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Did you know that Russia’s nuclear accidents date back to the 1950s? Or, that a Texas town near Dallas hasn’t had running water for decades? Here are this week’s highlights from sustainability news around the web.

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Russia Confirms Radiation Spike (The New York Times)

A significant spike of the radioactive isotope ruthenium 106 appeared recently around the Soviet-era atomic plant in the Chelyabinsk region of the Ural Mountains, where a major nuclear accident happened in the 1950s—but was kept secret for decades. Responding to questions, the Russian authorities said the data is “not sufficient to establish the location of the pollution source.” What’s going on?

Related Sustainability Content on JSTOR: Science

New Zealand’s War on Rats Could Change the World (The Atlantic)

New Zealand’s unique bird species have been decimated by rats brought from Europe. In a desperate attempt to save the birds, scientists have turned to CRISPR, the powerful gene-editing technique that could re-engineer the rodents to self-destruct. Could this have drastic consequences for the rest of the planet?

Related Sustainability Content on JSTOR: New Zealand Journal of Ecology

“America’s Dirty Little Secret”–The Town With No Running Water (The Guardian)

Texas’s notorious water problems—ground water depletion, pollution, and inadequate infrastructure—date back to the middle of the 20th century. But the story of Sandbranch, a tiny town southeast of Dallas, where residents have not had running water for decades and haven’t fully bathed for years, beats all that.

Related Sustainability Content on JSTOR: American Water Works Association


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Science, New Series, Vol. 209, No. 4454 (Jul. 18, 1980), pp. 345-353
American Association for the Advancement of Science
New Zealand Journal of Ecology, Vol. 34, No. 1, Special Issue: Feathers to Fur the ecological transformation of Aotearoa (2010), pp. 86-114
New Zealand Ecological Society
Journal (American Water Works Association) , Vol. 58, No. 10 (OCTOBER 1966), pp. 1225-1230
American Water Works Association