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3:07am

Thu April 17, 2014
NPR Story

Spring Breakers Who Want Snow And Thrills Ski Tuckerman's Ravine

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 4:43 am

On a clear weekend day, as many as 3,000 people will make the three-mile trek up the side of New Hampshire's Mount Washington to the snowfields, defying steep terrain and the threat of avalanches.

1:30am

Thu April 17, 2014
The Salt

Plant Breeders Release First 'Open Source Seeds'

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 5:36 am

Backers of the new Open Source Seed Initiative will pass out 29 new varieties of 14 different crops, including broccoli, carrots and kale, on Thursday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

A group of scientists and food activists is launching a campaign Thursday to change the rules that govern seeds. They're releasing 29 new varieties of crops under a new "open source pledge" that's intended to safeguard the ability of farmers, gardeners and plant breeders to share those seeds freely.

It's inspired by the example of open source software, which is freely available for anyone to use but cannot legally be converted into anyone's proprietary product.

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1:29am

Thu April 17, 2014
Shots - Health News

Polio Hits Equatorial Guinea, Threatens Central Africa

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 5:41 am

A child receives a polio vaccine Sunday in Kano, Nigeria. The country is the primary source of the virus in Africa but appears to be making progress against the disease; the current outbreak in Cameroon that has spread to Equatorial Guinea came by way of Chad, not Nigeria.
Sunday Alamba AP

Health officials are worried.

After being free of polio for nearly 15 years, Equatorial Guinea has reported two cases of the disease.

The children paralyzed are in two distant parts of the country. So the virus may have spread widely across the small nation.

The outbreak is dangerous, in part, because Equatorial Guinea has the worst polio vaccination rate in the world: 39 percent. Even Somalia, teetering on the brink of anarchy, vaccinates 47 percent of its children.

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1:25am

Thu April 17, 2014
The Salt

Sichuan Pepper's Buzz May Reveal Secrets Of The Nervous System

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 4:43 am

Szechuan peppercorns are a popular in Chinese dishes like ma po tofu to dan dan noodles.
iStockphoto

The Sichuan peppercorn is known to give some Chinese dishes a pleasant tingling feeling.

What's not so pleasant is that pins-and-needles feeling we get when our foot falls asleep — or when patients who suffer from paresthesia experience constant tingling in their limbs.

Diana Bautista, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Berkeley, wondered: Could these sensations be connected?

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5:01pm

Wed April 16, 2014
Shots - Health News

Free Drug Samples Prompt Skin Doctors To Prescribe Costlier Meds

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 7:17 pm

What you're prescribed may depend on what samples your doctor gets from drug companies.
Steve Cole iStockphoto

Every "free" sample comes with a price.

Dermatologists who accept free tubes and bottles of brand-name drugs are likelier to prescribe expensive medications for acne than doctors who are prohibited from taking samples, a study reports Wednesday.

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