Syrian President Bashar Assad denied responsibility for the massacre that left more than 100 people dead in Houla in May. Pressure mounts on the Obama administration to consider a more aggressive response to the violence that has plagued Syria for more than a year.
After nine days of deliberations, a jury in North Carolina found John Edwards not guilty on one count of campaign finance fraud, and a federal judge declared a mistrial after they failed to reach a verdict on five more. Afterwards, the former presidential candidate said he'd committed no crimes but admitted to what he called awful wrongs for which he could only blame himself. Observers think it's highly unlikely the Justice Department will seek a retrial.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. For the rest of the hour, a look at an extraordinary life and a heartbreaking loss. In his new memoir "Immortal Bird," Doron Weber takes us to the inner circle of his family, where we meet his son Damon, a smart, likeable, aspiring actor born with a congenital heart defect. At 16, Damon undergoes a heart transplant, and his short life ends not long after in the ICU of a hospital that, according to Doron, seemed to botch his care in multiple and unimaginable ways.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. If you have trouble sleeping, your doctor might send you to a sleep lab and spend $3,000 a night to chart your sleep cycle, or you could do the same thing at home with a commercially available headband, which wirelessly transmits your sleep data to your smartphone for under 100 bucks.
And now for our Video Pick of the Week. Flora's still here and positioned perfectly to take us on a safari.
FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: We're still on safari.
FLATOW: We're still on safari.
LICHTMAN: The safari continues, this time to slightly larger organisms. See if you can see with your naked eye, and maybe in your own backyard. These guys are glow-in-the-dark - I have you already, don't I?
LICHTMAN: Millipedes - which, I didn't know - let me - can I tell you the story of how this came about?
Reporting in Science, researchers write that a combination of therapies, willpower and chocolate helped rats with severe spinal cord injuries learn to walk and even run again. Neurobiologist Moses Chao, not affiliated with the study, discusses the rehab method and whether it could work in humans.
In Ignorance: How It Drives Science, neuroscientist Stuart Firestein writes that science is often like looking for a black cat in a dark room, and there may not be a cat in the room. Firestein discusses why the hit-or-miss process, the "not knowing" is the true engine of science.
Scientists at the University of Leeds are exploring ways to use magnetic bacteria to build biocomputers of the future. Meanwhile, another group of researchers, reporting in Science, write that they have unearthed deep-sea microbe that live off nutrients from the dinosaur age.