A Three-Thousand-Year Glimpse into Climate and Human-Influenced Animal Extinction in China

How long of a time period needs to be studied before conclusions about human activity, population, and rising temperatures’ effect on animal extinction can be drawn? A recent paper focusing on three thousand years of historical animal population data shows that these things have led to significantly lower number of animals throughout recorded history – and the trend is still continuing.

Read more

Detective Work in the Nuclear Era: Investigating a Mysterious Radioactive Event

Nuclear alarm bells rang loudly in 2017 when sensors all around Europe detected sudden increases of a potent radioactive substance in the air. There were no known nuclear-related incidents or accidents at the time. This is the story of how a multi-national team worked together to monitor, analyze, and finally pinpoint the source of this still-undeclared release of radioactive material.

Read more

100% Sustainable Electricity by 2050 is Quite Possible

The technology to produce electricity from renewable resources like sunlight and wind has been around for many years. However, the vast majority of electricity in the world is generated from fossil fuels, which is a major contributor to pollution and climate change. Recent research shows that sustained, incremental changes can lead to sustainable, renewable electricity around the globe by 2050 – mitigating environmental damage from current practices.

Read more

A Walk in the Park: Green Space in Childhood Good for Mental Health

Teaser: Parks and other green spaces have long been known to benefit general physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Recent research shows that having green space around one’s home in childhood is associated with lower risk of psychiatric disorders as an adult. This finding shows the importance of residential green space in promoting lifelong mental health.

Read more

Chagas Disease Eradication in Guatemala: An Example of Successful Cooperative Vector Control

Large-scale cooperation from anyone for anything often seems out of reach. Large-scale cooperation from multiple government entities to control a disease vector and actually bring about a decline in the disease in one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere is a truly difficult goal. That is what’s happening in Guatemala in an attempt to control Chagas disease. Has any real progress been made?

Read more

Using Mathematical Models to Better Understand Mosquito-Borne Disease Transmission

Diseases like dengue, chikungunya, and Zika are largely (or entirely!) spread by mosquitoes. Mosquitoes thrive in hot, humid weather. This is why we see more mosquitoes during the warm summer months – hotter weather means more mosquitoes. That should mean more mosquito-borne disease too, right? Not exactly. Recent research is showing that the relationship between temperature and the spread of these diseases is actually more complicated.

Read more