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Tag Archives: Scientific American

Scientists in Limbo as US Supreme Court Allows Modified Travel Ban

The US Supreme Court has reinstated a limited version of President Donald Trump’s temporary order banning travelers from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. The court will hear a legal challenge to the ban in October. The court’s decision, announced on June 26, casts doubt on the fate of students and scientists from these countries who hope to ...

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Chromosomes Combat Counterfeit Caviar

0SHARESShare Caviar is one of the world’s priciest foods : it can cost thousands of dollars a pound. And caviar from the beluga sturgeon is the most exclusive of all. But even experts have a hard time telling the eggs from two different species apart by appearance alone.  So scientists came up with a method that more than meets the ...

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Take an HD Ride around Jupiter [Video]

0SHARESShare Caleb A. Scharf Dr. Caleb A. Scharf is Director of Astrobiology at Columbia University,and has an international reputation as a research astrophysicist, and asa lecturer to college and public audiences. The UK’s Guardian newspaperhas listed his blog Life, Unbounded, as one of their “hottest scienceblogs,” while an editor at Seed Magazine called it “phenomenal.Informed, fresh, and thoughtful.” Scharf is ...

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Leaving the Paris Climate Accord Could Lead to a Public Health Disaster

0SHARESShare Seven million people died prematurely in 2012 from air pollution caused by fossil fuel combustion, according to a 2014 report by the World Health Organization. So President Trump’s decision to halt U.S. compliance with the 2015 Paris climate agreement  is a blow not just to climate science and international diplomacy — it’s also a looming disaster for public health. “It’s a ...

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That Time Marie Curie Was Just Trying to Get the Electricity Running

0SHARESShare The Musée Curie is a small, free museum tucked into the Institut Curie research campus in Paris. It’s not at the top of most Paris tourists’ lists, but it’s an interesting way to spend an hour or so if you find yourself in the Latin Quarter. Marie Curie has always felt inaccessible to me. She was the first scientist ...

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In Case You Missed It

0SHARESShare GREENLAND Rising ocean temperatures are melting Greenland’s ice caps at three times what the rate was before 1997, according to a recent data analysis of meltwater runoff and ice-cap mass. The island’s melting ice caps account for a third of global sea-level rise. CHINA Ozone pollution is damaging rice at an important stage of its growth, a new study ...

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A Few of My Favorite Spaces: The Poincaré Homology Sphere

0SHARESShare I’m in Paris, stumbling on streets named after mathématiciennes and growing closer to Marie Curie , because of French mathematician Henri Poincaré . My spouse is working at the Institut Henri Poincaré right now, and I came along for the ride. I’ve been wanting to write about the Poincaré homology sphere in his honor since getting here, but every ...

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Readers Respond to the February 2017 Issue

0SHARESShare EXERCISING RESTRAINT In “The Exercise Paradox,” Herman Pontzer asserts that greater physical activity does not allow people to control weight. He goes on to describe studies on how the human body burns calories that help to explain why this is so. But in one of these studies, “couch potatoes” expended an average of around 200 fewer calories a day, ...

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What Can Comedians Teach Us about Imagination?

0SHARESShare Stop us if you’ve heard this one before. A Second City director, a New Yorker cartoonist, an Onion editor, and a positive psychologist walk into a bar. The positive psychologist asks the other three, “Why can’t you tickle yourself?” Nobody knows, but it leads to an intense and spirited debate about the true nature of comedy in which (ironically) ...

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Bad Signs

0SHARESShare Summer adventuring season is almost upon us, and that means you could soon be hearing agonized sounds from geologists visiting public attractions of geological interest. It’s those informational signs, you see. Some of them are quite informative – only they’re not exactly accurate. They can sometimes be more aptly described as mis-informational. This tends to frustrate the geotraveler: responses ...

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