Let’s Get Our Shit Together—Literally

Let’s Get Our Shit Together—Literally

According to its 2020 annual report, in that year the company shipped 3,445 fecal microbiota transplantation treatments to more than 1,250 hospitals and clinics across the US.Animal poops are similarly prized by scientists as a window into an animal’s identity, diet, movements, stress state, sex, maturity, reproduction, habits, predator–prey relationships, overall health, pollution exposure, parasites, and microbiome.

‘Flash Droughts’ Are the Midwest’s Next Big Climate Threat

‘Flash Droughts’ Are the Midwest’s Next Big Climate Threat

Fast-moving droughts like this one are developing more and more quickly as climate change pushes temperatures to new extremes, recent research indicates—adding a new threat to the dangers of pests, flooding, and more long-term drought that farmers in the US already face.

The Wetlands Are Drowning

The Wetlands Are Drowning

“We often call them ecosystem engineers,” says Pat Megonigal, an ecologist who directs the Smithsonian’s Global Change Research Wetland and studies the plants.For a long while, wetland researchers have wondered whether that skill could help the plants build their way out of climate change.

Carbon-Rich Peat Is Disappearing. But Is It Also Growing?

Carbon-Rich Peat Is Disappearing. But Is It Also Growing?

Yet the Arctic is warming up to four times as fast as the rest of the planet, making permafrost thaw so rapidly that it’s gouging holes across the landscape , releasing carbon.

Spring Flowers Are Blooming Earlier in Greater Yellowstone

Spring Flowers Are Blooming Earlier in Greater Yellowstone

But climate change is knocking the timing of flowering and fruiting out of whack for many plants in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem according to a new study authored by scientists at The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in Wyoming.

A Bold Idea to Stall the Climate Crisis—by Building Better Trees

A Bold Idea to Stall the Climate Crisis—by Building Better Trees

Of all the potential fixes for the climate crisis, none has captured hearts and minds quite like tree planting.If newly planted forests aren’t properly cared for and monitored, the trees can die and any carbon they stored will be released back into the atmosphere.

Risks to Ukraine’s Nuclear Power Plants Are Small—but Not Zero

Risks to Ukraine’s Nuclear Power Plants Are Small—but Not Zero

“That’s certainly something I think the Russians would make an effort to avoid doing, not only because they don’t want to contaminate the country they’re trying to occupy—but, also, Ukraine needs electricity from those plants,” says Ed Lyman, senior global security scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists and coauthor of the book Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Disaster.

Wildfires Are Digging Carbon-Spewing Holes in the Arctic

Wildfires Are Digging Carbon-Spewing Holes in the Arctic

In the past 70 years, wildfires have burned 3 percent of the landscape but are responsible for 10 percent of thermokarst formation.

The Quest to Trap Carbon in Stone—and Beat Climate Change

The Quest to Trap Carbon in Stone—and Beat Climate Change

“Thirty years down the road, this can be one of the largest industries on the planet,” enthused Gebald (slightly broader, curly brown hair).A nearby geothermal plant provides clean power to Climeworks' carbon capture facility.

Growing Crops Under Solar Panels? Now There’s a Bright Idea

Growing Crops Under Solar Panels? Now There’s a Bright Idea

Khanna will be studying what the ideal solar array might be for a particular crop, for instance, if it needs bigger or smaller gaps between panels to let sunlight pass through.

Drones May Help Replant Forests—If Enough Seeds Take Root

Drones May Help Replant Forests—If Enough Seeds Take Root

To help restore fire-ravaged forests and temper the effects of climate change, a handful of young companies want to scatter seeds from drones.

‘Neurograins’ Could be the Next Brain-Computer Interfaces

‘Neurograins’ Could be the Next Brain-Computer Interfaces

“Typically, the smaller you make something, the less likely it is to be detected by the immune system as a foreign object,” says Solzbacher, who wasn’t involved in the Brown study.

Radioactive Rat Snakes Could Help Monitor Fukushima Fallout

Radioactive Rat Snakes Could Help Monitor Fukushima Fallout

Gerke’s recent study suggests that rat snakes may be useful bioindicators of radioactive contamination in nuclear disaster zones.

Why Florida’s Covid Surge Is Screwing With the Water Supply (Hint: Oxygen)

Why Florida’s Covid Surge Is Screwing With the Water Supply (Hint: Oxygen)

Just over half of Florida’s total population is fully vaccinated.“What we know is that the lack of liquid oxygen is due to a driver shortage and the need for available supplies to be diverted to local hospitals due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” says Brandon Moore, spokesperson for Tampa Bay Water.

Want to Slash Carbon Emissions? Start With These Power Plants

Want to Slash Carbon Emissions? Start With These Power Plants

If we had a global inventory of emissions and production from every power plant, we could use that data to identify the worst offenders and make a target list for efficiently lowering our carbon output.

Wildfires Used to Be Helpful. How Did They Get So Hellish?

Wildfires Used to Be Helpful. How Did They Get So Hellish?

A wildfire that would once chew through a few dozen acres of underbrush, making way for new plant growth, now burns with extreme ferocity, producing so much heat and smoke that it can generate its own thunderclouds , which light more fires.

Scientists reveal how landmark ban gave planet fighting chance

Scientists reveal how landmark ban gave planet fighting chance

The new evidence reveals the planet’s critical ability to absorb carbon from the atmosphere could have been massively degraded sending global temperatures soaring if we still used ozone-destroying chemicals such as CFCs. New modelling by the international team of scientists from New Zealand, UK and the US, published today in top science journal Nature, paints a dramatic vision of a scorched planet Earth without the Montreal Protocol, what they call the “World Avoided”.

Why Do House Finches Love Your Hanging Plants?

Why Do House Finches Love Your Hanging Plants?

Why does it seem like house finches as well as other birds favor these peculiar places to nest, particularly hanging plants like ferns?

The Humble Shrub That’s Predicting a Terrible Fire Season

The Humble Shrub That’s Predicting a Terrible Fire Season

“It's a really pretty and kind of understated shrub,” says Bryant Baker, conservation director of the Los Padres ForestWatch, which advocates for the protection of California’s habitats.

Plastic Is Falling From the Sky. But Where’s It Coming From?

Plastic Is Falling From the Sky. But Where’s It Coming From?

But new modeling published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that 84 percent of airborne microplastics in the American West actually comes from the roads outside of major cities.

The Dinosaur-Killing Asteroid Birthed Today's Rainforests

The Dinosaur-Killing Asteroid Birthed Today's Rainforests

“It took us a long time to gather enough data that we could have a clear picture of what was going on during the extinction,” Carvalho told Ars. While the study deals with Colombian fossils, Carvalho said the researchers can get a fair idea of what happened in rainforests elsewhere in Central and South America, though the effects of the asteroid's impact are somewhat variable from region to region.

If You Transplant a Human Head, Does Its Consciousness Follow?

If You Transplant a Human Head, Does Its Consciousness Follow?

Why do you want to perfect transplanting a human head?” White had lots of reasons for why he wanted to do it, but no one was really sufficiently convinced by any of them to say this is worth risking someone's life.

The Energy Sector Must Prepare for More Extreme Weather

The Energy Sector Must Prepare for More Extreme Weather

Last week, Texas was hit by a different kind of extreme weather event: Record-smashing cold temperatures and heavy snow.But other states manage much colder weather every year without these types of power outages.

Nature Makes Wood. Could a Lab Make It Better?

Nature Makes Wood. Could a Lab Make It Better?

“The cells are suspended within this gel scaffold, and, over time, they grow and develop to fill out the scaffold volume and also transform into the cell types we’re interested in,” Beckwith says.

A Hacker Tried to Poison a Florida City's Water Supply, Officials Say

A Hacker Tried to Poison a Florida City's Water Supply, Officials Say

Around 8 am on Friday morning, an employee of a water treatment plant in the 15,000-person city of Oldsmar, Florida, noticed that his mouse cursor was moving strangely on his computer screen, out of his control, as local police would later tell it.

Can This Group Revive the Finicky Corpse Flower?

Can This Group Revive the Finicky Corpse Flower?

To combat the lack of genetic diversity in the corpse flower and six other species with shallow gene pools, the Chicago Botanic Garden spearheaded the Tools and Resources for Endangered and Exceptional Plant Species (TREES) program in 2019.

Could Carbon Dioxide Be Turned Into Jet Fuel?

Could Carbon Dioxide Be Turned Into Jet Fuel?

By adding heat (350 degrees Celsius, which is 662 degrees Fahrenheit) to citric acid, hydrogen, and a catalyst made of iron, manganese, and potassium to the carbon dioxide, the team was able to produce liquid fuel that would work in a jet engine.

Mistletoe: A Natural and Human History

Mistletoe: A Natural and Human History

© Jan Helebrant / Flickr Though mistletoe might sound like an undesirable plant because it kills trees, some species are important keystone species in their habitats.

Is It Better to Plant Trees or Let Forests Regrow Naturally?

Is It Better to Plant Trees or Let Forests Regrow Naturally?

When Susan Cook-Patton was doing a postdoc in forest restoration at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Maryland seven years ago, she says, she helped plant 20,000 trees along Chesapeake Bay. It was a salutary lesson.

How the Venus Flytrap ‘Remembers’ When It Captures Prey

How the Venus Flytrap ‘Remembers’ When It Captures Prey

Back in 2016, a team of German scientists discovered that the Venus flytrap can actually "count" the number of times something touches its hair-lined leaves—an ability that helps the plant distinguish between the presence of prey and a small nut or stone, or even a dead insect.