Boom and busted.

In trying to untangle a mysterious herring collapse from the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, scientists in Prince William Sound are revealing just how resilient—and unpredictable—marine ecosystems can be.

On a cold day in June, Scott Pegau leans toward the passenger window of a Cessna floatplane and peers out at the teal waters of Prince William Sound. The glacier-rimmed pocket of seawater on the southern coast of Alaska is protected from the open ocean by a string of rugged islands. It is both moody and alluring. Clouds dally on the snowy peaks and fray against the forested hillsides. The sea is flat and frigid, except for a single row of waves lapping at the rocky shore.

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WildEarth Guardians
Originals

17 million in US live near active oil or gas wells.

More than 17 million people in the United States live within a mile of an active oil or natural gas well, according to a new study.

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Justice

What are pre-existing conditions and what would the GOP bill do?

A young lawyer who died after a prolonged seizure. A young woman who died of cardiac arrest. Diabetes patients who cannot get insulin. Dr. Leana Wen said cases like these will happen again if the new version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) passes Congress.

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Opinion

What the hard lessons of rubella teach us about a Zika vaccine.

Imagine that you are pregnant, unexpectedly. You are terrified, but not because you don’t want a baby. You are in fact, happily married, and you have been intending to start a family soon. Rather, you are terrified because an epidemic of a viral disease is raging around you. It is a disease that is often so mild that people aren’t aware that they have it. But when it infects a woman early in her pregnancy, it devastates the fetus, shrinking its head and addling its brain. There is no effective treatment and there is no vaccine.

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Energy

Nevada considers fracking ban.

Nevada could become the third state in the nation to ban drilling companies from using hydraulic fracturing to get oil and natural gas from the ground.

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Food

CRISPR’s breakthrough problem.

If the CRISPR gene editing system is to live up to its disease-curing potential, researchers must devise a plan to deliver it into the body

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Climate

Hot days in early pregnancy: A potential risk factor for congenital heart defects.

Lindsey Konkel is a New Jersey–based journalist who reports on science, health, and the environment.

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Giving newborns medicine is a dangerous guessing game. Can we make it safer?

BOSTON — Two rows of plastic cocoons line the walls of the neonatal intensive care unit, sheltering babies so tiny, their little hands can’t wrap around their parents’ index fingers. Many have been treated with multiple medications in their short lives: antibiotics, anesthetics, narcotics, diuretics.

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Toxics

Smoking during pregnancy may lead to later substance use in the child.

Smoking during pregnancy is a well-known risk factor for many health problems in children, including low birth weight, heart defects and asthma. In our latest study, we show that smoking in pregnancy also increases the risk for children’s later tobacco smoking, as well as alcohol and cannabis use. This effect may be partly explained by so-called epigenetic changes at birth, in genes important for brain function and development.

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Toxics

Manganese in wells more widespread than previously thought.

When a new well is dug in North Carolina, a permit, inspection and water test are all required to make sure it is located in a place that is unlikely to be contaminated, that it is well built, and that nothing of concern contaminates its drinking water.

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Justice

Soot.

Breathability then and now.

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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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