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Pagan News Beagle: Earthy Thursday, April 20 2017

A look at the struggle for water around the world. How gene therapy could revolutionize medicine. And inspiration for modern remedies from ancient ones. It's Earthy Thursday, our segment about science and Earth-related news! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

Aside from some crises like the drought in California people in the United States usually take clean water for granted. But that's hardly true in many other parts of the world. National Geographic takes a look at the present and coming struggles for clean, usable groundwater.

When we think of burrowing animals it's usually tiny mammals like moles or shrews that come to mind. But recent discoveries in South America shed light on the possibility of much larger animals that dug dens for themselves. Take a dive into the world of massive "paleoburrows" at Discover Magazine's website.

It's scarcely more than a few years old but already the revolutionary gene-editing technique known as CRISPR has caused an intense bioethics debate within the scientific community. While some are afraid of the possibility that CRISPR might be abused to create superhuman individuals, others are very excited by its potential to cure some of the world's most debilitating genetic diseases.

We've gotten a lot better at reducing pollutants in our air and water since the publication of the book Silent Spring in 1962 but that doesn't mean we've solved the problem. There's still an incredibly large amount of chemical pollutants in our waterways, as new studies show.

In a lot of cases old wives' tales are just that: folk stories without a sound basis in fact. But sometimes, old wisdom is in fact quite wise. Scientific American takes a look at how scientists are now investigating the many potentially useful lessons to be learned from traditional herbal medicine.

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Aryós Héngwis (or the more modest Héngwis for short) is a native of the Pontic-Caspian steppe, born some 5000 years ago, near the village of Dereivka. In his youth he stood out from the other snakes for his love of learning and culture, eventually coming into the service of the local reǵs before moving westward toward Europe. Most recently, Aryós Héngwis left his home to pursue a new life in America, where he has come under the employ of BBI Media as an internet watchdog (or watchsnake, if you will), ever poised to strike the unwary troll.

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