Polysaccharide molecules such as cellulose, seen here, are long chains of sugars that are very hard to break apart. Enzymes – proteins that can degrade polysaccharides – have many industrial uses.
Bio-prospecting is the search for useful materials from natural sources. A biologist explains what we can learn from bacteria about breaking down plant material, and how we can use that knowledge.
Ingredients from shampoo, sunscreens and other personal care products are turning up in water supplies. Some are toxic or cause hormonal damage to aquatic life, and could threaten human health.
Language matters in every class: English, math, history and science.
Rawpixel / Shutterstock.com
In English and science alike, every student and teacher brings his or her own language patterns to class. But how can educators make sure that language bias doesn't harm student achievement?
Graves at the memorial center Potocari, near Srebrenica.
AP Photo/Amel Emric
How long does it take to make peace? Decades after the end of the Bosnian war, just one in six residents felt that country had reached reconciliation.
Poul Henningsen’s Artichoke Lamp, viewed from below at London’s Park Plaza Hotel.
Doc Searls/Wikimedia Commons
We asked five design experts – what's your favorite product of all time, and why?
The world is searching – will we protect ourselves?
Graphic via shutterstock.com
The latest release from WikiLeaks, of information about CIA hacking efforts, is yet another reminder of how Americans and our government must better protect our secret information.
Trump’s budget director, left, says White House spending priorities are straight out of the president’s mouth.
Trump is proposing a budget with little substance and filled with politically toxic spending cuts, making it very unlikely to go anywhere, even in a Republican Congress.
One girl’s message for Trump.
Brennan Linsley/AP Photo
A 2010 law that requires the executive branch to set goals and an obscure Senate rule may be the Democrats' best chance to influence GOP plans to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Red-breasted Nuthatches are irrupting this winter across North America.
Heather Elaine Ritchie/Flickr
During bird irruptions, hundreds or thousands of a single species show up outside their normal territory. Most of what we know about irruptions comes from data collected by citizen scientists.
Tiny CubeSats are ready to be our eyes in the skies.
Earth Background: NASA; HARP Spacecraft: SDL; Montage: Martins, UMBC
As technology advances, tiny satellites no bigger than a loaf of bread have advanced from just proving they work to being big contributors in answering science questions.
Donald Trump is famously attached to his phone.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke
The best way to protect a presidential device is to keep it off the internet altogether. If that's not going to happen, how else can such a sensitive gadget be kept safe?
Fatigued via shutterstock.com
Dulled by hearing the same old recommendations to improve internet security, we are worn out. It's time for a new approach, involving us all.
Static electricity can cause more than just a bad hair day.
These mini lightning bolts have been known for millennia. Understanding static electricity at the atomic level opens the door for new technologies – as well as ways to cut down on the tiny zaps.
The construction of Indonesia’s Prambanan temple in 850 also affected the planet.
CEphoto, Uwe Aranas
The Anthropocene most likely started long before the 1950s.
A rally in Michigan: Trump’s presidential victory was won in the Rust Belt states, which have been hit hard by globalization.
AP Photo/Carlos Osorio
Globalization in its present form has generated economic inequalities, political uncertainties and cultural anxiety. Is there a way to move forward that benefits more people?
Seek to truly connect with each other at Thanksgiving.
Group feast via shutterstock.com
After such a difficult political experience, empathy is the key not only to feeling connected, but feeling understood – and understanding others.
Shopping by smartphone is taking off.
Credit card and mobile phone via shutterstock.com
Americans' reliance on their smartphones and tablets will drive online shopping revenue to new heights – and could introduce new buying experiences as well.
All indications are that voting was not subject to a cyberattack.
Ballot box via shutterstock.com
Though there is no indication hackers affected the outcome of the election, we still must act to improve the cybersecurity of American elections.
Who needs government? A Tea Party protest on tax day in 2010 in New York.
Mary Altaffer/AP Photo
The painful effects of globalization and political corruption have decayed Americans' trust in the federal government.
Cost and quality issues have long plagued the U.S. health care system because insurance companies both finance and manage medical care. So how did we get stuck with this system in the first place?