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U.S. infrastructure crumbling

The nation's roads, bridges, levees, schools, water supply and other infrastructure are in such bad shape that it would take $2.2 trillion over five years to bring them up to speed.

January 28, 2009 — Katherine Harmon

Fertilizing oceans with iron might combat climate change

A now-defunct California company back in 2007 attempted to fertilize the ocean off the coast of Ecuador with iron to prod plankton to grow. Such a bloom, it proclaimed, would suck up carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) and then send it to the ocean floor as the one-celled plants died and sank.

January 28, 2009 — David Biello

Rabbit at Rest: Pulitzer Prize winner and sometime scientistic versifier John Updike dead

John Updike, a virtuosic writer of fiction, verse, essays and criticism, died yesterday from lung cancer at the age of 76. The prolific Pulitzer Prize–winning author of more than 60 books was born in Reading, Pa., and raised in the nearby former farming community of Shillington, which he would immortalize in a 1984 article that he penned for The New Yorker .

January 28, 2009 — Aaron Fagan

House shoots down digital TV delay

In a surprising defeat, House Republicans today beat back legislation pushed by President Barack Obama that would have delayed the transition from analog to digital television broadcasting by four months.

January 28, 2009 — Larry Greenemeier

Cows with names make more milk

Will Bessie make more milk if you call her by name? British ag specialists say she will.

Dairy farmers who address their cows by name reported 68-gallon (258-liter) higher milk yields over the animals’ 10-month lactation period than those who didn't, according to new research published today in Anthrozoos , a British journal dedicated to the "interactions of animals and people."

British researchers compared production from the country's National Milk Records with the survey responses of 516 dairy farmers to see if there was an association between yield and cow naming.

January 28, 2009 — Jordan Lite

New short list for USDA's food-safety service

Two food-safety vets are on the short list to head up the Department of Agriculture's Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS).

Caroline Smith-Dewaal, food safety director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, and former FSIS administrator Barbara Masters are the final contenders, unidentified union officials, reps from the food industry and experts in food safety told the Washington Post .

January 28, 2009 — Jordan Lite

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