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Between the (Gender) Lines: the Science of Transgender Identity

by Katherine J. Wu figures by Brad Wierbowski Think of your most noticeable feature. Maybe it’s your radiant smile, or your long, piano-playing fingers. Maybe it’s your stellar jump shot, or the way you recite Shakespearean sonnets at the drop of a hat. Or maybe it’s your penchant for scientific knowledge. But whatever it is, for better or worse, it is probably not your most … Continue reading Between the (Gender) Lines: the Science of Transgender Identity

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Drugs, data, and public policy: What can science teach lawmakers about the opioid crisis?

by Christopher Gerry figures by Michael Gerhardt One of the sad ironies of modern medicine is that painkillers, licit and illicit alike, have brought addiction, suffering, and death to communities across the United States. The prevalence of opioid abuse in particular has skyrocketed over the past few years and shows few signs of abating. In 2014, the most recent year for which the Centers for … Continue reading Drugs, data, and public policy: What can science teach lawmakers about the opioid crisis?

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Basic Research: Understanding The Way Things Work and Why It Matters

by Emily Low figures by Daniel Utter  Discovery in science does not follow a straightforward path. Scientific research is conducted using models that are still being developed, in the context of dozens of unanswered questions, and using techniques and approaches no one else in the world has used before. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), basic science “provides the foundation of knowledge … Continue reading Basic Research: Understanding The Way Things Work and Why It Matters

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Should we pay for drugs or cures? How tracking drug effectiveness could improve US healthcare spending

by Dan Tarjan  figures by Krissy Lyon The EpiPen, the antiparasitic drug Daraprim, the blood pressure medication Nitropress. These life saving drugs have recently been in the news because their prices spiked by over 100% year-to-year without any apparent reason except increasing profits. And they’re not alone. Across the US healthcare industry, specialty drug prices are rising. These brand name products marked a 16.2% increase … Continue reading Should we pay for drugs or cures? How tracking drug effectiveness could improve US healthcare spending

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Reconsidering the Risks of Nuclear Power

by Jordan Wilkerson figures by Shannon McArdel The United States emits an immense amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, it is extremely likely that the rising global temperature trends since the mid-20th century is dominantly due to human activity. No scientific organization of national or international standing disputes this. Furthermore, the US Department of Defense has … Continue reading Reconsidering the Risks of Nuclear Power

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Precious metals in peril: Can asteroid mining save us?

by Andy Greenspon Have you ever wondered how much gold remains to be mined on Earth? How about the lesser-known element indium, essential to computer and smartphone displays? Known sources of some metals could be depleted in as little as 20 to 30 years, especially the rarest ones necessary to construct computers, smartphones, and other advanced technologies. While some elements can be substituted for others, … Continue reading Precious metals in peril: Can asteroid mining save us?

View of the side of the ATLAS experiment during construction in Nov. 2006
ATLAS Experiment © 2016 CERN

The Power of Big Science: Working at the cutting edge of discovery

by Tomo Lazovich figures by Alexandra Was When you picture a science experiment, you probably imagine someone wearing a white coat, hunched over a lab bench, looking through a microscope, or mixing something in a beaker. While this is not an inaccurate picture in many fields, it misses an important dimension of the modern scientific process: collaboration. In his speech at the banquet for his … Continue reading The Power of Big Science: Working at the cutting edge of discovery