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Your winter garden may be quiet, but your winter soil is brimming with life

One of the rituals that gardeners endure every winter is to periodically brave bitter temperatures and biting winds to check their plants to see what …

Gardening

Talking animals: we aren’t the only species capable of speech …

Ongoing studies show that some mammals and birds can mimic the sound of the human voice<p>Orca whales<p>Research published last month proved that orca, or killer, whales have the ability to mimic the complexities of human speech. Josep Call, professor in evolutionary origins of mind at the University of …

Animals

The microbiome has been called the forgotten organ — and it could hold the 'next paradigm shift in science and medicine'

The bugs that live in our gut might one day soon be used to guide the way we treat everything from infections to cancer.<p>Scientists have been working on ways to use the microbiome, or the assortment of microorganisms that live in and on us, to unlock new treatments for difficult diseases. It's led …

Microbiology

Magic Mushrooms Do The Opposite of Anti-Depressants, But That May Be Why They Work

"I felt so much lighter, like something had been released."<p>Psychedelic therapy is going through something of a revival right now, and we may now know …

Connecting communities: the gardens that offer more than plants and soil

As a reflection of the wider city, the community garden’s role as a point of connection between the haves and have-nots is more crucial than ever<p>Two men in black come into the garden. They lurk near Kati’s coriander, then move on, briefly obscured by Kathy’s towering fennel fronds, reappearing near …

Biomimicry vs. Biomockery

<b>Biomimicry vs. Biomockery</b><p>Humans are biological creatures and we do best when we are in alignment with our environments. Ultimately, as noted in an …

Plants and Trees Have a Hidden Life of Taxes, Social Welfare, and Symbiotic Collaboration

1. A lone tree does not live as long. That fact could shift views of how the whole tree of life works.<p>2. Trees are social, reveals Peter Wohlleben’s</i> …

Richard Dawkins

A 700-Year-Old Farming Technique Can Make Your Soil Superior Fertile!

Very old farming techniques almost always carry old wisdoms.So, it is foolish to think that agricultural improvements move in a straight line: no …

Catch A Wave - Dwell

When John Matosky hired Merge Architects to upgrade his loft, it was a pretty standard project—renovate the existing lackluster bathroom, add a second bathroom, and build a bookshelf. But Elizabeth Whittaker, firm principal and an adjunct assistant professor at the Harvard Graduate School of …

Harvard

Tiny home meets treehouse in this angular backyard extension

Fun!<p>Combining the crafty, floating glory of treehouses with the small-space creativity of tiny homes, this detached “extension” in Brisbane, Australia is an inventive take on adding living space in the backyard.<p>Rising right beside a large tree, the wedge-shaped dwelling aims to add function without …

New Study Shows How Your Gut Bacteria Could Influence Anxiety

A Healthy Gut Microbiome<p>A team of researchers from the APC Microbiome Institute of the University College Cork in Ireland has stumbled upon an …

Microbiome

A Green, Lean, and Customizable Cardboard Prefab

Live, work, or vacation in an eco-friendly, mobile cardboard prefab.<p>After four years of research, Fiction Factory—a company with its origins in theater set design—came up with a massive rotating house-shaped mold wrapped with layers and layers of cardboard. The cardboard layers are secured onto the …

Architecture

Kerns Micro House | FIELDWORK Design & Architecture

This fir clad, ground up Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) meets the City of Portland's stringent design standards without sacrificing personality and …

10 Prefab Log Home Companies

Although log homes have traditionally been associated with Abraham Lincoln or a bucolic existence, they can actually be turned into warm, inviting, and surprisingly modern dwellings.

Abraham Lincoln

Made for the Shade - Dwell

The structure, produced by Braemar Building Systems of Colorado, is made from a preengineered build-it-yourself kit using steel from Recla Metals, which sells for $20,000. Austin and Russell could have spent that $20,000 on solar panels to power an air conditioner that ran all the time, but instead …

Windy

A Family Builds a Tiny Backyard Studio on an Even Tinier Budget - Dwell

Tim and Meg Ferguson Sauder had two problems: Like many parents, they wanted more space for their active family. They also needed to get rid of a deteriorating, hornet-infested storage shed sitting in the yard of their home in Gloucester, Massachusetts. So the family devised a solution in the form …

Avant-garde

Cheap Thrills, Poor Conditions Plague Indonesia's Zoos

A viral video of sun bears appearing to beg for food from zoo visitors has people calling for change at Indonesia’s zoos.<p>In the video, skinny sun bears stand on their back legs in a pit, arms outstretched as visitors toss in snacks. They gobble them up and wade into the murky water of the moat that …

Wildlife

How the golden ratio manifests in nature

The universe may be chaotic and unpredictable, but it's also a highly organized physical realm bound by the laws of mathematics. One of the most …

Why an Indian State Is Paying Farmers to Go Organic

One couple in Goa is using permaculture and other organic farming techniques to revive their land.<p>It's a sunny day at Rosie and Peter's Kitchen Garden and Food Forest in Anjuna, a village in the coastal state of Goa, India.<p>Long after the harsh summer, a torrential coastal monsoon, and the dreaded …

Farming

Earth - Plants can see, hear and smell – and respond

Plants, according to Jack C Schultz, "are just very slow animals".<p>This is not a misunderstanding of basic biology. Schultz is a professor in the Division of Plant Sciences at the University of Missouri in Columbia, and has spent four decades investigating the interactions between plants and …

Botany

The circadian rhythm of our microbes

Like most life on Earth, our gut microbes have their own circadian rhythm. Disrupting that daily routine can be bad – and keeping it in balance can …

Microbiology

Toxic time bomb: Here's the science that explains why microbeads are a disaster

In 1976 John Ugelstad did something only previously achieved by Nasa: he made a series of tiny, spherical polystyrene beads of exactly the same size. …

Trees go to 'sleep' at night, new study shows

Researchers using lasers to monitor birch trees reveal physical changes that are akin to slumber.<p>The next time you decide to take a midnight stroll …

5 reasons why biodiversity is a big deal

A new study warns Earth's biodiversity has fallen below the 'safe' limit. What does that mean, and why should we care?<p><i>"Biodiversity as a whole forms</i> …

The Roots of Mental Health—Maybe They’re Not In Our Heads

The number of people—and women in particular—who are taking antidepressants worldwide has skyrocketed in recent years. Here in the States, the count …

What dragonflies say about our ignorance of the natural world

Klaas-Douwe B. Dijkstra, <i>Stellenbosch University</i><p>Of the 8.7 million species of animals, plants and fungi thought to live on Earth, we have only named 1.2 million: 86% of the natural world is uncharted.<p>For most people, both this incredible richness and our ignorance are hard to fathom. Imagine that …

See how bees sense a flower's electric field

Bumblebees use their body hair to detect weak electric fields, a new study finds. Researchers even caught the process on video.<p>As bumblebees bumble …

What Is An Heirloom Plant? - Quiet Corner

There’s nothing better than buying some fresh tomatoes from the grocers and mixing up a batch of your famous homemade salsa — or is there? With the …

Gardening

What fruits and veggies looked like before genetic modification

Next time you pop an ear of juicy sweet corn on the grill, remember this: Your summertime favorite wasn't always so tasty.<p>In fact, its predecessor, a wild grass called teosinte, barely resembles the sweet, crunchy vegetable we're now familiar with. And this was the case for many of our fruits and …

Healthy Eating