Follow your nose: the importance of odor for stress relief in urban green spaces

As the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are experiencing increased stress and anxiety. Although social distancing is in practice, most recommendations say it’s still okay to take a walk outside (just keep your distance from others!). In fact, spending time in nature can help reduce stress. Researchers examined how sights, smells, and sounds affect stress recovery in urban natural areas.

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Are everywhere chemicals contributing to lifestyle diseases?

There has been a lot of controversy recently about a group of chemicals that are found, well, nearly everywhere: phthalates. Their ubiquitous presence in our environment combined with their toxic effects observed in lab animals, have fueled concerns that they might be negatively impacting our health. What does the research on humans show?

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Historical Mercury Pollution: Tree Rings Have the Receipts!

Mercury is a troublesome pollutant in the environment and while we know a lot more about where sources are today, we don’t know as much about where sources were in the past and how high pollution levels were. Luckily, trees can help us to figure that out! Using traces of mercury pollution stored in tree rings, scientists try to see how mercury pollution levels have changed as we’ve become more industrialized.

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