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12:05 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Tiny DNA Switches Aim To Revolutionize 'Cellular' Computing

NPR Illustration

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 8:14 am

If you think programming a clock radio is hard, try reprogramming life itself. That's the goal of Drew Endy, a synthetic biologist at Stanford University.

Endy has been working with a laboratory strain of E. coli bacteria. He sees the microbes as more than just single-cell organisms. They're little computers.

"Any system that's receiving information, processing information and then using that activity to control what happens next, you can think of as a computing system," Endy says.

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Music + Culture
12:04 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Versailles Gets Spiffed-Up On Its Day Off

Restorer Nicoletta Rinaldi works on the ceiling of the Hall of Mirrors at the Versailles Palace, west of Paris, in 2007.
Remy de la Mauviniere AP

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 8:14 am

With nearly 7 million visitors a year, the Chateau of Versailles in France is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world. But one day a week, it's closed.

So what happens at Versailles on its day off? A spa day, of sorts — involving cleaning and conservation work.

Catherine Pegard, president of Versailles, says the palace is always caught between history and modernity.

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Middle East
12:03 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Syrian Financial Capital's Loss Is Turkey's Gain

Syrian refugees are pictured at Kilis refugee camp in Gaziantep, Turkey, on Nov. 1. An estimated 150,000 Syrians are reported to be living in the Turkish border town.
Maurizio Gambarini DPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 7:20 pm

There is a brain drain in Syria, an exodus of the skilled and the educated as the Syrian revolt grinds into a third year.

The health care system is one casualty, as hospitals and clinics are shelled and doctors flee the country.

The business community is another — particularly in Aleppo, Syria's largest city and once the country's industrial and financial hub.

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Latin America
12:02 am
Fri March 29, 2013

In Honduras, Fighting HIV/AIDS Through Music And Theater

Women meet during a support group for those who have HIV and their friends and family on Jan. 17 in Triunfo de la Cruz. These kinds of support groups are an important part of making people feel comfortable with their diagnosis and seeking treatment.
David Rochkind Pulitzer Center

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 8:14 am

In the village of Corozal in Honduras, men ready boats for fishing excursions and boys play soccer on a beach lined with thatched huts.

On a sandy lot next to the town's main street, two teenage boys begin playing drums while women sing. For centuries, this has been the signature sound of celebration for the Garifuna, an Afro-Caribbean people on the Atlantic coast of Central America. Now this music has an additional purpose: to prevent HIV.

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The Two-Way
4:39 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Amazon Buys Book-Recommendation Site Goodreads

The Amazon Kindle e-reader could see greater integration with Goodreads, following Thursday's announcement that the online retail giant was buying the the social book-recommendation site.
Ted S. Warren AP

Amazon, the online retail behemoth that has made a much-publicized foray into publishing, has just bought Goodreads, the social book-recommendation site.

"Amazon and Goodreads share a passion for reinventing reading," Russ Grandinetti, Amazon vice president for Kindle Content, said in a statement on Thursday. "Goodreads has helped change how we discover and discuss books and, with Kindle, Amazon has helped expand reading around the world."

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The Two-Way
4:31 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Prosecutors Say Alleged Colorado Theater Shooter's Plea Offer Was 'Publicity Ploy'

Prosecutors in the Colorado theater shooting case, say the plea offer from the alleged gunman James Holmes was a publicity ploy, The Denver Post is reporting.

The paper adds:

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The Two-Way
3:47 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Supreme Court Notes: Bugs, Pumps And Stolen Credit Card Numbers

Same-sex marriage supporters demonstrate in front of the Supreme Court on Wednesday in Washington, D.C.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 3:52 pm

NPR's Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg sends us some odds and ends from a very momentous week in the Supreme Court.

Hear all that sneezing, wheezing, coughing, and nose blowing during this week's same-sex oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court?

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The Two-Way
3:29 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

In Light Of High Court Arguments, What Does Gay Marriage Tells Us About Polygamy?

Robyn Brown, Meri Brown, Kody Brown, Christine Brown and Janelle Brown from "Sister Wives" arrive at the grand opening of Mike Tyson's one-man show at the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 10:18 am

One of the more interesting exchanges to emerge from the Supreme Court hearings on gay marriage this week, wasn't about the sexes, instead it was when Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked a question about polygamy.

Sotomayor asked Ted Olson, the lawyer asking the court to repeal California's ban on gay marriage, that if he was right and "marriage is a fundamental right" could any state restrictions ever exist. In other words, does declaring gay marriage a civil right, pave the way to legalization of, say, polygamy?

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Music + Culture
3:17 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

The Good Friday 5: Musical Passion Stories You Must Hear

This 1653 engraving by Rembrandt inspired composer Frank Martin to write his oratorio Golgotha in 1945.
Wikimedia Commons

For Christians around the world, this week, leading up to Easter Sunday, is one of the most meaningful in the religious calendar. The dramatic story of Jesus' final days, as related in the four Gospels of the New Testament, has been meaningful for composers, too, and a rich source for many musical settings of the Passion story. J.S. Bach is still the benchmark when it comes to composing Passions. His St.

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The Two-Way
3:14 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Syrian Opposition Leader Not Leaving Post

We told you over the weekend about the Syrian opposition leader who resigned in frustration, criticizing the international community for not doing enough to end the civil war in Syria. Turns out he's staying in his job.

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