Not all viruses are bad for us. Some of them might even help up us fight off bacterial infections someday.
Naturally occurring viruses called bacteriophages attack specific types of bacteria. So researchers at the University of Leicester decided to try and take advantage of phages' bacteria-destroying powers to treat infections with Clostridium difficile, a germ that that can cause severe diarrhea and inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.
It's been a tough week for the Tea Party and its supporters in Congress. The Affordable Care Act survived the Capitol Hill standoff largely untouched. President Obama and the Democrats stared them down and won. And fights with establishment Republicans revealed the depth of division within the GOP.
President Obama today named former Pentagon lawyer Jeh Johnson as his choice to lead the Department of Homeland Security. If confirmed by the Senate, Johnson would succeed Janet Napolitano who stepped down in August. The president said of Johnson, he's a cool and calm leader with experience running big, complex organizations. As NPR's Scott Horsley reports, he'll need those skills to tackle what President Obama himself called a monumental task.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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One effect of the 16-day government shutdown is that economists have had only a murky picture of the state of the economy. That's because the government is one of the most important sources of economic data. And as NPR's Dan Bobkoff reports, most of the people responsible for compiling and analyzing the numbers were furloughed, even barred from checking their email.
Migrants arrive in Valletta, the Maltese capital, aboard a patrol boat on Oct. 12, a day after their boat sank, killing more than 30 people, mostly women and children — just the latest deadly migrant tragedy to hit the Mediterranean. Despite Europe's financial crisis illegal immigrants continue to attempt to enter Europe through its southern coastal countries as they seek a better life.
Credit AFP / Getty Images
Isoken Philips, 27, is a Nigerian migrant living in Algeciras. Philips arrived in the country five years ago, after a four-year journey north from Nigeria through Niger, Mali, Algeria and Morocco.
Credit Lauren Frayer / NPR
In Italy, men carry the coffins of victims of the Lampedusa tragedy in Porto Empedocle near Agrigento in Sicily on Oct. 15.
Credit Marcello Paternostro / AFP/Getty Images
Bathers enjoying the beach while Africa is seen in the distance on Aug. 30, in Tarifa, Spain. Thousands of African migrants have landed in Tarifa, on flimsy boats that make the dangerous journey across the Straits of Gibraltar, from Morocco.
Credit Pablo Blazquez Dominguez / Getty Images
Isidoro Macías Martín, aka "Padre Patera," stands in front of his monastery office across the street from the port of Algeciras, in southern Spain. Martín is a Franciscan brother who for 40 years has been the first point of contact in Spain for thousands of Africans arriving illegally by boat.
Thugs with machetes killed Muhammed's two younger brothers. They were coming for him next.
Lingering violence from an 11-year civil war sent Muhammed fleeing his village in Sierra Leone. He escaped to the coast and paid smugglers to sneak him into the cargo hold of a ship at port. He had no idea where he was going.
"There was no light, no food — nothing for 10 days," he recalls. "I was very hopeless. I'd been in the darkness for 10 days."
You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. In San Antonio on Saturday, 1,000 activists are expected to rally at the Alamo. They are gun owners gathering to protest what they say have been illegal efforts by police to restrict their right to openly carry guns. To help make the point, they will be protesting armed. Ryan Lloyd of Texas Public Radio reports.
RYAN LLOYD, BYLINE: Earlier this week in the central Texas town of Temple, C.J. Grissom(ph) was outside firing off a few rounds.
Two weeks ago, NPR reported on a group of Pentecostals in Appalachia who handle snakes in church to prove their faith in God. The story got us thinking: Why are the handlers bitten so rarely, and why are so few of those snakebites lethal?
Leonarda Dibrani, 15, holds her sister, Medina, in Mitrovica, Kosovo, on Friday. Police seized Leonarda from a school field trip last week and expelled her and her family from France. The case has prompted protests across France.
A 15-year-old schoolgirl is at the center of an emotional debate in France over the country's immigration policies.
Leonarda Dibrani was taken away by police during a field trip with her school class last week and deported along with her parents and five siblings to Kosovo. Many French are outraged at the way she was seized. And whether the deportation was legal or not, many say the action runs contrary to French human rights values.
The departure time for Wyoming's inaugural Women's Antelope Hunt was set for 5:30 a.m. — but that was before a snowstorm hit. By 6 a.m., the electricity is still out, wind and snow are howling and antsy women in camouflage are eating eggs by candlelight.
Marilyn Kite, Wyoming's first female state Supreme Court justice and one of the people who dreamed up the hunt, is among them.
"We've found it to be just great recreation, lots of fun, and the camaraderie of it is why you do it, really," Kite says. "But we also really like the meat."
Environmental groups are fighting to stop the leveling of 154 acres of coast redwoods and Douglas firs to make way for grapevines.
Credit Courtesy Friends of the Gualala River
Coast redwood trees stand at Muir Woods National Monument in Mill Valley, Calif. Redwoods are the biggest trees on Earth by height — they can grow more than 350 feet tall. But their range is quite limited: They only grow along the coast of Northern California and southern Oregon.
Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 4:18 pm
In the California wine mecca of Sonoma County, climate change is pitting redwood lovers against red wine lovers.
This Friday morning, a coalition of environmental groups are in a Santa Rosa, Calif., courtroom fighting to stop a Spanish-owned winery from leveling 154 acres of coast redwoods and Douglas firs to make way for grapevines.
Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 5:58 pm
After successfully staring down congressional Republicans in the shutdown-debt ceiling fight, President Obama pivoted to immigration in a move with almost no downside.
That makes it perfect as the next vehicle for him to use to cause the GOP major indigestion.
Before being re-elected last year, President Obama said he hoped the Republican "fever" of opposition to him would break during his second term. But if the just-completed standoff is any indication, that temperature is still spiking.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm John Dankosky. Ira Flatow is away. After nearly three weeks, the shutdown is finally over. The Smithsonian is open, national parks have opened up their gates, and federal labs all over the country are turning on their lights. But not everyone is back to business as usual. Many scientists who were about to start their field season in Antarctica had their trips cancelled or postponed.
Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 1:56 pm
The crew of a U.S.-owned ship has been arrested at a port in India for allegedly trying to enter territorial waters illegally carrying what's been described as a "huge cache" of weapons.
The 35 crew members on MV Seaman Guard Ohio, owned by Washington, D.C.-based AdvanFort, were detained on Saturday by the Indian Coast Guard. The vessel is currently at anchor in the port of Tuticorin in the southeastern state of Tamil Nadu.
Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 7:48 am
"We the undersigned, are distressed about the continuing divide that persists in the North American evangelical church in the area of racial harmony."
That's the first line of a four-page open letter to American Evangelicals ("On Cultural Insensitivity and Reconciliation in the Church") from a coalition called Asian American Christians United. The letter was released earlier this week.
A physician collects medical equipment and medicines from the remains of the partially destroyed Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque compound hospital in Cairo on Aug. 15.
Credit Khaled Desouki / AFP/Getty Images
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi shout slogans against the military and interior ministry in front of Amr Ibn El-Aas mosque after Eid al-Adha prayers in Cairo on Tuesday. A crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood has expanded now to charities and mosques linked to the Islamist group.
Mohammed is a teacher, and for the past 17 years, he has also worked with an Islamic charity in Cairo. But a little more than two weeks ago that charity was shut down.
Security forces raided its office, took everything and began searching for the head of the board of directors because he's connected to the Muslim Brotherhood — the Islamist group of ousted President Mohammed Morsi.
Mohammed, who asked that only his first name be used, fled.
Just a few years before the start of the Civil War, two anti-slavery books became best-sellers in the United States. One was Uncle Tom's Cabin, the Harriet Beecher Stowe opus that went on to become the best-selling novel of the 19th century.
The other was a memoir with a mouthful of a title: Twelve Years a Slave: Narrative of Solomon Northup, a citizen of New-York, kidnapped in Washington City in 1841, and rescued in 1853 from a cotton plantation near the Red River in Louisiana.
NPR's business news start with Google at an all-time high.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GREENE: The Internet giant shares soared to new heights this morning, topping $1,000 a share. Google reported better than expected third-quarter sales and profits, reporting a profit of nearly $3 billion during the third quarter, up nearly 40 percent from a year earlier.
It is now the fourth company trading on a major exchange to have a stock price of $1,000 or more. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.