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Observations

Observations

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

Bumblebees Quickly Learn Best Paths to Sweet Flowers

Bumblebees, it turns out, don't bumble. Using tiny radar tracking devices, motion-activated cameras and artificial flowers, scientists have learned how the bees themselves quickly learn the best routes to take when they go foraging from flower to flower...

September 20, 2012 — Katherine Harmon

3-D Printing Software Helps Designers Avoid Rookie Mistakes [Video]

It seems the future of 3-D printing is limited only by one's imagination. The process is already used to build—layer by layer—jewelry, toys and a variety of prosthetics, with some predicting that additive fabrication of space station spare parts and even food isn't far behind...

September 20, 2012 — Larry Greenemeier

Oyster Genome Pries Open Mollusk Evolutionary Shell

The world of the mollusk genome is now our oyster, as researchers have now sequenced the genetic code of this hearty (and delicious) shellfish, revealing it to be even more complex and adaptable than previously imagined.The new genome provides insights how oysters manage to cope with a dynamic habitat and how they build their shells...

September 19, 2012 — Katherine Harmon

ATM Trades Old Gadgets for New Cash

New smartphones from Apple, Nokia, Samsung and others are poised to hit the market in time for the holiday buying season. Come January there will be a lot of obsolete gadgets looking for new homes...

September 19, 2012 — Larry Greenemeier

Romney Cites Energy Report That Advocates Carbon Price

Mitt Romney wants to fund energy research and development, but not the “green energy” research that Barack Obama has favored. That’s the clear takeaway from his answers to the 14 questions posed to the two candidates by Scientific American and ScienceDebate.org...

September 18, 2012 — Michael Moyer

Voters Should Pay More Attention to Freshwater Issues

We have passed the halfway point in our weekly examination of the 14 top science questions that President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney need to address as part of their quests to lead the United States for the next four years...

September 14, 2012 — Christine Gorman

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