Mobilizing the Planet’s Genetic Diversity with Synthetic Biology

Mobilizing the Planet’s Genetic Diversity with Synthetic Biology

1,4-Butanediol isn’t exactly the flashiest product on the market: with a four-carbon chain bounded by alcohol groups, the thick, colorless liquid is one of those “industrial chemicals” that makes the eyes glaze over. But the diminutive molecule is worth some serious cash, with an estimated global market cap of $2 billion. Ultimately, 1,4-butanediol, also known […]

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Are Microbes the Taste-Makers of the Future?

Are Microbes the Taste-Makers of the Future?

On its journey from plant to ice cream cone, vanilla travels thousands of miles. Shady fields of waist-high vines in Madagascar, the South Pacific, or Latin America produce valuable fruit, which is cured, oxidized, and dried in an intensive sequence of events lasting several weeks. It’s then shipped to markets around the world, just as […]

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Lasers Map the Earth That Moved in Colorado’s Epic Floods

Lasers Map the Earth That Moved in Colorado’s Epic Floods

Lasers and radioactive dating help scientists figure out how much muck the 2013 storms scraped out of the Colorado Rockies.

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Gmail Update Will Wrangle All Your Accounts Into One Inbox

Gmail Update Will Wrangle All Your Accounts Into One Inbox

An updated version of Gmail for Android adds a universal inbox with conversation view for external accounts.

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An Invisible Spray-On Paint to Keep Bikers Safe at Night

An Invisible Spray-On Paint to Keep Bikers Safe at Night

With a spray-on reflective coating called Life Paint, Volvo wants to make cyclists more visible to drivers at night.

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Assembling a Genome, Piece by Piece

Assembling a Genome, Piece by Piece

Metabolic pathways are multi-step endeavors that process one molecule to another, all in the service of cellular health. But not every intermediate waypoint is always seen; they may be consumed quickly as enzymatic reactions progress toward their energy-yielding or food-procuring objectives, rendering potentially useful products invisible to scientists looking for new antibiotics or industrial chemicals. […]

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Jay Z’s Tidal Is Great for Artists, But Maybe Not for Fans

Jay Z’s Tidal Is Great for Artists, But Maybe Not for Fans

Tidal, the new streaming service backed by hip-hop mogul Jay Z, is being touted as an “artist-owned” endeavor. But is it any good for fans?

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How Netflix Is Creating the Ultra-High-Def Future of TV

How Netflix Is Creating the Ultra-High-Def Future of TV

Netflix crystallized the idea of an internet service that streamed unlimited amounts of TV and movies into your home. But the company isn’t finished.

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