A Precautionary Tale
West Germany’s “do no harm” approach to environmental protection—which became known as the precautionary principle—was revolutionary in its time.
In Phytoremediation, Plants Extract Toxins from Soils
Researchers have a cheap, easy way for cleaning up oil spills: letting plants do the work. Why isn’t it used more often?
Environmental Racism and the Coronavirus Pandemic
COVID-19 is disproportionately deadly among people of color. Long-term environmental racism could be a major factor in this disparity.
What Do Pesticides and Chrysanthemums Have in Common?
They both contain insecticides called pyrethrins, used in ancient Persia. Today we use them in lice-killing shampoos.
How Safe Is BPA-Free Plastic?
With BPA gone from many plastic products, researchers are concerned about other environmental chemicals, which might cause reproductive harm.
Scientists Are Putting Mosquitoes on Human Diet Drugs
Humans and mosquitoes share a surprising amount of genes and have similar hunger controls.
How a Microwave Weapon Might Work
Personnel at the US embassy in Havana have reported mysterious sounds and physical symptoms consistent with brain injury. Could it be microwaves?
Where are the Biodegradable Alternatives to Plastic?
New polymers meant to either biodegrade or to last longer would reduce waste. So what is taking science so long to create them? Well, it's complicated.
The Wildest Inventions in Scientific Research
Sometimes scientists end up turning into inventors throughout the course of their research. Three cases in point.
Would You Like Phthalates with That?
People who like dining out have 40 to 55 percent higher phthalate levels than those who eat at home.