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2017 Summer Adaptation

Can We Learn to Grow Color? Butterfly Wings May Hold the Answer

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, humans have been buttering up the natural world for a long time. It’s often called biomimicry. Think Olympic swimmers in sharkskin-inspired suits, bullet trains shaped like kingfisher beaks, or the ubiquitous Velcro, which was famously modeled after plant burrs.   Yet all of these examples depend on […]

The Starship or the Canoe: Where Will Our Future Adaptations Be?

In 2015, an observatory high in the Atacama Desert of Chile detected three planets orbiting an M star, an ultra-cool dwarf, in the constellation Aquarius about 40 light years, or 232 trillion miles, from Earth. Until then, the dim star was designated 2MASS J23062928-0502285. Not such a charming name. The discoverers of its satellites, a […]

The Buzz About the Zika Virus

Nearly a year after the Rio Olympics, babies in the city’s favelas are still being born with microcephaly as a consequence of the Zika virus. The mosquito-borne disease has been identified by the World Health Organization as a congenital epidemic of international concern, yet one seldom hears about it in the international media. That’s a […]

Hell or High Water: How Will CA Adapt to the Anthropocene?

On February 12, 2017, nearly 200,000 Californians got the order to flee for their lives. Record winter rains had filled Lake Oroville, the vast reservoir that anchors the California State Water Project, to the brim. To avoid overtopping, project managers had released massive quantities of water down Oroville Dam’s main spillway, but fissures in the […]