by Ya’el Courtneyfigures by MacKenzie Maugeredited by Yuli Lily Hsieh January 2023 marked the third anniversary of the discovery of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic that halted life as we knew it. It overwhelmed hospitals worldwide, and is still infecting around 250,000 people daily across the globe in February 2023. Over these three years, many countries have struggled to monitor the rapidly … Continue reading Something in the Sewage: What watching our wastewater can tell us about infectious diseases
Adding wetlands near nitrogen emitting sources could help limit water pollution caused by fertilizer run-off. Continue reading More Wetlands Could Mean Less Water Pollution If They’re in the Right Place
Plastics in the ocean are a huge problem, partly because microplastics have significant health effects on marine organisms. Few have explored the quantification of microplastics on the deep ocean floor. Continue reading 14 Million Tons of Microplastic are on the Ocean Floor
Curiosity rover’s analysis of rocks on Mars suggests that ancient water on the red planet would have been suitable for supporting life. Continue reading Water on Mars Was Similar To Water on Earth
by Izzy Baker figures by Sean Wilson In the quiet darkness of night, a ship gently rocks back and forth on calm waters. An exhausted first mate peers out over the expansive seascape, seeing the ocean twinkle as it reflects the stars shining down from up above. The vastness of our oceans, she ponders, can only be outmatched by the very cosmos that they reflect; … Continue reading Searching in the Darkness, Scientists Shed Light on Oceans Beyond Earth
Turkish engineer and activist Bülent Şık was convicted and sentenced to 15 months in jail for publishing confidential results of a government study. His team discovered poisonous chemicals in food and water samples, linked to the high cancer incidence in western Turkey. Continue reading Turkish Environmental Researcher Imprisoned for Publicizing Cancer Study
by Andrew Greenspon figures by Hannah Zucker Picture yourself as the Curiosity Rover, which landed on Mars in 2012. You’ve just arrived on Mars after an eight-month journey from Earth. You begin traveling across the Gale crater toward Mount Sharp, 18,000 feet higher than the floor of the crater. On the way, you take images with a high-resolution camera. There, you find a slab of … Continue reading Water Beyond Earth: The search for the life-sustaining liquid
by Molly Sargen figures by Daniel Utter Water makes up 60-75% of human body weight. A loss of just 4% of total body water leads to dehydration, and a loss of 15% can be fatal. Likewise, a person could survive a month without food but wouldn’t survive 3 days without water. This crucial dependence on water broadly governs all life forms. Clearly water is vital … Continue reading Biological Roles of Water: Why is water necessary for life?
In order to feed every human being on the planet by 2050, the world will need to produce far more food. One difficulty farmers face is finding enough fresh water. A group of scientists led by Katarzyna Glowacka, from the University of Illinois, Urbana, may have found a potential way to save farmers water. The group’s technique hinges on the stomata of plants. Stomata are … Continue reading Thirsty Plants: Can plants be genetically modified to need less water?
Surface features such as canyons and valleys on the “Red Planet” suggest an abundance of liquid water in its geological past. Water vapors on Mars were first detected in the early 60s followed by observation of water-rich ice patches decades later, but it was not until 2011 that Lujendra Ojha, a Nepali undergraduate student, spotted signs of possible water flows on our neighboring planet. While … Continue reading Going with the Flow: New Evidence for Liquid Water on Mars