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Progress In Fighting Wheat Rust

Scientists have been hard at work in recent years combatting a significant disease of wheat. Stem rust is caused by a group of nasty fungal organisms that can infect wheat plants and devastate yields. In some cases up to 100% of the crop can be lost.

A Predator After All

What are the odds? That was my thought when I read recent pieces about a very special fossil from the Hell Creek Formation of South Dakota....
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New Technology For Solar Panels

I recently pulled some weeds in my yard. Sometimes I’m glad to have a little simple work where I can see progress, even if the effects of my labor are only temporary....
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Medieval Monks Recorded Ireland’s Climate

Ireland enjoys a mild and stable climate. But even in Ireland there are years that stand out as unusual. Recently a team of researchers led by Harvard’s Francis Ludlow announced results of a study of Ireland’s climate based on the Irish Annals, a body of writings containing more than 40,000 entries....
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A Dino Growing At Record Speeds

We live in a time in which most animals are relatively small. If you think back to your exposure to the Ice Age, perhaps in elementary school, you may remember big mammals like the mastodon and the saber tooth tiger....
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Stalagmites Speak Of Climate History

Caves fascinate people. I visited Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico as a kid when my family was on a summer vacation. Maybe that early exposure to the wonders of what geologic processes can do helped influence my decision to study natural science in college....
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From Wolves To Foxes To Man’s Best Friend

When I get home from work I like to blow off a little bit of steam by playing with my dog, Buster Brown....
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The New Guy Tours The Hanford Site

I'm never quite sure how to respond when the focus of the national media shines briefly on the region where I live - usually described as a "remote" part of the Pacific Northwest....
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New Ice Cores Shed More Light On Past Climate Change

Late in the last century scientists published reams of data about Earth’s climate derived from ice cores taken from Greenland and Antarctic glaciers. By drilling down into the ice with hollow bits (think of using a spinning pipe as a drill) workers were able to pull columns of ice up to the surface. The material brought to light in this way was very special for several reasons....
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Talking With Fido May Just Be Possible

Buster Brown, my big mutt from the dog pound, is now 10 years old. Perhaps because he is a senior citizen it took him a full week to learn how to operate the dog door I had installed last winter....
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A Threat To Our Citrus

Did you have a glass of orange juice this morning? If so, you may want to know that the simple pleasures brought to us by citrus fruit are under attack from a disease called citrus greening or yellow dragon disease. It’s caused by bacteria that are not harmful to people, but cripple citrus trees by choking off their internal circulation system. The malady puts our $3 billion per year citrus industry firmly in the crosshairs....
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A New Source Of Natural Gas

The name “natural gas” might be a puzzle. After all, how could there be such a thing as unnatural gas?...
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The Softer Side Of Veterinary Science

Modern veterinary science is a technically advanced field. Some animals receive not just x-rays, but sophisticated scans like MRIs. If you visit a large veterinary hospital you will find cats getting chemotherapy and dogs on the receiving end of complicated surgeries....
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When the Earth Moves Under Our Feet

One of the most breath-taking geologic events is a major earthquake. In just a few moments, shaking of the Earth can result in billions of dollars of damage and thousands of lives lost....
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Hurricane On Saturn

Think hurricanes here on Earth are bad? Check out this amazing snap of a monster hurricane at Saturn's North Pole....
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The Smoking Gun

As any child can tell you, the Mesozoic Era ends with the extinction of the dinosaurs. Most geologists think the cause of that extinction was the impact of an enormous meteorite that hit the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico....
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Bringing A New Apple To Stores Everywhere

When I was young my family ate a lot of Red Delicious apples. Some came out of my trusty lunchbox at school, some were straight from the refrigerator at home. The apples were big and eye-catching, but in my opinion they left something to be desired in their eating qualities. Still, they gave us a reasonably economical and convenient fruit choice, and we were glad to have them....
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Sinkholes Claim Florida Man & Threaten Another House

Sometimes “solid rock” turns out to be anything but sturdy stuff....
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Seeing The World In A Grain Of Sand

Born in 1632 in the Netherlands, Antony van Leeuwenhoek was a self-taught man who made microscopes – ultimately producing some 500 of them....
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Of Bird Songs & Human Speech

There are two features of this time of year that make my heart glad. One is the rapidly increasing length of the day. In September we lose daylight quickly, but in the spring we gain it all back just as rapidly....
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What's New

Simone Development Pushing For Biotech Boom In Bronx

Simone Healthcare Development president Guy Leibler pitched the bio-tech business on the benefits of Bronx.

Ancient Salt Marsh In Bronx Reveals Dangerous Flooding Likely For NYC

For the past four years scientists have been working in the Bronx, taking advantage of a unique opportunity to study and research the past and future of our coastal ecosystem.

Earth's Next Epoch

I was raised in the Baptist church. As a grade school child, I memorized the books of the Bible. Maybe because of that personal history, when I started to study geology I didn't resist memorizing the many pieces of the geologic time scale.

Let The Sun Shine In

My scientific training tells me that the days are getting a little bit longer now. And I do believe that. But my spirits say it remains dark awfully long into the morning and the sun surely sets early in the afternoon.

All That Glitters Is Not (Pure) Gold

Recently I had the pleasure of going to the wedding celebration of my assistant at work - whom I count as a good friend - and her new husband.

Keeping Warm With Gold Fever

I own a couple of small gold nuggets. They came from the Round Mountain gold mine in Nevada, which I visited a few years ago. A tour of the open-pit mine was crowned by a visit to their foundry where the molten metal was poured into gold bars.

Seas On Titan & Your Heating Bill

Like most regions of the country, the area where I live suffered through colder than average temperatures in mid-November. If you pay for your heating bill month by month, you are now facing the sticker shock that results from those bitter times. Happy holidays.

Harvesting Energy From Sunlight

What if there were a two-for-one sale on kilowatts? Your power bill would be cut in half -- not a bad result for your monthly budget.

Wake Up And Smell The Genes

Like millions of Americans, my day starts by plugging in the coffeepot. In my case, it is an old fashion percolator. It clears its throat and brews my coffee while I rub sleep out of my eyes and brush my teeth.

How Much Does It Hurt?

When I take my elderly mother to the emergency room, the nurse asks how much pain she is in, on a scale of 1 to 10. There is a chart with pictures of little smiley faces, neutral faces, and grimacing faces to help a person - perhaps a child - determine a number. Pain management is an important part of human medicine.

Featured Author

Billy Wharton

is the editor of The Socialist and the Socialist WebZine. His articles have recently appeared in the Washington Post, Monthly Review Webzine, Dissident Voice, The Indypendent, Common Dreams and Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal. Billy lives in the Pelham Bay section of the Bronx.