A woman's hands inspecting a cannabis plant

The Environmental Downside of Cannabis Cultivation

Wide-scale cannabis cultivation is causing environmental damage. Federal regulations could change this.
A large tree with moss-covered roots.

How Trees Can Save Lakes From Algae Blooms

In addition to cleaning air pollution, trees absorb excess nutrients from soil, preventing algae blooms in waterways.
Frozen lake Baikal near Olkhon island

Exploring Lake Baikal

The world's largest, deepest freshwater lake is home to hundreds of species that don't live anywhere else on Earth. But it's threatened by climate change.
Callery Pear Trees in bloom

When a Cultivated Tree Goes Rogue

The Callery pear was meant to help prevent fire blight from destroying the commercial pear industry. Then it became invasive.
A contraption used to extract the silk from a spider

The Tangled History of Weaving with Spider Silk

Spider silk is as strong as steel and as light as a feather, but attempts to industrialize its production have gotten stuck, so to speak.
Neon text on the side of a building reads "All we have is words, all we have is worlds."

The Hidden Life of Modal Verbs

A linguist explains why we get so distracted by the fiery language of politics, while ignoring urgent information reported by scientists.
Yaxchilán, Maya ancient city

Why Civilizations End

Scientists studying fallen civilizations suggest that the culprit is overshoot in combination with climate change. What does this mean for our current era?
Microbe plate

Would You Like Some Germs with Your Wheaties?

To fulfill the increasing protein demand, scientists turn to microbes.
fruit fly

New Study Finds Insects Speak in Different “Dialects”

Different fruit flies species can learn each other’s language to warn against parasitic wasps.

Hippo Poop Kills Fish, but There’s an Upside

A robot disguised as a crocodile is helping scientists understand that mass fish die-offs serve a purpose.