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.

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Learning from Yesterday, Planning for Tomorrow: Predicting the Future Impact of Climate Change in Michigan

Climate change is scary. Michigan researchers are empowering their community to prepare for it by predicting how extreme heat and precipitation events may impact public health in the future. Policy makers can use these findings to protect the most vulnerable members of the community!

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A mosquito’s feet think you stink: Researchers discover what makes DEET the most effective insect repellent on the market

When covered in widely used insect repellent DEET, a mosquito’s mouth thinks you are good enough to eat. But their legs would beg to differ. A recent study by scientist at Rockefeller University finally explains why DEET is the most effective bug repellent.

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Ecological grief: In my feelings along the Gulf Coast

Aldo Leopold stated “One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds.” He meant that those of us with deep connections to the natural environment, whether that be a farmer, fisher, or ecologist, are more aware of declining ecological health. We notice that there are less birds. We notice all the dead turtles along the road. We notice that it hasn’t rained in weeks and all the plants are crying. The unprecedented changes stemming from climate change have gained an increasing amount of people’s attention leading to the formation of the term ecological grief. The verdict is out. Climate change is making many of us depressed.

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Red, White, and Blue-Green Algae: Harmful Algal Blooms Block Summer Plans, and Could Become More Common Without Action

Recent harmful algal blooms in the Northeast US have thwarted holiday plans for many lake-goers, and climate change might make such blooms more common. If we could have tighter control on the nutrients flowing into the lake, we may have a chance at preventing blooms in the future.

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Poison Ivy’s Pervasiveness

Are you part of the 80% of the population that is allergic to poison ivy? What do we really know about poison ivy beyond its potential to cause an itchy rash on our skin? Poison ivy can actually adapt to its environment and exploit a variety of habitats, which helps explain its ubiquitous distribution. A future climate with greater carbon dioxide concentrations is expected to expand its distribution and increase its toxicity – bad news.

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Climate Change and Inequality: The Missing Link.

In the most recent IPCC report, scientists have concluded that global warming is likely to reach 1.5o C between 2030 and 2052, if it continues to increase at the current rate. To curb this warming, and the host of environmental plagues with it, we must completely halt our carbon emissions by 2050. That’s 30 years. But who is actually on the front-lines of climate change? And why do some people draw parallels between climate change and inequality? Is the key to all of this solving both at the same time?

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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.

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