All Things Considered on WXPR

Weekdays 4-6 PM

In-depth reporting has transformed the way listeners understand current events and view the world. Every weekday, hear two hours of breaking news mixed with compelling analysis, insightful commentaries, interviews, and special - sometimes quirky - features.  

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This Week's Must Read
4:33 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

An Ode To Our Newest Neighbor: Biden, The Pink Dwarf Planet

two planets
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri March 28, 2014 5:34 pm

This week, astronomers discovered a new dwarf planet at the outer reaches of our solar system. It's a pink, icy ball that's beyond Pluto's orbit. Its official name is 2012 VP113, but scientists have given it the nickname "Biden."

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Parallels
3:32 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Iranians Begin To Feel The Heavy Burden Of Syria's War

A man looks at an unexploded barrel bomb that landed in a cemetery after being dropped by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar Assad in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on Thursday.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 3:04 pm

The Syrian civil war has been a major headache for President Obama. Critics at home and abroad, like Saudi Arabia, where the president was on Friday, have urged the U.S. to do more.

But the U.S. isn't the only country that's faced difficult choices over Syria. Iran and Syria have been close allies for decades. And in Iran, discussions about Syria are surprisingly frank, complex and demonstrate growing divisions over how to handle a costly war that has no end in sight.

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Shots - Health News
5:25 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

How Being Ignored Helped A Woman Discover The Breast Cancer Gene

Mary-Claire King says obscurity gave her the freedom to spend years looking for breast cancer genes.
Mary Levin/University of Washington

Originally published on Sun March 30, 2014 8:17 am

Back in the 1970s, a geneticist named Mary-Claire King decided she needed to figure out why women in some families were much more likely to get breast cancer.

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Middle East
4:27 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

President Prepares To Meet King As U.S.-Saudi Divisions Deepen

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 6:03 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Politics
4:27 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Voting Rights Fight Takes New Direction

An election official checks a voter's photo identification at an early-voting polling site in Austin, Texas.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 6:03 pm

It's that time again, when primary voters start casting their ballots for the midterm elections. As in recent years, voters face new rules and restrictions, including the need in 16 states to show a photo ID.

But this year, some voting rights activists say they're seeing a change — fewer new restrictions and, in some places, even a hint of bipartisanship.

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Shots - Health News
3:45 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Custom Chromo: First Yeast Chromosome Built From Scratch

The research team used yeast chromosome No. 3 as the model for their biochemical stitchery. Pins and white diamonds in the illustration represent "designer changes" not found in the usual No. 3; yellow stretches represent deletions.
Lucy Reading-Ikkanda

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 6:03 pm

Using the labor of dozens of undergraduate students, scientists have built a customized yeast chromosome from scratch.

It's a milestone in the rapidly growing field of synthetic biology, where organisms can be tailored for industrial use. In this case, the near-term goal is to understand the genetics of yeast, and eventually the genetics of us.

This was quite an undertaking. Yeast have about 6,000 genes packed in 16 tidy bundles called chromosomes. Each chromosome is an enormous molecule of DNA packed in proteins.

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Book Reviews
3:45 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Book Review: 'How To Dance As The Roof Caves In'

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 5:25 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Making poetry out of something as messy as the recent housing crisis may sound like a tall order, but Nick Lantz has done it. The collection is called "How to Dance as the Roof Caves In." Our reviewer, Tess Taylor says calls it biting but tender.

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History
3:45 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

When A Record Quake Struck Alaska, One Small Church Survived

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 6:03 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Fifty years ago today, the most powerful recorded earthquake in North American history struck Alaska. The quake, which measured 9.2 on the Richter scale, was also the second largest in recorded history. The trembler and the ensuing tsunami resulted in 30 deaths and caused massive destruction, including landslides that destroyed scores of city blocks in Anchorage.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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All Tech Considered
5:56 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

From The Birth Of The iPhone To An Era Of Lawsuits

One of the earliest iPhone prototypes. This system was pieced together to test early versions of the iPhone's software.
Courtesy of Apple

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 7:24 pm

Next week Apple and Samsung are heading back to court. The two technology giants have been locked in an ongoing patent battle for years.

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Shots - Health News
5:30 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Brain Changes Suggest Autism Starts In The Womb

Researchers say intervention in early childhood may help the developing brain compensate by rewiring to work around the trouble spots.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 10:03 am

The symptoms of autism may not be obvious until a child is a toddler, but the disorder itself appears to begin well before birth.

Brain tissue taken from children who died and also happened to have autism revealed patches of disorganization in the cortex, a thin sheet of cells that's critical for learning and memory, researchers report in the New England Journal of Medicine. Tissue samples from children without autism didn't have those characteristic patches.

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