If you want to protect rare species, first you have to find them. In the past few years, biologists have developed a powerful new tool to do that. They've discovered that they can often find traces of animal DNA in streams, ponds — even oceans.
The idea took root just five years ago, when biologists in France found they could detect invasive American bullfrogs simply by sampling pond water and looking for an exact genetic match to the frogs' DNA.
Teams of workers are mobilizing in the Gulf of Mexico to try to stem a natural gas leak at an offshore drilling rig that exploded and caught fire Tuesday. The rig off the Louisiana coast has been partially destroyed by the out of control blaze, and firefighting boats are on the scene.
Lawyers for the biological father of a Native American child are expected to make a last-ditch appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday, hoping to prevent the return of the child to her adoptive parents.
But the four-year legal saga is likely near an end.
Many businesses that don't offer health insurance to all their employees breathed a sigh of relief earlier this month when they learned they'd have an extra year to comply with the new health care law or face stiff penalties.
President Obama has nominated Caroline Kennedy to serve as the United States' ambassador to Japan.
NPR's Mara Liasson filed this report for our Newscast unit:
"The daughter of President John F. Kennedy and an early and significant supporter of President Obama's, Kennedy is also an attorney and the author of several best-selling books. If confirmed she would fit a tradition for the Japan post — where many other prominent Americans have served. But she would be the first female ambassador to Japan.