May 22, 2013 — Although scientists have known that a funguslike organism caused the potato blight that triggered the Great Famine in Ireland in the 1840s, they didn't know which strain was the culprit. But they do now, thanks to the genes in some 19th century potato samples.
May 21, 2013 — When disaster strikes, our natural instinct is to take cover and seek shelter. But in severe weather, especially the type that breeds tornadoes like we saw in Oklahoma and parts of the Midwest this week, there are those who ride toward the storm.
May 21, 2013 — Hipsters may just be discovering the joys of backyard chickens, but in African megacities, people have been bringing their animals into the slums with them for decades. That's creating a new ecosystem of animals and huge numbers of people living closely together like never before.
May 21, 2013 — Architects have come up with spectacular concepts for vertical farms that would grow crops in city skyscrapers. But many horticulturists think the future of vertical farming isn't in skyscrapers, but rather in large, indoor warehouses lit up magenta by superefficient LEDs.
May 20, 2013 — Melissa Block talks to Jon Hamilton about the science of tornadoes.
May 20, 2013 — Tornado strength is currently measured on what is called the Enhanced Fujita Scale, which gives the tornado a rating from 0 to 5 based on estimated wind speeds and the severity of the damage.
May 20, 2013 — California is about to become the first state to require shore power at its ports. A new law mandates at least half of a shipping line's fleet to shut down their diesel engines and plug into shore-side electric power when they unload their cargo. It's part of a larger effort to cut pollution at the state's busiest ports, but costs have been a sticking point.
May 18, 2013 — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the tiny town of Newtok, Alaska, could be completely underwater by 2017. Its 350 residents must relocate or stay to face the floods, but a move is easier said than done.
May 18, 2013 — Afghanistan is believed to be home to world-class mineral deposits, valued at up to $3 trillion and offering hope for the country's economic future. But in the current environment of uncertainty, investors are nervous and it could be many years before Afghanistan strikes pay dirt.
May 18, 2013 — Atmospheric scientist Ira Leifer installed special air sensors on a camper, then drove from Florida to California, measuring methane levels all along the way. More than 6,000 readings later, he found some noticeable spikes, especially around petrochemical plants and urban areas like Los Angeles.