Mackenzie Myers

Mackenzie Myers

Mackenzie Myers is a science writer, native Michigander, and former field station ragamuffin. She holds an MFA in nonfiction writing, but would be a soil scientist if she could do it all over again.


video games

Video Games Hone Visual Attention Skills

Video games may increase the amount of visual information your brain can process at once, according to a new study.  By Mackenzie Myers For millions of people, video games like League of Legends and World of Warcraft are sources of engaging competition and enjoyment. But according to a new study, ...
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Featured image: A laser treats the surface of copper, giving it a texture that would allow the metal to instantly kill bacteria. (Purdue University/Erin Easterling)

Pathogens Perish on Laser-Treated Metal

Pathogens in bacteria could be eliminated on contact, according to a new study using the antimicrobial properties of copper and laser technology. By Mackenzie Myers In a world where every doorknob, handle, and gas pump seems suspicious, there’s good news out of Purdue University: a team of engineers has figured ...
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Springtime Plants and Sheltering in Place

As most of the world continues to shelter in place this spring, plants are proving their worth more than ever. In the northern hemisphere, spring has sprung and Mother Nature is doing her thing, but we celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day this year in virtual space while practicing ...
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Sea turtle photographed by Lorianne DiSabato at the New England Aquarium in Boston, MA (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

To Sea Turtles, Ocean Plastic Smells Like Food

By Mackenzie Myers For humans, there’s nothing quite like the aroma of our favorite foods, whether it’s fresh-baked brownies, pizza in the oven, or a pot of curry. But imagine if your sense of smell, a key helper in finding food when you’re hungry, was the very thing that led ...
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Megabiota, Largest Life, Vital to Biosphere

By Mackenzie Myers @kenzwrites Large organisms such as whales, elephants, and redwoods are often featured in awe-inspiring nature documentaries, but they’re more than just oohs and ahs. Their existence or extinction could make or break the planet as we know it. Megabiota—the largest plants and animals—are more likely than smaller ...
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toxoplasma

Toxoplasma Infection Makes Mice More Brave

By Mackenzie Myers, @kenzwrites Quiet as a mouse. Timid as a mouse. When’s the last time you heard a mouse described as brave?  The scientific community has already established that a parasite carried by cats and their feces, Toxoplasma gondii, causes infected mice to lose their fear of feline predators ...
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CO2 capture and storage

CO2 underground could combat climate change

By Mackenzie Myers, @kenzwrites Despite the scariness of already-manifesting climate change, lawmakers and researchers worldwide have identified strategies to help us fight it. Expanding renewable energy, replacing coal with natural gas, and making machines more energy-efficient are just a few tricks humankind has up its sleeves. At the center of ...
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Fossil pollen holds clues to past

By Mackenzie Myers What if, instead of ancient treasure and tombs, Indiana Jones researched ancient pollen and soil?  Beyond just a seasonal nuisance or a crucial component of agriculture, pollen can be a key to understanding the past. It clues researchers in to how land was used thousands of years ...
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Could Agriculture Save US Water Supply?

By Mackenzie Myers This article is part of a series about key science policy issues. Please use these articles to become an informed voter, ask political candidates about the issues, and put every candidate on record about science. This time of year in California’s Central Valley, it’s easy to see ...
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An Evolutionary Approach to Conserving Plant Habitats

By Mackenzie Myers (@thetiniestnail) To conserve plant habitats, a traditional approach to biodiversity—species richness, or saving as many species as possible—might not be the most effective route. Instead, vulnerable landscapes might be better served by a quality-over-quantity mindset, a recent paper from a team of UC Berkeley scientists suggests. Think ...
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