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SCIENCE
February 26, 2014 | By Louis Sahagun
Eureka Dunes, a towering expanse of shifting slopes wedged between weathered mountains in the Mojave Desert, had a reputation as a campground, an off-road vehicle course and a home to a few plant species found no place else on Earth. In the late 1970s, the dunes earned a reputation as an area where the Eureka Valley evening primrose and Eureka dune grass were listed as federally endangered species to protect them from being driven to extinction by off-road vehicle recreation. On Wednesday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed that the plants be removed from the list because their populations have stabilized in a region that became part of Death Valley National Park in 1994.
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NATIONAL
September 19, 2013 | By Neela Banerjee and Christi Parsons
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration will propose rules Friday to sharply curtail permissible emissions of carbon dioxide from new power plants, an important step toward fulfilling the president's recently reinvigorated commitment to address climate change. New coal-fired plants would have to limit emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide to 1,100 pounds per megawatt hour, down from the current range of 1,800 to 2,100 pounds using conventional technology, according to an administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity before the official release of the plan.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 17, 2013 | By Robert J. Lopez
Deputies seized more than 600 marijuana plants valued at about $1 million from a sophisticated "grow" operation at a Palmdale home, authorities said Monday night. Every room in the home in the 200 block of East Avenue P-2 had been turned into a hydroponic pot garden, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said. Deputies discovered the plants Monday afternoon after they saw a car at the home registered to a man with a felony warrant for narcotics possession, according to the department.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 5, 2013 | By Robert J. Lopez
A reputed Palmdale gang member was arrested after deputies reported finding 125 marijuana plants growing at his home, authorities said Wednesday night. Detectives said the "grow operation" was capable of yielding 50 pounds of pot a year with an estimated value of $45,000, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. The plants were discovered by deputies who served a search warrant at the home in the 6100 block of Plaza Court as part an investigation into suspected marijuana growing, department officials said in a statement.
SCIENCE
February 17, 2012 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
Plastic is anathema to many among the eco-conscious — but what if manufacturers could stop making so much of it from oil and start making more of it from plants? In a study in the journal Science, researchers in the Netherlands say they have developed a class of iron catalysts that help turn plant material — such as fast-growing trees and certain grasses — into the chemical building blocks used to make plastic products, drugs and even cosmetics. Plastic typically is made from a crude oil derivative and therefore depends on Earth's finite oil supplies.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 11, 2013 | By Bettina Boxall
The geothermal power plants at Southern California's Salton Sea don't just produce electricity, they also trigger thousands of temblors not far from one of the West Coast's most dangerous earthquake faults, a new study says. Research published online Thursday in the journal Science found that as production rose at the Imperial County geothermal field, so did the number of earthquakes. From 1981 through 2012, more than 10,000 earthquakes above magnitude 1.75 were recorded in the area.
SCIENCE
October 24, 2012 | By Rosie Mestel, Los Angeles Times
To the naked eye, the white puffs of cotton growing on shrubs, the yellow flowers on canola plants and the towering tassels on cornstalks look just like those on any other plants. But inside their cells, where their DNA contains instructions for how these crops should grow, there are a few genes that were put there not by Mother Nature but by scientists in a lab. Some of the genes are from a soil bacterium called Bacillus thuringiensis that makes proteins lethal to flies, moths and other insects.
NEWS
August 9, 2013 | By Barbara Thornburg
John Trager, curator of the desert collections at the Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino, offers these five tips for growing cactus and succulents in containers:  1. Plant in a well-drained mix of 80% pumice and 20% compost. 2. Fertilize during the growing season, spring and summer. 3. Handle cactus carefully. Wear latex surgical gloves, which provide the dexterity you need without damaging the plant. If you have to handle larger specimens, use a piece of old carpeting or an old pair of pants.
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