When a nerve is injured, it's often hard to get it to regrow fast enough to restore function.
But now researchers say they can speed up that process, so that damaged nerves can be healed in days instead of months — at least in rats.
The scientists say they've developed a technique that reconnects the severed ends of a nerve, allowing it to begin carrying messages again very quickly. Usually, severed nerves must regrow from the point of injury — a process that can take months, if it ever happens.
After decades of global dominance, America's space shuttle program ended last summer while countries like Russia, China and India continue to advance their programs. But astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, author of the new book Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier, says America's space program is at a critical moment. He thinks it's time for America to invest heavily in space exploration and research.
The halls of the State Department are haunted, not by actual ghosts, but by people who might as well be ghosts: whistleblowers, people who angered someone powerful and people who for one reason or another, can't be fired.
"People like me, that the State Department no longer wants, but for some reason can't or won't fire, are assigned to what we call 'hallwalking,'" says author Peter Van Buren.
Part two of a two-part series on the Keystone XL pipeline
Gas isn't like a rare bottle of wine that fetches a high price just because it's rare. But at the same time, no one can agree what drives gas prices. Demand for gasoline in the U.S. is at its lowest point in more than a decade; domestic oil production is at an eight-year high.
Syrians vote on a new draft constitution Sunday, though the opposition has called for a boycott. Violence has been reported across the country. Host Rachel Martin talks with NPR's Peter Kenyon about the latest on the bombardment of Homs and other developments in Syria.
For a closer look at the chaos in Syria, we turn now to Jon Lee Anderson. He's a reporter for The New Yorker magazine, and last month he spent time in Syria, reporting on the rapidly devolving situation there.
We reached him at his home in England, and he told us about one moment that has stayed with him - his visit to a place called Clocktower Square, in Homs, the site of intense clashes over the past year.