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‘Silent Spring’ author Rachel Carson testifies before a Senate Government Operations Subcommittee in Washington, D.C. on June 4, 1963. Carson urged Congress to curb the sale of chemical pesticides and aerial spraying. AP

Would Rachel Carson eat organic?

Did Rachel Carson catalyze the organic farming movement, as many advocates claim? Or would she reject their ban on synthetic fertilizer and see organic as an inefficient way to feed the world?
Little Missouri River, North Dakota. Justin Meissen

US rivers are becoming saltier – and it’s not just from treating roads in winter

Recent research shows that US rivers are becoming saltier and more alkaline. Salt pollution threatens drinking water supplies and freshwater ecosystems, but there is no broad system for regulating it.
Tamotsu Ito/Shutterstock.com

To restore our soils, feed the microbes

Healthy soil teems with bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microorganisms that help store carbon and fend off plant diseases. To restore soil, scientists are finding ways to foster its microbiome.
Treated with zinc nanoparticles, mung bean plants like these grew larger and produced more beans. Chad Zuber/Shutterstock.com

How nanotechnology can help us grow more food using less energy and water

Growing enough food to feed 9 billion people by 2050 will require huge amounts of energy and water. Using nanoparticles to boost plant growth and yield could save resources and reduce water pollution.

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