New life found on plastic waste gives rise to the 'plastisphere'

Tons of plastic floats in the oceans, and it's covered in microscopic life. But a new study reveals plastic-loving species that have never been seen before, and ecosystems entirely new to science. Say hello to life in the 'plastisphere.' » 11/13/13 3:40pm 11/13/13 3:40pm

Brooding Photos Of the Deadly “London Fog”

The London Fog, one of the attractions of London in the early 20th century, was actually a deadly smog. It covered the city for 90 days a year. Here are incredible images of this beautiful but menacing haze. » 7/26/13 3:00pm 7/26/13 3:00pm

How military sonar may be harming endangered blue whales

Scientists have known for years that mid-frequency sonar can harm deep-diving toothed whales, such as by driving them from feeding grounds. Research now shows that the naval noise even elicits stark behavioral changes in blue whales, which communicate at frequencies far below sonar frequencies, suggesting that the… » 7/03/13 1:45pm 7/03/13 1:45pm

Traces of anxiety drug in rivers make fish braver and less social

Swedish researchers have discovered that the anti-anxiety drug oxazepam is having a noticeable effect on the behavior of aquatic life. Traces of this popular pharmaceutical get flushed into rivers and other waterways where they remain biochemically active. But until this new study, it wasn't known if these chemicals… » 2/15/13 6:20am 2/15/13 6:20am

This is what China's record-level air pollution looks like from space

A number of Chinese cities, including Beijing, are currently experiencing the worst episode of air quality in recent memory. Residents have been told to stay inside, and the Chinese government ordered factories to scale back on their emissions. Hospitals have been busy, experiencing a 20 to 30 percent increase in… » 1/16/13 7:40am 1/16/13 7:40am

How much nose hair would you need to protect you from your city's…

Fun fact: research suggests that people with more nose hair (that is, nose inside their nostrils, not hairy noses, though we're not entirely sure the two aren't unrelated) are less likely to develop asthma than those with less-bristly nose-holes. Why would we bring this up? To help you make sense of the image up top. » 12/11/12 5:03pm 12/11/12 5:03pm

Human urine causes high levels of caffeine in Pacific coastal waters

If there was ever a clearer sign that we sure do love our coffee, it's got to be this: A new study from Portland State University has found elevated levels of caffeine at several sites in Pacific waters, off the coast of Oregon. The researchers speculate that, while wastewater treatment plants are effective at… » 7/23/12 12:30pm 7/23/12 12:30pm