Biology Botany Chemistry 

Microbes Help Plants Survive Heavy Metal Stress

By Radhika Desikan When you hear the term heavy metal, what do you think of? Music or chemistry? Exposure to heavy metal music can cause stress in some humans. But what about chemical heavy metals? Are they good or bad for the environment and living organisms? In chemical terms, heavy metals are elements in earth’s crust that have a high density (weight), and they include zinc, copper, iron, silver, gold, arsenic, lead, and cobalt, to name a few. While trace amounts of heavy metals such as copper, iron, cobalt, and…

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Astronomy Citizen Science Citizen Science Connected Blog 

Slavery from Space: Citizen Science in the Antislavery Movement

By Dr. Jessica Wardlaw Slavery from Space is a citizen science project that allows users to further the antislavery movement by mapping the locations of activities in which people are frequently found to be enslaved. How many slaves do you think there are in the world? You might be surprised. In 2016, the International Labour Organization estimated that 40.3 million people were enslaved globally, of which 28.7 million are women and girls and 24.9 million are in forced labor. To put those numbers into perspective, those sums are roughly equivalent…

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Anthropology Biology Botany Chemistry 

Leaf Age Matters for Plant Survival

By Radhika Desikan Does age really matter? For us humans, age seems to be a very sensitive issue relevant to how we live our lives. And while it also matters to plants, it does so at a different level. Some of our tissues, like skin, have cells that are constantly dividing (to replace dead cells) and therefore differ in age, but what defines our age as an organism is not the life span of individual cells in our body, but rather the length of time that has passed since our…

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Astronomy 

What Does a Black Hole Look Like?

By Steven Spence (@TheStevenSpence) “We ordinary people might lack your great speed or your X-ray vision, Superman, but never underestimate the power of the human mind.” Mark Millar, Superman: Red Son As I write this article, the science community is eagerly awaiting the April 10 press conference of the Event Horizon Telescope. By the time you read this, there will probably be multiple press releases and articles depicting a “photograph” of a black hole [1]. Technically, this will not be entirely true, but it will be a representation of a black…

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Citizen Science Citizen Science Connected Blog 

Neighborhood Science with GLOBE Mission Mosquito

Spring is a great time to start using the GLOBE Observer Mosquito Habitat Mapper.   Have you noticed any mosquitoes yet? Spring is upon us in the United States, and mosquitoes are already buzzing in many parts of the country. Below is a map that shows the approximate onset of the mosquito session throughout the contiguous U.S. You can observe how the mosquito season works its way northward as conditions become suitable for them to hatch and breed. If you don’t see mosquitoes already, take a look to this map…

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Craft beer aisles in a grocery store. Each aisle is labeled with the name of a different country. Environment 

Globalization and Its Environmental Impact

By Megan Nichols (@nicholsrmegan) Broadly speaking, globalization refers to the increased interdependence of nations and the way people from different cultures and geographic locations can receive goods or communicate with each other thanks to free trade and information technology, among other things. But it’s a much more complex phenomenon than that, and it’s necessary to have an all-encompassing understanding of what it entails. Here, we’ll examine how globalization affects the environment in both positive and negative ways, and what changes could be made to ease its adverse effects in a…

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Blogs Book Reviews Citizen Science Citizen Science Connected Blog 

Book Review: Building a Foundation in Environmental Science

Dickinson, Janis L. & Bonney, Rick. (eds). Citizen Science: Public Participation in Environmental Research. Cornell University Press, 2012. 279 pages. Paperback $US 29.95. Though it was published in 2012, Citizen Science: Public Participation in Environmental Research is relevant to our present moment. As discussions of environmental research increase in frequency and urgency, institutions at all levels will continue to raise questions about the public’s scientific literacy and the best methods of mobilizing scientific knowledge. This text works through these questions, asserting that “citizen science has a crucial role to play”…

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Citizen Science Connected Blog 

Fighting Alzheimer’s during the Megathon: Spotlight on Three Citizen Scientists

Stall Catchers, a gamified way of contributing to Alzheimer’s research, is going big! Working with SciStarter, the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at Arizona State University, the Citizen Science Association, the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Pacific Southwest Region, and other partners, Stall Catchers is activating the Megathon during Citizen Science Day hon April 13. New players can join the thousands who have already zoomed through mouse brains, helping find clogged blood vessels that may lead to Alzheimer’s. While you play, you can exchange messages with…

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Education Science & Art Uncategorized 

Interactive, Educational Theater with Jargie the Science Girl

By Shayna Keyles (@shaynakeyles) Since Jocelyn Argueta was young, science has been fun for her. It’s a creative endeavor that allows her to push forward and create new things. Most of all, it’s inspiring. That’s one of the inspirations behind Jargie the Science Girl!, an interactive science performance produced by Phantom Projects Theater Group. The nonprofit troupe, based in the La Mirada Theater for Performing Arts, has been producing educational, hard-hitting theater for teens and youth since 1997. Their shows cover themes including bullying, racism, prejudice, and tolerance, and are…

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Biology Biota Project Ecology 

The Millions of Microbes Beneath our Feet

By Nicholas Dove (@nicholascdove), for The Biota Project Microorganisms are everywhere on planet earth—on every surface, in the air, in the ground, and inside you. The good news is that many of these benefit you. Recent findings have shown that having a healthy gut microbiome (community of microorganisms) is important for proper digestion and even disease prevention (Penicillin is an antibacterial fungus that is used to treat many types of infections). Similarly, having a healthy soil microbiome is important to support plants and properly functioning ecosystems. Soil microbes play a…

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