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Environment
4:33 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Put Down Oil Drill, Pick Up The Test Tube: Making Fuel From Yeast

Jay Keasling (left), speaking with Rajit Sapar at the Joint BioEnergy Institute, is pioneering a technique to develop diesel fuel from yeast.
Courtesy of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 10:41 pm

What if we could get our gasoline, diesel fuel and jet fuel from yeast instead of from oil wells? That's not as crazy as it sounds. In fact, it's already happening on a small scale. And there's a vigorous research effort to ramp this up on a massive scale.

One of the more innovative approaches uses a new technology called "synthetic biology." Jay Keasling is one of the leaders in this hot field.

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Science
4:33 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Tips For Surviving A Mega-Disaster

Patong beach in Phuket, Thailand, was destroyed by the tsunami on Dec. 25, 2004. More than 230,000 people died.
Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 10:39 am

The U.S. is ready for tornadoes, but not tsunamis.

That's the conclusion of a panel of scientists who spoke this week on "mega-disasters" at the American Geophysical Union's science policy meeting in Washington, D.C.

The nation has done a good job preparing for natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes, which occur frequently but usually produce limited damage and relatively few casualties, the panelists said. But government officials are just beginning to develop plans for events like a major tsunami or a large asteroid hurtling toward a populated area.

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Education
4:33 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Student Loan Rates Set To Double On July 1

The interest rate on new Stafford loans is going to jump from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent Monday.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 4:00 pm

The interest rate on government-backed student loans is going to jump from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent Monday.

Republicans, Democrats and the Obama administration could not agree on a plan to keep it from happening. Lawmakers say a deal is still possible after the July 4 recess. But if they don't agree on a plan soon, 7 million students expected to take out new Stafford loans could be stuck with a much bigger bill when they start paying the money back.

It has been one of the more heated debates in Washington this year.

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Music Interviews
2:00 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Omar Grows Up To Become 'The Man'

Omar's new album, The Man, is his first project in seven years.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 10:42 am

British singer Omar was a child musician back in the '70s and '80s, but he's done a lot of growing up since then. Now married with two daughters, Omar has a new album, The Man, which marks a turning point in his life.

"It's about changing," he says. "Since I've had [my girls], there's a purpose to my life now. It's about growth, development and evolution."

The Man is the singer's first project in seven years. Stripped down to a natural level, the album is assembled in a way that hearkens back to the musician's early days.

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StoryCorps
10:00 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

For A Mom, Learning To Accept A Gay Son Was 'Nonnegotiable'

After Samuel Taylor came out to his mother, Connie Casey, the pair had several very difficult years. But in time, Connie realized she had to re-examine her feelings about homosexuality.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 7:13 am

Samuel Taylor was raised in a religious family. When he came out to his mother, Connie Casey, she sent him to a series of conversion therapy ministries affiliated with Exodus International, the Christian organization that folded this month and apologized to the gay community for trying to "correct" same-sex attraction.

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The Two-Way
6:38 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Regulators File Charges Against Corzine Over MF Global Debacle

Federal regulators are suing former MF Global Holdings CEO Jon Corzine, accusing him of not properly supervising the company that filed for bankruptcy back in 2011. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission says Corzine failed to keep money that belonged to the brokerage's customers from being used to cover MF Global's obligations.

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It's All Politics
6:00 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Rick Perry Co-Stars In Texas Political Drama

The fight over restrictive abortion legislation in Texas has given Gov. Rick Perry a chance to underscore his conservative credentials.
Tony Gutierrez AP

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 6:40 pm

An irony of the recent Texas political theater: Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis' filibuster aimed at stopping anti-abortion legislation raised not only her profile but that of Republican Gov. Rick Perry.

Shortly after Davis' talkathon ran out the clock on a bill that would potentially have made abortions much harder for women in Texas to obtain after 20 weeks of pregnancy, Perry put himself back in the national headlines.

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Code Switch
6:00 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Moscato: The Gateway Wine For People Of Color?

Nicki Minaj is part owner of the coconut moscato brand MYX.
MYX

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 10:28 am

The wine of the moment — well, the past few years, actually — has been moscato. And its rise has been astronomical.

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Critics' Lists: Summer 2013
5:55 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Summer Adventure: 5 Thrilling, Chilling, Far-Ranging Reads

Andrew Bannecker

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 8:38 pm

Reading always turns any season into summer. Maybe it's because I associate my first bouts of time with books with time out of school, with summer afternoons on the back porch when the weather made it too hot to play, and the air seemed just quiet enough that you could focus your early reading skills on the page before you and make a story emerge from the shapes and squiggles printed there. Even for someone as fortunate as I am, someone who reads for a living, summer always feels like a special time.

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Movie Reviews
5:50 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Blood Will Tell: In 'Byzantium,' A Gothic Vampire Diary

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Clara (Gemma Arterton) is the elder — but not necessarily the most responsible — of a mother-daughter pair of "sucreants," or blood-drinking immortals some call vampires, in Neil Jordan's Byzantium.
Christopher Raphael IFC Films

Neil Jordan seems well aware that audiences may be feeling deep fatigue about vampires. So with his latest, the director of Interview With the Vampire makes a vampire film that seeks to reinvent the species, while harking back to a more classical — read: less sparkly — take on the genre.

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