Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was in Springfield, Ill., Wednesday where she sought to use the symbolism of a historic landmark to draw parallels to a present-day America that is in need of repairing deepening racial and cultural divides.

The Old State Capitol — where Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous "A house divided" speech in 1858 warning against the ills of slavery and where Barack Obama launched his presidential bid in 2007 — served as the backdrop for Clinton as she spoke of how "America's long struggle with race is far from finished."

Episode 711: Hooked on Heroin

1 hour ago

When we meet the heroin dealer called Bone, he has just shot up. He has a lot to say anyway. He tells us about his career--it pretty much tracks the evolution of drug use in America these past ten years or so. He tells us about his rough past. And he tells us about how he died a week ago. He overdosed on his own supply and his friend took his body to the emergency room, then left.

New British Prime Minister Theresa May announced six members of her Cabinet Wednesday.

Amid a sweeping crackdown on dissent in Egypt, security forces have forcibly disappeared hundreds of people since the beginning of 2015, according to a new report from Amnesty International.

It's an "unprecedented spike," the group says, with an average of three or four people disappeared every day.

The Republican Party, as it prepares for its convention next week has checked off item No. 1 on its housekeeping list — drafting a party platform. The document reflects the conservative views of its authors, many of whom are party activists. So don't look for any concessions to changing views among the broader public on key social issues.

Many public figures who took to Twitter and Facebook following the murder of five police officers in Dallas have faced public blowback and, in some cases, found their employers less than forgiving about inflammatory and sometimes hateful online comments.

As Venezuela unravels — with shortages of food and medicine, as well as runaway inflation — President Nicolas Maduro is increasingly unpopular. But he's still holding onto power.

"The truth in Venezuela is there is real hunger. We are hungry," says a man who has invited me into his house in the northwestern city of Maracaibo, but doesn't want his name used for fear of reprisals by the government.

The wiry man paces angrily as he speaks. It wasn't always this way, he says, showing how loose his pants are now.

Ask a typical teenage girl about the latest slang and girl crushes and you might get answers like "spilling the tea" and Taylor Swift. But at the Girl Up Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., the answers were "intersectional feminism" — the idea that there's no one-size-fits-all definition of feminism — and U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

4 hours ago
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Pages

3 Scientists Share 2013 Nobel Prize For Chemistry

Oct 9, 2013

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. This year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry will be shared by three scientists who took chemistry inside the world of computing. This powerful technology is now used to develop drugs and perform all sorts of vital tasks in chemistry. The three winners were all born overseas but collaborated in the United States and elsewhere in the 1970s, where they started their work.

Joining us to introduce the laureates and talk about their work, which is so advanced the rest of us could barely understand it, is NPR science correspondent Richard Harris. Richard, good morning.

(LAUGHTER)

RICHARD HARRIS, BYLINE: Good morning, Steve. Yeah, this is a tough one. But it's fun and it is so fundamental to what's going on in chemistry.

INSKEEP: OK.

HARRIS: It's worth spending a moment to understand it. But let's start with the guys who won.

INSKEEP: All right.

HARRIS: And first is Martin Karplus, who was born in Vienna, Austria in 1930.

INSKEEP: All right.

HARRIS: He came to the U.S. to get his Ph.D. and now he's a professor both at Harvard - where he's done a lot of his work - and at the University of Strasbourg in France. He shares the prize with Michael Levitt who was born in Pretoria, South Africa, in 1947, but he now has joint U.S. and British citizenship and he's at the Stanford University medical school.

And third, Arieh Warshel, who was born on a kibbutz in 1940 and is now a joint U.S.-Israeli citizen. And he is at the University of Southern California. So talk about international science, you can't get much more international than this.

INSKEEP: And another Nobel Prize for, in effect, a collaboration, a reminder that we're talking about things that are so complex it's hard to fit them in one brain, basically. What do they do?

HARRIS: Absolutely. Yeah. Well, what they did was - this story really goes back to the early 1970s. Martin Karplus was working at Harvard and he and his group were trying to work in the sort of the spooky world of quantum mechanics. Now if you have - want to understand chemistry, you can have those ball and stick models which is kind of a classical way of looking chemistry, or you can do the fancy math of quantum mechanics that sort of looks at how electrons float back and forth in ways that are really not intuitive but are mathematically...

INSKEEP: When we say chemistry in this case we're talking about substances at an atomic level.

HARRIS: Absolutely.

INSKEEP: And how they interact.

HARRIS: Yeah. So he was trying to understand molecules at this really basic physical atomic level and he could do some very basic simulations of that with his computer models but he couldn't really do big, big simulations. But interestingly, Arieh Warshel, who was working in Israel getting his Ph.D., was working with Michael Levitt, actually, and the two of them were working on computer simulations that were more like the familiar ball and stick model of molecules. They were able to do much bigger simulations of chemistry.

INSKEEP: Oh, you mean those drawings that you see in classrooms that model...

HARRIS: The drawings or even the, sort of the Tinker Toy kinds of models...

INSKEEP: OK. OK.

HARRIS: ...that chemists often use. So at any rate, so that allowed them to solve much bigger problems but they couldn't get the detail that you could get by doing the quantum mechanics. So at any rate, Warshel shows up in Karplus' lab at Harvard and they realized there might be a way to pull these two approaches together, kind of the chocolate and peanut butter combination, if you will.

And they actually were able to say, let's do a model that includes quantum mechanics and these more sort of standard ball-and-stick kinds of models. And lo and behold, they figured out a way to bring those two very different methods together to provide incredibly powerful computer models of molecules.

INSKEEP: OK. So I'm imagining this like a zoom lens on a camera. They want to get in finer and finer and finer resolution on what they're trying to understand. They did what they did. So what are their discoveries good for?

HARRIS: Well, all sorts of things because these days these models are used everywhere. For drug development, you take a computer model. Instead of having to do a million chemical experiments in a lab, you can create one of these computer models of an enzyme if you want to have a drug that's working against - working to change the enzyme. And you can sort of figure out how things will fit together on this.

And so it's for - you could do that for that, for catalysts, like the catalyst inside your automobile that cleans the exhaust, understanding how that works. Just, you know, it's endless. Anything that you can do in chemistry is done with computers these days.

INSKEEP: From medicine to mechanics. Richard, thanks very much.

HARRIS: My pleasure.

INSKEEP: With the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.