Earth & Environment

The "third rock from the Sun"—Earth. With an orbit neither too close nor too far from the Sun, it occupies a unique position in the Solar System. It's the only planet known to man with the right conditions for the origin and evolution of life. During Earth's 4.5 billion-year history, a combination of processes has transformed it into a watery blue, living planet. The Earth's ecosystems involve complex interactions between the biological (living) and physical (non-living) worlds. Scientific research helps us comprehend our effects on the environment and how the environment in turn responds to impacts of our activities.

Fertilizer genomics

DNA analysis reveals "kingpin" genes, master regulators in networks of genes that take up the nitrogen in fertilizer

Bug battles

With support from the National Science Foundation, University of Florida entomologist Christine Miller and her team are researching mate selection and animal weapons as a key to better understanding animal behavior, diversity and evolution

Chimpanzees offer clues to Alzheimer's disease

A National Science Foundation-funded study led by Kent State University found that the brains of aged chimpanzees, our closest living relatives, show similarities to brains effected by the human Alzheimer's disease

Off-roading: Salt content rises in freshwater lakes

National Science Foundation-funded researchers affiliated with the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network discover an issue with road salt used to melt away snow and ice. Turns out, it's contributing to rising salinity in many North American freshwater lakes.

The glass is greener

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, Bourns College of Engineering have used waste glass bottles and a low-cost chemical process to create nanosilicon anodes for high-performance lithium-ion batteries

Digital eye in the sky

David Johnson, assistant professor of the practice of marine conservation ecology at Duke University, has found that drone technology allows his research team to collect huge volumes of data from remote or extreme locations

Key ingredient for new, sustainable asphalt--pig poop!

With support from the National Science Foundation, civil engineer Ellie Fini and a team at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University have designed a sticky binder made from pig manure that can be used to make asphalt