• What is nature?

    By Roberta Attanasio Try to find an answer to the question “what is nature?” and you will be surprised. There is not a clear definition of “nature,” although there are a variety of opinions on what it is. Even in biology or ecology textbooks, you won’t track down an agreed-upon view of the word “nature”—despite the fact that its use is…

  • Children exposed to air pollution are more likely to develop disease later in life

    By Roberta Attanasio We have known for quite some time that the first years of life represent a unique “window of vulnerability”—exposures to environmental chemicals at this time influence cellular programming in ways that shape health and disease in later years. For example, recent research shows that there is a significant association between multiple prenatal and early life exposures to indoor…

  • Moon phases

    Is women’s menstrual cycle linked to that of the Moon? A new study may provide answers

    By Roberta Attanasio In the rush of modern life, we often fail to notice the link between our biological rhythms and those of the natural world. In many animal species, the reproductive cycle is synchronized with different Moon phases—most likely because reproductive success is facilitated when different individuals within a species behave in the same way at the same time. The…

  • Wildfires and fireworks may pollute the air inside your home

    By Roberta Attanasio 4o years ago an article published in The New York Times highlighted the threat of indoor air pollution: “The air you breathe in your home or office may be hazardous to your health – more dangerous, in fact, than the outdoor air in the most polluted of cities. This is especially so during the cold months, when windows…

  • Did you hear about Science Moms?

    By Roberta Attanasio All around the world, mothers are concerned about their kids’ future. What world will they live in? A world where humanity is still waging war on nature, or one at peace? Science Moms want to talk about our world and what we can do to make it a better place—they are climate scientists concerned about their kids’ future…

  • It’s time to stop our war on nature

    By Roberta Attanasio A newly released report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) provides a scientific blueprint to tackle the climate, biodiversity, and pollution emergencies—and invites the world to make peace with nature. The report. “Making peace with nature: a scientific blueprint to tackle the climate, biodiversity and pollution emergencies” (February 18, 2021), is based on evidence from global…

  • A Brighter World in 2021: It Begins Within

    A guest post by Eve Willson Though still in the midst of challenges and uncertainties that include the devastating consequences of a global pandemic and looming climate crisis, we are living in an auspicious time as we move into the year 2021. We can see glimmers of hope for a brighter tomorrow unfolding. Old ways of thinking and doing that…

  • To help the environment, turn your camera off during virtual meetings

    By Roberta Attanasio All the activities we carry out online come with an environmental cost—no, it’s not only the relatively small amounts of carbon dioxide emitted because of the energy it takes to run our own multiple devices and power wireless networks. Rather, it’s the large amounts of CO2 emitted by the energy intensive high-end servers and data centers that…

  • Measles outbreak in Samoa: potential effects on COVID-19

    By Roberta Attanasio Measles—one of the world’s most contagious diseases—induces immune amnesia, an anomaly of the immune system that results in increased susceptibility to infections by other pathogens. Not surprisingly, there are concerns globally about populations that have recently experienced measles outbreaks. These populations could be at elevated risk of developing more severe COVID-19 illness, resulting in increased mortality.   …

  • The unborn baby: Healthy pregnant mothers exposed to air pollution from road traffic inhale toxic particles that may end up in the placenta

    By Roberta Attanasio According to a recently published study, carbon and metal particles from road traffic, once inhaled, reach one of the many places where we would rather not find them—the unborn baby’s life support system, best known as placenta. Lead author Jonathan Grigg said: “Our study for the first time shows that inhaled carbon particulate matter in air pollution,…