Let it Brie

Ah, gay Par-ee! The smell of fresh baguettes, coffee, and… CHEESE!  This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science, saying, oui, oui! In France, cheese gets its yummy taste from a special fungus called Penicillium camemberti. It’s had hundreds of years to hone its cheesy qualities. But

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Scorpi-tecture

Who knew scorpions were fussy about architecture? This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science. Ecologists at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev can shed some light on the matter. They’re studying holes in the ground – more officially known as burrows.  Desert critters burrow to survive

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Probiotic Pollution Solution

Probiotics… it’s not just for breakfast anymore! This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science. There’s no easy way to clean up the pollutant trichloroethylene, or T-C-E. This common industrial solvent leaches into soils from improper disposal or spills. Even worse, it causes cancer! How can we

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Global Caterpillar Killers

Are pests destroying your garden? Maybe you should just. . . move! This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science. Biologists know there are more species of everything near the lush equator. Which means lots of plants — and animals to eat them, like hungry caterpillars! So

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Batty Idea

Holy biodiversity, Batman! This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science. Ninety percent of plants and animals in Madagascar are found nowhere else! Sadly, insect outbreaks threaten this amazing biodiversity. When they chomp down local crops, farmers are forced to compensate for the loss with field expansion!

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Organic Pollution

Forest meadows, fresh flowers… tail pipe exhaust? This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science. Secondary organic aerosols–gah! These tiny particles are a class of chemicals that form the air around us. As natural and industrial gas emissions interact with sunlight, the resulting particles reflect or absorb

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Deep Dive

What menacing secrets lurk in the depths of the ocean? This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science,saying…one word: “Plastics!” Plastics have been invading our oceans for years. Unfortunately, many animals, such as sea turtles, mistake them for food. But does plastic reach the creatures dwelling in

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Bite Me

To live or to die…? Depends on your. . . teeth? This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science. One hundred and eighty million years ago, gigantic marine reptiles ruled the seas. Then, water levels began rising… dramatically! Not all seafaring reptiles could adapt. So, who survived

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Thinking Plants

Can plants think? Would you believe… yes? This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science. Consider barberry, a European shrub. It produces bean-sized fruits, each with one or two seeds. Its biggest threat is a tiny fruit fly. The fly injects its eggs into one of the

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Very Special Specialists

You are special – yes you are! This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science. Animals evolved to specialize for life in their environment. For example, polar bear fur is designed for life in the Arctic. Those warm coats would be sweltering in the desert! But we

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