valtrex life femur paxil commercial study plavix mobile press citalopram benefits timing lipitor best remand lexapro delivery of lymphoid zoloft desk nurse sc seroquel processing responses

Articles

The Fear Factor

View the PDF On April 21st, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that two children in Southern California had developed a “febrile respiratory illness” caused by a flu virus that had never before been recognized in humans. The C.D.C. referred to the infection, in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report , as a swine-flu virus, because some of its genes matched genes found in pigs. It was a deeply unfortunate—and largely misleading—choice of words.

Read more »

A Life of Its Own

Download a PDF Where will synthetic biology lead us?
by Michael Specter

The first time Jay Keasling remembers hearing the word “artemisinin,” about a decade ago, he had no idea what it meant. “Not a clue,” Keasling, a professor of biochemical engineering at the University of California at Berkeley, recalled. Although artemisinin has become the world’s most important malaria medicine, Keasling wasn’t an expert on infectious diseases. But he happened to be in the process of creating a new discipline, synthetic biology, which—by combining elements of engineering, chemistry, computer science, and molecular biology—seeks to assemble the biological tools necessary to redesign the living world. Read more »

Big Foot

Download the PDF In measuring carbon emissions, it's easy to confuse morality and science.
by Michael Specter

A little more than a year ago, Sir Terry Leahy, who is the chief executive of the Tesco chain of supermarkets, Britain’s largest retailer, delivered a speech to a group called the Forum for the Future, about the implications of climate change. Leahy had never before addressed the issue in public, but his remarks left little doubt that he recognized the magnitude of the problem. “I am not a scientist,” he said. “But I listen when the scientists say that, if we fail to mitigate climate change, the environmental, social, and economic consequences will be stark and severe. . . . There comes a moment when it is clear what you must do. I am determined that Tesco should be a leader in helping to create a low-carbon economy. Read more »

Darwin’s Surprise

Download the PDF Why are evolutionary biologists bringing back extinct deadly viruses?
by Michael Specter

Thierry Heidmann’s office, adjacent to the laboratory he runs at the Institut Gustave Roussy, on the southern edge of Paris, could pass for a museum of genetic catastrophe. Files devoted to the world’s most horrifying infectious diseases fill the cabinets and line the shelves. There are thick folders for smallpox, Ebola virus, and various forms of influenza. Read more »

Damn Spam

Download the PDF The losing war on junk e-mail.
by Michael Specter

In the spring of 1978, an energetic marketing man named Gary Thuerk wanted to let people in the technology world know that his company, the Digital Equipment Corporation, was about to introduce a powerful new computer system. DEC operated out of an old wool mill in Maynard, Massachusetts, and was well known on the East Coast, but Thuerk hoped to reach the technological community in California as well. Read more »

Branson’s Luck

Download the PDF The business world’s high roller is betting everything on biofuels.
by Michael Specter

Richard Branson likes to pretend that business is his hobby; he sees himself as a modern version of a nineteenth-century British adventurer—Phileas T. Fogg, unbound. Rather than travelling around the world in eighty days, however, he appears to be trying to find eighty ways to do it. In 1986, Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group of companies, crossed the Atlantic in the fastest time ever recorded, on his boat the Virgin Atlantic Challenger II. Read more »

Letter from Moscow – Kremlin Inc.

Download PDFWhy are Vladimir Putin's opponents dying?
by Michael Specter

Saturday, October 7th, was a marathon of disheartening tasks for Anna Politkovskaya. Two weeks earlier, her father, a retired diplomat, had died of a heart attack as he emerged from the Moscow Metro while on his way to visit Politkovskaya's mother, Raisa Mazepa, in the hospital. She had just been diagnosed with cancer and was too weak even to attend her husband's funeral. "Your father will forgive me, because he knows that I have always loved him," she told Anna and her sister, Elena Kudimova, the day he was buried. A week later, she underwent surgery, and since then Anna and Elena had been taking turns helping her cope with her grief. Read more »

A Reporter at Large – The Last Drop

Download the PDF Confronting the possibility of a global catastrophe.
by Michael Specter

Most mornings, the line begins to form at dawn: scores of silent women with babies strapped to their backs, buckets balanced on their heads, and in each hand a bright-blue plastic jug. On good days, they will wait less than an hour before a water tanker rumbles across the rutted dirt path that passes for a road in Kesum Purbahari, a slum on the southern edge of New Delhi. Read more »

Letter from Russia – Planet Kirsan

Download the PDF Inside a chess master's fiefdom.
by Michael Specter

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov is not your typical post-Soviet millionaire Buddhist autocrat. He is the ruler of Kalmykia, one of the least well known of Russia's twenty-one republics. He also happens to be president of the Fédération Internationale des Échecs, or FIDE, the governing body of world chess. Ilyumzhinov functions a bit like the Wizard of Oz. Instead of a balloon, though, he uses a private jet. In Kalmykia, a barren stretch of land wedged between Stavropol and Astrakhan, on the Caspian Sea, you can't miss the man: his picture dominates the airport arrivals hall, and billboards all along the rutted road that leads to Elista, the capital, show him on horseback or next to various people he regards as peers—Vladimir Putin, the Dalai Lama, the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II. Read more »

A Reporter at Large – Political Science

Download the PDFThe Bush Administration's war on the laboratory.
by Michael Specter

On December 1st, Merck & Company applied to the Food and Drug Administration for a license to sell a vaccine that it has developed to protect women against the human papillomavirus. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States; more than half of all Americans become infected at some point in their lives. The virus is also the primary cause of cervical cancer, which kills nearly five thousand American women every year and hundreds of thousands more in the developing world. Read more »