Environment

  1. Two people painting an oil barrel green
    Environment

    50 years ago, corporate greenwashing was well under way

    Concerns about companies distorting their environmental record are nothing new. Environmental ads were flagged as deceptive back in 1971.

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  2. glitter
    Chemistry

    This eco-friendly glitter gets its color from plants, not plastic

    Using cellulose extracted from wood pulp, researchers have created a greener alternative to traditional glitter.

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  3. a cow enters a bathroom stall
    Agriculture

    Potty-trained cattle could help reduce pollution

    About a dozen calves have been trained to pee in a stall. Toilet training cows on a large scale could cut down on pollution, researchers say.

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  4. sewage runoff pours out of a drainpipe
    Environment

    50 years ago, chemical pollutants were linked to odd animal behavior

    Fifty years after studies hinted that pollution interferes with how aquatic creatures communicate, scientists are still unraveling its myriad effects.

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  5. a row of windmills in Taiwan
    Physics

    Windbreaks, surprisingly, could help wind farms boost power output

    Wind farm performance could be improved by 10 percent by using low barriers to increase the wind speed directed at the turbines, simulations suggest.

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  6. a view to the tops of several tall, skinny trees with light green leaves
    Environment

    Why planting tons of trees isn’t enough to solve climate change

    Massive projects need much more planning and follow-through to succeed – and other tree protections need to happen too.

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  7. harvesting equipment in a cornfield
    Agriculture

    A tweaked yeast can make ethanol from cornstalks and a harvest’s other leftovers

    By genetically modifying baker’s yeast, scientists figured out how to get almost as much ethanol from cornstalks as kernels.

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  8. Asian giant hornet, AKA 'murder hornet', next to a beer can
    Animals

    Focusing on Asian giant hornets distorts the view of invasive species

    2021’s first “murder hornet” is yet another arrival. This is the not-so-new normal.

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  9. several makeup items - lipstick, a compact, blush brush, mascara - sit on a cream-colored background
    Chemistry

    Many cosmetics contain hidden, potentially dangerous ‘forever chemicals’

    Scientists found signs of long-lasting PFAS compounds in about half of tested makeup products, especially waterproof mascaras and lipsticks.

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  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. 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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