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In Our Nature

  • elephant feet hero

    Seeing Electricity, Hearing Magnetism & Other Sensory Feats

    For elephants, feet are sensory organs.Martin Harvey, Getty Images It’s pretty obvious that dogs have sharper ears and cats a keener sense of smell than we do. But as powerful these senses are, they are merely keener versions of the ones we humans possess. The animal kingdom also boast some senses that are arguably more […]

  • PodMod Mississippi Cantrell

    Humans & Nature Can Co-Exist in “Cyborg” Ecosystems

    An illustration showing how dirt-filled PodMod containers would drift out of the Mississippi DeltaBradley Cantrell, Charlie Pruitt, Brennan Dedon, Rob Herkes Some people gaze at the Mississippi River and see the majesty of nature: a mighty waterway that carved a path through our continent, draining the vast plains between the Rockies and the Appalachians before […]

  • passenger pigeon eggs de-extinction hero

    To Bring Back Extinct Species, We’ll Need to Change Our Own

    Passenger pigeon eggs at the Maine State MuseumBrandon Keim; displayed courtesy of Paula Work, registrar & curator of zoology at the museum The last passenger pigeon died just over a century ago, though they’ve lived on as symbols—of extinction’s awful finality, and also of a human carelessness so immense that it could exterminate without really […]

  • Dermatophagoides farinae dust mite

    A Holiday Guest Is Leaving Dangerous Poop in Your Couch

    We have long known that we can catch germs while traveling. Recent years have shown that we can also bring home bed bugs. This holiday season, a PLoS One study informs us that by merely plopping into the seat of a car or airplane, we can unknowingly pick up dust mites—microscopic 8-legged arthropods that eat […]

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    Take Two Hikes and Call Me in the Morning

      One hundred sixty years ago, Henry David Thoreau published his magnum opus, Walden. In it he detailed his time spent living alongside nature in a cabin adjacent to Walden Pond. In one of the book’s emblematic lines, Thoreau wrote, “We can never have enough of nature.” He believed that it was a “tonic” for us. […]

  • Gross

    These Are Their Brains on Silence

    How silence affects the scientists who study it.

  • Gross

    These Are Their Brains on Silence

    How silence affects the scientists who study it.

  • Pitman-HERO

    Art Is Long, Science Is Longer

    My years surveying trees in the Amazon taught me the forest is unknowable.

  • Pitman-HERO

    Art Is Long, Science Is Longer

    My years surveying trees in the Amazon taught me the forest is unknowable.

  • Nobel_HERO_REV-2

    The Queen of the Cumberland River

    When I traveled south to research fire ants, I discovered a different kind of hive.