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  • Unlocking New Talents in Nature: Protein Engineers Create New Biocatalysts

    12/30/2012 1:17:16 PM PST · by neverdem · 5 replies
    ScienceDaily ^ | Dec. 20, 2012 | NA
    Protein engineers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have tapped into a hidden talent of one of nature's most versatile catalysts. The enzyme cytochrome P450 is nature's premier oxidation catalyst -- a protein that typically promotes reactions that add oxygen atoms to other chemicals. Now the Caltech researchers have engineered new versions of the enzyme, unlocking its ability to drive a completely different and synthetically useful reaction that does not take place in nature. The new biocatalysts can be used to make natural products -- such as hormones, pheromones, and insecticides -- as well as pharmaceutical drugs, like antibiotics,...
  • Where'd my catch go? (great white is gobbled by an EVEN BIGGER )

    12/30/2012 1:17:12 PM PST · by Hojczyk · 23 replies
    Mail Online ^ | December 29, 2012
    Being hooked by a fisherman is probably up there with the worst things that could happen to a shark. But what about becoming bait for an even bigger beast as you're being hauled into the boat? This was the fate of a poor great white in New Zealand this week. And a spectacular photograph of the encounter, which shows Charles Darwin's survival of the fittest - or perhaps biggest - theory in action, has taken the web by storm after it was posted on Reddit. The larger shark, also a Great White, had obviously decided he'd be the one to...
  • Death of Tea Party appears exaggerated, members in House appear to hold key fiscal vote

    12/30/2012 1:13:11 PM PST · by yoe · 25 replies
    Fox News ^ | December 29, 2012 | Staff
    The Tea Party has had an up-and-down political ride since the movement helped Republicans take control of the House in 2010, but those elected in the midterm elections still appear to wield considerable power in the fiscal negotiations. The roughly 50 members elected to the House two years ago have been a challenge for the more moderate House Speaker John Boehner since they took office. Perhaps most memorably, many of them refused last year to support a debt-ceiling bill because they said it didn’t reduce federal spending enough. Just last week they squashed Boehner’s fiscal plan by refusing to compromise...
  • Recovering God’s Plan for Marriage and Family: A Sermon on the Feast of the Holy Family

    12/30/2012 1:10:04 PM PST · by NYer · 8 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | December 29, 2012 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Here in the middle of the Christmas Octave, the Church bids us to celebrate the feast of the Holy Family. On the old calendar, the feast of the Holy Family falls on the Sunday after Epiphany, which makes some sense. For it is a bit odd to read a gospel portraying Jesus as 12 years of age, a mere 5 days after his birth. And then, next week, we revert back to a Gospel where he is an infant, on the Feast of Epiphany.Click here to hear a recording of this sermon Nevertheless, here we are. Perhaps, it is a...
  • Planned Layoffs in US Firms Surge To 3-Month High, And Bloodbath May Not Be Over

    12/30/2012 1:08:11 PM PST · by SeekAndFind · 52 replies
    Reuters via AOL ^ | 12/30/2012
    Planned layoffs at U.S. firms rose for the third month in a row in November, partly driven by the bankruptcy of Hostess Brands, a report showed on Thursday. Employers announced 57,081 job cuts last month, the highest level since May and up nearly 20 percent from 47,724 in October, according to the report from consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. November's job cuts were also up 34.4 percent from the 42,474 seen a year ago. Employers have announced 490,806 cuts in 2012, lower than 2011's total of 606,082 layoffs. The recent surge in layoffs is at least partly attributed to...
  • First On Fox. Teen's Mom Speaks Out On Her Son and 'Explosive' Chemicals

    12/30/2012 1:02:02 PM PST · by redreno · 74 replies
    www.myfoxphilly.com ^ | 12/19/2012 | Dave Schratwieser, Reporter
    GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. - "It's ridiculously blown out of proportion." That's how the mother of the 16-year-old Cedar Creek High School student arrested Tuesday described her son after local police found items at his home that could cause an explosion. "He really cares about people," she said. "He's kind, he's loving, he's brilliant...I think this is fear because of what just happened in Connecticut."
  • 2012 Hall of Fame & Mantle of Shame Awards: Perpetrators of Violence Against Native American Women

    12/30/2012 12:59:59 PM PST · by Jyotishi · 15 replies
    Indian Country Today Media Network ^ | Friday, December 28, 2012 | Suzan Shown Harjo
    Excerpt: MANTLE OF SHAME: Perpetrators of Violence Against Native American Women. All who work against protecting Native women in the Violence Against Women Act for intentionally maintaining the jurisdictional gap on reservations that allows perpetrators to remain free. Tribal police and courts need statutory authority to hold violent offenders accountable, because Native nations were stripped of that jurisdiction by federal law, but federal and state authorities do not vigorously pursue non-Native predators on tribal lands. One in three Native women is raped during her lifetime; non-Natives commit 88 percent of all violent crimes against Natives and about 67 percent of...
  • ‘Major setback’ in fiscal cliff talks

    12/30/2012 12:59:24 PM PST · by Sub-Driver · 58 replies
    ‘Major setback’ in fiscal cliff talks By: Manu Raju and John Bresnahan December 30, 2012 12:15 PM EST Negotiations between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell suffered a “major setback” after Republicans demanded the inclusion of a new method for calculating entitlement benefits as part of the fiscal cliff package, according to Democrats. The provision, known as “chained CPI,” is opposed by many liberals because it would result in lower payments for Social Security beneficiaries. While President Barack Obama has backed the provision as part of a major deficit package, Democrats are objecting to including this...
  • Din of Hammers, Oil Wells Signal Bakersfield Boom (CA)

    12/30/2012 12:58:17 PM PST · by Mark · 9 replies
    ABC News ^ | December 29, 2012 | TRACIE CONE Associated Press
    For most of its existence, Bakersfield has inhabited that awkward in-between place. Not as sophisticated as Los Angeles, just over the Tehachapi Mountains to the south, not as wealthy as its longtime economic rival Fresno, equidistant to the north. Cheap land, affordable housing, proximity to Los Angeles, a location that's within a three-hour drive of 90 percent of the state's population, and a planning department that doesn't throw up roadblocks are driving the region's economic revolution, business leaders say.
  • House prepares three 'milk cliff' bills for votes

    12/30/2012 12:54:28 PM PST · by Hojczyk · 20 replies
    The Hill ^ | December 30, 2012 | Erik Wasson
    House leaders have prepared three bills to deal with the looming "milk cliff" for floor action this week. The three bills are aimed at preventing a spike in dairy prices looming in the new year. Because Congress has failed to renew farm programs, an underlying 1949 law is slated to kick in. This would force the government to buy up American milk at inflated prices and the purchases are expected to possibly double the price of milk at the grocery store as supplies dwindle. Late Saturday night, House Republicans posted the three bills on the House Rules Committee website, setting...
  • Republican Hopes Rest on Suburban Comeback

    12/30/2012 12:53:04 PM PST · by SeekAndFind · 69 replies
    Pajamas Media ^ | 12/30/2012 | PATRICK REDDY
    Anytime a party suffers an unexpected defeat, there are two general responses: assigning blame and planning a better strategy for next time.After Jimmy Carter in 1980 was — in the words of CBS News’ Bob Schieffer — “whomped” by Ronald Reagan, Democrats went through both reactions. As would be expected, the Reagan victory caused much debate in Democratic Party circles about how to respond. (Mostly every Democrat except Jimmy Carter’s inner circle agreed that Democratic mistakes had greatly helped Reagan.) More traditional Democrats like Walter Mondale believed that Reagan’s victory was largely due to national anger over inflation and...
  • Russian Orthodox Church backs Vladimir Putin's ban on Americans adopting Russian children

    12/30/2012 12:46:43 PM PST · by SeekAndFind · 43 replies
    The Guardian ^ | 12/30/2012 | Miriam Elder
    The Russian Orthodox church has been attacked for supporting a new law banning Americans from adopting Russian children, at the end of a year that saw it plagued by scandal and accusations of collusion with an increasingly authoritarian Kremlin. Father Vsevolod Chaplin, a high-ranking priest and a spokesman for the church, said the law was "a search for a social answer to an elementary question: why should we give, and even sell, our children abroad?" Speaking to Interfax, a state news agency, last week, Chaplin said the path to heaven would be closed to children adopted by foreigners. "They won't...
  • Leading Economist Morici: Obama Has “Put a Pistol to the Head of the Middle Class” (Video)

    12/30/2012 12:41:55 PM PST · by Nachum · 17 replies
    The Gateway Pundit ^ | 12/30/12 | Jim Hoft
    Economist Peter Morici had this to say this morning about Obama’s fiscal cliff negotiating tactics: “The president, by being so persistent that it’s my way or the highway, no spending cuts, taxes on folks over $250,000 or nothing, has basically put a pistol to the head of the middle class. It’s threatened them with financial extortion if he doesn’t get his way to satisfy the populist wing of the Democratic Party.”
  • Obama on Meet the Press: “I’m not driven by some ideological agenda.”

    12/30/2012 12:34:31 PM PST · by Nachum · 70 replies
    Human Events ^ | 12/30/12 | John Hayward
    President Obama turned up on NBC’s “Meet the Press” for the first time since the passage of ObamaCare, and gave exactly the performance that every veteran Obama-watcher would have expected: a bitter, intransigent partisan claiming to be the only non-partisan, non-ideological participant in the “fiscal cliff” drama. “I’m not driven by some ideological agenda – I’m a pretty practical guy,” he explicitly stated, offering his past four years in office as evidence. It’s too bad “Meet the Press” doesn’t have a laugh track. Obama’s interviewer, David Gregory, was willing to flagrantly violate D.C. gun laws to beat up on NRA...
  • White House talks don't include NRA: gun group president

    12/30/2012 12:33:25 PM PST · by Red in Blue PA · 24 replies
    An effort led by Vice President Joe Biden to find ways to reduce gun violence after the Connecticut school massacre so far has not included talking to the National Rifle Association, the president of the gun rights group said on Friday. NRA President David Keene said neither Biden nor his staff has contacted the organization since President Barack Obama unveiled the effort on December 19.
  • Just What is the "Fiscal Cliff?"

    12/30/2012 12:26:33 PM PST · by married21 · 16 replies
    The Valley Business Journal ^ | 11/15/12 | Jana Swenson
    As we approach the end of 2012, you’ve likely heard lots of talk among politicians and the media about the impending “fiscal cliff.” This term refers to a combination of tax increases and spending cuts that are slated to take effect in January 2013 if Congress fails to take action. But how will this affect you? Payroll Tax - 2013 will bring the expiration of the payroll tax cut enacted by Congress in 2011. Starting next year, the current employee payroll tax rate of 4.2 percent will go back to 6.2 percent. Higher Tax Levels - At the end of...
  • Obama wants gun violence measures passed in 2013

    12/30/2012 12:25:10 PM PST · by yoe · 22 replies
    My Way News ^ | December 30, 2012 | JIM KUHNHENN
    Recalling the shooting of 20 first graders as the worst day of his presidency, President Barack Obama on Sunday pledged to put his "full weight" behind a legislative package next year aimed at containing gun violence. In an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press," Obama voiced skepticism about proposals to place armed guards at schools in the aftermath of the Dec. 14 deadly assault at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. In his boldest terms yet, he vowed to rally the American people around an agenda to limit gun violence and said he still supports increased background checks and...
  • Obama Urges Illinois Lawmakers To Legalize Gay Marriage

    12/30/2012 12:20:45 PM PST · by Nachum · 19 replies
    mediaite ^ | 12/30/12 | Anjali Sareen
    President Obama issued a statement Saturday urging the Illinois General Assembly to legalize gay marriage as state lawmakers prepare to take up the issue this week. White House spokesman Shin Inouye highlighted the rare nature of the president’s move, telling the Chicago Sun-Times the while the president “does not weigh in on every measure being considered by state legislatures, he believes in treating everyone fairly and equally, with dignity and respect.” He went on, “As he has said, his personal view is that it’s wrong to prevent couples who are in loving, committed relationships, and want to marry, from doing...
  • Shut up, they explained.

    12/30/2012 12:18:01 PM PST · by moneyrunner · 10 replies
    The Virginian ^ | 12/29/2012 | Moneyrunner
    What can be done to reduce the incidence of violence and the death toll the next time some deranged individual decides to kill as many people as he can? That’s the question that rational people ask following the killing at Sandy Hook. The media are in agreement that having an armed guard in every school is not the answer. What they can’t seem to agree on is the alternative. Wayne LaPierre’s position, representing the NRA, is simple and easy to understand. The media’s recommendations are either ineffective (limit the size of gun magazines, ban scary looking weapons or stop the...
  • Navy Sailors Bonded with 3 Stowaway Kittens

    12/30/2012 12:13:31 PM PST · by Slings and Arrows · 35 replies
    Love Meow ^ | Apr 23, 2011 | Eric Hanst
    It all began when Eric Hanst and his fellow sailors were Navy deployed overseas. When they were in port for a few days, they were greeted by an unexpected guest. “A cat came aboard via mooring line. We lost track of her, and found her later that evening. We managed to get her back to the pier, and waved goodbye as we took off. This cat seemed unusually upset by this,” said Hanst. What they did not know was that the cat didn’t just come alone. “It turns out, when she managed to sneak on board, she also managed to...