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Natural Gas Gives Maine Paper Plant A Competitive Edge

Energy companies are using a drilling technique known as fracking to extract natural gas underground. Many people raise questions about the environmental impact, but there is no doubt fracking has produced lots of natural gas and driven down the price. That has led energy-hungry manufacturers to build plants in fracking hot spots like Texas and Pennsylvania. But even in old factories — far from the drilling or even the pipelines — cheap natural gas is providing a competitive edge.
WAMU 88.5

First Brood II Cicadas Arrive In D.C. Region

Some of the first Brood II cicadas to hit the East Coast emerged from the ground this past weekend, says University of Maryland entomologist Michael Raupp.

NPR

This Scientist Aims High To Save The World's Coral Reefs

Ken Caldeira is trying to come up with a big solution to the problem of increasingly acid oceans: antacids for coral reefs. That might keep the reefs from being destroyed by humans' use of fossil fuels. And that's not his only big idea. But even Caldeira admits that his audacious plan could fail.
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Antares Rocket Launch Is A Success, In Test Of Orbital Supply Vehicle

The Antares rocket launch is back on Sunday afternoon, as engineers and spectators look for the rocket to lift off from a launch pad at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility. The mission had been postponed twice this week, due to high winds in one case and a loose cable in another.

NPR

Fertilizer Shows Its Deadly Side

This week's explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. plant in Texas reminds us of the "cursed" side of the nitrogen that powers most of agriculture around the world. Through habit or necessity, we've come to depend on it. But there are costs.
WAMU 88.5

Patenting Your DNA

Last week, the Supreme Court heard a case -- Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc. -- with questions about the legality of patenting human DNA at its center. We explore the implications of this 21st century case for doctors and patients.

NPR

CDC: U.S. Hospitals Should Be Vigilant For Bird Flu

While there is still conflicting reports about how easily the new strain can be transmitted between humans, the CDC says early intervention is key.
NPR

Climate Change Takes Flight in New Novel

Writer Barbara Kingsolver is one of a handful of novelists with a science background, and she puts it to use in her new novel Flight Behavior. Kingsolver discusses the book and why she chose to look at the the issue of climate change in a fictional work set in rural Tennessee.

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