Earth

  1. Aerial photo of Florida Keys
    Animals

    The U.S.’s first open-air genetically modified mosquitoes have taken flight

    After a decade of argument, Oxitec pits genetically modified mosquitoes against Florida’s spreaders of dengue and Zika.

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  2. image of the Gwydir River
    Climate

    Rivers might not be as resilient to drought as once thought

    Seven years after Australia’s Millennium drought, water flow in many rivers isn’t returning to predrought levels.

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  3. divers testing coral disease treatments
    Animals

    A common antibiotic slows a mysterious coral disease

    Applying the antibiotic amoxicillin to infected lesions halted tissue death in corals for at least 11 months after treatment.

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  4. Mangrove trees in Mexico's Cristalino Cenote
    Climate

    Mangrove forests on the Yucatan Peninsula store record amounts of carbon

    Dense tangles of roots and natural water-filled sinkholes join forces to stockpile as much as 2,800 metric tons of carbon per hectare in the soil.

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  5. Tengchong Yunnan hot springs in China
    Microbes

    These climate-friendly microbes recycle carbon without producing methane

    A newly discovered group of single-celled archaea break down decaying plants without adding the greenhouse gas methane to the atmosphere.

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  6. soybean plant leaves infected with Fusarium virguliforme fungus
    Agriculture

    Nanoscale nutrients can protect plants from fungal diseases

    Applied to the shoots, nutrients served in tiny metallic packages are absorbed more efficiently, strengthening plants’ defenses against fungal attack.

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  7. Lightning storm in Texas
    Earth

    Lightning may be an important source of air-cleaning chemicals

    Airplane observations show that thunderstorms can directly generate vast quantities of atmosphere-cleansing chemicals called oxidants.

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  8. aerial image of melting glaciers in the Andes mountains
    Climate

    Climate change may have changed the direction of the North Pole’s drift

    A mid-1990s shift in the movement of the pole was driven by glacial melt, in part caused by climate change, among other factors, a new study reports.

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  9. before and after images of dish of compost breaking down plastic
    Chemistry

    A new technique could make some plastic trash compostable at home

    Embedding enzymes inside biodegradable plastics makes them truly compostable, which could mitigate the plastic waste problem.

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  10. a photo of a submersible
    Science & Society

    A new book explores how military funding shaped the science of oceanography

    In ‘Science on a Mission,’ science historian Naomi Oreskes argues that funding from the U.S. Navy both facilitated and stymied marine research.

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  11. aspen trees burning in a prescribed burn at Fishlake National Forest
    Ecosystems

    Wildfires launch microbes into the air. How big of a health risk is that?

    How does wildfire smoke move bacteria and fungi — and what harm might they do to people when they get there?

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  12. person holding bird with mask caught on its wing
    Animals

    Discarded COVID-19 PPE such as masks can be deadly to wildlife

    From entanglements to ingestion, two biologists are documenting the impact of single-use masks and gloves on animals around the world.

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