Monkey Viral

Climate Change Added $8 Billion to Hurricane Sandy’s Damages

As Hurricane Sandy bore down on the New York City area in 2012, its storm surge swamped lower Manhattan, unmoored a roller coaster on the Jersey Shore, submerged runways at LaGuardia Airport and pushed the toxic waters of Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal into nearby basements. All told, the storm’s floodwaters did more than $60 billion in… Continue reading Climate Change Added $8 Billion to Hurricane Sandy’s Damages

First Nuclear Detonation Created ‘Impossible’ Quasicrystals

Scientists searching for quasicrystals—so-called ‘impossible’ materials with unusual, non-repeating structures—have identified one in remnants of the world’s first nuclear bomb test. The previously unknown structure, made of iron, silicon, copper and calcium, probably formed from the fusion of vapourized desert sand and copper cables. Similar materials have been synthesized in the laboratory and identified in… Continue reading First Nuclear Detonation Created ‘Impossible’ Quasicrystals

The Cause of America’s Post-Truth Predicament

In the hours after our new president was sworn in on January 20, an online discussion channel followed by 35,000 QAnon believers was rife with disbelief. “It simply doesn’t make sense that we all got played,” one poster wrote. But they did get played. So did we all. Of course, we were played in different… Continue reading The Cause of America’s Post-Truth Predicament

Why Monoclonal Antibody COVID Therapies Have Not Lived Up to Expectations

Over the past year, the successful development of highly effective vaccines to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection has moved forward at a rapid pace—but the use of treatments for patients sickened by the virus has lagged. A number of barriers have stood in the way of using the drugs known as monoclonal antibodies, including logistical challenges and… Continue reading Why Monoclonal Antibody COVID Therapies Have Not Lived Up to Expectations

Deadly Fungi Are the Newest Emerging Microbe Threat All Over the World

It was the fourth week of June in 2020, and the middle of the second wave of the COVID pandemic in the U.S. Cases had passed 2.4 million; deaths from the novel coronavirus were closing in on 125,000. In his home office in Atlanta, Tom Chiller looked up from his e-mails and scrubbed his hands… Continue reading Deadly Fungi Are the Newest Emerging Microbe Threat All Over the World

Do People Who Enjoy Science Have a High Tolerance for Disturbing Ideas?

What do you think of this month’s cover image? We had a bit of a debate about it here at Scientific American’s virtual HQ. The illustration is based on scanning electron microscope images of Aspergillus fumigatus, a ubiquitous fungus that can infect the lungs. The intricate, other-worldly structures look really cool. But some people might… Continue reading Do People Who Enjoy Science Have a High Tolerance for Disturbing Ideas?

Making Sense of the Great Whip Spider Boom

ABOUT 18 YEARS AGO, Andrea Colla got an unusual request. Would he come survey the fauna of a Nazi air-raid shelter? Even by entomologists’ standards, the task was weird. This warren lay under the Italian city of Trieste, and it was built in secret between 1943 and 1944 at the orders of a war criminal who… Continue reading Making Sense of the Great Whip Spider Boom

The Arecibo Observatory Was Like Family. I Couldn’t Save It

Management changes at Arecibo also signaled that the observatory still had a future. In 2011, SRI International—the storied nonprofit research organization that developed the first computer mouse, inkjet printing, and the voice assistant Siri—became the observatory’s manager, sharing those duties with two other organizations, including the Universidad Metropolitana in San Juan. Until this arrangement, a… Continue reading The Arecibo Observatory Was Like Family. I Couldn’t Save It

What I Learned in Space about the Climate Emergency

When you look at Earth from space, you realize just how vulnerable life is on this planet. The atmosphere is incredibly thin and fragile looking. Almost like a contact lens on someone’s eye. During my first mission, in 1999, to fix the Hubble Space Telescope, I remember passing over South America and being awed by… Continue reading What I Learned in Space about the Climate Emergency

Ron Johnson calls cyber attacks an ‘existential’ threat following Colonial Pipeline shutdown

Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonAll congressional Democrats say they have been vaccinated: CNN Immigration experts say GOP senators questioned DHS secretary with misleading chart GOP split on counteroffer to Biden’s spending MORE (R-Wis.) said Sunday that the cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline that forced its shutdown exposed the “vulnerabilities” in the U.S. electrical grid… Continue reading Ron Johnson calls cyber attacks an ‘existential’ threat following Colonial Pipeline shutdown