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It's Legal For Some Insurers To Discriminate Based On Genes

A 2008 federal law is supposed to protect people from having their genes used against them. But it only applies to health insurance — not, for example, long-term-care insurance. That's exactly the type of insurance people might seek after learning they're genetically predisposed to some medical problem down the road.

Understanding Climate Change, With Help From Thoreau

Some of the most beloved nature writers of all time, Henry David Thoreau and Aldo Leopold, are helping scientists learn how global warming will affect spring. Using historical records, the scientists are able to predict when flowers will bloom during especially hot years.
WAMU 88.5

The Ongoing Battle Against Alzheimer's

As part of our Mind and Body series: More than five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's, but efforts to find new treatments for the disease have been disappointing. The ongoing battle against Alzheimer's disease.


Scientists Try To Thwart Flu Virus By Resetting Its Clock

Flu viruses hijack the machinery inside animal cells to replicate. The theft is a complicated process that takes time. If the virus leaves the cells too early or too late, the risk of infection falls.

Yes, Virginia, Crabs Likely Feel Pain, But They're Still Delicious

Prawns will rub themselves when dabbed with acid. And hermit crabs show stress-related behavior after getting shocked out of their shells. Now scientists find that British shore crabs can learn to avoid an electric shock — a key sign that crustaceans really do experience pain.


Could Some Midwest Land Support New Biofuel Refineries?

Land that isn't in good enough condition to grow crops could be used to produce substantial amounts of liquid biofuels, a new study claims. But there are many concerns about the study, and about the future of advanced biofuels in the U.S. and abroad.
WAMU 88.5

Restricting Research On Gun Violence

Obama is set to unveil proposals from his task force on reducing gun violence today. Among the recommendations is lifting restrictions on federally funded research of gun violence.


Beijing's Pollution, Seen From Space In Before And After Photos

Pollution around Beijing has been stifling for the past few days. NASA has released a pair of satellite images, showing the extent of the smog from space and how the air has changed in the past couple weeks.

Does Social Media Encourage Violent Teen Behavior?

The recent rape allegations in Steubenville, Ohio raised concerns among parents about whether social media is encouraging bad and sometimes violent teen behavior. Host Michel Martin explores new media and teens' decisions about risk with a panel of parents.