A fungus that’s been around for more than 400 million years is showing up in the roots of trees and grasses all over the world and helping plants grow. In a global study, Northern Arizona University Ecologist Nancy Johnson contributed samples of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi from the Serengeti. She says the findings are surprising.

Shelley Smithson

It’s a cold morning in Flagstaff and the sun is still low in the winter sky.

Business partners Ryan Holtz and Jim Corning have positioned a photovoltaic panel to face southeast.

When they plug it in, a digital monitor starts measuring the amount of energy being produced by the sun.

“Wow. 159 watts, 160, cool,” says Jim Corning, a partner in Plug and Play Solar Kits of Arizona. “Now, we’re out from behind the cloud a little more. 178. Part of the fun is messing around with these things and getting them pointed right and seeing the output.”