2010 study claiming to have found 'alien life' on Earth--a bacterium that could build its DNA using arsenic. Science journalist Carl Zimmer talks about how the controversy played out online, and how science corrects itself.

Environment
10:19 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Climate Change Ups Odds Of Heat Waves, Drought

Reporting in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, researchers write that extreme heat waves, such as the one last year in Texas, are 20 times more likely today than they were in the 1960s. NOAA climatologist Tom Peterson discusses what future climate change may bring.

Science
10:16 am
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
10:12 am
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
10:05 am
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.

NPR Story
9:58 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Look, Listen, Taste

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 10:35 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

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The Two-Way
9:56 am
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.

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The Two-Way
9:48 am
Fri July 13, 2012

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

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 9:59 am

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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Movies
9:48 am
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 7:30 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
8:55 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
8:39 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Generic Drugs Make Dent In Global AIDS Pandemic

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 9:02 am

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
8:31 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.

The Two-Way
8:00 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Heir To Billions Arrested In Wife's Death

Eva Rausing, right, and her husband Hans Kristian Rausing in 1996.
Alan Davidson AP

An update on our post from Wednesday headlined "Heir To Billions May Have Lived With Wife's Body For Days In Britain":

Today in a London court, the BBC says, a police detective testified that Hans Kristian Rausing "has been arrested on suspicion of [Eva Rausing's] murder."

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The Two-Way
7:29 am
Fri July 13, 2012

English Soccer's John Terry Found Not Guilty Of Racial Abuse

John Terry as he left court today in London.
Bethany Clarke Getty Images

A "not guilty" verdict has been handed down in a case that has been front-page news for months in Great Britain:

John Terry, former captain of England's national soccer team and captain of the English Premier League's Chelsea Football Club, "has been cleared of racially abusing fellow footballer Anton Ferdinand," the BBC writes.

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Election 2012
7:28 am
Fri July 13, 2012

How Obama Factors In States Voting On Gay Marriage

President Obama is interviewed from the Cabinet Room of the White House by Robin Roberts on ABC's Good Morning America on May 9. During the interview, Obama expressed his support for gay marriage — a first for a U.S. president.
Pete Souza The White House via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 10:40 am

President Obama's decision to publicly support same-sex marriage may have changed the minds of some Americans, according to a national poll. But in states that will vote on the issue in November, the impact has been mixed.

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Presidential Race
7:26 am
Fri July 13, 2012

How Battleground States See The Economy

A young supporter of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney holds a sign during an election party at the Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas in February.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 9:33 am

For all the chatter that the winner of the 2012 presidential election will be determined by the economy, you wouldn't know it by looking at the most closely contested states.

The recovery is still tepid in most parts of the country, and there's a sense of trepidation that signs of improvement might not last. Among the swing states, some are doing comparatively well while others are struggling — but the political picture looks roughly the same in all.

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