Michelle Trudeau began her radio career in 1981, filing stories for NPR from Beijing and Shanghai, China, where she and her husband lived for two years. She began working as a science reporter and producer for NPR's Science Desk since 1982. Trudeau's news reports and feature stories, which cover the areas of human behavior, child development, the brain sciences, and mental health, air on NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

Crime In The City
12:26 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Robert Crais: LA Is A 'Natural Canvas' For Nightmare

The canals in LA's Venice neighborhood serve as the scene of a murder in Robert Crais' 2011 novel, The Sentry.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 10:50 am

It's been a few decades, and many published books, but Robert Crais can tell you exactly when mystery writing first caught his attention: He was a bright 15-year-old living in Baton Rouge, La., when he read Raymond Chandler's The Little Sister, which depicted the shady side of sunny Los Angeles through the eyes of private investigator Philip Marlowe.

Since then, Crais has found huge success with his own crime novels, also set in LA. The city is the perfect canvas for a modern mystery, and Crais' eyes still grow wide when he talks about what Chandler painted on it.

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First And Main
12:26 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Weary Wis. Union Workers Face Another Campaign

Joan Kaeding is a reference assistant at the Oshkosh Public Library. NPR talked to her at New Moon Cafe in downtown Oshkosh. She says she's fielding lots of questions at the library about the new health care law.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 1:37 pm

As the presidential election nears, Morning Edition is visiting swing counties in swing states for our series First and Main. We're listening to voters where they live — to understand what's shaping their thinking this election year.

This week, we're visiting Winnebago County, Wis. — a county that went Republican in the 2004 presidential election and flipped to the Democrats in 2008.

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Art & Design
12:25 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Hopper's Pensive Lady In Pink Travels The World

Edward Hopper's wife, Josephine N. Hopper, served as his model for 1952's Morning Sun.
Columbus Museum of Art/Howald Fund

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 10:50 am

It's one of the ultimate images of summer: a woman in a short, pink slip sits on a bed, her knees pulled up to her chest, gazing out a window. Her hair is tucked back into a bun. Her bare arms rest lightly on her bare legs.

Edward Hopper painted her in 1952 for a work called Morning Sun. The picture has been widely reproduced for decades. But on a recent visit to its home at the Columbus Museum of Art in Columbus, Ohio, it was nowhere to be found.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:25 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Search For Parkinson's Genes Turns To Online Social Networking

Submitting a DNA sample to networking company 23andMe entails spitting a saliva sample into a plastic vial.
23andMe

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 10:50 am

There's a growing interest in what our genes say about our health. And in recent years, quite a few companies have sprung up to help us listen with the help of personalized DNA tests.

For a few hundred dollars and a vial of spit, these companies will search your DNA for sequences that predict your physical traits, your response to certain drugs and your risk for any number of diseases.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:23 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Why Can Some People Recall Every Day Of Their Lives? Brain Scans Offer Clues

Researchers are using MRI scans to learn more about the brains of people with extraordinary memory.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 10:50 am

Six years ago, we told you about a woman, identified as A.J., who could remember the details of nearly every day of her life. At the time, researchers thought she was unique. But since then, a handful of such individuals have been identified. And now, researchers are trying to understand how their extraordinary memories work.

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Around the Nation
9:46 pm
Sun August 19, 2012

Study Reveals The Geography of Charitable Giving

Attorneys Cheryl Curtis and her husband, Dana Foster, live in Washington, D.C., and donate generously to a nearby nonprofit that helps low-income residents. "Now that I have more, I want to give to organizations that provide just basic food for people," Curtis says.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 10:50 am

Ever wonder how charitable the people are who live in your state or community? It turns out that lower-income people tend to donate a much bigger share of their discretionary incomes than wealthier people do. And rich people are more generous when they live among those who aren't so rich.

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Around the Nation
3:20 pm
Sun August 19, 2012

Teen Pregnancy Declines, But U.S. Still Lags

Roxana Castro sits in an orange chair in the waiting room at Mary's Center in Washington, D.C. She's 17, and expecting a baby boy next month. The pregnancy was a surprise, she says, mostly for her parents, but also for the baby's father.

Even with her mother's help, Castro admits she's nervous. The father of the baby says he'll be there, but she knows this is a big responsibility, and says she's not ready to start a family just yet.

"A baby is so fragile," she says. "I don't know how to take care of it or anything."

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Why Music Matters
1:49 pm
Sun August 19, 2012

Dark Side Of The Operating Room

Divya Singh in the operating room.
Anna Boiko-Weyrauch

Originally published on Sun August 19, 2012 3:20 pm

Weekends on All Things Considered continues its "Why Music Matters" series with a story from the operating room.

"The O.R. is a naturally rhythmic place, in that you have the beating of the anesthesia machines and the autoclave comes on," says Divya Singh, an orthopedic and hand surgeon. "So music just becomes another sound."

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Europe
1:39 pm
Sun August 19, 2012

For Romania's Orphans, Adoption Is Still A Rarity

A disabled and orphaned Romanian child in his bed at the Targu Jiu orphanage in southwestern Romania in 2009. Romania has, in general, improved conditions in orphanages that provoked outrage when they were exposed internationally nearly a quarter-century ago. However, some 70,000 kids are still in the care of the state.
Thomas Coex AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 19, 2012 2:14 pm

First of two stories

The 1989 overthrow and execution of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu provided the first glimpse of a country that had been mostly closed to the outside world — and many of the scenes were appalling.

Among the most disturbing were images of tens of thousands of abandoned children suffering abuse and neglect in Romania's orphanages. Many were confined to cribs, wallowing in their own filth and facing mental health issues.

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