When water hits a lotus leaf, it pools up or rolls right off. This so-called lotus effect is due to a complex system of microscopic bumps on the leaf's waxy surface. These superhydrophobic structures protect the lotus from pathogens like fungi, which are easily swept off its leaves by water droplets. Although the lotus effect has been known in Asia for millennia—and was even noted in ancient Hindu texts—it was only scientifically understood in the early 1970s, thanks to the invention of what?
Back in the day
Merck's COX-2 selective nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug Vioxx (rofecoxib) was approved for use in the US in 1999 and remained on the market for just five years before being pulled due to concerns that it could raise the risk of heart attack and stroke. By that time, some 80 million people worldwide had taken the drug, primarily to treat osteoarthritis, acute pain, and dysmenorrhea. Before long, the drugmaker found itself facing thousands of lawsuits. How much did it earmark for settlements?
Born on a day like today
Lavoe was a Puerto Rican salsa singer. He moved to New York City at age 17 and found fame performing with acts like Orquesta New York and Willie Colón's band. Lavoe recorded many hits, including "Mi Gente," but with success came drug addiction and tragedy. After the deaths of his father, son, and mother-in-law and an HIV diagnosis, Lavoe jumped off a hotel balcony, likely in a suicide attempt. He survived and died of AIDS-related complications in 1993. Why were his remains later exhumed?