'Gene drive' tool can prevent epidemics -- but should it?

The genetically engineered mosquitoes now living in a Southern California basement lab, secured behind five locked doors, prove that it may be possible to wipe out the deadly malaria and other infectious diseases -- but until the creation of regulatory safeguards, that may be a dream deferred. 
Nuclear crossroad: California reactors face uncertain future
Six years ago, the company that owns California's last operating nuclear power plant announced it would seek an extended lifespan for its aging reactors. Pacific Gas and Electric Co. envisioned Diablo Canyon as a linchpin in the state's green energy future, with its low-carbon electricity illuminating homes to nearly midcentury.  

San Pablo: Residents who rescued injured hawk get to release it on Thanksgiving Day
Danusia Lewakowski and Kasia, her sister, released a rehabilitated Cooper's hawk back into the wild in the morning on Thanksgiving at Point Pinole Regional Shoreline in Richmond. It was the end of a tale that lasted more than two months and provided memories that will last a lifetime. 

'Moon trees' mark Tilden Regional Park
Hundreds of seeds flew on Apollo 14 space mission. Two of them grew into coast redwoods that now tower atop the Berkeley hills. Mostly forgotten, except by park rangers and the occasional space-buff tourist, they stand on opposite ends of Tilden Regional Park. 

Walnut Creek tract showdown goes to City Council
Neighborhood opposition to building 53 houses in semirural Tice Valley near Rossmoor has intensified as the project heads to the City Council for final consideration on Dec. 15.  

Plan to curb oil refinery emissions touted as toughest in nation
Bay Area Air Quality Management District proposes six refinery rules to curb emissions but environmentalists and refiners sharply criticize plan. 

Recent rain nudges South Bay above average
Autumn storms that brought precipitation to the South Bay have nudged rainfall totals ahead of the seasonal average; Tuesday's showers delivered 0.36 inches of rain in San Jose, bringing the total to 2.47 inches since October 1 -- compared with the normal rainfall for the season of 2.27 inches.  

When Old Faithful turns faithless
Calistoga's Old Faithful Geyser usually spouts every five to 40 minutes, depending on the season. It's a scenic place to relax and learn about local geology and history. But when fickle, there's trouble brewing in its underground plumbing system. Here in earthquake country, that means it's time to cork the wine bottle, fold up the picnic blanket and head home. 

El Niño pushes California calamari landings down
After several years of bounty, California's commercial landings of market squid -- the species better known to hungry diners as calamari -- are down by about two-thirds compared to this time last year. 

Environmentalists dismiss lawsuit against Oakland over planned coal shipping terminal
Environmentalists are pulling the plug on a lawsuit challenging a plan for a coal shipping terminal at a city-owned project, but that does not affect the city's battle to prevent coal shipments into Oakland. Earthjustice, which represented groups such as Communities for a Better Environment, the Sierra Club and the Asian Pacific Environmental Network, had filed its suit against Oakland and developer Phil Tagami's company in Alameda County Superior Court to call for a new California Environmental Quality Act review before the project continues. 

(Colin Young-Wolff)
Gwyneth Paltrow sings on new Coldplay record

Coldplay singer Chris Martin suggested ex-wife Gwyneth Paltrow sing some lyrics she wrote for their new single “Everglow.”