As humans have cut into Brazil's forests, the toucan population has taken a dive. The trees, in turn, have changed, too: Without large-billed birds to eat fruit with big seeds, only trees with small seeds thrive. Eventually, one scientist says, "the impacts on the forest could be quite dramatic."
Would you like to know the life history of that steak before you eat it? Technology exists to give you that information, at least in Michigan, where the state government requires all cattle to carry an electronic tag for tracking purposes.
The Standard Heights neighborhood sits next to the nation's second-largest gasoline refinery. Recently, residents learned a new truth about the plumes of exhaust they see every day: Exxon Mobil's aging refinery and petrochemical facilities — like many others — are pumping out far more pollution than the law allows.
The dose of radiation an astronaut would experience on a trip to Mars is higher than the annual limit set for workers at nuclear power plants. But Mars enthusiasts say the radiation threat isn't high enough to cancel the trip.
Since its discovery in 1911, an Egyptian iron bead has sparked debate over how it was produced — made around 3,300 BC, it predates the region's first known iron smelting by thousands of years. Now researchers say the iron was made in space, and delivered to Earth via meteorite.
An Oregon farmer discovered the genetically engineered wheat growing in his field about a month ago. Nobody knows how it got there, how widely it has spread, or whether it has been in fields harvested for food. GMO wheat is not approved for sale in the U.S.
When you give to WAMU, your tax-deductible membership gift helps make possible award-winning programs such as Morning Edition, All Things Considered, The Diane Rehm Show, The Kojo Nnamdi Show, and other favorites.