Abstracts: Amazon Deforestation, Martin Shkreli, Pipelines, and More

A roundup of science news from around the web — and around the world.

• Last year, pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli caused outrage when he hiked the price of the drug Daraprim — used to treat malaria and other types of infections — to $750 a pill. This week, a group of high school students in Australia recreated the drug for just $2 a pill. (Washington Post)

In August of 2015, Martin Shkreli raised the price of Daraprim from $13.50 to $750.

Visual by NEPAScene/Flickr

• Doctors don’t know how to say no to patients who want antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance is a global health problem of increasing urgency, yet doctors still overprescribe the drugs in response to patient demand. (National Geographic)

• Illegal deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is the highest it’s been since 2008, which could undo a decade’s worth of work protecting the rainforest. (Nature)

• Weightlifters have reason to be envious of Lucy, the famous 3.2 million year old Australopithecus afarensis specimen, as paleontologists have determined that she had super-strong arms. Her workout regimen? Possibly a lot of time spent climbing trees. (New York Times)

• The Canadian government approved two pipeline projects on Tuesday, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the country is still on track with climate change measures. (Inside Climate News)

• The Zika virus can cause glaucoma in babies who were exposed to the virus during pregnancy, which could lead to permanent eye damage and even blindness. (Science Daily)

• After eleven months offline, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) is back at work searching for gravitational waves. The detectors can now search 10 percent farther into space, and researchers intend to double the instruments’ original sensitivity. (Science Magazine)

• Medical discoveries can come from the weirdest places. Case in point, Australian researchers have found a hormone in platypus and echidna venom that could help treat type 2 diabetes. (Sydney Morning Herald)

• And finally, the total amount of stuff on Earth made by humans, from iPhones to houses to trash heaps, has been measured: it weighs 30 trillion tons. (Phys.org)

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