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One ‘mechanical tree’ is about 1,000 times faster at removing carbon dioxide from air than a natural tree. The first is to start operating in Arizona in 2022. Illustration via Arizona State University

These machines scrub greenhouse gases from the air – an inventor of direct air capture technology shows how it works

Klaus Lackner is finding new ways to cut the technology’s high costs and energy demand, and he’s about to launch the first ‘mechanical tree’.
Reproductive rights are at the center of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case before the Supreme Court. Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Yes, it’s easier to get birth control than it was in the 1970s – but women still need abortion care

The Supreme Court is considering a case that could restrict abortions. One argument is that birth control eliminates the need for abortion. But contraception doesn’t offer an easy fix.
The Taliban retook control of Afghanistan in August 2021, without major opposition. Photo by Mohd Rasfan /AFP via Getty Image

Taliban 2.0 aren’t so different from the first regime, after all

Four months after the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan, a clearer picture of their rule is emerging. Despite public assurances, the Taliban continue to violate human rights.
Grand Park, a multi-use sporting facility in Westfield, Ind., was built to lure youth sports competitions and tourists to the region. AP Photo/Michael Conroy

Why massive new youth sports facilities may not lead to the tourist boom many communities hope for when they build them

New research suggests parents are too focused on their children’s competition to spend time or money on things that don’t involve the tournament, hotel stays or quick dining.
Organizations can apply to have their flag temporarily replace the Boston city flag, shown on far right, in front of City Hall. gregobagel/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Can a Christian flag fly at City Hall? The Supreme Court will have to decide

Shurtleff v. Boston, a case argued before the Supreme Court on Jan. 18, raises important questions about free speech and religion in public spaces.
Martin Luther King Jr. waves with his children, Yolanda and Martin Luther III, from the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City. Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.: 5 things I’ve learned curating the MLK Collection at Morehouse College

In his brief life, Martin Luther King Jr. had a variety of interests that informed his work as leader of the civil rights movement. His alma mater has collected some objects that tell his story.
Allium schoenoprasum, better known as chives. Andreas Rockstein/Flickr

Why do plants grow straight?

Plants need light to feed themselves, so they grow in ways that help them collect as much of it as they can. Sometimes that’s straight up, but not always.
A lawsuit claims that 16 elite U.S. universities give preference to children of donors over other applicants in their admissions. Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Colleges accused of conspiring to make low-income students pay more

A scholar weighs in on a new lawsuit that accuses several elite schools of price fixing and conspiring to lower the amount of financial aid offered to low-income students.

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