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Articles on Mercury

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The search for the room-temperature superconductor continues. Charles O'Rear/Corbis Documentary via Getty Images

Scientists have been researching superconductors for over a century, but they have yet to find one that works at room temperature − 3 essential reads

Claims about the discovery of a coveted room-temperature superconductor peppered the news in 2023. We pulled three stories from our archives on what superconductivity is and why scientists study it.
Perspective view of a lobate scarp on Mercury named Carnegie Rupes, colour-coded according to surface altitude. The crater near the middle is nearly 40 km across. NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

Mercury: shrinking planet is still getting smaller – new research

Mercury has shrunk by7 km. Most of this happened long ago, but now we have evidence that it continues.
Eight planets, including Earth, revolve around our Sun. Illustration by Tobias Roetsch/Future Publishing via Getty Images

Curious Kids: How are planets created?

It all starts with a cloud of gas and dust.
When fish like this netted cod are exposed to mercury, it accumulates in certain organs, including the lenses of their eyes. Yvette Heimbrand

The lenses of fishes’ eyes record their lifetime exposure to toxic mercury, new research finds

A new study shows that a time stamp can be put on mercury that accumulates in fish eyes, offering a window into their lifetime exposure.
Wildfire smoke contains a mixture of toxic pollutants that can be harmful to both the lungs and the brain. Bloomberg Creative/ Bloomberg Creative Photos via Getty Images

Neurotoxins in the environment are damaging human brain health – and more frequent fires and floods may make the problem worse

Pollution from more frequent floods and wildfires – exacerbated by the warming climate – is threatening human health and poses particular risks to the brain.
Toxic dust hung in the air around ground zero for more than three months following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Anthony Correia/Getty Images

9/11 survivors’ exposure to toxic dust and the chronic health conditions that followed offer lessons that are still too often unheeded

Those directly exposed to toxic dust and trauma on and after 9/11 carry with them a generation of chronic health conditions, which are placing them at higher risk during the pandemic and as they age.
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A tale of two valleys: Latrobe and Hunter regions both have coal stations, but one has far worse mercury pollution

New research found power stations in the Latrobe Valley emit around 10 times more mercury than power stations in the Hunter Valley. The stark difference has a lot to do with regulations.
An astronaut aboard the International Space Station (ISS) took this photograph of numerous gold prospecting pits in eastern Peru. (NASA/SS Crew Earth Observations Facility and the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, Johnson Space Center)

Pictures from outer space reveal the extent of illegal gold mining in Peru

NASA satellite images reveal the extent of gold-mining in Peru. This information can be used to shut down illegal mining and prevent environmental destruction and contamination.

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