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Tag Archives: Scientific American

Paleo Profile: The "Need Helmet" Dinosaur

A new species of dinosaur is named about every two weeks. That’s the latest statistic for the breakneck speed of dinosaur paleontology these days, but the announcements aren’t evenly spread. Some weeks there will be no new dinosaurs at all and others you’ll be flooded by an array of novel names. That’s what happened earlier this month. On the same day ...

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37 Years Ago, America's Relationship with Volcanoes Changed Forever

Many of you probably hadn’t even been born when Mount St. Helens erupted on May 18th, 1980. You’ve never lived in an America that basically didn’t expect exciting eruptions to happen in the lower 48. So it may be hard to imagine a time when most Americans were utterly astonished that one of our backyard volcanoes roared to life and ...

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A Radical Approach against Superbugs: Learn to Live with Them

LA JOLLA, Calif.—As her father lay dying of sepsis , Janelle Ayres spent nine agonizing days at his bedside. When he didn’t beat the virulent bloodstream infection, she grieved. And then she got frustrated. She knew there had to be a better way to help patients like her dad. In fact, she was working on one in her lab. Ayres, ...

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The Terrible Leaf Walker Frog

Regular readers will know that I try and cover anuran diversity as and when possible (anurans = frogs and toads). I’m always chronically limited by the availability of imagery: it’s really hard to write about obscure amphibians (and reptiles too), at least when you like your articles to be accompanied with a reasonable array of images. Captive P. terribilis. Proof ...

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NASA Calls for Europa Mission Instrument Ideas

0SHARESShare It’s time for scientists to start thinking about the instruments they’d like to put on a potential life-hunting lander mission to Jupiter’s ocean-harboring moon Europa, NASA officials said. Yesterday (May 17), the space agency issued a “community announcement” about the possible Europa lander mission , telling researchers to get ready for an upcoming science-instrument competition. “The possibility of placing a ...

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The Extraordinary Evolution of Cichlid Fishes

0SHARESShare Africa’s Lake Victoria is home to one of evolution’s greatest experiments. In its waters, what began as a single lineage belonging to the cichlid family of fishes has since given rise to a dazzling array of forms. Like Charles Darwin’s famous finches, which evolved a wide range of beak shapes and sizes to exploit the different foods available in ...

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Sometimes, Facts Can Actually Trump Ideology

In this highly polarized environment, it may seem unbelievable that we can use science to get people to go against their ideological blinkers. Plenty of research has shown that political ideology induces motivated reasoning , where people pre-select a certain conclusion and reach that conclusion regardless of the facts. In fact, those who view a politician positively and learn negative ...

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Fixing the Tomato: CRISPR Edits Correct Plant-Breeding Snafu

From their giant fruits to compact plant size, today’s tomatoes have been sculpted by thousands of years of breeding. But mutations linked to prized traits—including one that made them easier to harvest—yield an undesirable plant when combined, geneticists have found. It is a rare example of a gene harnessed during domestication that later hampered crop improvement efforts, says geneticist Zachary ...

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Wing Windows Reveal Insect Origami

Scientific American is part of Springer Nature, which owns or has commercial relations with thousands of scientific publications (many of them can be found at www.springernature.com/us ). Scientific American maintains a strict policy of editorial independence in reporting developments in science to our readers. Click here to Read from the source

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Bizarre Star Dims Again, and Astronomers Scramble to Catch It in the Act

The star often called the most mysterious in the galaxy has begun darkening again. Scientists are now rushing to watch the event with as many telescopes as they can muster to attempt to understand what is causing its bewildering fluctuations of light. The star, called KIC 8462852 and nicknamed “Tabby’s Star” after Yale University astronomer Tabetha “Tabby” Boyajian, first made ...

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