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Toward truly compostable plastic

Materials scientists are cooking up environmentally friendly polymers from natural sources like silk, plant fibers and whole algae. Economics and acceptance remain hurdles.

Losing the connection between the Andes and the Amazon: A price of peace in Colombia

The South American country, where the biodiversity of the Andes meets that of the Amazon, is losing the great natural wealth of some 1,500 square kilometers of forest each year, mainly in areas formerly under guerrilla control

Why probation and parole don’t work as advertised

The current system of supervised release in lieu of imprisonment may do more harm than good, some experts say. How can society do a better job of rehabilitating law-breakers while keeping them from re-offending?

All about cholesterol

The latest science on how blood levels of HDL, LDL and more relate to cardiovascular health

A new look at our linguistic roots

Linguists and archaeologists have argued for decades about where, and when, the first Indo-European languages were spoken, and what kind of lives those first speakers led. A controversial new analytic technique offers a fresh answer.

Lessons from sports psychology research

Scientists are probing the head games that influence athletic performance, from coaching to coping with pressure

Why interstellar objects like ‘Oumuamua and Borisov may hold clues to exoplanets

The detection of two celestial interlopers careening through our solar system has scientists eagerly anticipating more

Getting rid of bed bugs: Trickier than ever

The blood-sucking insects now show up in two varieties and are resistant to many pesticides. New eradication strategies include fungal spores and nasty human odors.

The untapped potential of stem cells in menstrual blood

Long overlooked, menstrual stem cells could have important medical applications, including diagnosing endometriosis

Indigenous languages are founts of environmental knowledge

Peoples who live close to nature have a rich lore of plants, animals and landscapes embedded in their mother tongues — which may hold vital clues to protecting biodiversity

Multimedia

Forests are under attack from invasive species

OPINION: International commerce and travel bring ecological destruction to the world’s most cherished natural places. We need to do more to stop the assault.

CRISPR gene editing: Moving closer to home

With the first medical therapy approved and systems like CRISPR-Cas showing up in complex cells, there’s a lot going on in the genome editing field. Here’s our primer.

How shade coffee lends conservation a hand

When managed in the right way, the farms that provide our morning brew can be a refuge for plant and animal biodiversity

Genes and heart disease: Finally making the link

Polygenic risk scores — a patient’s chance, based on tiny DNA variants, of developing cardiovascular disease, breast cancer and more — are coming to clinics. But there are kinks to iron out and accuracy remains an issue.

We urgently need data for equitable personalized medicine

OPINION: A massive bias in medical studies toward men of European origin means that genetic variants in understudied populations don’t get the focus they deserve

Scientists scrutinize happiness research

From meditation to smiling, researchers take a second look at studies claiming to reveal what makes us happy

Top science stories of 2023

Twelve standout news events and trends in a tumultuous year

Central American volcanoes offer clues to Earth’s geological evolution

Along 1,100 kilometers, from Mexico to Costa Rica, lies the Central American volcanic arc, where the variety of magma types make for a geological paradise

Why scientists are making transparent wood

Stronger than plastic and tougher than glass, the resin-filled material is being exploited for smartphone screens, insulated windows and more

New Zealand’s quest to save its rotund, flightless parrots

DNA sequencing, GPS tracking and tailored diets are slowly restoring the endangered kākāpō

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