Alpine Pennycress - Noccaea caerulescens

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?
Little brown bat

What Bats Can Teach Humans About Coronavirus Immunity

Bats have a unique genetic ability to tolerate many viral infections. Can humans uncover their secrets?
On the left, Heliconia tarumaensis Barreiros (with yellow bracts); on the right, Heliconia acuminata L.C. Richard (with yellow and red bracts). Dumbarton Oaks Rare Book Collection.

Plant of the Month: Heliconia

Heliconias can distinguish among pollinators like hummingbirds and respond selectively to their visits.
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.