Problems in their communities suggested good research projects to three teens. Each wanted to tackle a different issue, from pollution to world hunger. To learn more about these issues, they turned to their local ponds, wetlands and gardens.
Mucus—snot—can be so gross. It’s also critical for many animals, including hagfish, snails and people. Snot can rid our bodies of nasty bacteria and viruses. In other creatures, it can smooth the road or rough up predators.
Cleaning up toxic waste is a big and expensive problem. Scientists have tinkered with the genes in some plants. Now those greens can take on this dirty work. Still, they're not quite ready for prime time.