Scientists in Russia have revived a bdelloid rotifer — a type of multicellular microorganism that's accustomed to wet environments — after the invertebrate spent 24,000 years frozen 11 feet beneath the Siberian permafrost.
According to a new study published Monday in Current Biology, past research has suggested these tiny creatures can slow their metabolisms down to almost stagnant and survive frozen for up to 10 years. Now, scientists from the Institute of Physicochemical and Biological Problems in Soil Science found that rotifers can survive much longer than that.
The 24,000-year-old rotifer wasn't barely alive, either. After thawing, it was able to reproduce and feed, the study authors stated in a press release.
In the past, scientists have unearthed dead but well-preserved mammals, including woolly mammoths — which were still around when the study's bdelloid rotifer first froze — and extinct cave bears from permafrost, which is thawing in many parts of the Arctic due to climate change, CNN said.
They've also discovered and revived a 30,000-year-old nematode worm, Arctic moss and some plants. "Now, the team adds rotifers to the list of organisms with a remarkable ability to survive, seemingly indefinitely, in a state of suspended animation beneath the frozen landscape," the press release stated.
"The takeaway is that a multicellular organism can be frozen and stored as such for thousands of years and then return back to life — a dream of many fiction writers," Stas Malavin, of Russia's Institute of Physicochemical and Biological Problems in Soil Science, told the Press Association, according to the BBC.
Malavin and his team froze and attempted to revive modern day rotifers living in regions covered by permafrost. Not all survived the freezing, but the study revealed that rotifers appear to have some mechanism that protects their cells and organs from being damaged by very cold temperatures.
"Unlocking these micro-animals' super-resilient biological strategies could help us to someday preserve other animal cells, tissues and organs here on Earth, and beyond," The New York Times reported, adding that some scientists think rotifer would be good candidates for living in space.
Last month, EcoWatch reported that atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels this year were expected to climb to beyond 2019 levels, despite falling during the pandemic. Now we know just how much.
Two separate reports published Monday detailed that CO2 levels have indeed spiked, and that the annual peak reached 419 parts per million (PPM) in May, the highest level in human history, Axios reported.
Scientists from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), who published the new reports, have been tracking atmospheric CO2 for more than 60 years, according to The Hill. But using other data, researchers were able to estimate that CO2 levels haven't been this high on Earth in more than 4 million years, NPR reported
"We are adding roughly 40 billion metric tons of CO2 pollution to the atmosphere per year," Peter Tans, a senior scientist with NOAA's Global Monitoring Laboratory, said in a statement. "That is a mountain of carbon that we dig up out of the Earth, burn, and release into the atmosphere as CO2 – year after year. If we want to avoid catastrophic climate change, the highest priority must be to reduce CO2 pollution to zero at the earliest possible date."
Carbon-based fossil fuels used for electricity production and transportation, including oil, gas and coal, cement manufacturing, deforestation and agriculture are all main drivers of CO2 pollution, the statement noted.
May is the month with the highest mean atmospheric CO2 because plants in the northern hemisphere are just beginning to enter the growing season when they suck large amounts of CO2 from Earth's air, according to NOAA. Levels will likely drop from here, but the data is alarming.
While the year-to-year increase in the May 2021 CO2 peak was slightly smaller than previous years, "CO2 measurements at Mauna Loa [Observatory, in Hawaii] for the first five months of 2021 showed a 2.3 ppm increase over the same five months of 2020, close to the average annual increase from 2010 to 2019," the statement read. The brief dip in greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 did not make a difference in bringing down current numbers, according to the report.
The daunting new milestone was announced as leaders from the Group of 7 nations — the U.S., the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Canada — are preparing to meet this week to discuss how the industrialized nations can better curb climate change.
"The data provides yet another warning that countries are still very far from getting their planet-warming greenhouse gases under control," The New York Times reported.
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You can't discount the importance of your gut health. Research shows that the microbiome within your digestive system has a disproportionate impact on how well your whole body functions.
Unfortunately, bad diets, the overuse of antibiotics, and other stressors mean many of our digestive systems are in trouble. Probiotic supplements claim to solve this problem by replenishing your gut with the healthy bacteria it needs for optimal functioning. Here, we'll analyze the popular probiotic brand Seed to determine whether its supplements are worth taking.
How We Review Probiotics
Whenever we review a probiotic supplement, we evaluate six specific categories.
- Number of active strains - How many types of bacteria are included?
- AFU (Active Fluorescent Units)/ CFU (Colony Forming Units) - These units of measurement tell you how many billions of bacteria are estimated to be within each supplement dose.
- Storage Requirements - Some probiotics are shelf-stable, while others require refrigeration.
- Ingredient Transparency – does the company disclose where it sources its active strains and provide clinical research for their efficacy?
- Value - How are the probiotics priced? Can you purchase them without an auto-ship program?
- Sustainability - Does the company show ways its supplements are better for the environment through sustainable ingredient sourcing or packaging?
Let's evaluate these criteria for Seed.
About Seed Probiotics
Seed is an e-commerce supplement brand with a single product—the DS-O1 Daily Synbiotic probiotic. The company got its start in 2018 when cofounders Ara Katz and Raja Dhir determined that the current probiotic supplements available weren't hitting the mark.
Katz's experiences of pregnancy and breastfeeding as a new mom led her to develop a deeper appreciation of the body's microbiome and its role in overall health. She joined forces with Dhir, who had the scientific experience to understand what could be improved within the probiotic industry.
Together, they strove to create a supplement that "raised the bar on bacteria" by giving the body what it needed for all its systems to operate most effectively. They collaborated with a large team of entrepreneurs, artists, and scientists to develop a probiotic known as DS-01 Daily Synbiotic.
The Seed DS-01 Daily Synbiotic
- Active Strains - 24
- AFU - 53.6 billion AFU
- Storage Requirements - Shelf-stable for 18 months after opening
- Ingredient Transparency - Clinical data available for each strain
- Sustainability - First order ships in reusable glass canisters and subsequent orders arrive in compostable biofilm.
- Value - $49.99/60 supplements (30-day supply subscription)
The DS-01 Daily Synbiotic is a broad-spectrum probiotic that combines 24 probiotic strains with a non-fermenting prebiotic concentrate of Indian pomegranate for better delivery. Of these strains, 23 are human-derived, and one is isolated from fruit and added to promote healthy cholesterol levels.
These strains work synergistically to support the 38 trillion bacteria that make up your microbiome. They will purportedly help the body digest food, minimize inflammation, and better synthesize nutrients.
This supplement contains four distinct probiotic blends:
- Digestive Health/ Gut Immunity/ Gut Barrier Integrity: 37.0 Billion AFU
- Dermatological Health: 3.3 Billion AFU
- Cardiovascular Health: 5.25 Billion AFU
- Micronutrient Synthesis: 8.05 Billion AFU
(See strain-specific studies here)
How It Works
With these multiple strains, the company claims to take a 'Microbe-Systems Approach' through microbes that impact specific physical functions beyond the digestive system. These include skin and heart health, better immune system functioning, and micronutrient synthesis.
In other words, DS-01 goes beyond digestive issues to support full-body health. The company claims it's even one of the first probiotic formulations able to synthesize folate and increase its production.
Seed's DS-01 Daily Synbiotic probiotic also stands out with its delivery system. The supplement utilizes "nested capsule technology" along with a patented algae delivery system. This two-in-one capsule design houses the probiotic formula within a prebiotic casing made from Indian pomegranate to ensure these fragile bacteria survive both sitting on store shelves and the perilous journey through stomach acid to your colon.
Through this method, Seed claims to average a 100% delivery rate of the probiotic's starting dose to your colon. According to internal testing, DS-01 probiotics will exceed the living cell counts listed on the label even after ten days of constant 100º F exposure.
Adults can take two Seed probiotic supplements per day, preferably at the same time. It's best you do so on an empty stomach to limit the capsule's exposure to digestive enzymes that start to break it down. However, those with sensitive stomachs may want to eat something first. While you'll get optimal results from taking the supplements daily, it's not a problem if you occasionally skip one.
If you're new to probiotics, start by taking one per day for the first three days and then increasing your dosage to two per day. You may feel its effects on your digestive system within 48 hours, though long-term improvements to the cardiovascular system take more time and might not be noticeable to you.
Seed probiotics don't need require refrigeration. They are shelf-stable for 18 months at temperatures up to 78℉ and are safe to take when expired. Just note that the company can't guarantee their potency at this point.
How to Buy
Seed DS-01 Daily Synbiotic probiotics are only available on a subscription basis. They cost $49.99 per month and ship free throughout the US (international orders include a $10 shipping fee).
You will receive a 30-day supply (60 capsules) when you order through the company website, and the first order includes a reusable glass canister and travel vial. Each subsequent order arrives in compostable biofilm so you can transfer the capsules to the reusable ones.
All first orders are covered by a 30-day risk-free trial, during which you can return the probiotics for a full refund. It's possible to cancel the subscription at any time by contacting customer service at [email protected].
Note: At publication, these probiotics were sold out. They are available for pre-order and expected to ship again in 2-4 weeks.
What We Like About Seed
As a product within the largely unregulated supplement industry, Seed broad-spectrum probiotics earn major points from us for both transparency and abundant clinical research. The company shares detailed information about every bacterial strain within the supplement and links out to the scientific studies highlighting their effectiveness.
Customer reviews on Facebook and other review sites show that Seed probiotics work as described for many users. Some shared they experienced positive improvements in their digestive system within 48 hours and noticed better-looking skin within a month.
Those with allergies or food sensitivities will also appreciate these supplements are soy-free, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, corn-free, and free of binders and preservatives.
From a consumer standpoint, Seed makes taking probiotics simple. The shelf-stable formula means you won't have to store them in the fridge, and each 30-day supply is guaranteed to remain viable for 18 months after opening. Likewise, the nested capsule delivery system should improve how many billions of bacteria make it into your digestive system intact.
Equally noteworthy, we love Seed's commitment to environmental sustainability. By sending each customer two reusable glass containers at the start of their subscription, the company minimizes the packaging waste for each subsequent order.
What We Don't Like
Despite these positives, Seed broad-spectrum probiotics have some downsides. To start, they are pricier than many competitors. You will pay $1.66 per day's dose, which is more than some want to pay for supplements.
It's also not possible to try them without committing to a monthly subscription. While it will take several weeks or longer to start noticing their effects, some customers might not want to be locked into an auto-ship program so early in the experimenting process.
Likewise, some customer reviews complained of unexpected side effects such as breakouts and rashes. It's not clear whether these went away for users after a few weeks of use.
Finally, it's currently only possible to pre-order these supplements. If you're dealing with digestive distress today, you may want to try a probiotic brand that's available right now for faster relief.
Seed Safety & Side Effects
Seed DS-01 Daily Synbiotics are considered safe for adults over 18. Each supplement is vegan and free of common allergens like gluten, dairy, soy, and corn. They have undergone extensive third-party testing and adhere to the highest global regulatory standards for safety.
As with all probiotics, you might notice unpleasant side effects when you start taking them. Many people experience bloating, increased gas production, constipation, and other gastrointestinal problems for the first few days.
This can be discouraging, as many users take probiotics precisely to combat these symptoms in the first place. However, your system should adjust to the new bacteria within two weeks, and this digestive distress should diminish accordingly.
The DS-01 Daily Synbiotic is classified as safe for women who are pregnant and breastfeeding, although the company recommends speaking with a medical professional before starting them. As will all probiotics, you should not take these supplements if you have a weakened immune system, recently underwent surgery, or if you have a serious illness. Speak with your doctor before starting any dietary supplement if you have concerns or questions.
Takeaway: Are Seed Probiotics Worth It?
The Seed DS-01 Daily Synbiotic is well-formulated and shows clinical evidence of improving your gut biome for far-reaching health benefits. The company solves the tricky problem of selling a live product with its innovative delivery system that keeps the bacteria within the supplement safe both on the shelf and through the digestive process.
If you are dealing with digestive problems, or are looking for a way to improve your general health, then this broad-spectrum probiotic might be one worth trying.
Just keep in mind that you might feel worse for a few days before the microbes will take full effect in your gut and that giving it a try means you are committing to a monthly subscription.
Lydia Noyes is a freelance writer specializing in health and wellness, food and farming, and environmental topics. When not working against a writing deadline, you can find Lydia outdoors where she attempts to bring order to her 33-acre hobby farm filled with fruit trees, heritage breed pigs, too many chickens to count, and an organic garden that somehow gets bigger every year.
Biden Suspends Oil Leases in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge While Supporting Drilling Elsewhere in Alaska
The Department of the Interior on Tuesday suspended oil and gas leases in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge until a comprehensive analysis can determine the environmental impact of drilling in the area.
A review "identified defects in the underlying record of decision supporting the leases, including the lack of analysis of a reasonable range of alternatives'' required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), ABC News reported.
The suspension includes 10-year leases that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued on Jan. 6, 2021, which span more than 430,000 acres of the refuge, a press release stated.
The lease suspension follows President Joe Biden's executive order, instated on his first day in office, which placed a temporary moratorium on oil and gas lease activities, NBC News reported.
Spanning nearly 20-million-acres, Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge houses polar bears, caribou, snowy owls and migrating birds from six continents, and is sacred land for the Indigenous Gwich'in people, NBC News wrote. However, some argue that suspending the leases doesn't go far enough to protect the wilderness.
"There is still more to be done. Until the leases are canceled, they will remain a threat to one of the wildest places left in America," Kristen Miller, conservation director of the Alaska Wilderness League said in a statement.
The decision to suspend leases in the refuge also came just one week after the Biden administration defended another Trump-era oil and gas project. The Willow Project in the North Slope of Alaska is slated to produce more than 100,000 barrels of oil a day for the next 30 years, The New York Times reported. The ConocoPhillips drilling endeavor would be located in the National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska, an area earmarked by the federal government for oil extraction, according to a press release by the Office of Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy. Gov. Dunleavy argues that communities in the area rely on oil and gas projects, while environmental groups sued the federal government, arguing that the environmental impacts of the project had not been taken into account, The New York Times wrote.According to the National Climate Assessment, Alaska has warmed more than twice as fast as the rest of the United States over the past 60 years. According to The New York Times, Miller said that "burning oil produced by the Willow project over its lifetime would create nearly 260 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions — about the equivalent of what is produced by 66 coal-fired power plants. But, she argued, the infrastructure also will lead to new oil and gas projects in the region."
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Talukder operated in the sprawling Sundarbans mangrove forest on the India-Bangladesh border, home to the largest population of endangered Royal Bengal tigers in the world. According to locals, he previously admitted to killing at least 70 tigers in the area and is accused of nine cases of forest crimes, the Dhaka Tribune wrote.
"He secretly entered the Sundarbans and hunted wild animals despite being banned from entering the forest long ago. He has been carrying out these criminal activities even though there are multiple cases against him… some powerful gangs are involved in this," Sharankhola Station officer Md Abdul Mannan told the Dhaka Tribune.
According to the World Wildlife Foundation, there are just under 4,000 Royal Bengal tigers left in the wild. Despite being a rare sight, their numbers are stable or growing in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Russia and China. However, Bengal tiger populations are still declining in Southeast Asia.
"Black market traders buy their pelts, bones and even flesh for sale around the globe," the BBC reports.
According to Al Jazeera, the 50-year-old suspect lived near the Sundarbans mangrove forest, where he was able to escape former police raids, and was listed as a most wanted fugitive by both police and the Forest Department. Talukder got his start collecting honey from bees in the forest, a dangerous endeavor that's usually carried out by fishermen in the area, the BBC wrote.
"He was a big headache for us. He posed a great threat to the forest's biodiversity," regional forest conservation officer Mainuddin Khan told Al Jazeera.
Talukder was jailed on Saturday afternoon following a court hearing and is formally charged with hunting three tigers and five deer, forest official Joynal Abadin told Al Jazeera.
Sharankhola police, acting on a tip-off, arrested Habib Talukder, 50, in the early hours of Saturday from Madhya So… https://t.co/329iiPBFq8— Ds Sourav (@Ds Sourav)1622442972.0
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But with conservation success comes new challenges.
All mountain gorilla troops live in protected national parks in Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. But these protected areas are surrounded by human communities that severely limit gorillas' opportunities to spread out and habitat other safe plots of land. The result of these protected areas is that endangered gorilla populations are growing in numbers — a very good thing. But since space is limited, their populations are dense within protected areas, increasing their susceptibility to infectious diseases both from humans and each other, and fostering a hotbed for violent conflict.
In a study published on May 25, 2020 in Scientific Reports, researchers recorded a type of parasitic worm called helminths, which causes gastrointestinal disease in wild gorillas, in protected populations in both the Virunga National Park in northeastern DRC and the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in Uganda. The scientists worry that infections like those caused by helminths will spread more easily among areas densely populated with gorillas, presenting a consequence of conservation success.
Because gorilla DNA is so close to humans', the tourists that fund gorilla conservation also accidentally spread disease to protected gorilla populations, everything from COVID-19 to E. coli, Giardia, pneumonia and scabies, National Geographic reports.
However, the spread of infectious disease isn't the only issue caused by crowded troops.
Another study, published in November 2020, also documented a sharp increase in infanticide and violent encounters between gorilla populations in conservation areas that were becoming overcrowded, causing troops to overlap.
"Before 2007, we would talk about intergroup encounters for months because they were so rare," Winnie Eckardt, co-lead author of the study and research manager at the Fossey Fund, said in a press release. "After that, they began to happen with such frequency that we could hardly keep up with documenting them."
Both studies highlight potential new challenges emerging as a side effect of successful conservation over the past few decades.
"Unraveling the patterns of parasite infections in both gorilla populations, evaluating host exposure to infective parasite stages, and studying susceptibility to infection and its consequences on host health will be an important next step for the continued success and survival of this and other endangered animal species with small, isolated populations," a press release on the new study stated.
New research published May 20, 2021 in Science found that humans have stressed plant ecosystems more severely, and for longer, than previously thought.
The last time plants were forced to change at this pace was between 16,000 and 8,000 years ago, when mosses, sedges, shrubs and lichens had to quickly adapt to a planet that had warmed by 10 degrees Fahrenheit, National Geographic reports. However, plant populations stabilized after the ice age thawed. It wasn't until about 4,000 years ago that they began mass adaptations once again, reacting not to retreating ice sheets, but to the changes humans were making to Earth's landscape.
"This work suggests that 3,000 to 4,000 years ago, humans were already having an enormous impact on the world (and) that continues today," Jack Williams, professor of geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and one of the study authors, said in a press release.
The researchers analyzed nearly 1,200 samples of ancient fossilized pollen collected from every continent, except Antarctica, which stored data about the mass adaptations Earth's flora have taken on over millennia. The fossils revealed that the rate of change ecosystems are experiencing today is at least equal to what it was at its peak, just after the ice age, when plants adapted to cover previously frozen ground. Williams and his team expect these rates of change to continue to accelerate in the near future, as climate change exacerbates the need for ecosystems to adapt.
The new study also adds to the growing body of data showing that climate change has accelerated changes in global biodiversity, particularly over the last century, ScienceDaily explained. One 2019 study also found that human activity around 3,000 years ago, which included burning land to clear it for agriculture, planting crops and deforestation, had huge implications for ecosystems that continue today.
"A sobering implication from this work, say the scientists, is that in the past, the periods of ecosystem transformations driven by climate change and those driven by land use were largely separate. But now, intensified land use continues, and the world is warming at an increasing rate due to the accumulation of greenhouse gases. As plant communities respond to the combination of direct human impacts and human-induced climate change, future rates of ecosystem transformation may break new records yet again," a press release stated.
Consequently, protecting existing species may not be the best way to support ecosystems in the future, when climate change and human activity will force plant communities to adapt to wetter, drier, or hotter conditions than the flora is used to.
"Instead of trying to maintain species compositions that existed in the past, we have to start managing for change and managing for the future," said Jonathan T. Overpeck, a climate scientist at the University of Michigan climate, in a commentary article on the new research published in Science, according to National Geographic. "Many of the forests we have now are dying because those trees established under cooler, moister conditions. As the climate becomes hotter and more extreme, we have to plant species that can handle that."
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Aptly called, "Earth's lungs," the planet's two largest swaths of rainforest, in Amazonia and Africa, suck up 15 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions produced by humans. These ecosystems are essential for carbon sequestration and therefore curbing climate change, and while the Amazon rainforest has been the subject of mountains of research, scientists are just now beginning to understand how rainforests in Central and Western Africa respond to small changes in climate — and it's good news.
African rainforests naturally thrive in drier conditions than rainforests in Amazonia and Southeast Asia. According to new research, these conditions appear to have made African rainforests more resistant to drought and warmer-than-normal temperatures compared to rainforests in Amazonia, the world's largest rainforest, and Borneo.
"This is the first on-the-ground evidence of what happens when you heat and drought an intact African rainforest," Leeds' School of Geography professor and senior author of the new research, Simon Lewis, said in a press release. "What we found surprised me."
Despite more severe droughts and hotter weather, 100 plots of intact tropical rainforests spread across the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Cameroon, Ghana, Liberia and the Republic of the Congo still absorbed a significant amount of Earth-warming CO2 compared to non-drought years.
To test this, the team used the 2015-2016 El Niño climate pattern as a model for what conditions may look like consistently in the near future. Exasperated by climate change, the temporary cycle brought a temperature increase of nearly 1 degree Celsius above the 1980-2010 average and the most severe drought on record.
According to lead author Amy Bennett, a professor at the Leeds' School of Geography, the extreme weather conditions brought by El Niño in 2015 and 2016 reduced the amount of carbon dioxide the forest pulled from the atmosphere by about 36 percent. However, the ecosystems continued to function as a huge carbon sink. Despite the crippling conditions, the plots indicated that rainforests in Central and Western Africa still absorbed 1.1 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year — three times the amount emitted by the United Kingdom in 2019.
"African tropical forests play an important role in the global carbon cycle, absorbing 1.7 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year since the turn of the last century. To discover that they will be able to tolerate the predicted conditions of the near future is an unusual source of optimism in climate change science," Bennett said in a press release.
In particular, larger trees were mostly unaffected, which the researchers speculated was due to the fact that larger root systems have more stable access to water. Smaller tree species, however, had less growth and higher death rates during drought years.
In contrast, research published in Nature in 2018 found that the Amazon rainforest's canopy shrunk during spells of El Niño drought. The Amazon rainforest, the largest of its kind in the world, is expected to collapse by 2046 and scientists believe it's already on the brink of emitting more carbon dioxide than it absorbs.
Taken together, research on Earth's lungs emphasizes the importance of keeping rainforests intact while drastically reducing carbon emissions. Central Africa houses the world's second-largest tropical rainforest. Like all rainforests, the 240 million hectares of forest are threatened by logging, mining, expanding agriculture and wildfires.
"The resistance of intact African tropical forests to a bit more heat and drought than they have experienced in the past is welcome news, but we still need to cut carbon dioxide emissions fast, as our forests will probably only resist limited further rises in air temperature," said Bonaventure Sonké, a professor at University of Yaoundé in Cameroon, who co-authored the new study.
Gabon recently received $150 million in international funds from the United Nations Central African Forest Initiative to preserve its rainforests, 10 percent of which are already protected. Cameroon, its neighbor to the north, committed in 2017 to restoring more than 12 million hectares of degraded land by 2030, the International Union for Conservation of Nature reported. But on its own, preserving rainforests will not be enough to prevent the most catastrophic effects of climate change. The authors stress that humans also need to commit to emitting fewer greenhouse gases.
"Our results provide a further incentive to keep global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius, as outlined in the Paris Agreement, as these forests look to be able to withstand limited increases in temperature and drought," Sonké said in a press release.
Kaitlin Sullivan covers the environment, science and health beats. Her work has appeared in NBC News, Popular Science, NPR, VICE and Inverse, among others. Before becoming a journalist, she worked on a farm in Western Colorado, at a hostel in Brazil and as an editor for the American Alpine Club. She grew up in Minnesota, which is probably why she's so obsessed with water, and has a master's degree in health and science reporting from CUNY. When she isn't reporting, you'll probably find her outside hiking, rock climbing, sailing, camping, growing food or petting someone's dog. Follow her on Twitter: @kaitsulliva
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