Federal judge knocks down 2 permits needed for proposed $2 billion Kalama methanol plant
SEATTLE — A U.S. District Court judge in Tacoma struck down Army Corps of Engineers permits for a proposed $2 billion methanol plant in Kalama, Cowlitz County, because they were not the result of a full review of greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts, according to a ruling released Monday.The loss of the two federal permits is the latest in a series of setbacks for the project first proposed in 2014 by NW Innovation Works to convert natural gas to methanol for shipment to China. The project also has so far failed to gain approval by the state Ecology Department.The permits —...
The Seattle Times
New details in notorious 1990 'killer clown' case show why prosecutors are so sure who was under the wig
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — After South Florida’s killer clown slipped away three decades ago, witnesses told investigators the culprit wearing white makeup and an orange wig looked like a man.But finally it’s been revealed that evidence found in the getaway car — a strand of burgundy head hair with the root attached — is why authorities in 2017 unmasked the clown as a woman: Sheila Keen Warren.In court documents filed this month, Palm Beach County prosecutors gave new insights into how they intend to use DNA evidence and other findings to win a conviction in the 1990 murder of Marlene Warren.It’s...
This scientist paved the way for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine
PHILADELPHIA — When Drew Weissman first started injecting mice with genetic molecules called messenger RNA, it did not go well.Many of the animals became overwhelmed with harmful inflammation, and some died.But Weissman solved that problem with a bit of clever biochemistry 15 years ago, working with then-colleague Katalin Karikó at the University of Pennsylvania. Now their work forms the backbone of two vaccines for COVID-19, including the one for which dramatic early results were announced this week.The vaccine made by Pfizer Inc. and the German firm BioNTech SE, where Karikó now works, appea...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
They're not in the mood. Toxins are turning off great egrets mating in the Everglades
MIAMI — Great egrets in the Everglades are losing their sexual motivation because they are exposed to mercury through the fish they eat, a University of Florida study using more than 20 years of data has found.Researchers observed that mercury contamination led to a 50% reduction in attempts by the birds to breed, showing that the heavy metal is affecting their reproduction process much earlier than previously thought. As most studies have focused on offspring-related metrics such as hatchling success, the recent findings indicate that the full effects of mercury exposure among wading birds ma...
Bill Nye talks about his new book, the 2020 election and how the next generation of kids can save the world
SEATTLE — Before he was “The Science Guy,” Bill Nye came to Seattle in the 1970s to work as a Boeing engineer. A Steve Martin look-alike contest got Nye into comedy, a relationship with John Keister got Nye working on “Almost Live!,” and a canceled guest on the classic KING-TV sketch show allowed Nye to take the spotlight for the first time. (Nye says the details of the story are lost to history, and he jokes that the guest he replaced was either Eddie Vedder, Rita Jenrette or Geraldo Rivera).The rest is history: After “17 short years” cutting his teeth on the Seattle comedy scene, Nye’s energ...
The Seattle Times
Nation and world news briefs
‘That ’70s Show’ star Danny Masterson must head to trial on charges he raped 3 women, judge rulesDanny Masterson, an actor on “That ‘70s Show,” failed to get his Los Angeles rape case dismissed Monday and must appear for arraignment Nov. 2, a judge ruled Monday.The former sitcom star is accused of forcibly raping three women in separate incidents at his Hollywood Hills home between 2001 and 2003.His defense filed a demurrer motion that was denied by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Eleanor J. Hunter early Monday, sources confirmed to the New York Daily News.Masterson’s lawyer Thomas Mesereau d...
Tribune News Service
'Incredibly rare' white baby sea turtle pops out of the sand on South Carolina beach
An “extremely rare” white baby sea turtle was found Sunday on a beach 25 miles south of Charleston, South Carolina, according to Kiawah Island town officials.“You can imagine the excited ‘oohs’ and the ‘aahs’ from the guests, including some College of Charleston students, when the (beach) patroller found a lone, leucistic hatchling in the nest,” town officials wrote on Facebook. “It was a first for everyone.”Leucism is a condition that decreases color pigmentation, experts say, often making an animal appear white or spotted.“Leucism is different from albinism, as albino animals have a complete...
The Charlotte Observer
Seattle-area man is the third person in the US confirmed to have been infected twice with coronavirus
SEATTLE — The Seattle-area nursing home resident first tested positive for the novel coronavirus in early March. He spent more than 40 days in the hospital with fever, pneumonia and difficulty breathing before testing negative multiple times and being discharged.Then, nearly five months later, he got sick again with COVID-19.Now, genetic testing by a team of Seattle physicians and scientists has revealed that sexagenarian’s second bout of the illness caused by the coronavirus in July wasn’t a relapse but a new infection with a slightly different variant of the virus.The patient is only the thi...
The Seattle Times
Coronavirus reinfections are real. Here's what that means for controlling the pandemic.
The first confirmed case of an American who got COVID-19 twice adds to scant but mounting evidence that people can be reinfected with the coronavirus — and get sicker than during the initial bout.The 25-year-old Nevada man, who had no known immune problems, got a mild case of COVID-19 in April. About a month later, he was diagnosed again and needed hospitalization and oxygen, according to the report published Monday in Lancet Infectious Diseases.The authors say at least three other confirmed cases have been published worldwide, including the first in Hong Kong barely two months ago. But the CO...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Zoo scientists revive cells from 40-year deep freeze to clone endangered horse
SAN DIEGO — Kurt looks and acts like any other young horse. He scampers and strides on springy legs, testing their strength. When it’s time to recharge, he nuzzles up to his mother for some nourishing milk.But Kurt is no ordinary horse. Kurt is a clone.The 2-month-old colt is a Przewalski’s horse, a species native to central Asia that once went extinct in the wild and is still critically endangered, with only about 2,000 remaining.San Diego Zoo Global researchers have high hopes that Kurt can help turn things around for his species. He was cloned from skin cells taken from a stallion in 1980 a...
The San Diego Union-Tribune