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SPOTLIGHT

1. SCIENCE

Researchers see the Earth nearing a 'tipping point' to rapid environmental changes

Human activities are pushing Earth toward a "tipping point" that could cause sudden, irreversible changes in relatively stable conditions that have allowed civilization to flourish, a new study warns. There are signs that a toxic brew of climate change, habitat loss and population growth is dramatically reshaping life on Earth, an international team of researchers reported yesterday in the journal Nature.

2. TECHNOLOGY

'Steel City' gets a recharge from the energy tech sector

PITTSBURGH -- The next big hurdle to bringing renewable energy into the U.S. energy mainstream is being scaled in a nondescript warehouse in this city's gritty Lawrenceville neighborhood, just up the Allegheny River from downtown's high-rise monuments to the bygone era of steel. That's where technology startup Aquion Energy Inc. is preparing to launch production of a new sodium-ion hybrid battery that the company's founders believe will be a game-changer for renewable and off-grid energy resources like solar and wind power.

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