The Boston Citgo sign, all 3,600 square LED feet of which has served as the backdrop to Red Sox games since 1965, is now officially a "pending landmark."

Spanish Surrealist Salvador Dalí spent much of the 1940s in the U.S., avoiding World War II and its aftermath. He was a well-known fixture on the art scene in Monterey, Calif. — and that's where the largest collection of Dalí's work on the West Coast is now open to the public.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

The middle of summer is when the surprises in publishing turn up. I'm talking about those quietly commanding books that publishers tend to put out now, because fall and winter are focused on big books by established authors. Which brings us to The Dream Life of Astronauts, by Patrick Ryan, a very funny and touching collection of nine short stories that take place in the 1960s and '70s around Cape Canaveral, Fla.

When the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union last month, the seaside town of Port Talbot in Wales eagerly went along with the move. Brexit was approved by some 57 percent of the town's residents.

Now some of them are wondering if they made the wrong decision.

The June 23 Brexit vote has raised questions about the fate of the troubled Port Talbot Works, Britain's largest surviving steel plant — a huge, steam-belching facility that has long been the town's biggest employer.

Solar Impulse 2 has landed in Cairo, completing the penultimate leg of its attempt to circumnavigate the globe using only the power of the sun.

The trip over the Mediterranean included a breathtaking flyover of the Pyramids. Check it out:

President Obama is challenging Americans to have an honest and open-hearted conversation about race and law enforcement. But even as he sits down at the White House with police and civil rights activists, Obama is mindful of the limits of that approach.

"I've seen how inadequate words can be in bringing about lasting change," the president said Tuesday at a memorial service for five law officers killed last week in Dallas. "I've seen how inadequate my own words have been."

Mice watching Orson Welles movies may help scientists explain human consciousness.

At least that's one premise of the Allen Brain Observatory, which launched Wednesday and lets anyone with an Internet connection study a mouse brain as it responds to visual information.

The FBI says it is giving up on the D.B. Cooper investigation, 45 years after the mysterious hijacker parachuted into the night with $200,000 in a briefcase, becoming an instant folk figure.

"Following one of the longest and most exhaustive investigations in our history," the FBI's Ayn Dietrich-Williams said in a statement, "the FBI redirected resources allocated to the D.B. Cooper case in order to focus on other investigative priorities."

This is the first in a series of essays concerning our collective future. The goal is to bring forth some of the main issues humanity faces today, as we move forward to uncertain times. In an effort to be as thorough as possible, we will consider two kinds of threats: those due to natural disasters and those that are man-made. The idea is to expose some of the dangers and possible mechanisms that have been proposed to deal with these issues. My intention is not to offer a detailed analysis for each threat — but to invite reflection and, hopefully, action.

Pages

Quick TB Test Builds Up Arsenal Against Drug-Resistant Bacteria

Feb 1, 2013
Originally published on February 2, 2013 5:56 pm

The people on the front lines of tuberculosis control have their hands full, but their biggest challenge for the moment may be containing strains of the disease that are resistant to drugs.

Worldwide the number of TB cases is going down. The bad news is that the number of drug-resistant cases is going up. The World Health Organization estimates that the number of reported TB cases that were multi, extremely- or totally-drug resistant doubled between 2009 and 2011.

Until recently, it was extremely difficult to even diagnose drug-resistant TB, particularly in developing countries where the disease is most prevalent. Tests had to be sent to fancy labs and could take up to three months to process.

But hope arrived a few years ago, in the form of a new screening tool called Xpert. It was designed to identify TB bacteria and the most common form of drug resistance in only two hours. But as a new technology, no one was quite sure how effective it was.

Now, a comprehensive analysis of Xpert's performance, published Thursday in the influential Cochrane Library, validates the test as an accurate tool for detecting resistance to one of the leading TB drugs, rifampicin.

At $17,000 for the machine and $9.98 for each test, Xpert is pricey. But this stamp of approval could encourage more health departments in TB endemic countries to spend the dough on this new method of testing.

In the study, researchers at the University of Washington and McGill University analyzed 18 previously published studies involving almost 8,000 TB patients.

They found that, compared to the conventional methods, Xpert could accurately detect a TB infection 88 percent of the time and rifampicin resistance 94 percent of time.

Health workers in the field are a fan of it, too. Doctors in Cape Town, South Africa working with Doctors Without Borders tell Shots the Xpert is a "game changer" in TB control.

They say that by identifying drug-resistant TB earlier, these highly dangerous strains of the air-borne bacteria can be contained and kept from spreading.

The Xpert machine examines the nucleic acid in a patient's sputum – the mucus coughed up from the upper respiratory tract. The spit is put in a cartridge, which is then stuck into the Xpert machine. Within two hours, a doctor will know if the patient has TB and if that form of TB is resistant to rifampicin.

In the conventional TB test, still widely used today, a medical worker looks for the bacteria under the microscope.

If there are signs of an infection, the sample is then sent out for confirmation by culturing the bacteria in a laboratory. This can take up to six weeks to get results, and testing for drug-resistant strains of the bacteria takes even longer.

TB is the second leading cause of death from an infectious disease after HIV, killing an estimated 1.4 million people around the globe in 2011.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.