News

50, 100 & 150 Years Ago: July 2021

1971 Virus Control “To date the only clinically practical way to control virus diseases is to administer a vaccine that stimulates the body to form antibodies against that virus. Another possibility is to rely on what is apparently the cell’s own first line of defense: interferon. Our group at the Merck Institute concentrated on the […]

News

Fighting Climate Change Might Have Just Gotten Easier

In late May, a Dutch court brought new hope to addressing climate change by ruling that Royal Dutch Shell must cut carbon emissions from both its operations and the oil and gas products the company sells. Never before has a fossil fuel company been ordered to reduce its heat-trapping emissions to address climate change. From […]

News

Why Uruguay Lost Control of COVID

Once looked to as a global model for how to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, Uruguay has in recent months lost its grip on the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. It’s now one of several countries in South America struggling to control a wave of infections. Uruguayan scientists say a mix of complacency—fuelled by the country’s early success […]

News

Deleted Coronavirus Genome Sequences Trigger Scientific Intrigue

Efforts to study the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic have received help from a surprising source. A biologist in the United States has ‘excavated’ partial SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences from the beginnings of the pandemic’s probable epicentre in Wuhan, China, that were deposited — but later removed — from a US government database. The partial […]

News

The Time to Dismantle the Racial Structures That Pervade Global Science Is Now

“When you’re dealing with an institutional structure like global science, one of its core features is that it has been a racial structure,” says sociologist Anthony Ryan Hatch, an associate professor and chair of the Science in Society Program at Wesleyan University. “To dismantle and chip away at that system requires concerted effort, concerted resources, […]

News

The Delusion of Infinite Economic Growth

The electric vehicle (EV) has become one of the great modern symbols of a world awakened to the profound challenges of unsustainability and climate change. So much so that we may well imagine that Deep Thought’s answer today to Life, the Universe and Everything might plausibly be “EV.” But, as Douglas Adams would surely have […]

News

COVID, Quickly, Episode 9: Delta Variant, Global Vaccine Shortfalls, Beers for Shots

Tanya Lewis: Hi, and welcome to COVID, Quickly, a Scientific American podcast series! Josh Fischman: This is your fast-track update on the COVID pandemic. We bring you up to speed on the science behind the most urgent questions about the virus and the disease. We demystify the research and help you understand what it really […]

News

To Restore Biodiversity, Embrace Biotech’s ‘Intended Consequences’

In December of 2020, when scientists managed the incredible feat of cloning the endangered black-footed ferret, they took a leap toward the renewed global priority to combat climate change and biodiversity loss. The cloning success both fulfilled the founding vision of Earth Day and frightened its strongest proponents. By using biotechnology to achieve one of […]

News

Electric Vehicle Orders Are Zooming at Ford

Ford Motor Co. nearly tripled its electric vehicle sales last month, according to a company report. The auto giant increased its EV and hybrid sales this May by 184% compared to May 2020, marking a record number of 10,364 EVs sold in a given month, the sales report found. The significant increase is due in part to […]

News

Poor Homeowners Will Pay Less after Flood Insurance Overhaul

An upcoming overhaul of the federal government’s flood insurance program will financially benefit many of the nation’s lowest-income communities by cutting premiums for a large share of their residents, an E&E News analysis of government data shows. But the restructuring will be costly for some affluent coastal communities as the National Flood Insurance Program starts […]