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(Don't) Mind the Gap: Manufacutring Costs and Drug Prices

Misleading statements and conclusions regarding drug costs and prices are again being thrown around. It started with a post right here on Scientific American Blogs with the title “The Quest: $84,000 Miracle Cure Costs Less Than $150 to Make”...

April 24, 2014 — Ashutosh Jogalekar
Y Combinator and biotech: The wave of the future?

Y Combinator and biotech: The wave of the future?

Y Combinator is the well-known startup incubator that picks promising computer technology startup ideas from a competition every year and seeds them with a few tens of thousands of dollars and dedicated space in Silicon Valley in return for an equity stake...

April 24, 2014 — Ashutosh Jogalekar

Blue-Footed Boobies Have Stopped Breeding, But Why?

One of the most delightful bird species of the Galápagos has almost completely stopped breeding there. According to a new study published this week in the journal Avian Conservation and Ecology, blue-footed boobies (Sula nebouxii) have seen a population drop of more than 50 percent over the past two decades...

April 23, 2014 — John R. Platt

Heads Up! Thirteen Years Of Asteroid Impacts On Earth

Since the Chelyabinsk event in early 2013, when a brilliant meteor fireball streaked across Russian skies and exploded with the energy of thirty Hiroshima bombs, humans have paid slightly more attention to the potential danger of asteroids than before...

April 23, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf

Does the Octopus Really “Fart” Ink? [Video]

It’s true that the octopus is super weird. These animals have blue blood and three hearts. And as online personality and humorist Ze Frank points out in his latest video creation, it seems that they can also “fart ink at a moment’s notice”--pointing to this as “evolution at its finest.” The video’s tongue-in-cheek tone might [...]..

April 22, 2014 — Katherine Harmon Courage

Giant Tusked Insect Saved from Extinction

The Mercury Islands tusked weta (Motuweta isolate) isn’t exactly a thing of beauty. These massive New Zealand insects can reach more than seven centimeters in length, including the impressive tusks in front of their jaws that they use to push their prey around...

April 22, 2014 — John R. Platt
SciAm & Read Science! Chat with Neil Shubin

SciAm & Read Science! Chat with Neil Shubin

I am very pleased to announce that Neil Shubin, author of “Your Inner Fish” and host of a PBS program by the same name, currently airing over the past several weeks, will be joining myself and co-host Jeff Shaumeyer for a chat in another SciAm/Read Science!...

April 21, 2014 — Joanne Manaster
Happy Easter with a (fake) Dozen Dinosaur Eggs

Happy Easter with a (fake) Dozen Dinosaur Eggs

Roy Chapman Andrews was not only an intrepid explorer and palaeontologist, but also a gifted promoter. The Central Asiatic Expeditions were accompanied by cameras to document the entire work...

April 19, 2014 — David Bressan
Fighting bacteria with weapons from fungi

Fighting bacteria with weapons from fungi

In order to survive, organisms produce small molecules known as ‘primary metabolites’ which help it to grow, develop and reproduce.

April 19, 2014 — S.E. Gould
Four New Species of Deep-Sea Killer Sponge Discovered

Four New Species of Deep-Sea Killer Sponge Discovered

Four new carnivorous sponge species have recently been discovered in the deep sea. This short video comes from Becky Crew’s post on the Running Ponies blog, it provides basic natural history of these unique organisms and gives us a visualization of their habitats several kilometres beneath the oceans surface...

April 17, 2014 — Carin Bondar
Debate Flares over Identity of Celebrated Human Fossils

Debate Flares over Identity of Celebrated Human Fossils

CALGARY--In 2010 paleoanthropologists announced to great fanfare that they had recovered from a South African cave two partial skeletons of a previously unknown member of the human family that lived nearly two million years ago...

April 17, 2014 — Kate Wong

Crows Aren’t Just Smart, They’re Also Jokers

Corvid cleverness is making news lately. Two of my favorite science writers, Sharon Begley and James Gorman, describe a variety of experiments--reported in PLOS One by researchers in New Zealand–in which crows mimic the hero of Aesop’s ancient fable “The Crow and the Pitcher.” By dropping objects into containers of water, crows raise the water’s [...]..

April 16, 2014 — John Horgan

It’s the End of Fundamental Physics... Again

Fellow Scientific American blogger John Horgan is at it again. This time he is heralding the end of fundamental physics based on the increasing time lag between Nobel Prizes awarded for fundamental discoveries...

April 16, 2014 — Ashutosh Jogalekar

Bat-Killing Fungus Now Found in 25 U.S. States

The news for bats in the U.S. keeps getting worse. Last week conservation officials announced that the bat-killing white-nose syndrome (WNS) has been found in Michigan and Wisconsin.

April 15, 2014 — John R. Platt
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