Over the past few decades, developing countries have increasingly used microfinance, the practice of making small loans to the working poor. TrickleUp, Kiva.org, and more than 3,6000 microfinance institutions worldwide offer hope for a more cost-effective method of empowering the poor. However, until now, little academic research has looked at the loans’ actual impacts.
Do no harm. In the effort to manage the forest habitats of the endangered Indiana bat, naturalists must always, always, first consider the impact on this nocturnal mammal. Bats perform a vital ecological role, feeding entirely on flying insects; a single bat can consume thousands of mosquitoes each night.
School children learn that nearly three-quarters of the Earth’s surface is covered with water, in the form of oceans, ice, rivers and lakes. However, even our brightest scientists know little about the distribution of water beneath the planet’s surface or even how much total water the planet contains.