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Drugmakers Boost Prices, Despite Political Risks

Jan 13, 2012

One thing big drug companies generally aren't keen on is being the focus of a hot political debate.

In the past, the quickest way to become Exhibit A was to raise prices during a presidential campaign, Richard Evans, a former drug company executive turned industry analyst, tells Shots.

Yesterday, the Federal Reserve released transcripts of the 2006 meetings of the Federal Open Market Committee. While it's well known the Fed missed glaring signs of a housing bubble about to burst in a big way, the transcripts show that top officials not only dismissed the warnings, but they were really worrying about the economy growing too fast.

This sounds impossible, but here it is:

"Scientists from IBM Research have successfully demonstrated the ability to store information in as few as 12 magnetic atoms," the company says.

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IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Welcome to SCIENCE FRIDAY. I am Ira Flatow. A few weeks ago, we talked about the discovery of new exoplanets, those planets outside of our solar system. There were the first Earth-sized exoplanets, and we had another exoplanet smack dab in the middle of the Goldilocks Zone, you know, where liquid water could exist. That was another first.

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IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Speaking of dark matter and space-time, one of the major questions about our universe is how did it all come into being, and my next guest tackles that question in his new book, "A Universe from Nothing: Why There is Something Rather than Nothing." Lawrence Krauss is also a foundation professor and director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University in Tempe. He's also in our NPR Washington studios. Welcome back, Lawrence.

LAWRENCE KRAUSS: It's always good to be back, Ira.

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IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. We talk many times about the rise of drug-resistant bacteria, germs that resist most antibiotics, except for a precious few. A case in point is tuberculosis. But now comes word of a strain of TB that is totally drug-resistant, TDR TB as doctors are calling it. There are no second-choice antibiotics here. We simply have no drugs to fight this superbug. There are no weapons left. And it has now infected a dozen patients in India.

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IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Up next, "Confessions of a Surgeon." Have you ever sat in your doctor's office, you know, doctor's going down that long list of aches and pains, and have you ever thought to yourself: I wonder if he's really listening to me. Well, at least one doctor has confessed to not always paying attention to what his patients say.

Talking Science With Arianna Huffington

Jan 13, 2012

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IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Next up: A bit of good news for those of you lamenting the loss of your newspaper science section. The Huffington Post has a new section dedicated to science, also find a lot of technology there. Editors of the news site describe it as one-stop shopping for the latest in scientific news and opinion, with an aim to entertain as well as inform.

Get Inked For Science

Jan 13, 2012

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IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Welcome to SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Thinking about a tattoo? Well, forget butterflies, unicorns or mom. Tattoos have gone geek. No more of those blurry anchors and pinup girls. We've got molecules, double-helix strands, mathematical equations all showing up on biceps and other places.

Making A Computer From Bubbles

Jan 13, 2012

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IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Flora Lichtman is here with a Video Pick of the Week. And it's something about an everyday object?

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: An everyday item. The Video Pick of the Week this week is about - oh, that was really bad.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

LICHTMAN: I tried to do a sound effect. Oh, live radio. Sorry. That was a very weak...

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

FLATOW: You need a fresh bottle.

LICHTMAN: I did shake it up before I came in. All right, anyway. Sorry. Forget it. Let's reverse.

Jim Brown, Dennis Rodman and O.J. Simpson are all former professional athletes who've tried their hand at acting. Showbiz might seem like a natural path for guys with big egos and million-watt personalities, but Eddie George is a former NFL player who's taken a different path to the limelight.

He's joining a fraternity of actors that includes Charlton Heston in playing William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.

The scene where Marcus Brutus kills Caesar is probably the most famous death scene in all of theater. It's where those famous words, "Et tu, Brute?" are uttered.

In Texas today, conservative Christian and evangelical leaders begin two days of meetings to discuss political strategy, and perhaps to coalesce around a Republican presidential candidate other than front-runner Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts.

NPR's Barbara Bradley Hagerty reports on the search for a so-called "Jesus candidate" and the evolving influence of Christian right leaders in the Republican Party.

U.S. To Exchange Ambassadors With Myanmar

Jan 13, 2012

Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said her office will start the process of exchanging ambassadors with Myanmar. The announcement comes hours after Myanmar released 651 political prisoners.

Joran van der Sloot, the 24-year-old Dutchman who remains the prime suspect in the still-unsolved 2005 disappearance of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway in Aruba, was just sentenced to 28 years in prison for the 2010 murder of a woman in Peru.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with efforts to streamline the federal government.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: President Obama is asking Congress, today, to give him the power to consolidate certain U.S. agencies. Doing that, he says, will reduce the number of federal jobs and make government more efficient.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The government we have is not the government that we need. We live in a 21st Century economy, but we've still got a government organized for the 20th Century.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's not every day that you hear about teenagers getting terribly ill from the deer they killed and cooked for a high school class. But that's what happened to 29 teenagers in Minnesota, who got sick after they helped hunt, process and cook seven white-tailed deer for an outdoor recreation and environmental science class.

This interview was originally broadcast on May 26, 2010. Justified returns for a third season on Fx on January 17, 2012 at 10pm EST.

One of actor Walton Goggins' earliest moments on stage came at a Georgia hog-calling competition when he was just 10 years old.

This interview was originally broadcast on March 28, 2011. Justified begins its third season next week.

Timothy Olyphant plays Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens on the FX series Justified.

Maybe even if it weren't a general-election year, President Obama would still be proposing that Congress give him the power to merge federal agencies to make the government smaller and more efficient.

But the fact is it is the year in which the president is seeking re-election, a year in which both the eventual Republican presidential nominee and Obama's GOP opponents in Congress will assert hundreds of times before it's over that he is a big-government Democrat.

Everybody knows things can get a little crazy at Apple stores in the U.S. when the company unveils a new product.

But things got extra crazy in Beijing today when a thousand or more would-be iPhone 4S customers gathered outside Apple's store. They got rather angry when they learned that the company was postponing its plan to start selling the new phone there.

Mitt Romney's campaign has a new TV ad meant to counter attacks on his career at private-equity firm Bain Capital, using the same defense it has ever since his rivals for the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination started taking populist jabs at him.

Comedian Stephen Colbert's "big announcement" last night (which we previewed yesterday)?

(A new lede was put on this post at 11:30 a.m. ET.)

Saying "the government we have is not the government we need" and that it's still organized for the 20th Century, President Obama is asking Congress to give him the power to do some streamlining and merging of agencies that overlap.

"I'm calling on Congress to reinstate the authority that past presidents have had" to reorganize the government, the president just said at the White House. He pledged to only use the authority to make the government more efficient and leaner.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene.

We've all heard the rule: Turn off your cell phone. Well, someone broke it this week at a performance of the New York Philharmonic.

(SOUNDBITE OF CELL PHONE RINGING)

GREENE: The iPhone Marimba ring tone had not been written into Mahler's Ninth Symphony. But there it was, chirping from the front row of the audience. The conductor was so incensed, he cut off the performance and waited for the iPhone to stop. The audience member was apparently not offered an audition.

111-Year-Old Woman To Become U.S. Citizen

Jan 13, 2012

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep, with a milestone for immigration. Warina Zaya Bahou becomes a U.S. citizen today in Sterling Heights, Michigan. She's an immigrant from Iran. What makes the ceremony remarkable is the birth date of the new citizen. She was born in 1900. Back then, Iran still had kings and William McKinley was president of the United States. Now at age 111 she becomes the second oldest person to be naturalized as an American. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The uproar over a video that appears to show four U.S. Marines urinating on the bodies of three dead Taliban fighters in Afghanistan continues, and as we reported yesterday investigators believe they've identified two of the men and are vowing that if they're guilty of what seems to have happened they will be brought to justice.

More than 150 leaders in the conservative evangelical Christian community are getting together Friday and Saturday at a private ranch west of Houston in a last-ditch effort to derail Mitt Romney's march to the Republican nomination.

The meeting, which will feature state and regional leaders as well as prominent pastors and national-profile evangelical stars, is not intended as a Romney-bashing event, says Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and a big voice among conservative evangelicals.

After a train journey of nearly 6,000 miles from Moscow, the Russian Pacific port of Vladivostok can feel like a different country. The people and the language are still Russian, but the strong Asian influence is undeniable. And many residents say the bond to the rest of Russia has been growing weaker, while the ties to Asia have been growing stronger since the Soviet breakup two decades ago. NPR's David Greene has this report as he wraps up his journey on the Trans-Siberian railway.

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