News & Features

Abstracts: Disappearing Karst, Crispr, and More

Scientists are racing to document rare plant and animal species before the karst cliffs of Cambodia are turned into cement. A new species of mouse uses sound waves to navigate, suggesting that bats evolved echolocation before flight. Read these stories and more in our twice-weekly news roundup.

Abstracts: Dakota Access, Science March, and More

A federal judge rejected two tribes’ efforts to stop the final stage of construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline. The March for Science is scheduled to take place on April 22 in Washington, D.C. and over 100 other cities around the world. Read these stories and more in our twice-weekly news roundup.

Return to Sender

After years of drought, California is getting some much-needed relief, but the state — like many other regions of the world — will continue to face challenges to its drinking water supply. Recycling sewage may sound profoundly unappetizing, but it may be part of the answer. (Visual by Lucas Haugen)

High Schoolers Have High Hopes for Saving Corals

Climate change, illegal harvesting, coastal development, destructive fishing practices, and ocean pollution have been driving the world’s wild coral populations to the brink. But a high school science class on Long Island is hoping their captive-grown corals might one day help to address the problem.

Bullet Proof

Despite ample scientific evidence linking the use of lead ammunition to a host of environmental and public health threats, roughly 90 percent of the 10 billion rounds purchased every year in the United States still contain lead. That, reform advocates say, is absurd — if not downright negligent.

After the Oxbow

For reasons complex, historic, and muddy, the lower Mississippi River ecosystem now depends greatly on the slow-moving, seasonal backwaters that thread through the thin, riverside forests that persist between engineered levees. Those backwaters, a growing chorus of scientists say, are beginning to disappear.

Connecting the Dots

In one of his final acts in office, President Obama added an additional 48,000 acres of protected land to Oregon’s little-known Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. Ranchers and loggers called it a tragedy, but scientists say it was a crucial victory for biodiversity and landscape connectivity.

The Measure of a Fog: Geoengineering

With the exception of rogue experiments, most geoengineering schemes — which aim to reverse climate change on a planetary scale — are still in the “what if” phase, and caution would seem to dictate that we go slowly. Still, with temperatures and emissions still rising, such ideas could gain new urgency.

A Prescription for Better Science

What’s wrong with science? Stanford University’s John Ioannidis has been asking this question for a long time – at least since his 2005 article, “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False.” Seventeen years later, he and a slate of co-authors have some suggestions about how to solve the problem.

Before the Bridge Falls Down

Experts have said for decades that engineering schools should do more to prepare their students for the ethical challenges they’ll face in the industry, including powerful incentives to cut corners and hide mistakes. Some schools are making such ethics coursework mandatory, but critics say it’s not enough.

Flood-Risk Figures Get Friendlier

A new approach to assessing changes in U.S. flood risks in the past 30 years reveals a progressive rise in risk in the northern U.S. and a drop in much of the southern U.S. And the risk is expressed in elevation measures that make sense to non-scientists rather than in cubic meters per second.