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Tulane Scientists Are Turning Newspapers Into Biofuel

Scientists at Tulane University have found a bacteria that produces butanol, a biofuel that’s superior to ethanol in just about every way.


Scientists at Tulane University are making newspapers into fuel for your car. They’re taking old copies of The New Orleans Times-Picayune, feeding them to bacteria, and producing butanol, a biofuel that’s superior to ethanol in just about every way except the cost of production.

The bacteria aren’t picky, though. They can subsist not only on newspapers (or, really, any similar product that started out as a tree), but on agricultural waste products like corn stalks. The important part is that they eat cellulose, which is contained in all plants, and that they do it in the presence of oxygen. According to the Tulane scientists, the bacteria, called the TU-103, is the only known strain that produces butanol in an aerobic environment. They found it by poking around in animal poo from New Orleans’ Audubon Zoo, where they collected samples from animals like giraffes, elephants and zebras.

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Are Early Interventions the Key to Ending the Black Male Education Crisis?

Scholars say we need to focus intervention efforts for black boys on pre-K through third grade, but the methods raise plenty of questions.

With only eight percent of black male eighth graders enrolled in schools in urban areas scoring "proficient" on reading tests, and only 10 percent scoring "proficient" in math, intervention programs usually focus on boosting black male middle and high school results and improving high school graduation rates. However, a solution to the black male education crisis offered at a recent symposium held by the Education Testing Service and the Children's Defense Fund suggests a different approach: Reaching young black males when they're much younger—between pre-K and third grade.

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