Protecting the environment is usually easier to the extent we can link it to human health concerns. The tough federal Clean Air Act, for example, has been driving the Chesapeake Bay cleanup, but the real impetus for the law is the Environmental Protection Agency’s estimate that it’s saving more than 160,000 human lives each year.
In a towering forest of centuries-old eastern hemlocks, it's easy to miss one of the tree's nemeses. No larger than a speck of pepper, the Hemlock woolly adelgid spends its life on the underside of needles sucking sap, eventually killing the tree.
Preserving the environment is often seen as a battle of development versus nature. But in America today, roughly three-fourths of us live in metropolitan areas. To preserve our health and the planet's health, we need to create something new: A sustainable city.
When we think of nature in cities, we often think about major green expanses, places like Central Park in New York City or Griffith Park in Los Angeles. But in these cities and others, little patches of greenery — sometimes forgotten, often overlooked — can be very important for the local environment.
You shouldn't put illegal drugs in your body, and you shouldn't let neighborhood bodies of water ingest them, either. A new study suggests that aquatic life in Baltimore is being exposed to drugs, and it's having an impact.
When the scientists behind an ambitious tick study began their work in April, they did not know how many Dutchess County families would be willing to grant access to their properties and personal health information.
Ecologists put on an unconventional fashion show at the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America (ESA) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Each showcased a custom-made garment that artistically depicted his or her own field of research, the organism or environment to which they’d devoted their life and careers — their hearts on their sleeves.
On a Thursday morning in May, I follow researcher Kelly Oggenfuss into the forest on the grounds of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York. Stopping at an orange flag, she picks up a footlong metal box. With a gloved hand, she extracts a terrified-looking rodent. "These guys," she says, pinching the mouse between the shoulder blades, "are really good at passing along Lyme disease to ticks."
Over the course of the past year or so, there have been a number of incredible tech projects aimed at stopping the spread of Ebola. One approach that we’ve never come across before, however, involves plotting the possible spread of Ebola and other “filoviruses” of the same family by predicting which bat species they’re most likely to be carried by
As an investigation by scientists at Duke University and the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies shows, the value of long-term studies can't be understated. In it, investigators looking at the impacts of acid rain on the soil acidity of a New Hampshire forest found that everything behaved as expected for about a decade. But after that, the system went haywire.
There are many infections in humans which originate from animals. Diseases which spread in this way are called zoonoses. Zika is one example and was first discovered in a monkey with a mild fever in the Zika forest in Uganda in the 1940s. Another is Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome or MERS – which originates in camels.
Of all the ailments that plague people, the majority began like these three: with a bacteria, virus, parasite or other pathogen that jumped from an innocuous animal host to the human population. But there's no global database documenting where these kinds of infections — called zoonoses — might be lying in wait.
When it comes to emerging diseases, the Zika virus is just the tip of the iceberg. New research has revealed several hot spots around the world where diseases are most likely to move from wildlife—wild mammals, specifically—into the human population.