Earth & Environment

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Bt peanut plants

SHIELDED  The bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis, Bt, make a natural insecticide that kills pest larvae chowing down on crops. Today, plants are genetically engineered to produce the bacterial toxin. Lesser cornstalk borer larvae can ravage a peanut plant (above, right), but a plant with Bt genes kills hungry pests, protecting the plant (left; dead larva visible to right of plant).

planets

THINKING OUTSIDE THE GOLDILOCKS ZONE  The hunt for extraterrestrial life has long focused on planets at a just-right distance from alien stars, where liquid water can exist on a planet’s surface.

crab swarm

Scientists spotted a swarm of thousands of small red crabs off the coast of Panama in April 2015.

Earth & Environment

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