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We Can't Know Everything

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As climate changes, so does life in the planet’s soils

To understand what might be lost, ecologist Janet K. Jansson taps molecular methods to explore Earth’s underground microbes, from the permafrost to the grasslands

Always look on the bright side of life

How a positive outlook may buffer us from stress and ward off health problems 

A middle path to sustainable farming

Agricultural economists are homing in on hybrid, low-input methods that will both safeguard the environment and feed the future billions

Will the food of the future be genetically engineered or organic? How about both?

Feeding the planet — now and tomorrow — is no small task. Plant biologist Pamela Ronald says sustainability means using every tool in the toolbox.

A quantum origin for spacetime

Physicists find hints that entanglement explains Einstein’s equations for gravity

A blizzard of “sustainability” labels

Earth-friendly certifications and standards abound for products like coffee, chocolate and palm oil. But do the programs work?

The body’s tiny cargo carriers

Scientists are finding that microscopic membranous bubbles called extracellular vesicles transmit messages from cells and do big jobs in many areas of biology — plus they might be useful for therapies.

What does it look like to “turn on” a gene?

Only recently have scientists directly witnessed this most pivotal of events in biology, thanks to new technology that allows them to observe the process in living cells. It’s teaching them a lot.

Low marks for performance reviews

Annual assessments can be wildly inaccurate — not to mention soul-crushing. Here’s why the ritual, dreaded by managers and the managed alike, falls short, and what might work better.