The Newest Weapon in the Fight Against Land Mines Could Be...Plants

Land mines are not only explosive but also poisonous, leaking toxins into the soil that make plants sick. That's unfortunate for the plants but fortunate for us—if we can figure out how to look for sick plants as harbingers of land mines. Airplanes equipped with a low-cost sensor that captures non-visible light might… » 8/15/14 5:44pm 8/15/14 5:44pm

This beautiful newly-discovered species is about to disappear soon

"Just described 'microjewel' snail in extinction danger," announces NewScientist. Every time I see a headline like that and I look a the picture, it really makes me sad. Just admire that beautiful, delicate little beast. Which secrets will this soon-to-be-gone species take away with it? » 4/04/14 1:30am 4/04/14 1:30am

This Wind-Powered Tumbleweed Robot Aims to End Desertification

Robots have a hard time walking. They're getting better! But we're a ways away from having a robot that you can send on an excursion through a dune-covered desert. That's why, when he wanted to design a robot to collect climate data, designer Shlomi Mir looked to nature. Specifically, to tumbleweeds. » 2/06/14 1:40pm 2/06/14 1:40pm

How a Poorly Camouflaged Insect Reshapes Its Ecosystem

For an insect trying to avoid becoming dinner, the consequences of bad camouflage are clear. What's less obvious is how the effects then ripple like an aftershock through an entire ecosystem, subtly changing which shrubs are eaten and which critters thrive. For example, the consequences of a single species of badly… » 1/03/14 12:00pm 1/03/14 12:00pm