Larry Downing / Reuters file
Bio Technician Javier Quinones demonstrates the beginning of the sequencing procedure in the sequencing laboratory at the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Maryland, in 2010.
Here's a snapshot of some of the top stories we're following Wednesday evening:
Should high schools have later start times?
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan made the day of many parents of high school kids this week when he suggested that a later school start time would be beneficial, as it would give teens the opportunity for more sleep. Give Duncan a big high five. Read more on NBC News
Screening genes of newborns: TMI?
The U.S. government is funding an ambitious set of studies into what happens if you screen the entire genome of newborns. But do parents even want to know what fate might await their babies? Read more on NBC News
Senate panel OK’s limited military response in Syria
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday voted to give President Barack Obama the power to a launch a military attack to punish Syria for using chemical weapons. The full Senate could vote as early as next week. Read more on NBC News
Report: Former Syria defense minister defects to Turkey
Former Syrian Defense Minister Gen. Ali Habib, a prominent member of President Bashar Assad's Alawite sect, has defected and is now in Turkey, a senior member of the opposition Syrian National Coalition said Wednesday. Read more on NBC News
Samsung’s Galaxy Gear marks official start of smartwatch war
In announcing the Galaxy Gear, Samsung became the first to lay down the gauntlet in what is expected to be a race with Apple to dominate the smartwatch market. Read more on NBC News
Why you should stop washing your chicken
Stop washing your chicken. Not only is rinsing your poultry before you cook ineffective at killing germs, it can actually spread them, Drexel University researchers say. Read more on NBC News
Pledge of Allegiance challenged in Mass. Supreme Court
A family in suburban Boston hopes to change the phrasing of the Pledge of Allegiance to remove two words they claim violate students' rights. Guess which ones. Read more on NBC News