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Observations

Observations

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

Oldest Arrowheads Hint at How Modern Humans Overtook Neandertals

Tiny stone blades from Pinnacle Point Cave 5-6 in South Africa that once tipped arrows or darts represent the oldest known projectile weapons. Image: Simen Oestmo Archaeologists excavating a cave on the southern coast of South Africa have recovered remains of the oldest known complex* projectile weapons.

November 7, 2012 — Kate Wong

Astronomers Spot Most Distant Supernova Yet

Simulation of an early galaxy hosting a superluminous supernova. Credit: Adrian Malec and Marie Martig (Swinburne University) A superluminous supernova may sound like a designation dreamed up by someone with a penchant for hyperbole, but such explosions are deserving of the extravagant language.

November 5, 2012 — John Matson

Newer Docs Might Be Driving Up Health Care Costs

Image courtesy of iStockphoto/prosot-photography Health care spending increases have slowed over the past couple years. Still, we are spending some $2.6 trillion—that's trillion with a "T"—a year on health costs, which is a higher percentage of our GDP than any other developed country.

November 5, 2012 — Katherine Harmon

New York City Marathon Runs Anyway

The 2012 New York City Marathon may not be televised, but it is being organized on an unofficial basis by men and women who have banded together to run anyway.

November 4, 2012 — Christine Gorman

How Computational Models Are Improving Medicine [Video]

High-resolution electromechanical model of a heart; courtesy of N. Trayanova The more we learn about cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer's, the more vexingly complex they seem—and the more elusive their cures.

November 3, 2012 — Katherine Harmon

Disaster Response: A New Yorker Reflects on Sandy

Downtown Manhattan: Pedal power but no electricity in the days after Sandy. Credit: Christine Gorman/Scientific American Evolutionary psychologists tell us it's human nature to search for lessons from the skies.

November 2, 2012 — Christine Gorman

Election: Romney and Obama Tied on Vaccines

Source: League of Women Voters How do you know that a real-live human being is behind the past 14 weeks of blog posts exploring the individual questions posed to presidential candidates by ScienceDebate.org?

November 2, 2012 — Christine Gorman

Post-Sandy New York Aims to Rethink Infrastructure, Not Just Rebuild It

As New York, New Jersey and the rest of the northeastern U.S. come to grips with Hurricane Sandy's impact, some leaders there are realizing that two debilitating hurricanes in as many years there are a sign that infrastructure there needs rethought, not just rebuilt.Postmortem assessments of Sandy's impact should include a "fundamental rethinking of our built environment," New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday during a press conference.

October 31, 2012 — Larry Greenemeier

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