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Category: Ecology

Moonshrooms: How Fungi Could Shape Life on Mars

NASA recently announced they’re exploring new, green ways to sustain human life in outer space through the help of our beloved fungal friends: mushrooms, or rather, their mycelia.

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BYOBottle: The Future of Sustainable Concerts and Festivals

Nothing looks more like a music festival than rubber bracelets, band t-shirts, flower crowns, and countless water bottles littering the ground.

…What, can you blame the attendees? Staying hydrated is vital to survival, and it’s all the more important when you’re dancing your heart out or drinking your face off at a festival, as stressed by the data in a 2018 Addiction Science and Clinical Practice study.

But we don’t have to dehydrate the audience in order to help save the planet, nor do we have to put an end to festivals altogether.

There’s a middle ground that allows us to have the best of both worlds: water and music. Meet BYOBottle.

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Fake Trees Won’t Appease Millennials

For millennials, it ain’t a Christmas tree unless it really sheds and breathes. According to a recent Value Penguin survey in the United States, millennials are 82 percent more likely to buy live Christmas trees than baby boomers.

However, an artificial tree is generally $513 cheaper than a real tree. While it may not be the more economical choice, it’s still the more environmental choice, says the National Christmas Tree Association.

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How Plants Think: The Controversy of Consciousness

Unencumbered by words and semantics, plants express themselves through their luscious leaves and abundant blooms, which are the result of carefully calculated survival tactics that almost seem “thought out.”

These physical characteristics can tell human observers a lot about how the plant is doing; whether it needs more water or sunlight, warmth or humidity, and so forth – but, plants don’t have eyes like we do. They don’t have brains like ours, yet research shows they possess intelligence.

How far does that intelligence go? Do plants “think?”

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How Dogs Think, Feel, and Communicate

“BARK! BARK! BARK!” Neurons fire to one in another in the face of a feline, fire hydrant, mailman, or dog treat. “BAAAAAAARK,” neurons fire again as the owner walks out the door and leaves the canine behind for an eight-hour shift.

Dogs have been “man’s best friend” for thousands of years, reports a study published in Nature Communications – but, is man dog’s best friend? How do they regard human relationships? What do dogs think and feel? How do they communicate?

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Water in Kilauea: The Impact and Potential Aftermath

Water was found in Kilauea, the most active volcano on the island of Hawai’i, on July 25, according to US Geological Survey (USGS)’s most recent report.

Recently, we reached out to Janet Babb and Dr. Carolyn Parcheta, experts with the USGS, via email to learn more about these findings and what they could mean for Kilauea, the island of Hawaii, and its residents.

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Joining the Battle Against Spotted Lanternflies

The Spotted Lanternfly is a destructive pest with the potential to cost Pa’s economy in the upwards of $18 billion dollars, the Penn State Extension (PSE) reports. Since their discovery in Berks County five years ago, they’ve rapidly invaded southeastern Pa.

In an effort to engage residents in the Pa Department of Agriculture (PDA)’s fight against this insect, the PDA will offer permits for 31 in-person Spotted Lanternfly classes for businesses across 14 counties, including: Lehigh, Berks, Lancaster, Chester, Delaware, Philadelphia, Montgomery, and Bucks.

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What’s Beneath Greenland May Not Be so Green

Greenland is a vast island adorned in an ice sheet that’s three times the size of Texas, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).

Although Greenland’s ice sheet has withstood the test of time over the last 2.7 million years, its increase in surface melt over the last few years is rapidly chipping away at the island’s 656,000 square mile blanket of ice.

What lies beneath the ice, and what lies in our future if these trends continue, is a future that is far from green (for us, at least).

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