Researchers at the University of Washington were stumped. They were looking at a protein that causes AIDS in rhesus monkeys, but after 14 years of study, no one was able to figure out the protein's exact structure.
Researcher Firas Khatib tells Rachel Martin, host of weekends on All Things Considered, that even the most advanced imaging techniques couldn't capture this little particle.
"The reason that the problem is so hard is that proteins are so small you can't see them with a microscope," he says.
As he often does during weekends on All Things Considered, Betto Arcos visits the show this week to talk about some of the best new sounds he's been spinning on Global Village, his world music program on KPFK in Los Angeles. His picks this time around include a flamenco-jazz hybrid from Spain, joropo from Colombia, canchona from Washington, D.C. (by way of El Salvador), and a Cuban-inflected dance number from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
A protest in New York dubbed "Occupy Wall Street" appears to be settling in for the long term. Twice a day, protesters leave the tents, makeshift kitchen and free bookstore set up in Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan and begin a slow march down the sidewalk.
In a surprising about-face, Afghan President Hamid Karzai appears to be abandoning his government's long-standing effort to hold peace talks with the Taliban in Pakistan, saying they aren't serious about negotiations. NPR's Quil Lawrence reports.
Friday's drone strike in Yemen eliminated two Americans who have played a key role in the development of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan were, above all else, the group's bridge to the West. The group is largely made up of Yemenis and Saudis who have hardly stepped foot out of the Middle East. That made Awlaki and Khan unique. Host Audie Cornish talks with NPR's Dina Temple-Raston.
A Detroit high school boy's football team had its equipment stolen and its season jeopardized. But through the goodwill of the community and an NFL player, the season will go on. Host Audie Cornish has more.
For 2,000 years, the Dead Sea scrolls were seen by no one. Today, they can be viewed by anyone with access to the Internet. Google and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem teamed up to put high-quality images of the scrolls online. Images of the relics - the oldest known copies of biblical text - went live on the Web last week. Jon Stokes writes about technology for Wired.com. He is also a scholar of biblical history. And he joins us from KALW in San Francisco. Jon Stokes, welcome to the program.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish. The Supreme Court returns to the bench this week after its summer recess. The new term begins tomorrow with some 50 cases on the docket. Several of them deal with hot-button political issues. Joining us for a primer on what to expect is NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg. Nina, welcome.