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China's Great Wall Has Its Own Wall of Protection
China's Great Wall Has
Its Own Wall of Protection

China's Great Wall Has Its Own Wall of Protection

Biocrusts shield rammed earth sections of wall from erosion, researchers find

(Newser) - The Great Wall of China continues to stand millennia after its first sections were built around 221 BC, but not without help from bacteria, moss, and lichens. Biocrusts, communities of living organisms that develop on the soil surface and prevent erosion in arid ecosystems, cover about 12% of Earth's...

Lowly Moss Is Far More Important Than You Think
Scientists 'Gobsmacked'
About Findings on Moss
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Scientists 'Gobsmacked' About Findings on Moss

Lowly plant is 'potentially as significant' as vascular plants, yet often ignored: study

(Newser) - We've underestimated the power of the lowly moss beneath our feet, which fuels the cycling of nutrients in soil, sucks up carbon, and may even prevent the proliferation of pathogens and "antibiotic resistant genes," according to a new, worldwide study. Considered globally, mosses—under threat from climate...

In Pet Shops Across America, an 'Incredibly Destructive' Find

Invasive zebra mussels have turned up in moss balls, an aquarium accessories, in 21 states

(Newser) - They're as small as a fingernail, but the damage that zebra mussels can cause belies their tiny size. That's why the feds are concerned that the invasive, quickly multiplying mollusks have been popping up in pet stores across the US, specifically in ornamental moss balls used as decor...

During WWI, Moss Was a Literal Lifesaver

Because 90% of its cells are dead, it absorbs twice as much liquid as cotton

(Newser) - Within 18 months of World War I beginning, cotton was a big problem for the Allies: They didn't have enough of it. And because it was used to dress battlefield wounds, that made the situation a life-threatening one. Doctors found their answer in moss, reports Smithsonian magazine in a...

Scientists Revive 1,500-Year-Old Life Form

Moss dating back to Roman Empire easily returns to life

(Newser) - Have a craving for 1,500-year-old moss? Just dig some up from Antarctic permafrost, expose it to light and healthy temperatures, and presto, you've got moss, National Geographic reports. Scientists from Britain did just that, marking the first time a multicellular organism that old has regenerated so easily. In...

Mosses Survive Centuries Under Arctic Glaciers

Tough plants regrew after glacier retreated

(Newser) - The Arctic mosses that thrive in some of the world's most inhospitable locations are even tougher than scientists thought. Researchers found that the hardy mosses on Canada's Ellesmere Island managed to survive being crushed under a glacier for centuries, NPR reports. They were amazed to find green sprigs...

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