A wood’s hardness is a measure of how much force it can take before becoming dented, and many of the world’s hardest woods come from tropical trees. Generally, trees have harder woods the closer they are to the equator; however, these are also long-living, slow-growing species. Their slow growth rate coupled with an increasing demand for hardwoods for flooring and furniture has made them endangered. For example, it’s estimated that 85% of Argentina’s quebracho trees (considered the hardest in the world) have been cut down within the last century.
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With drug overdose deaths on the rise, authorities are attempting to curb the epidemic by tracking and sharing information in real time. In one unique effort, a nonprofit in New York City is using drug-testing equipment and stamping or marking habits of dealers to identify drug batches that may endanger users. Other approaches are also being used, such as monitoring drug-related chatter on Reddit and analyzing local wastewater for opioid and other drug levels. With the combination of these efforts, researchers hope to put a dent in the opioid crisis and reduce overdose deaths. Read full article here