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Environment

Cocaine - A Natural Scourge

25 Mar 2021

While walking around the exhibit hall at an agricultural conference a few years ago, when we could still travel, I perused the usual displays of farming equipment and industry booths promoting...

Human-Guided Evolution Closer Than You Think

23 Mar 2021

We tend to fixate on the drastic changes caused by evolution over huge timescales. It’s easy to ignore the small variations between generations that add together over time to form the big...

Why is my dog's pee ruining my lawn?

25 Sep 2020

Most homeowners let their dogs use the backyard as their own personal toilet. Often after a winter of such potty practice, when the snow melts, you’ll often find your lawn speckled with unsightly...

A Fly On The Wall

18 Sep 2020

How many times have you heard the expression, “if only I could be a fly on that wall?” But how do flies walk up walls and across ceilings? At the Marine Science Laboratory in North Wales scientists...

Sweet Potatoes and Some Sweet Chemistry 

11 Sep 2020

In November 2019, a study published in Scientific Reports showed a fascinating defense mechanism possessed by a certain variety of sweet potato named TN 57, which was known to be much more...

A Plant That Eats Bugs

28 Aug 2020

The Venus flytrap is a carnivorous plant well known for its ability to lure insects (and arachnids) into its “capture organ.” Once they enter there is no escape. The organ shuts tight and the...

Crustaceans have teeth in their stomach

12 Aug 2020

Believe it or not, lobsters, as well as other crustaceans such as crabs and crayfish, have teeth in their stomach! The teeth are part of a system called the “gastric mill.” Through rhythmic...

Scents and Sensibilities

7 Aug 2020

It is quite amazing how very small changes in an odourant’s chemical structure can radically change our perception of its scent. For example, octanol, a synthetic compound used in perfumes and...

The “Greenwashing” Effect

22 Jul 2020

“Greenwashing” is the term used to describe the promotion of a product based on misleading claims of superiority to other products in terms of environmental impact or safety. For example, many...

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