Palm trees in fog, Florida

Will the Saharan Dust Cloud Damage Our Lungs?

The airborne particles carry microbes and fungi, and can react with human lung tissue.
Man holding Dirty used disposable medical mask on beach by sea. Pollution due coronavirus pandemic

What Happens to All That Used PPE?

Gloves, masks, and other personal protective equipment have kept us safe during the pandemic. Now they're washing up on beaches around the world.
A grilled cheese sandwich

A Brief History of Comfort Food

Our newest culinary trend is also our oldest.
Capsicum annum peppers

Some Like Them Hot!

The long, wonderful history of the chili pepper.
An illustration of the coronavirus in front of a strand of DNA

Can We Protect Against Coronavirus by Rewriting Our Genomes?

Genome recoding could offer new modes of virus resistance, but the technology raises serious ethical concerns.

How to See the Invisible Universe

Telescopes that detect long-wavelength signals offer clues about the Big Bang, the centers of black holes, and the origins of life.
Mint

Plant of the Month: Mint

From the fields of ancient Egypt to the present-day American Pacific Northwest, the history of mint goes beyond the search for fresh breath.
Chattering teeth, human hands gesturing, and people working

Dating Apps Are Intensifying Online Partisanship

Some social scientists argue that dating and mating patterns may be the real drivers of polarization.
Three spoonfuls of red microplastic on a green background.

We Consume a Spoonful of Plastic a Week

You've heard about all the microscopic plastic in our water supply. But did you know there are ways to limit how much you ingest?