3:10pm

Thu January 17, 2013
Environment

Understanding Climate Change, With Help From Thoreau

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 9:35 am

Researchers in Massachusetts and Wisconsin are comparing modern flower blooming data with notes made by Henry David Thoreau and Aldo Leopold. The sight of irises blooming during a Boston winter helped spur the research.
Darlyne A. Murawski Getty Images/National Geographic Creative

Modern scientists trying to understand climate change are engaged in an unlikely collaboration — with two beloved but long-dead nature writers: Henry David Thoreau and Aldo Leopold.

The authors of Walden and A Sand County Almanac and last spring's bizarrely warm weather have helped today's scientists understand that the first flowers of spring can continue to bloom earlier, as temperatures rise to unprecedented levels.

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3:10pm

Thu January 17, 2013
Crisis In The Housing Market

Homebuilding Is Booming, But Skilled Workers Are Scarce

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 3:29 pm

New homebuilding reached a 4 1/2 year high in December, welcome news for an industry that lost 2 million jobs during the downturn. Despite those job losses, the sector is experiencing a labor shortage in some parts of the U.S.
Tony Dejak AP

The construction industry in the U.S. is staging a comeback. In one indicator, the Commerce Department announced Thursday that new homebuilding has reached its highest level in 4 1/2 years.

While that's a promising sign for the industry, more than 2 million construction jobs have been lost in the sector since employment hit its peak. While some might expect that means plenty of people are ready to fill the new jobs, many markets around the country are actually experiencing a shortage of construction workers.

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3:10pm

Thu January 17, 2013
Shots - Health News

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

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 7:48 am

Slides containing DNA sit in a bay waiting to be analyzed by a genome sequencing machine.
David Paul Morris Bloomberg via Getty Images

Getting the results of a genetic test can be a bit like opening Pandora's box. You might learn something useful or interesting, or you might learn that you're likely to develop an incurable disease later on in life.

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2:40pm

Thu January 17, 2013
It's All Politics

Some House Republicans Deny Risk Of Default In Debt Ceiling Debate

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 3:10 pm

Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp, shown in June 2012, says the U.S. won't default unless the president chooses to let it happen.
John Hanna AP

The federal government hit its debt limit at the end of last year. Since then, the Treasury Department has been taking what it calls "extraordinary measures" to keep the government funded and avoid defaulting on U.S. obligations.

But those measures will run out sometime between the middle of February and early March. Then it's up to Congress to raise the debt limit.

House Republicans are wrestling with the best strategy at a retreat Thursday and Friday in Virginia. And some have been denying that there is a risk of default if the debt ceiling isn't raised.

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2:38pm

Thu January 17, 2013
All Tech Considered

Bump On The Road For Driverless Cars Isn't Technology, It's You

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 10:07 pm

Car companies are picking up automobile concepts such as this Lexus SL 600 Integrated Safety driverless research vehicle, shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in early January in Las Vegas.
Julie Jacobson AP

1:57pm

Thu January 17, 2013
Education

Seattle High School's Teachers Toss District's Test

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 3:10 pm

Garfield High School's academic dean and testing coordinator, Kris McBride, at a news conference announcing the teachers' boycott of the MAP test in Seattle on Jan. 10.
Ann Dornfeld for NPR

An entire school of teachers in Seattle is refusing to give students a standardized test that's required by the district. The teachers say the test is useless and wastes valuable instructional time.

Meanwhile, individual teacher protests of standardized tests are popping up nationwide, and the Seattle case may make bigger waves.

'I Just See No Use For It'

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1:57pm

Thu January 17, 2013
U.S.

Aurora Theater's Reopening Sparks Mixed Emotions

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 3:10 pm

Workers dismantle the fence around the remodeled Century theater in Aurora, Colo., in preparation for the cinema's reopening Thursday. The theater's owner sent 2,000 invitations to the private event, being held for victims' families and first responders.
Ed Andrieski AP

The Aurora, Colo., theater where 12 people were killed in a mass shooting last summer reopens Thursday, with a private event for victims' families and first responders.

But some families are giving the event a pass, arguing that the decision to reopen is insensitive. Jessica Watts lives just a few miles from the theater where her cousin, Jonathan Blunk, and 11 others were killed and dozens more wounded.

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1:24pm

Thu January 17, 2013
The Two-Way

AP Credit Will No Longer Be Accepted At Dartmouth

Advanced Placement exams, which many high school students use to gain course credits when they attend college, will no longer be accepted for credit at Dartmouth College, the Associated Press reports.

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12:52pm

Thu January 17, 2013
Shots - Health News

Anonymity In Genetic Research Can Be Fleeting

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 2:12 pm

Each strand of DNA is written in a simple language composed of four letters: A, T, C and G. Your code is unique and could be used to find you.
iStockphoto.com

People who volunteer for medical research usually expect to remain anonymous. That includes people who donate their DNA for use in genetic studies.

But now researchers have shown that in some cases, they can trace research subjects' DNA back to them with ease. And they say the risk of being identified from genetic information will only increase.

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