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Tag Archives: Scientific American

Trump's Wall Could Cause Serious Environmental Damage

Architects have called the border wall a “pharaonic project” and a misplaced infrastructure priority. Environmentalists say it will continue to cut off the flow of water and wildlife in a changing climate but is little more than political grandstanding that won’t keep out people. And climate activists say that President Trump’s border wall with Mexico and other efforts to keep ...

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LSD's Long, Strange Trip Explained

LSD is one of the most potent hallucinogenic drugs—active at just around 100 micrograms…a miniscule amount. That fact has fascinated pharmacologists for decades. Namely, how can it have such long-lasting effects…12 hours or more…at such tiny doses?  To find out, researchers legally obtained LSD. And built copies of the receptors it binds to in the brain—serotonin receptors. They mixed the ...

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New Exosuit Fabric Could Boost Mobility in People with Disabilities

Knitting and weaving artificial muscles could help create soft exoskeletons that people with disabilities could wear under their clothes to help them walk, according to new research. Textile processing is one of humanity’s oldest technologies, but in recent years there has been renewed interest in using it to create “smart” textiles that can do everything from harvest power from the environment ...

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Neuroscience: Big Brain, Big Data

As big brain-mapping initiatives go, Taiwan’s might seem small. Scientists there are studying the humble fruit fly, reverse-engineering its brain from images of single neurons. Their efforts have produced 3D maps of brain circuitry in stunning detail. Researchers need only a computer mouse and web browser to home in on individual cells and zoom back out to intertwined networks of ...

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How to Grow Human Organs in a Pig

Earlier today, reports emerged that researchers at the Salk Institute had, for the first time, successfully created human/pig chimera embryos. Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte, the scientist leading the effort, wrote an article for the November 2016 issue of Scientific American describing his dream of using chimeric animals to grow human organs for patients needing transplants.  While the idea of a ...

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Cosmic Lenses Show Universe Expanding Surprisingly Fast

The universe really is expanding faster than scientists had thought , new research suggests. Astronomers have pegged the universe’s current expansion rate—a value known as the Hubble constant , after American astronomer Edwin Hubble —at about 44.7 miles (71.9 kilometers) per second per megaparsec. (One megaparsec is about 3.26 million light-years.)  This newly derived number is consistent with a calculation that was announced ...

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Rain from Thunderstorms is Rising Due to Climate Change

Across a vast swath of Europe and Asia, rain is increasingly falling in the short, localized bursts associated with thunderstorms, seemingly at the expense of events where a steady rain falls over many hours, a new study finds. The study, detailed Wednesday in the journal Science Advances , directly links this trend to the warming and moistening of the atmosphere ...

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Doubts Cloud Claims of Metallic Hydrogen

Two physicists say that they have crushed hydrogen under such immense pressures that the gas became a shiny metal—a feat that physicists have been trying to accomplish for more than 80 years . But other researchers have serious doubts about the claim, the latest in a field with a long history of failed attempts. Ranga Dias and Isaac Silvera, both physicists ...

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Proliferation of Bird Flu Outbreaks Raises Risk of Human Pandemic

The global spread of bird flu and the number of viral strains currently circulating and causing infections have reached unprecedented levels, raising the risk of a potential human outbreak, according to disease experts. Multiple outbreaks have been reported in poultry farms and wild flocks across Europe, Africa and Asia in the past three months. While most involve strains that are ...

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The National Park Service Won't Be Silenced

Trump is in power, and one of his first acts has been to gag government agencies. After the National Park Service bruised his ego by retweeting a New York Times tweet showing Trump’s inauguration numbers to be lower than President Obama’s 2009 crowd, they were ordered to stop all tweets, including scheduled ones . He then muzzled the EPA, not ...

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