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Various images of different types of neuston
Neuston: Living Among Plastic Debris in the Open Ocean
With plastic recovery operations now underway in the world’s marine garbage patches, scientists must contend with how little was known about the organisms living at the surface.
Neuston: Living Among Plastic Debris in the Open Ocean
Neuston: Living Among Plastic Debris in the Open Ocean

With plastic recovery operations now underway in the world’s marine garbage patches, scientists must contend with how little was known about the organisms living at the surface.

With plastic recovery operations now underway in the world’s marine garbage patches, scientists must contend with how little was known about the organisms living at the surface.

pollution
Calm lake reflecting sky with boat in foreground
Plastic Pollution Boosts Bacterial Growth in Lake Water
Patience Asanga | Jul 26, 2022 | 3 min read
A study finds that not only did aquatic bacteria thrive when chemicals washed from degrading plastic were introduced into lake water, they also broke down organic matter more efficiently.
Trichaptum abietinum growing on a pine log
Caught on Camera
The Scientist Staff | Jun 13, 2022 | 4 min read
See some of the coolest images recently featured by The Scientist
Close-up of a fiber with brightly colored pathogens beside it
Microplastics in Seawater May Harbor Parasites
Christie Wilcox, PhD | Apr 26, 2022 | 2 min read
Laboratory experiments find that Toxoplasma, Cryptosporidium, and Giardia can congregate on microplastic beads and fibers, suggesting they might make their way into and around the world’s oceans by hitching rides on tiny bits of trash.
a man collects water using a fishing pole and can
World’s Rivers Rife with Drugs: Study
Christie Wilcox, PhD | Feb 15, 2022 | 2 min read
Levels of pharmaceuticals considered unsafe for aquatic organisms were found at more than one-quarter of sampling sites.
babies
Sex Ratios at Birth Linked to Pollutants
Chloe Tenn | Dec 3, 2021 | 2 min read
A large, long-term study across the US and Sweden finds potential correlations between specific pollutants and the proportions of male and female babies born.
Photograph showing plastic waste polluting the beach
Book Excerpt from Thicker Than Water
Erica Cirino | Oct 1, 2021 | 4 min read
In Chapter 5, "Pick Up the Pieces," author Erica Cirino investigates the potential health risks of the small plastic particles that permeate the planet.
Problem plastic bottles and microplastics floating in the open ocean
Opinion: Plastic Pollution May Endanger Brains
Erica Cirino | Oct 1, 2021 | 3 min read
Plastic waste pervades every ecosystem on Earth and is likely affecting neurobiology as well.
A smiling Black man leans against a colorful wall
Shane Campbell-Staton Dissects the Anthropocene
Lisa Winter | Sep 1, 2021 | 4 min read
The Princeton University evolutionary biologist studies how animals are changing due to human activity.
Study Looks for Effects of Fetal Exposure to Air Pollution
Jef Akst | Aug 1, 2021 | 5 min read
By measuring various pollutants in the immediate vicinity of pregnant women and tracking brain development of their children, researchers in Barcelona aim to untangle any influence the former has on the latter.
Dead fish due to lack of oxygen floating on water.
Oxygen Levels Dropping in US and European Lakes: Study
Lisa Winter | Jun 7, 2021 | 2 min read
Researchers find a widespread decline in dissolved oxygen levels in lakes, which is known to reshape ecosystems.
Fireflies lighting up a tree at night
Firefly Tourism Sparks Calls for Sustainable Practices
Asher Jones | Jun 1, 2021 | 5 min read
More and more people are traveling around the world to watch the luminous displays of fireflies, but tourism-related light pollution and habitat degradation threaten to snuff out the insects at some locations.  
EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, Pollution, science, legislation, environment, Joe Biden, Trumpule, censored science, transparency rule,
A Federal Judge Ditches EPA’s Science Transparency Rule
Asher Jones | Feb 8, 2021 | 2 min read
The Trump-era regulation, which allowed certain studies to be downplayed in the development of environmental regulations, drew sharp criticism from scientists and environmental groups.
a sign reading "United States Environmental Protection Agency" on the side of a building
EPA Finalizes Much-Criticized “Transparency” Rule
Shawna Williams | Jan 5, 2021 | 3 min read
The regulation, which requires that the agency give preference to dose-response studies in which the underlying data are available, could downplay findings key to defining the dangers of pollution.
Q&A: Pollution Linked to 15 Percent Increase in COVID-19 Deaths
Lisa Winter | Nov 10, 2020 | 3 min read
Jos Lelieveld of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry explains how fine particulate might contribute to deaths from COVID-19.
Looming Change
Bob Grant | Nov 1, 2020 | 3 min read
While the world is still coming to grips with the new reality wrought by COVID-19, the risk of catastrophe from a warming planet persists.
Wrist-Mounted Air Pollution Detector
Claire Jarvis | May 1, 2020 | 3 min read
A novel sampler records data on a broad range of environmental contaminants.
EPA Protections Relaxed During Coronavirus Pandemic
Amy Schleunes | Mar 27, 2020 | 2 min read
Citing potential worker shortages and the effects of restricted travel and social distancing, the Environmental Protection Agency announced a “sweeping suspension” of environmental regulations that some say gives companies free rein to pollute.
superworms polystyreme styrofoam Zophobas atratus
Beetle Larvae Can Survive on Polystyrene Alone
Nayanah Siva | Mar 11, 2020 | 4 min read
Also known as superworms, the scavengers are able to digest the plastic, opening up the possibility of harnessing their abilities to help tackle our pollution crisis.
Image of the Day: Plastic Nests
Amy Schleunes | Mar 3, 2020 | 1 min read
Seabirds in Norway use fishing debris to construct nests.
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