Researchers are considering ways to use synthetic biology for such conservation goals as eradicating invasive species or strengthening endangered coral. But environmentalists are worried about the ethical questions and unwanted consequences of this new gene-altering technology.

By Richard Conniff

Biodiversity

Can the Monarch Highway Help Save a Butterfly Under Siege?

The population of North American monarch butterflies has plummeted from 1 billion to 33 million in just two decades. Now, a project is underway to revive the monarch by making an interstate highway the backbone of efforts to restore its dwindling habitat.

By Janet Marinelli

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interview

The breadbasket regions of India and Pakistan are rapidly depleting their underground aquifers. In a Yale e360 interview, climatologist Sonali McDermid explains why this overexploitation, combined with global warming, is creating an urgent need to change local farming practices.

By Richard Schiffman

Vegetation is returning to this Elwha River valley in Washington state after two dams were removed. 

Biodiversity

Why the World’s Rivers Are Losing Sediment and Why It Matters

Vast amounts of river-borne sediment are trapped behind the world’s large dams, depriving areas downstream of material that is badly needed to build up the marshes and wetlands that act as a buffer against rising seas.

By Jim Robbins

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