Afghanistan colourful mountains

War Has Made Afghanistan’s $1 Trillion in Minerals Worthless

Developing rare earth mining in Afghanistan has been a potential objective since the USGS estimated the country had $1 trillion in mineral ore deposits.
urban bees

The Rise of the City Bee—How Urbanites Built the 21st-Century Apiculture

Urban apiculture is a booming trend. But many metropolitan beekeepers also believe that bees fare better in cities than they do in the countryside.
Oil spill clean up worker

Epic Cleanups: Hurricane Sandy, Nuclear Waste, and Oil Spills

From oil spills to nuclear waste, humans are good at making epic messes. Sometimes we come up with clean up ideas and sometimes we neglect repairs entirely.
Dinosaur fossil

The Popular, Lucrative, and Legally Questionable Fossil Trade

Middlemen sell fossils to the highest bidder, whether it’s a museum or a wealthy collector who wants their own stegosaurus.
injection on raw chicken

Is Our Food Supply Toxic?

Yum. Scientists, policymakers, and journalists find that our food is polluted with pesticides, overdosed with antibiotics, and yet teeming with pathogens.
sulfur vent naples

Raging Seas, Blazing Smoke, and (Maybe) a Supervolcano

Have humans angered the planet? Smothering air pollution in California, rising seas in Oceania, and supervocanos that could cause global catastrophe.
Origins of speech crow

The Origins of Human Speech: More Like a Raven or a Writing Desk?

Language is the cognitive faculty that separates humans from other animals, but interjections have often been equated with the primitive cries of animals.
Fresh mushroom in sawdust

Company Uses Mushrooms to Grow Plastic Alternatives

Plastic has become ubiquitous in our home and work lives, but is a pollutant that won't break down. Mushrooms may provide a sustainable alternative.
French bulldog puppy sleeping on the carpet

Why Do We Sleep?

A growing consensus among those who hold this view is that sleep is needed for maintaining a healthy nervous system, not necessarily a brain.
Scientists working in lab

To Save the Threatened, Scientists Clone Cacao, Fertilize Mollusks, and Hunt Porpoises

All over the world, researchers are trying to better understand a world in constant flux and to prevent species from extinction as they battle for survival.