Solar Developers are Transforming Vast Energy Farms Into Pollinator Habitats. Seeding industrial-sized solar power installations with native, pollinator-friendly plants is cheaper than gravel or grass and provides important forage for wild pollinators and honeybees.
Evaporative Power Has the Potential to Create Electricity for Large Parts of the U.S. Energy harnessed from water evaporating from U.S. reservoirs and lakes could yield up to 325 gigawatts of electric power at peak capacity.
Pop-up Wetlands Helping Migrating Shorebirds. The sharing economy, which has changed everything from how people get around to how they rent rooms for vacation, is even seeping into ecology.
Lab-Grown Turkey Is on the Table for Future Thanksgivings. One researcher working in the field of cellular agriculture wants to make turkey meat without the turkey.
How Black Soldier Fly Maggots Could Help Feed the World. Using insect larvae to convert food waste into high-protein feed for animals is a burgeoning industry, and has quickly become a promising component of sustainable agriculture.
South Asia May Become Too Hot for Humans to Survive by 2100. By the end of this century, temperatures in South Asia — a region where about one-fifth of the world’s population lives — could become too hot and humid for people to survive, according to a new study.
Methane-Eating Microbes Produce Food for Farmed Animals. Edible protein produced naturally by microbes could help feed fish that feed the world.
Cool the Planet? Geoengineering Is Easier Said Than Done. Two methods that could reduce the so-called greenhouse effect, under which gases and clouds in Earth’s atmosphere trap the sun’s heat, are not without risks.
Artificial Sweeteners Have Little or No Benefit to Health, Researchers Conclude. A review of thousands of research studies suggests that the benefits of consuming zero-calorie, alternative sweeteners — including aspartame, sucralose and stevioside — were modest to nil and for some people increased risk of weight gain, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, stroke and heart disease.
Humans Have Produced a Whopping 9 Billion Tons of Plastic. “I just want to say one word to you. Just one word. Are you listening? Plastics.” This famous line from the 1967 classic film “The Graduate” was meant as advice for Dustin Hoffman’s character, Benjamin Braddock, but in retrospect, it should have been a warning.
New Pollution Map Offers Unprecedented View of City’s Air Quality. More than 15,000 miles of pollution data could help everyone from policymakers to individuals make smarter choices about how to reduce pollution in a given city and increase awareness about how pollution varies in individual neighborhoods.
A Free Uber-Like App Finds Rides for People in Rural Areas. LibreTaxi can bring ride-sharing to places Uber and Lyft can’t reach.
Computers Should Be Named as Inventors on Patents. A lawyer proposes that creative computers be elevated from the role of sophisticated tools to that of inventors.
Junkyard Battery Turned Into a DIY Super Battery. Metal scraps, common household chemicals and an open-source plan could bring power to the people.
Electricity-Free Fridge Could Change Millions of Lives. Evaptainers’ EV-8 uses evaporative cooling to keep the temperature inside it 27 to 36 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 20 degrees Celsius) lower than the temperature outside.
Organic Food: What to Know Before You Buy. We take a look at some of the issues spoiling the organic food industry and offer advice on making the best choices.
Scary Politics Americans are scared about a lot of things—especially the government itself.
Washington Wolf Cull Won’t Save Livestock. Nonlethal methods work better at keeping wolves away from cattle, sheep and other livestock, so why do wildlife agencies keep killing?
Our ‘Technosphere’: 30 Trillion Tons of Man-Made Stuff. For the first time, scientists have estimated the weight of all of the structures, products and waste that humans have created.
Brain Implant Helps ‘Locked-In’ ALS Woman Communicate. Hanneke de Bruijne has the freedom now to spend more of her time outside.
Customizable ‘Smart’ Exoskeleton Learns From Your Steps. A new algorithm for an exoskeleton uses direct feedback from the wearer to customize the assistance provided.
Retro Inventor’s Utopic Vision Sparks Future Tech. A new book revives a mid-Century philosophy to solve modern problems.
My 9/11 Escape from the World Trade Center. A native New Yorker recounts her experience evacuating 2 WTC on 9/11 — and how that day changed her life.