Warming global temperatures are changing life on every continent on Earth, including Antarctica, where more microbes are moving in to territory previously covered by ice. How these microbes respond to warming offers us clues about what future Antarctica will look like and who will thrive there. Microbial ecologist and PhD candidate Alicia Purcell from the Center for Ecosystem… Read more
As Arctic tundra has warmed more than twice as fast as the rest of the planet in… Read more
If the fate of carbon is a test that planet Earth is taking right now, one of the answer keys is likely to be found in soil, where microorganisms—which account for nearly 15 percent of global biomass, by some estimates—eat, store and respire carbon and other nutrients. As Earth warms, how these microbes change the way they live will have potentially big consequences for where the carbon goes.
Now, a team led… Read more
Asthma and chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS)—sinus inflammation that lasts for at least three months—are serious and costly diseases, and both are on the rise. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, CRS affects up to 16 percent of the U.S. adult population and eats up a staggering 5 percent of the country’s healthcare budget each year. Asthma,… Read more
According to the National Institutes for Health, asthma is a chronic lung disease affecting more than 300 million people worldwide—25 million in the U.S. alone, including 7 million children. Because it inflames and narrows the airways, the disease significantly affects quality of life, causing recurring periods of wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and coughing.
The incidence of asthma… Read more
Some experts estimate that a single mature oak tree produces between 200,000 and 1 million leaves each year—all of which fall from the tree in the autumn. Although “litter” from decaying leaves is sometimes viewed as a problem in urban and suburban settings, fallen leaves play a critical role in the natural world. Decomposing leaves… Read more