Allison Troutner is a freelance writer with a master's degree in cultural anthropology. She's fascinated by the unusual, taboo, and avant-garde because pushing the boundaries of science and technology keeps the world going 'round (and a more interesting place to live in). She specializes in health and environmental sciences, cannabis and hemp agriculture, and cybersecurity. She's called mom by two toddlers who tolerate her and some houseplants that don't. You can find her at www.allisontroutnerwriter.com.

Recent Contributions

The unlikely symbiotic relationship of solar panels and agriculture is known as agrivoltaics. Is it coming to a farm near you?

By Allison Troutner

In the Namib Desert, fairy circles have stumped researchers for decades. Where did they come from? One scientist thinks he's solved the mystery.

By Allison Troutner

Soon you'll have to stop borrowing your best friend's mom's cousin's account and get your own. But how does Netflix know you're freeloading?

By Allison Troutner

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UFOs and UAPs both refer to unidentified objects in the sky, but scientists prefer the term UAP. And that's because when we hear UFO, we automatically assume aliens.

By Allison Troutner

Native to East Asia, the Joro spider has adapted to life in the southern U.S. and, as far as we know, is a beneficial addition to the ecosystem.

By Allison Troutner

Your body replaces billions (with a b!) of cells every day. In about 100 days, 30 trillion be replaced, but does that mean you're a new person, too?

By Chris Opfer & Allison Troutner

In Germany, death may be permanent, but gravesites aren't. They're leased until the next "resident" moves in. That's just one grim regulation surrounding funerals and burials.

By Allison Troutner

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Nobody flies more than pilots, so who better to give us tips on packing?

By Allison Troutner

Tattoos age just like we do. But that doesn't have to be a bad thing. There are simple ways to make them pop and look good, no matter how old they are.

By Allison Troutner

It's hard to imagine Nemo catching some z's in the Great Barrier Reef. But fish do need rest. Do they sleep like we do?

By Allison Troutner

All bubbles pop — that's a fact of life. But what's the science behind the short life and inevitable pop of a bubble?

By Allison Troutner

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Never heard of the tarsier? Well it's one of the smallest primates in the world but has some of the biggest bug eyes you've ever seen.

By Allison Troutner

Though the terms closed caption and subtitles are used interchangeably, the two are quite different. Do you know the distinction?

By Allison Troutner

The element lithium is one of just three created during the Big Bang and has been used for mental health care for decades. But now it's in higher demand than ever before.

By Allison Troutner

'Star Wars' super fans can now be part of their own epic voyage with Rey and Kylo Ren. How? Just board the Halcyon Starcruiser into the Star Wars galaxy.

By Allison Troutner

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For decades scientists assumed these insects looked so much like orchids as a form of camouflage. But they were wrong. They look this way because they're deceptive predators.

By Allison Troutner

An orangutan who could unscrew bolts to bust out? A gorilla who climbed the vines out of her enclosure to just roam the zoo? These are wild animals, and these are their wild escape stories.

By Allison Troutner

You might see them hanging out around your kitchen drain. They're annoying yet tiny — they're drain flies. So how do you get rid of them?

By Allison Troutner

The U.S. Senate recently passed a bill to make daylight saving time permanent. However, many health groups are against it. What do studies say and should President Joe Biden sign the bill into law?

By Allison Troutner

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Superacids are those with an acidity greater than sulfuric acid. So which is the most super of superacids and what exactly is it used for?

By Allison Troutner

Cinnabar's bright-red pigment has been used in jewelry, pottery and makeup for millennia. But cinnabar is also the primary ore for mercury, making it a dangerous mineral if the particles are inhaled.

By Allison Troutner

If you want to prevent a "whoopsie" litter of puppies but you're not quite ready to spay or neuter your dog, try a dog chastity belt. A no, we're not kidding.

By Allison Troutner

The rose-red mineral rhodonite was first discovered in the 1790s in the Ural Mountains of Russia. Today it's found globally and is associated with compassion, love and healing.

By Allison Troutner

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Buckle up Fido! That's right. Your furry friend should be wearing a seat belt in the car. Not just for their safety, but for yours, too.

By Allison Troutner

Don't let the word "acid" scare you away. Because when the job gets too tough for your standard household cleaner, it's time to try muriatic acid.

By Allison Troutner