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Observations

Observations

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

Global Health: Don't Slap Your Name on Everything If You Want to Get Things Done

Global Health: Don't Slap Your Name on Everything If You Want to Get Things Done

Credit: Len Bruzzese/Association of Health Care Journalists It is always a thrill when a famous person notices your work. So I was quite pleased earlier this month when former President Jimmy Carter, who was speaking to a group of health journalists in Atlanta, referred the audience to an article that I edited on the tricky transition to a different vaccine formulation that must occur if polio is to be eradicated (polio section starts at 35:45 ; Scientific American comment at 37:30.) Sitting in the audience, I quickly tweeted the author Helen Branswell, who was also gratified by the positive attention.Something else Mr.

April 30, 2012 — Christine Gorman
Mobile Apps Offer 3-D Printing Via the Cloud [Video]

Mobile Apps Offer 3-D Printing Via the Cloud [Video]

As 3-D printing has matured over the past decade, the process has proved an effective way for artists, entrepreneurs and academics to produce custom-designed parts and prototype models.

April 29, 2012 — Larry Greenemeier
Space Shuttle Enterprise Graces New York City with a Flyby

Space Shuttle Enterprise Graces New York City with a Flyby

NEW YORK—Friday morning got off to an unusually exciting start here at Scientific American, as the prototype space shuttle Enterprise was flown up the Hudson River, and just past our office building at the intersection of Canal and Varick streets, en route to a landing at John F.

April 27, 2012 — John Matson
Why Pygmies Are Short: New Evidence Surprises

Why Pygmies Are Short: New Evidence Surprises

Sarah Tishkoff, center, with Pygmy women Pygmy populations, scientists have speculated, may owe their abbreviated stature to natural selection pressures that allowed them to better adapt to dense tropical forests where heat is oppressive and food is scarce.

April 26, 2012 — Gary Stix
Royal Society Calls for Redistribution of Wealth and More Birth Control to Save Planet

Royal Society Calls for Redistribution of Wealth and More Birth Control to Save Planet

During the 352-year life span of the Royal Society, the human population has risen from less than one billion people to seven billion and counting. That boom has been supported by science and technology—Watt's coal-fired steam engine, Haber and Bosch synthesizing nitrogen fertilizer, Fleming's discovery of penicillin—and continues today as the world's population expands at the rate of 78 million people per year.Now the Royal Society wants the world to do something about population growth in a bid to stave off environmental and economic calamity, according to a new report dubbed "People and the Planet" released on April 26.

April 26, 2012 — David Biello
Views from Space Show a Fragile Earth

Views from Space Show a Fragile Earth

Two provocative ways to see long-term changes on earth are currently being promoted in honor of Earth Week. A Web site by NASA, and an app from HarperCollins, both show striking side-by-side satellite images of locations that have changed dramatically over time spans of up to 30 years or more.

April 25, 2012 — Mark Fischetti

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