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The body politic: Can we tell from pols' faces if they're competent?

We really do judge a book by its cover—and, it seems, the competence of politicians by their faces. What's more, adults and kids see the same competence—or, as the case may be, ineptitude—in a person's visage, which helps explain why children can accurately predict presidential elections, according to new research published today in Science ...

February 26, 2009 — Jordan Lite

Fruit fly research, maligned by Sarah Palin, bears fruit

Remember when Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin dissed research on fruit flies? Well, the little buggers—a favorite of scientists who like studying their genome and the bane of kitchens everywhere—are back in the spotlight, this time with news that technology could one day spot olives spoiled by the flies...

February 26, 2009 — Jordan Lite

James Watson disses today's high school teachers

Last night in a room with a double helix woven in the carpet, the cantankerous geneticist James Watson, Nobel Prize winner and provocateur—made clear his opinion of today's high school teachers: They're not too bright...

February 26, 2009 — Brendan Borrell

Sailing at last, and rocking all night, on our way to the North Pond

Editor's Note: University of Southern California geobiologist Katrina Edwards is taking part in a three-week drilling project at the Atlantic's North Pond—a sediment-filled valley on the ocean floor—designed to locate and study what she calls the “intraterrestrials”: the myriad microbial life-forms living inside Earth's crust...

February 26, 2009 — Katrina Edwards

Security software that gives laptop thieves an earful

It seems everyday a story makes the news about a stolen laptop containing loads of valuable information. Today, for example, a thief absconded with seven Dell laptops from the Maidstone Borough electoral registration office in Kent, U.K...

February 26, 2009 — Larry Greenemeier

Florida professor accused of defrauding NASA

A University of Florida (UF) professor and his family are under investigation for allegedly falsifying information and funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars from contracts for NASA and other federal agencies into their personal accounts...

February 26, 2009 — John Matson

Another strike, but we'll be checking leaks on the ocean floor soon

Editor's Note: University of Southern California geobiologist Katrina Edwards is taking part in a three-week drilling project at the Atlantic's North Pond—a sediment-filled valley on the ocean floor—designed to locate and study what she calls the “intraterrestrials”: the myriad microbial life-forms living inside Earth's crust...

February 25, 2009 — Katrina Edwards

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Scientific American Health & Medicine

Scientific American Health & Medicine