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mouse

Why this adorable mouse is to blame for the spread of Lyme disease

White-footed mice — known for their wide eyes and ears, long tails and snow-white bellies and the feet from which they get their name — are often overlooked by humans, hiding out by the billions in U.S. forests, shrubby thickets and even wooded wetlands. But there's one creature that knows them well: the tick.

abandoned buildings

The hidden inequality of mosquito bites

Living in a low-income neighborhood means dealing with all manner of injustices that richer people don't have to deal with — from low life expectancy to worse air quality to earsplitting noise to slower Internet speeds.

With a tick boom, it’s not just Lyme disease you have to fear

Everybody knows about Lyme disease. But experts say the Northern United States may be in for a bad tick season this summer, raising concerns about Lyme and other scary tick-borne diseases, including the Powassan virus, which causes encephalitis and can leave people with permanent neurological damage.

Tick towns: Researchers target neighborhoods in Lyme effort

With a bumper crop of blacklegged ticks possible this season, researchers in a Lyme disease-plagued part of New York's Hudson Valley are tackling tick problems across entire neighborhoods with fungal sprays and bait boxes. 

How wildebeest deaths sustain the Mara ecosystem

From documentaries to real life, the mass carnage of the wildebeest in migration is a natural phenomenon that remains the world's largest terrestrial animal migration.

toilet sampling

In urban Baltimore, poor neighborhoods have more mosquitoes

A new study published in the Journal of Medical Entomology reports that in Baltimore, Maryland, neighborhoods with high levels of residential abandonment are hotspots for tiger mosquitoes (Aedes albopictus). This environmental injustice may leave low-income urban residents more vulnerable to mosquito-borne disease.

lyme rash

Why you should really be scared of ticks this summer

Ecologists at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in the Hudson Valley say tick populations are slated to be the highest in years due to a wet winter two years ago, which offered ample acorns for the Lyme disease-carrying mice that ticks feed on.

Marabou storks

How 2 million pounds of rotting flesh helps the Serengeti

For wildebeest, the yearly migration across the Serengeti can mean life or death. Predators such as crocodiles and big cats lie in wait as the herd of more than one million makes its 1,000-mile loop across the savannas of Tanzania and Kenya.

The answer is blowing in the wind

Most people accept that coal is a dirty fuel: Dirty to mine, dirty to burn, and dirty to dispose of the ash. Already there is a shift away from coal-fired power plants, but they still account for 30% of our electric power nationwide. 

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This river kills thousands of wildebeests — then gives life to everything else.

African wildebeests are like clueless couples that get hacked to pieces in horror movies. Time after time, year after year, giant herds of the animals creep to the edge of the Mara River in Kenya and start to drink, seemingly oblivious to danger.

Wildebeest feast: Mass drownings fuel the Mara River ecosystem

Each year, more than a million wildebeest migrate through Africa’s Serengeti Mara Ecosystem. While crossing the Kenyan reach of the Mara River, thousands perish. A new study, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the first to reveal how wildebeest drownings impact the ecology of the iconic river.

US: Lyme disease experts warn ticks are spreading

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Cary researchers are warning of a possible surge in tick-borne diseases in the United States this summer. A warming climate increases the likelihood that ticks will spread across the country - and that raises concerns of a public health crisis.

The Cary Institute teams with IBM Research to address Zika

When the Zika virus arrived in Brazil, it went largely unnoticed until infected infants were born with microcephaly, a neurological disorder marked by a small head caused by severe underdevelopment of brain tissue in utero. As the number of Zika-affected babies grew, the World Health Organization moved quickly to declare Zika virus a public health emergency of international concern.

Today, even US water is overly medicated-these scientists want to change that

Sylvia Lee, PhD, is a scientist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York. She has access to an unusual-yet essential-set of laboratory equipment: a whole greenhouse filled with white fiberglass bathtubs. 

The 'slow motion crisis' that's facing US forests

The U.S. is subject to the introduction of 2.5 new invasive insects into its forests ever year, according to a comprehensive analysis of this problem by Gary Lovett of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and a group of 15 colleagues. And that number is just for insects — it doesn't count diseases, such as sudden oak death.

ticks

Prepare for a Bad Summer for Ticks

Milder winters, burgeoning mice and deer populations and a bumper acorn crop from two years ago mean this year's tick season is expected to be bad and more widespread, experts say. With that comes the threat of more tick-borne diseases, including the most common, Lyme disease.

Inaccurate IUCN range maps leave birds endemic to India’s Western Ghats vulnerable

Range maps used by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) fall short of protecting birds endemic to the Western Ghats, a mountainous biodiversity hotspot in southern India. 

North America's freshwater lakes are getting saltier

North America's freshwater lakes are getting saltier due to development and exposure to road salt. A study of 371 lakes published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports that many Midwestern and Northeastern lakes are experiencing increasing chloride trends, with some 44% of lakes sampled in these regions undergoing long-term salinization.

Road salt is putting North America’s lakes at risk

In the 1940s, Americans found a new way to love salt. Not simply for sprinkling on food — we'd acquired a taste for the mineral long before that — but for spreading on roads and sidewalks. Salt became a go-to method to de-ice frozen pavement.

lyme map

Lyme disease is set to explode and we still don’t have a vaccine

A new prediction says 2017 and 2018 will see major Lyme disease outbreaks in new areas. This could lead to lifelong health consequences, so where's the vaccine?

When science informed policy

At any moment, science gives us its best explanation of reality. It proceeds by rigorous tests of hypotheses through observation and experimentation.

Seven documented reasons why YOU should care about climate change

The New York Times reports that most Americans believe that our climate is changing, and a majority of them feel that the combustion of coal should be scaled back.  But, what lags in public opinion is the motivation to do very much else about climate change.  Most people don’t think climate change will matter to them.

sea

SOS: Sucking oxygen out of the sea

Reports that the world’s oceans showed a two percent decline in oxygen content over the past 50 years gathered a lot of press attention a couple of weeks ago. This was not the first time that oceanographers have reported human impacts on the marine environment, and it is not likely to be the last.

It’s a fish eat tree world

Most of the planet’s freshwater stores are found in the northern hemisphere, a region that is changing rapidly in response to human activity and shifting climatic trends. An international team of scientists analyzed 147 northern lakes and found that many rely on nutrients from tree leaves, pine needles, and other land-grown plants to feed aquatic life.

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Will climate change affect forest ecology?

For many of us, winter in the Northeast means cold temperatures and piles of snow, drifting through forests and across fields. It’s hard to imagine that winter here could be different, but the prospect of climate change has scientists asking just what our winters might look like in the future – and how those changes might influence forest ecology.

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