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The Biggest Danger From This Year's Historic Wildfire Season

Wildfires are tearing across Alaska and western Canada at a record-breaking rate this summer. But stands of blackened trees and cross-continental plumes of smoke are only the most visible signs of damage from the 300 or more fires currently raging. The biggest concern may be what’s happening below ground. » 7/07/15 8:30pm 7/07/15 8:30pm

How Scientists Will Find Your Next Antibiotic in this Pile of Dirt

Nearly a century after scientists dug up penicillin, researchers are turning once more to the soil for new pharmaceuticals. But this time, they have tiny, powerful technologies on their side. Here's how scientists are unlocking the secrets of soil microbes and discovering the next generation of medicine. » 3/13/15 11:00am 3/13/15 11:00am

Japan's Billion-Dollar Plan to Store Its Contaminated Fukushima Dirt

As the immediate aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster has passed, Japan is faced with another conundrum: Where to store thousands of tons of radioactive soil that have been harvested from around the region. This week, officials unveiled a $970 million plan to build a massive storage facility to house the stuff. » 12/11/13 12:40pm 12/11/13 12:40pm

Japanese Whisky Brewer Invents a Fake Soil for Rooftop Forests

In tightly-packed cities with a distinct lack of trees such as Tokyo, planting trees on the roofs of buildings is a common practice. In fact, every new medium-sized building in Tokyo is required to plant gardens on the roof. The problem? Soil is heavy and dense. The solution? Have a brewery invent a new fake soil, of… » 2/26/08 10:36am 2/26/08 10:36am