Doctors are reporting the first evidence that genetically edited cells could offer a safe way to treat sickle cell disease, a devastating, incurable disorder that afflicts millions of people around the world.

Billions of cells that were genetically modified with the powerful gene-editing technique called CRISPR have started working, as doctors had hoped, inside the body of the first sickle cell patient to receive the experimental treatment, according to highly anticipated data released Tuesday.

Two western hostages held for more than three years by Taliban forces in Afghanistan were freed today in southeastern Zabul province in exchange for three Taliban commanders held by the Kabul government, an Afghan official tells NPR's Diaa Hadid. The official requested anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the news media.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

A New Chapter For Sudan

1 hour ago

Editor's note: This is an excerpt of Planet Money's newsletter. You can sign up here.

Sudan is in the midst of massive change. In September, a new 18-member cabinet took the official oath of office, a milestone for the historic joint civilian-military council. And now, as ousted former President Omar al-Bashir awaits trial for corruption, Sudan is beginning to rebuild itself. It just announced a nine-month economic rescue plan.

This year the federal health insurance marketplace Healthcare.gov has a few new bells and whistles. (This piece initially aired on Nov. 3, 2019 on Weekend Edition Sunday.)

A former vaper has a warning for others. And, scientists work to understand how nicotine affects the teenage brain. (This segment initially aired on Oct. 10, 2019 on Morning Edition.)

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

The Democratic presidential primary has taken a back seat to the impeachment inquiry over the past few months, so it's fitting that the fifth candidate debate will take place on the same day that the most anticipated impeachment witness, Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland, testifies before the House Intelligence Committee.

But a lot more than the path to impeachment has changed since the Democratic candidates last gathered on the debate stage.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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