Skip to content

Skip to table of contents

Watching the World

Watching the World

United States

During the week of October 29, 2012, New York City experienced a dramatic decline in murders, felony assaults, and robberies compared with the same five-day period in 2011. The reason? Hurricane Sandy, a fierce storm that ravaged the East Coast of the United States, causing massive power outages. “After a natural disaster or large-scale catastrophe like [the terrorist attack that occurred on September 11, 2001], we see conventional crime come down,” said New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne. There was, however, an increase in burglaries because of looting, which did not surprise Browne. “There are a lot of unlit areas,” he said.


Scientists worry that Antarctica’s native ecology is being threatened by invasive nonindigenous species. It is estimated that the tens of thousands of visitors to the continent each year inadvertently carry with them an average of 9.5 seeds each, often attached to their boots or bags. Populations of alien plant species have already been found in the Western Antarctic Peninsula.


An 83-year-old woman was the first recipient of a prosthetic titanium jawbone produced on a 3-D laser printer. The patient, whose jaw had been destroyed by a bone infection, can now eat, breathe, and speak normally. The laser printer fused titanium particles, layer by layer, to re-create her jawbone, which was then surgically implanted.


Within a year of a partial ban on smoking in some public areas in Germany, hospital admissions for angina pectoris among one group studied declined by 13.3 percent; for heart attacks, by 8.6 percent.