The pharmaceutical industry is undergoing some sweeping changes so the past few days, some major deals have been announced. The first involving a trio of big named companies: GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis and Ely Lily. The second is a proposed deal between Quebec-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals and California's Allergan, the maker of Botox. That deal is valued at $45 billion. NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.
Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 7:23 am
You may have heard that dollar bills harbor trace amounts of drugs.
But those greenbacks in your wallet are hiding far more than cocaine and the flu. They're teeming with life.
Each dollar bill carries about 3,000 types of bacteria on its surface, scientists have found. Most are harmless. But cash also has DNA from drug-resistant microbes. And your wad of dough may even have a smudge of anthrax and diphtheria.
In other words, your wallet is a portable petri dish.
On Earth Day 2014, it wasn't easy being green in the Republican Party. Just ask Rob Sisson, president of ConservAmerica.
ConservAmerica is a membership organization created in 1995 to keep the environmental spirit of GOP President Theodore Roosevelt alive in his party. Back then, the group was known as Republicans for Environmental Protection.
John Eric Goff, the chair of the physics department at Lynchburg College, explains the science of the 2014 World Cup soccer ball. The Adidas Brazuca is expected to perform better than the version used in South Africa in 2010.
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Have you ever slowly revved up the engine on your car (when it's in neutral) until the whole vehicle begins to shake a little? Press the peddle a little more and the car stops shaking. Ease off the pedal and let the engine slow and then you hit the shaking again.
In his new book, The Thing With Feathers, Noah Strycker says albatrosses have a knack for coupling. "These globe trotters, who mate for life and are incredibly faithful to their partners, just might have the most intense love affairs of any animal on our planet," he writes.
The Food and Drug Administration is trying to decide whether to approve a powerful new prescription painkiller that's designed to relieve severe pain quickly, and with fewer side effects than other opioids.
While some pain experts say the medicine could provide a valuable alternative for some patients in intense pain, the drug (called Moxduo) is also prompting concern that it could exacerbate the epidemic of abuse of prescription painkillers and overdoses.
Questions are swirling around a science journal's decision last year to publish a description of a newly discovered botulinum toxin while omitting key genetic details that researchers would normally disclose.
The unusual case highlights important unresolved issues in how to balance scientific openness with the worry that biological information could potentially be misused.