Biologists Deliberately Hold Back Details on Deadly New Toxin

For the first time in over 40 years, scientists have discovered a new form of the toxin responsible for botulism. But they’re keeping many of the details about it a secret for fear that it could be turned into a deadly bioweapon — prompting some scientists to warn that this action can only hold further research back. » 10/11/13 11:20am 10/11/13 11:20am

Everybody Freak Out: Strange and Uncanny Outbreaks of Shared Insanity

Sometimes, it's easy to feel like you're losing your grip on reality — especially when everybody else around you is losing theirs, as well. History is full of weird incidents of mass hysteria, where insanity from person to person, or took over a whole community at once. Here are the most uncanny incidents of shared… » 6/21/13 3:05pm 6/21/13 3:05pm

Wow, a Dystopian Coming-of-Age Novel With Actual Real Science

At this point the glut of novels about a young person growing up in a fearsome dystopia has become kind of insane, especially as the dystopias have gotten more and more far-fetched. So it's refreshing to read a novel like Jane Rogers' Testament of Jessie Lamb, where the dark future involves actual science. And real… » 5/23/13 4:43pm 5/23/13 4:43pm

Genetic weapons could kill only the people you hate

Bacillus anthraces — more commonly known as anthrax — is not to be trifled with. Once the bacterium enters the blood stream, it releases a lethal cocktail of toxins that spreads rapidly throughout the body, leading to severe tissue damage, bleeding, and respiratory collapse. The fact that anthrax spores can infect a… » 2/08/12 9:55am 2/08/12 9:55am

In 1900, San Francisco's Chinatown was quarantined with barbed wire…

Here are some snapshots from a dark chapter in American history. Throughout the 19th century, San Francisco's growing Chinese immigrant population had to contend with codified prejudice from legislation like the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, segregated communities, and the sentiment that Chinese-Americans were the… » 1/24/12 11:15am 1/24/12 11:15am