Your Thoughts Matter


The microbiome: What you need to know from the research


What is the microbiome?

Like it or not, your body is teeming with trillions of bugs — microbial cells, that is. Thinking about these bacteria and other microorganisms that you host both outside and inside your body might leave you feeling queasy, but they’re actually critical to maintaining your health, from your weight to your mood.

Ethanol economics, emissions and the environment: A JR briefing


If you’ve ever pumped gas in the United States, you’ve seen the sticker: “This product may contain up to 10 percent ethanol by volume,” declares one at a Massachusetts Shell station. Since 2005, Washington has mandated that an increasing amount of ethanol be mixed into gasoline every year, encouraging refiners and retailers with cash incentives.

Covering food policy and the Farm Bill: Insights from author Michael Pollan


Author Michael Pollan discussed the Farm Bill’s far-reaching impact on the U.S. food system and the environment, how journalists can better cover food policy, and more during a visit to Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media Politics and Public Policy. Below are the highlights:

Farmed versus wild salmon: Research review


Evidenced by the rapidly growing salmon-farm industry, salmon is one of the world’s most popular fish. The volume of farmed Atlantic salmon increased almost 1,000 percent between 1990 and 2015, according to United Nations statistics; 75 percent of all the salmon we eat is farm-raised. Wild-caught salmon, meanwhile, has become a luxury; it’s harder to find and generally more expensive.

Drugs in our rivers: Bugs on speed and Prozac in the food chain


Legislation like the Clean Water Act has helped check the effluent flowing into rivers and streams. Though that fight is far from over, a new, all-too-modern danger has meanwhile seeped invisibly into waters around the world: legal and illegal drugs. And their effect on the ecosystem is poorly understood.

Shark attacks: Research and resources


Each year as the weather warms, crowds of families and tourists flock to the beaches. People sometimes don’t realize the risk they take when they enter the ocean, a vast aquatic habitat. Newsrooms in coastal communities are well aware that when humans and wildlife interact, the results can be tragic – especially when sharks make an appearance. Even a minor run-in with a shark can send someone to the emergency room for surgery and stitches.