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The Salt
2:37 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Why Caffeine In Coffee Is A Miracle Drug For The Tired

Many believe that humanity's caffeine addiction has wrought a lot of good.
istockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 2:46 pm

NPR's Coffee Week is winding down, but we'd be remiss if we didn't give some space to caffeine, the most widely used stimulant drug in the world.

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Shots - Health News
2:33 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Freaky Friday: Autonomous Tissue Grabbers Are On Their Way

A miniature ninja throwing star or a surgical device? The microgripper, shown here coming out of a catheter tube, is activated by body heat. The sharp appendages fold up when the device warms up.
Evin Gultepe, Gracias Lab, Johns Hopkins University.

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 9:54 am

When we first heard about researchers using tiny freely floating tools to grab tissue samples deep inside the body, we were scared.

But our fears quickly turned to fascination.

Johns Hopkins engineers are testing out what they call "untethered microgrippers" as a better way to investigate hard-to-reach places. They have launched hundreds of these things, which look like miniature ninja throwing stars, inside the body of animal to retrieve tiny pieces of tissue for biopsies.

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The Two-Way
2:24 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Top Stories: Boston Bombing Latest; Bush Library Dedication

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 8:01 am

Good morning, here are our early stories:

-- Boston Bombing Investigation: Thursday's Developments.

-- 5 Presidents Set To Help Dedicate George W. Bush's Library.

And here are more early headlines:

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First Reads
2:21 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Exclusive First Read: 'A Constellation Of Vital Phenomena'

AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 12:13 pm

  • Listen to the Excerpt

Until last week, when the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings were revealed to be Chechen, you might not have spent much time thinking about Chechnya. It's far away. It might not even be the country you're picturing as you read this.

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Book Reviews
2:20 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

'Woman Upstairs': Friendly On The Outside, Furious On The Inside

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 6:03 am

Claire Messud's cosmopolitan sensibilities infuse her fiction with a refreshing cultural fluidity. Her first novel, When the World Was Steady (1995), followed two midlife sisters in search of new beginnings, one in Bali and the other on the Isle of Skye. In her second novel, The Last Life (1999), a teenager reacting to a family crisis pondered her father's origins in Algeria and southern France, and her mother's New England roots.

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Alt.Latino
2:19 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Azuquita Pa'l Cafe: What Coffee Songs Mean To Latin America

A worker collects coffee beans at a farm in Cuatro Esquinas, on the outskirts of Diriamba.
Hector Retamal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 11:09 am

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Author Interviews
2:11 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

First Western War In Afghanistan Was An 'Imperial Disaster'

Knopf

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 1:46 am

The year is 1839, and two great empires — Great Britain and Russia — are treating the world map like a chessboard, trying to outmaneuver one another for territory. For no reason other than geography, Afghanistan gets caught in the middle.

Today, as the U.S. ends its war in Afghanistan, historian William Dalrymple recounts the first time a Western power fought in that country. In Return of a King, Dalrymple details Great Britain's attempt to control Afghanistan by putting an ousted king back on the throne — a plan that went famously wrong.

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The Two-Way
2:06 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Minaret Of Iconic Syrian Mosque Destroyed In Fighting

At left, the damaged Umayyad mosque in the northern city of Aleppo, Syria, on Wednesday; at right, the view of the mosque with the minaret intact on March 6.
AP

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 4:21 pm

The latest casualty of the Syrian war: the minaret of the famed 11th century Umayyad Mosque, a UNESCO world heritage site.

The minaret collapsed Wednesday amid fighting between government troops and Syrian rebels in the ancient city of Aleppo.

Each side accused the other of being responsible for the damage. In a statement, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova expressed her deep distress over the destruction.

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The Two-Way
2:06 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

'A Rare Bird Sighting': 'Slash' As A New Conjunction

Slash, all the cool kids are saying it. Well, some young people are saying it.
NPR

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 12:18 pm

If there is one piece we recommend you read today, it would be the latest from Anne Curzan at The Chronicle of Higher Education's Lingua Franca blog.

Curzan explains that in a history of English course she teaches at the University of Michigan, she requires students to teach her slang terms. This semester, students stunned her with a brand new conjunction.

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This Is NPR
2:03 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

NPR In The News: Boston Bombings Coverage

NPR's Dina Temple-Raston on PBS NewsHour.
Screenshot/PBS NewsHour

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 11:56 am

During the steady stream of breaking news last week, NPR News staff were mid-move to our new headquarters. Divided between two buildings, the news desks and shows reported hours of live coverage without missing a beat. Their work helped inform people across the country not only on air but on television screens as well.

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