The grandfather of alt-science.

Art Robinson has seeded scientific skepticism within the GOP for decades. Now he wants to use urine to save lives.

Arthur B. Robinson, renegade chemist, failed politician, grandpa of the climate skeptics — and maybe, just maybe, our nation’s next scientist-in-chief — padded across the carpet of his homemade lab in a pair of white athletic socks. “This room, everything you see here, was built by my own sons with their own hands, including the concrete,” he said. Robinson raised and home-schooled six children in this tawny valley scratched into the hills near the town of Cave Junction, Oregon. Now his wife is dead and one of his daughters has moved away, but the rest of his kids — two veterinarians, a biochemist and a pair of nuclear engineers — remain nearby. They’ve got a lot to do: Feed the animals; maintain the lab; ward off cougars; publish their popular home-school curriculums; manage Robinson’s repeated, unsuccessful congressional campaigns; and, of course, perform high-stakes research into medicine and biochemistry.

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Ancient viruses are buried in your DNA.

In July, scientists reported that a strange protein courses through the veins of pregnant women. No one is sure what it’s there for.

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Obesity was rising as Ghana embraced fast food. Then came KFC.

A KFC in Dansoman, a suburban town that is part of greater Accra, Ghana. The chain opened its 13th restaurant in the country in July and plans to expand beyond the capital region next year. Credit Ashley Gilbertson for The New York Times

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Puerto Rico’s slow-motion medical disaster.

Hurricane Maria left a ruined island and 16 Puerto Rico residents dead. But public health experts worry that figure could climb higher in the coming weeks, as many on the island fail to get medicines or treatment they need for chronic diseases. Roads are blocked, supplies are stuck at the ports, and only 11 of Puerto Rico’s 69 hospitals are open. Doctors at one children’s hospital were forced to discharge 40 patients this week when their generator ran out of diesel fuel.

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Bill and Melinda Gates grade the world’s health.

Bill and Melinda Gates handed the world a report card last week, assessing its progress on 18 global health indicators: infant mortality, AIDS, vaccine use, smoking rates and so on.

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Nick Kristof: ‘Enough already,’ said God.

˜Enough Already, Said God

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Covering climate change, with urgency and creativity.

A look at news outlets bringing innovation, urgency and new audiences to stories on climate change

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How the booming Israeli weed industry is changing American pot.

Standing on the rear balcony of a gray factory building off the side of a highway, Tamir Gedo shields his eyes from the blazing sun. He points to the 23 acres of agricultural fields spread out before him. "We'll be able to produce more cannabis here than the entire state of Colorado," he says. Minutes later, walking past the 8,000 square-foot storage room, he adds, "We can store enough in this warehouse to supply medical marijuana for the whole United States."

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Blood-carrying, life-saving drones take off for Tanzania.

LAST MONTH IN Rwanda, a young woman started bleeding after giving birth by C-section. Try as they might, her doctors couldn't stop it. They'd already transfused the two units of matching blood that they had on-hand. They could have called the national blood bank in the capital of Kigali to request more, but ordering it, and sending it the 25 miles over mountainous roads to the hospital would take up to four hours. The woman didn't have that kind of time.

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These infections are likely to get worse as the climate changes.

When the climate changes, so do all the things that rely on the climate, including people, plants, and pathogens. A European study recently took a broad look at what kind of microorganisms are most likely to be affected as climate change heats, cools, dries, and wets the world around us.

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Trump’s first list of science priorities ignores climate—and departs from his own budget request.

Trump’s first list of science priorities ignores climate—and departs from his own budget request

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$1bn to clean up the oil in Peru’s northern Amazon.

Who is going to clean up Peru’s northern Amazon after decades of companies spilling oil and dumping billions of barrels of toxic production waters? Certainly not US company Occidental which ran the biggest concession, Lot 1-AB, until 2000, nor, it would seem, Petroperu, which ran the other major concession, Lot 8, until 1996 and operates the rusty, leaking North Peruvian Pipeline to this day.

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Trump budget threatens Zimbabwe climate change resilience programs.

A narrow dirt road snakes along the banks of a small river and leads to the remote village of Birirano. Marked by baobab trees and drought tolerent shrubs, this small community is sandwiched between desolate mountains in Zimbabwe’s eastern district of Chipinge. Far from the main highway, it is largely cut off from the rest of the country and the world.

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Ontario Minister Glen Murray quits politics for dream job.

As the Ontario government lost an experienced cabinet minister on Monday, one of Canada's leading environment and energy think tanks greeted its incoming executive director.

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From our Newsroom

The dangerous fringe theory behind the push toward herd immunity: Derrick Z. Jackson

Resumption of normal life in the United States under a herd immunity approach would result in an enormous death toll by all estimates.

My urban nature gem

Thanks to the Clean Water Act and one relentless activist, Georgia's South River may finally stop stinking.

Dust from your old furniture likely contains harmful chemicals—but there’s a solution

Researchers find people's exposure to PFAS and certain flame retardants could be significantly reduced by opting for healthier building materials and furniture.

Hormone-mimicking chemicals harm fish now—and their unexposed offspring later

Fish exposed to harmful contaminants can pass on health issues such as reproductive problems to future generations that had no direct exposure.

How Europe’s wood pellet appetite worsens environmental racism in the US South

An expanding wood pellet market in the Southeast has fallen short of climate and job goals—instead bringing air pollution, noise and reduced biodiversity in majority Black communities.

America re-discovers anti-science in its midst

Fauci, Birx, Redfield & Co. are in the middle of a political food fight. They could learn a lot from environmental scientists.

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