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Observations

Observations

Opinion, arguments & analyses from guest experts and from the editors of Scientific American

Brain-Machine Interfaces in Fact and Fiction

Brain-Machine Interfaces in Fact and Fiction

AUSTIN, Texas—Use your brain to control the world. That's the promise of the brain-machine interface, a system that directly translates your thoughts into actions.

March 12, 2012 — Michael Moyer
Reporters without Borders Releases Its 2012 "Internet Enemies" List

Reporters without Borders Releases Its 2012 "Internet Enemies" List

Reporters Without Borders, a Paris-based non-governmental organization (NGO) that defends journalists and fights censorship, on Monday added the governments of Bahrain and Belarus to its 2012 list of Internet Enemies—an inventory of governments worldwide that filter online content, restrict their citizens' Internet access, track cyber dissidents and use the Web to spread pro-government propaganda while smearing opposition.

March 12, 2012 — Larry Greenemeier
Red Meat Consumption Increases Risk of Early Death

Red Meat Consumption Increases Risk of Early Death

Steak image courtesy of iStockphoto/Kativ Over the years, eating too many burgers, steaks pork chops or other red meat products has been linked to heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.

March 12, 2012 — Katherine Harmon
Circumcision Cuts Prostate Cancer Risk

Circumcision Cuts Prostate Cancer Risk

Slide of invasive prostate adenocarcinoma, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/NIH Circumcision might reduce a man's risk of developing prostate cancer by 15 percent, according to new research published online March 12 in Cancer .Of 1,754 men surveyed who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, fewer—percentage-wise—had been circumcised than the 1,645 men who did not have prostate cancer.

March 12, 2012 — Katherine Harmon
Imagen del Dia: Wasp Makes Prey of a Tarantula

Imagen del Dia: Wasp Makes Prey of a Tarantula

In case you haven’t seen this before on a National Geographic special, which I haven’t, here's a tarantula hawk wasp schlepping a tarantula home, a spectacle I got to view first hand on a trip to visit my wife in Costa Rica, where she is immersed in Spanish studies  for ESL certification.

March 10, 2012 — Gary Stix
Knee Replacements on Shaky Scientific Ground

Knee Replacements on Shaky Scientific Ground

Knee replacement image courtesy of iStockphoto/33karen33 As the U.S. population ages and continues packing on the pounds, knee replacement surgeries are becoming increasingly common.

March 5, 2012 — Katherine Harmon

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