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Stories by David Biello

Turning Bacteria into Plastic Factories

A new company has found a way to produce polymers from genetically engineered microbes that feed on sugars, replacing fossil-fuel based processes

September 16, 2008 — David Biello

New U.S. storage depot for the highly enriched uranium in nuclear weapons

The "ultra-secure uranium warehouse of the future" in Oak Ridge, Tenn., is now built, if not quite ready for work. Part of Complex 2030—the Bush Administration's ambitious and little known plan to revamp the nation's aging infrastructure for building nuclear weapons—the warehouse will provide one location for the nation's supply of the highly enriched uranium (HEU) that makes for a powerful nuclear bomb...

September 9, 2008 — David Biello

Jet fuel from algae passes first test

No, not flight, not yet. But Solazyme—the mavericks who make their algal oil in the dark—have produced a jet fuel that passes the ASTM's standards for "aviation turbine fuel," otherwise known as jet fuel...

September 9, 2008 — David Biello

Is China's pollution a problem for the U.S.?

You may have read some alarming stories recently about pollution making its way from China to the U.S. Should you worry?

In fact, a cloud of soot, sulfur dioxide and sand from China’s Gobi Desert does make it to cities of the western U.S., where it accounts for, by some measures, as much as 15 percent of local air pollution...

September 3, 2008 — David Biello

World's largest machine--the electric grid--is old and outdated

The U.S. electric grid is so old and outdated it can't handle the influx of wind power and other intermittent renewable resources. Integrating such sources requires adapting a system that is finely tuned to balance the amount of electricity being used with the amount of electricity being generated with fickle winds...

August 28, 2008 — David Biello

Hurricane Gustav hits Haiti and aims for Gulf of Mexico

This hurricane season's seventh storm, Gustav, has already had a bigger impact than all the storms that preceded it. It hasn't killed anyone or done any damage—though it may unleash flooding and mudslides in Haiti—except to drive oil prices above $117 a barrel (a feat the recent war in Georgia did not even accomplish)...

August 26, 2008 — David Biello
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