Sarah Parsons

Sarah Parsons is a freelance writer and editor based in Washington, D.C. Her work has also appeared in Popular Science, GOOD, Audubon, OnEarth, Plenty, Change.org, and Inhabitat.com, among others.

Pollution

Top 10 U.S. cities with the worst air pollution

About 127 million Americans endure pollution levels that make it dangerous to breathe. Check out the top 10 regions with the dubious distinction of having the most year-round particle pollution.

Pollution

Scientists use glow-in-the-dark fish to track hormone-disrupting chemicals

Imagine if your body could tell you where and when a certain chemical is impacting your health. Scientists at the University of Exeter have done just that – with green-glowing zebrafish, that is. Researchers genetically engineered young zebrafish to produce a fluorescent glow in the presence of hormone-disrupting chemicals like bisphenol-A. By exposing fish to endocrine disruptors and observing when individual body parts light up, researchers can learn exactly how and at what concentrations these chemicals impact various organs and tissues. They can then make certain inferences on how endocrine disruptors impact human health. For instance, observing the glowing fish …

Animals

Adorable alert: Live BABY PANDA cam!

What’s black and white and so cute you’ll want to squeal like a Bieber-obsessed tween? A baby panda. And now you can see one any time you want.

Living

New research shows Big Tobacco targets black kids

Big Tobacco agreed way back in 1998 to stop marketing cigarettes to kids. Turns out cigarette companies are still up to their old tricks -- they’re just being slightly more stealth about it.

Business & Technology

James Cameron wants to mine asteroids for precious metals. Seriously.

James Cameron is really starting to take his movies too seriously. Last month, the director descended the Mariana Trench in a submarine all beginning-of-Titanic style. Now Cameron and a bunch of other super-rich dudes say they are bankrolling a project to mine space asteroids for precious metals and rare minerals. (Remember Avatar? A bunch of greedy Americans invade a pristine alien planet to extract natural resources. Chaos — and alien/human love — ensue.) Cameron joins Google execs Eric Schimdt and Larry Page, Peter Diamandis (of X Prize fame), Eric Anderson, and other multi-millionaires in launching Planetary Resources, a new company focused on space exploration and innovation. The long-term …

Animals

Modern day Moby Dick? Check out this super rare, all-white killer whale

Researchers recently spotted what is believed to be the only all-white adult orca whale in existence.

Food

Deadly tree disease could wipe out California’s citrus industry

Hide ya’ lemons, hide ya’ limes — a deadly disease is coming for California’s citrus trees. State ag experts recently found a tree that tested positive for Huanglongbing–and yes, it is way more serious than its sing-songy name suggests. The bacteria, also known as citrus greening or yellow dragon disease, attacks a trees’ vascular system and kills them off within a few years. The disease has no known cure, and it’s had disastrous impacts on citrus trees in China, Brazil, and Florida. For now scientists have only spotted the infection in a lonely tree, but the situation is understandably sending …

Urban Agriculture

Texas college turns football field into awesome urban farm

If your football team can’t hack it on the field, perhaps they can grow some kick-ass kale. At least that’s the sentiment from Dallas’ Paul Quinn College. After the university cut its football program, President Michael Sorrell decided to transform the unused field into a working farm. The WE Over Me Farm, which covers 57,000 square feet, was a response to the lack of healthy food options in the economically depressed area. Highland Hills, the neighborhood where Paul Quinn is located, is a designated food desert.

Pollution

Raging hormone disruptors: Common chemicals cause trouble even in small amounts

BPA in water bottles and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals in everyday products pose big risks, according to a major new paper.

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