Category Archives: STEM News

Why Beer Mats Won’t Fly Like Frisbees

Flying beer mats always flip onto their side, unlike frisbees which can achieve stable flight. Now physicists think they know why. Continue reading

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What Is CRISPR, and Why Is It So Important?

This revolutionary gene-editing system has taken science by storm.

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Gray Hair Can Return to Its Original Color–and Stress Is Involved, of Course

The universal marker of aging is not always a one-way process

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Climate Change Could Fuel the Spread of a Flesh-Eating Parasite

Scientists caution that as the planet warms, more Americans could be exposed to varieties of the Leishmania parasite

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A Possible Link between ‘Oumuamua and Unidentified Aerial Phenomena

If some UAP turn out to be extraterrestrial technology, they could be dropping sensors for a subsequent craft to tune into. What if ‘Oumuamua is such a craft?

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These Videos Could Boost COVID Vaccination Rates

Creators on social media platforms significantly extend the reach of coronavirus and vaccine information

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The Tragedy of the White Tiger

They’re vastly more common in captivity than in the wild—the result of inbreeding that’s good for pulling in gawkers, but bad for the big cats themselves

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Could Misbehaving Muons Upend the Known Laws of Physics?

A tiny particle’s unexpected magnetism is shaking up what physicists thought they knew about the universe. Continue reading

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Children’s Birthdays May Have Spread COVID Infections

The risk of infection increased by up to 30 percent or so among people with observances in the first 10 months of 2020

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Hybrid Energy Production Gets A Serious Look

Engineers study solar and wind at the same power plant, nuclear reactors that also make hydrogen

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Wicked High Tides: Citizen Scientists Plan for Sea-Level Rise

King tides happen when the Earth, Sun and moon align, sometimes creating “sunny day flooding.” To understand how sea level rise will change future flood patterns, researchers and citizen scientists are teaming up to map areas that are already impacted. Continue reading

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Maybe the Aliens Really Are Here

But if so, it’s probably in the form of robotic probes—something both UFO enthusiasts and SETI scientists should be able to agree on

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Australia’s Plague of Mice Is Devastating and Could Get a Lot Worse

Drought and extreme rainfall led to an infestation in the nation’s farming areas

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New Coronavirus Variants Are Urgently Being Tracked Around the World

Genomic sequencing efforts are limited in developing countries, but scientists are mobilizing to help

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The Delusion of Infinite Economic Growth

Even “sustainable” technologies such as electric vehicles and wind turbines face unbreachable physical limits and exact grave environmental costs

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5 COVID-19 Takeaways That Changed Medicine

The most important COVID-19 lessons are shoring up our collective defenses and priming the medical world for the next rogue pathogen. Continue reading

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Some Medical Examiners Say Sickle Cell Trait Causes Sudden Death. They’re Wrong

The genetic factor that contributed most to the deaths of 47 Black men in police custody was the color of their skin, not the contents of their red blood cells

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The Human Epoch: When Did the Anthropocene Begin?

Humans and their activities hijacked Earth. Scientists investigate when the takeover began. Continue reading

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Extreme Space Weather: Predicting and Engineering Our Way Around Storms From the Sun

The nature of space weather hasn’t changed much. But society has, and understanding and predicting space weather is more important than ever. Continue reading

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How End-of-Life Doulas Help Ease the Final Transition

We are your personal advocate, cheerleader, companion, guide, ear, rock

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Coronavirus News Roundup, June 5 to June 18

Pandemic highlights for the past two weeks

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Mystery Cases: What Happens When Modern Medicine Lacks a Diagnosis or Cure?

Millions of Americans suffer from ailments without a name. That’s where the Undiagnosed Diseases Network comes in. Continue reading

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

Today we bring you a new episode in our podcast series: COVID, Quickly. Every two weeks, Scientific American’s senior health editors Tanya Lewis and Josh…

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National Park Nature Walks, Episode 7: Into the Wilderness by Canoe

Here is our next installment of a new pop-up podcast miniseries that takes your ears into the deep sound of nature. Host Jacob Job, an ecologist and audiophile, brings you inches away from a…

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Mockingbirds Are Better Musicians Than We Thought

Their complex songs have striking similarities to Beethoven, Tuvan throat singing, a Disney musical and Kendrick Lamar

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How to Keep Your Workout Routine Into Old Age

Keep it up, but give yourself the time you need to cross the finish line. Continue reading

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A Modest Proposal: Let’s Change Earth’s Orbit

What’s the worst that could happen?

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Could Mitochondria Be the Key to a Healthy Brain?

Some researchers suspect these bacterial ancestors living within our cells may contribute to a wide range of neurological and psychiatric disorders

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As The West’s ‘Mega-Heat Wave’ Peaks, Satellite Imagery Reveals Explosive Growth of Wildfires

Exacerbated by climate change, record-setting hot and dry conditions are smothering a vast area. Continue reading

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How Tiny Soil Organisms Could Help Farmers Adapt to Climate Change

Worsening droughts pose unprecedented challenges for global agriculture. But adding fungi and bacteria may make plants resilient to increasingly dry soil. Continue reading

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