About the SA Blog Network

Posts Tagged "dirt"

Life, Unbounded

The Dirtiest Lunar Mystery Of All

It's filthy work, but someone has to do it...(NASA/Apollo)

                      There may be something funny going on with the stuff covering the Moon, and a new NASA mission launching next month is aiming to solve the mystery. Gaze up at a brilliant Moon in the night sky and it’s hard to imagine that our [...]

Keep reading »

Soil May Help Pathogens Make Us Sick


Tetracycline—a powerful antibiotic—came from the soil. Researchers isolated the drug, used to treat everything from sexually transmitted diseases to bacterial pneumonia, from the soil-dwelling microbe Septomyces aureofaciens, which produces tetracycline to kill its microbe neighbors. So it comes as no surprise that other soil microbes have evolved ways to resist this antibiotic But a new [...]

Keep reading »

Science as Art: Process, Data, and Context


I’ve recently been working on a new project with Ellie Harmon about dirt. Ellie hiked the Pacific Crest Trail last year, the 2,663 miles from the US border with Mexico to the border of Canada. She collected dirt throughout California and sent them to me in the lab, a total of 62 samples that represent [...]

Keep reading »

Soil Inspired Cuisine

I’m fascinated by the biology of soil and the history of “dirtiness”–where dirt and bacteria are allowed to be and where we must clean them away. Mary Douglas defines dirt in her classic book Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo as “matter out of place”: [Dirt] is a relative idea. [...]

Keep reading »

High Speed Video Reveals How Meteor and Missile Impacts Transfer Energy Via Sand and Dirt Grains


When a high speed object collides with force, we tend to focus on the spectacular (yet potentially devastating) view from a macro scale, but Duke scientists have been researching what that incredible energy transfer looks like at the level of sand and dirt size particles. “High-speed video of projectiles slamming into a bed of disks [...]

Keep reading »

More from Scientific American

Scientific American Holiday Sale

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Blow-Out Sale

Enter code:
at checkout

Get 20% off now! >


Email this Article