Many of the trees we grow evolved in temperate climates and can’t tolerate the stress of drought, water restrictions, higher salinity levels in recycled water, wind and new pests that arrive almost daily via global trade and tourism ... one particularly dangerous menace — the polyphagous shot hole borer beetle — could kill as many as 27 million trees in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties... roughly 38% of the 71 million trees in the 4,244 square mile urban region
for decades scientists have been trying to develop an artificial womb that would re-create a more natural environment for a premature baby to continue to develop in. One of the main challenges was re-creating the intricate circulatory system that connects mom to fetus: the mom’s blood flows to the baby and back, exchanging oxygen for carbon dioxide. The blood needs to flow with just enough pressure, but an external pump can damage the baby’s heart.
One of the biggest constituents of rubbish dumps is polyethylene... When they put wax-moth caterpillars onto the sort of film it had taken Nocardia asteroides half a year to deal with, they found that holes appeared in it within 40 minutes ... it has yet to be established whether the caterpillars gain nutritional value from the plastics they eat, as well as If the droppings produced by eating plastic turn out to be toxic
low-lying cities around the world are experiencing increased “clear-sky flooding,” in which streets or entire neighborhoods are washed out temporarily by high tides and storm surges. Parts of Washington now experience flooding 30 days a year, a figure that has roughly quadrupled since 1960. In Wilmington, N.C., the number is 90 days. But scientists and city planners have conjured a term of art that defuses that astonishing reality: “nuisance flooding,” they call it.
As the world warms -- thanks largely to the 1,200 metric tons of carbon dioxide we humans are pumping into the atmosphere each second -- the ice is disappearing. The planet has warmed about 1 degree Celsius since the Industrial Revolution, when people started burning fossil fuels for heat and electricity, creating a blanket of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere. But scientists say the Arctic, the far-north, is warming twice as fast as the rest of Earth.
The flow of money from rich countries to poor countries pales in comparison to the flow that runs in the other direction ... In 2012, the last year of recorded data, developing countries received a total of $1.3tn, including all aid, investment, and income from abroad. But that same year some $3.3tn flowed out of them.
a year after Berkeley’s soda tax took effect in 2015, the city saw a nearly 10 percent drop in purchases of sugary drinks and a nearly 16 percent increase in sales of bottled water ... Last year, voters approved a similar soda tax in San Francisco, Oakland and Albany, Calif., as well as in Boulder, Colo., Cook County, Ill., and Philadelphia. Santa Fe, N.M., and Seattle are considering soda taxes.
More workers in general merchandise stores have been laid off since October, about 89,000 Americans. That is more than all of the people employed in the United States coal industry ... The job losses in retail could have unexpected social and political consequences, as huge numbers of low-wage retail employees become economically unhinged, just as manufacturing workers did in recent decades. About one out of every 10 Americans works in retail.
Treating addiction is a growing business, but a lot of the treatment that's available is expensive and patients often relapse. Fortunately, there is a way to help some people pay less for better results ... For a year of treatment, Anthem says it's paying Aware about the same as the cost of a month or two of inpatient treatment. Anthem also says 72 percent of Aware clients are either sober at the end of one year or still in active treatment.
School reputation matters. Across a variety of disciplines, professionals who graduate from higher-ranked schools begin their careers with less debt relative to their income. And for the most part, this trend is still apparent a decade after graduation. There’s one exception: medical professionals have more or less the same debt-to-income trajectory regardless of their school’s reputation. With respect to student debt, all medical degrees are created equal.