Japan Races to Build New Coal-Burning Power Plants, Despite the Climate Risks

Satsuki Kanno lives across the bay from a coal-burning power plant under construction in Yokosuka, Japan.”Together the 22 power plants would emit almost as much carbon dioxide annually as all the passenger cars sold each year in the United States. Read more »

In the Race to Live on Land, Lichens Didn’t Beat Plants

Science|In the Race to Live on Land, Lichens Didn’t Beat PlantsTrilobitesA study’s findings add to the case that lichens, which dominate about 7 percent of the planet’s surface, most likely made their way to land some 100 million years after ferns and other vascular plants.And during more than a century of study, many scientists inferred that as they moved from water to land, lichens created more hospitable settings for vascular plants. Read more »

How Did Plants Conquer Land? These Humble Algae Hold Clues

On Thursday, researchers published the genomes of two algae that are among the closest known living relatives of land plants.Scientists have long wondered which freshwater algae gave rise to land plants, and how they managed what no other lineage did. Read more »

E.P.A. Weakens Rules Governing Toxic Water Pollution From Coal Plants

Weakens Rules Governing Toxic Water Pollution From Coal PlantsWorkers in Conway, S., checked a dam built to keep coal ash from reaching the flooded Waccamaw River after Hurricane Florence last year. Read more »

E.P.A. Set to Roll Back Rules on Toxic Metals From Coal Plants

Set to Roll Back Rules on Toxic Metals From Coal PlantsCoal ash ponds along the James River in Chester, Va.“It was a back door way to force utilities to close coal-fired power plants because they had no way of disposing of coal ash,” he said. Read more »

Joachim Messing, 73, Who Charted the DNA of Viruses and Plants, Dies

Science|Joachim Messing, 73, Who Charted the DNA of Viruses and Plants, DiesHis “shotgun sequencing” helped decode genetic information faster, transforming agriculture, medicine and the basic sciences.“Jo’s approach to the development of his DNA sequencing tools was to spread them freely and widely,” a colleague said. Read more »

Do Plants Have Something to Say?

Back in 1973, an explosively popular book, “The Secret Life of Plants,” made pseudoscientific claims about plants, including that they enjoy classical music and can read human minds.“I want people to realize that the world is full of magic, but not as something only some people can do, or something that is outside of this world,” she said. Read more »

Fewer Inspections for Aging Nuclear Plants, Regulators Propose

WASHINGTON — A new report by staff members of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which oversees the safety of the nation’s 59 aging nuclear power plants, recommends that the commissioners significantly weaken or reduce safety inspections of the plants.Democrats in Congress and nuclear safety advocates criticized the report’s proposals, saying they reflect the influence of an industry seeking to cut regulations rather than improve public safety. Read more »

During a Solar Eclipse, What Are Plants Doing?

Science|During a Solar Eclipse, What Are Plants Doing?TrilobitesResearch conducted during the Great American Eclipse of 2017 suggests the sun’s midday disappearance shocks some plants. Read more »

You Can Talk to Plants. Maybe You Should Listen.

ImageVisitors to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden can hear a version of the songs these corn plants have to sing.CreditCreditMarcos Brindicci/ReutersWhat does a plant sound like? Read more »