Two Bexar County lawmakers are gearing up for their days in Austin – to craft a budget and shape new laws for Texas. Republican Representative Lyle Larson of District 122 is on a mission to keep the state on a conservative course. Democrat Representative Mike Villarreal of District 123 is going to Austin in the political minority, but still looking to be a major part of the legislative process.
Re-broadcast from June 22, 2012: In a state as big as Texas, there are some serious questions about how to provide this vital resource to the over 25 million people who live here. Our state thinks of itself as strong and independent, often distancing itself (with the help of state lawmakers) from the federal government, but how much of Texas has crept into national politics?
A forest near Trieste, Italy, is largely dead owing to drought stress during the summer of 2012.
Credit Herve Cochard / Nature
An air embolism in a narrow water-transporting cell in a leaf of a walnut tree, captured using light microscopy. Drought stress increases the likelihood of embolism, reduces photosynthesis and may eventually lead to plant death.
Scientists who study forests say they've discovered something disturbing about the way prolonged drought affects trees.
It has to do with the way trees drink. They don't do it the way we do — they suck water up from the ground all the way to their leaves, through a bundle of channels in a part of the trunk called the xylem. The bundles are like blood vessels.
When drought dries out the soil, a tree has to suck harder. And that can actually be dangerous, because sucking harder increases the risk of drawing air bubbles into the tree's plumbing.
A look at what drives the swing vote of the Latino Evangelical electorate, also Californians will vote on whether to impose harsher penalties for sex traffickers. After some sluggish years, NAFTA creates border boomtowns. And why some people are seeing more bears come to town.