Earth

Sending bees into clouds of death

Sending bees into clouds of death

What bee would fly back and forth through a massive, 60-acre death cloud ten times over the course of 12-and-a-half hours? That question forms the basis for a new paper stating bees are not only doing that, but they are doing it for no benefit to agriculture, because the pesticide they are flying through doesn't work at all.
 

Skyrmions spin in synchronized fashion

Skyrmions spin in synchronized fashion

Skyrmions, quasi-particles first observed in 2009, arise from the collective behavior of electrons in magnetic materials under certain conditions. Due to their spins, the electrons act as tiny magnets where their magnetic poles align with their spins. A phenomenon called the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction (DMI) -- which occurs at the interface between a magnetic layer and a non-magnetic metal -- tilts the spins and arranges them into circular patterns.

These circular arrangements of spins, which behave collectively like particles, are skyrmions. 

How old are animals? A molecular clock reopens the debate

When did animals evolve on earth? It's a harder question to answer than it might seem. Though fossil embryos suggest a little more than half a billion years ago, fossils are rare, difficult to interpret, and always being replaced by older fossils as paleontologists, biologists and geologists take a multi-disciplinary approach to determining where fossils are most likely to be found.

Increase in extreme Northeast storms occurred as an abrupt shift in 1996

The Northeast has experienced an increase in the number of storms with extreme precipitation, with an increase in extreme Northeast storms in 1996, particularly in the spring and fall, rather than as a steady change over several decades.

With climate change, a warmer atmosphere is able to hold more moisture, which is likely to affect the frequency, intensity and location of extreme precipitation. Understanding historical changes in extreme storms, including in the Northeast, can improve our understanding of future precipitation projections with continued climate change.

Blue and purple corn: Activists may not like it, but it could be the future of natural colors

Blue and purple corn: Activists may not like it, but it could be the future of natural colors

Activists have convinced the public that "natural" is better, but studies show that isn't really true. Malaria is certainly not healthy and natural banana flavor can be more toxic than the synthetic kind, according to the American Council on Science and Health.

Positive Correlation Between Bee Health and Conventional Agriculture

Positive Correlation Between Bee Health and Conventional Agriculture

A new study found that the overall health of honey bee hives actually improves in the presence of agricultural production.

The authors evaluated the impacts of row-crop agriculture, including the traditional use of pesticides, on honey bee health. Results indicated that hive health was positively correlated to the presence of agriculture. According to the study, colonies in a non-agricultural area struggled to find adequate food resources and produced fewer offspring. 

Manipulating water using light

A desire to find new ways of separating oil from water, such as to treat the frothy mixture of briny water and crude oil produced from certain oil wells, has led to ways to manipulate the water using only light.

You can't trust EWG about pesticides on fruits and vegetables

You can't trust EWG about pesticides on fruits and vegetables

Spring is just around the corner, and with it comes another growing season. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help lower calorie intake; reduce risks for heart disease, obesity and Type 2 diabetes; and protect against certain cancers.

Neonicotinoids detected in Iowa drinking water

Neonicotinoids, a targeted (as opposed to broadly sprayed) insecticide common in agriculture, have been detected in drinking water. Since in modern times we can even detect parts per quadrillion in drinking water, is the health of Iowans at risk?

How accurate are wildlife surveys?

How accurate are wildlife surveys?

Do you know species are going extinct at an alarming rate? Do you know bees are in peril?

What if you found out those are all based on surveys? As we saw in the US election in 2016, surveys are not science, no matter how much groups claim they weight them. Unless the results are easily predictable (like the 2012 election) there is no way statistical significance will mean an accurate result.